NWO TDCC call for proposals

NWO call for proposals and the TDCCs - developing collaborative and non-competitive projects

On November 15, 2023 NWO opened a call for proposals to fund projects that address ambitions and challenges defined in each TDCC's roadmap. The call will stay open for one year, until November 15 2024 at 14:00:00 CET.

For those familiar with NWO’s financial instruments and open call formats, we would like to stress that this call asks for a novel approach in how the project proposals/ applications themselves are developed. 

One of the roles that TDCCs, as network organisations, have within this call is to ensure that project proposals are developed through a community-driven process. We want to get engaged with project ideas (and people who propose them) early on, and facilitate their development into full project proposals through an open and inclusive process. 

WHY a community-driven process?

As a result of a community-driven project proposal development, we expect the projects which will be granted NWO funding to be more informed by and more responsive to the actual needs of our communities. We also believe that by bringing applicants together in a co-creative process, they will have the opportunity to connect with and learn from their peers interested in addressing similar challenges. That way we can foster collaboration, join efforts for the benefit of all, and avoid working in silos.

Formal requirements through which NWO ensures this approach are: 

  • Every application needs to be accompanied by a submission letter from the relevant  TDCC domain 
  • One third of assessment by NWO (section 4.3.1. of the call text) will be based on the degree to which a transparent, community-driven process has been followed in drawing up the application, including the involvement and consultation with a TDCC.

HOW to get a TDCC submission letter?

1. Submit a project idea to your relevant TDCC domain through a form - Submit an idea.

The submission/expression of interest forms are simple, asking for a short description, relation to roadmap challenges, ideas on partnerships, etc.

→ After submission, your idea will be checked based on a set of limited criteria (domain relevance, addressing roadmap challenges, collaboration potential, etc.), and it will be either moved forward to step 2, not recommended for TDCC funding, or postponed for revisiting in the future.

2. If your project idea has passed the limited criteria check, it will be refined through a community-based process. 

Each TDCC will facilitate this process for their domain-specific communities. In line with the community needs, the project idea is jointly developed further and potential partners are included. This creates the opportunity for involving stakeholders who did not themselves submit an idea. Further details will be available on each domain specific TDCC page. 

→ After this, the project idea will be assessed and it will be either moved forward to step 3, not recommended for TDCC funding, or postponed for revisiting in the future

3. You will now write the full project proposal together with the future project team. 

The full project proposal needs to be written following the format of the application form provided by NWO.

4. Once your full project proposal has gone through a final check by the relevant TDCC, you will receive a TDCC submission letter. 

5. You can now submit your project proposal and the accompanying TDCC submission letter to NWO, through ISAAC


We estimate the project proposal development period – from idea submission to receiving a TDCC submission letter - will last between 4 and 6 months, depending on the specific TDCC. So we encourage those interested in the call to submit the project idea to the relevant TDCC well ahead of the NWO call closure date on November 15, 2024.

Domain specificities

Due to the different landscapes within each of our domains – LSH, NES and SSH, as well as the set-up of our governance, there are some differences between our processes for developing project proposals. 

To learn more about each TDCC’s project proposal development process follow the links: