Third and last round of the Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme

8 May 2020

The third and last round of the pilot programme Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme is open. In this programme, researchers in ongoing projects can use NWO funding to hire academics who have fled their homeland and wish to continue their academic career in the Netherlands. After completion of the pilot programme, NWO will decide whether to continue it on a permanent basis and, if so, in what form. A digital information session will take place on 3 June.

The pilot programme, which was initially launched in 2018, was developed in consultation with the Young Academy, KNAW and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF. To be eligible, academics must have a master's degree or a doctorate on the date of submission and must also have been granted refugee status in the Netherlands. As in the previous rounds, academics with refugee status can fill in an expression of interest form. With their consent, NWO will share this information with the institutions and researchers who are interested in the call so they can search for suitable candidates for current research projects. Conversely, interested project leaders with ongoing NWO or ZonMw projects can place them on the NWO website, so that refugees can also conduct a targeted search for suitable projects. For the expression of interest forms, see

Who can apply?

As in the previous rounds of this call, the application must be submitted by a project leader of an ongoing research project already funded by NWO or ZonMw. With the application, the project leader can request additional funding for an 18-month appointment of a junior or senior researcher with demonstrable refugee status. A total budget of 1,020,000 euros is available for this round. The maximum budget per application is 160,000 euros. If the maximum amount is applied for, an estimated total of between 7 and 10 applications will be granted. 


The deadline for applications is 8 September. This date is subject to change due to developments concerning the coronavirus. Any changes will be published on the funding page of the Hestia programme. Measures taken by NWO as a result of the coronavirus can be found at:

3 June: digital information session

NWO will provide more information about the call during a digital information session on Wednesday 3 June from 10.00 – 12.00 hrs. Candidates can also use the opportunity to talk to NWO staff members, laureates from previous rounds and representatives from the institutions. Of course, interested project managers are also welcome to attend the session. The meeting will essentially be held in English. You can register via and will subsequently receive a link which you can use to log in.  

More information

More details about who can apply and the criteria for submitting a proposal can be found in the call for proposalsIf you have any subsequent questions, please send them to