ZonMw employs a number of general relevance criteria. All ZonMw programmes take account of these general relevance criteria, as does ZonMw itself within its own organisation and activities.

For instance, in appointing its programme committees and working groups ZonMw works to ensure that these possess sufficient expertise to meet the relevance criteria.

Grant applicants are asked to incorporate both the general and the programme-specific relevance criteria into their grant application (for more information on this, see the ZonMw procedure). The grant announcement concerned will explain which criteria must be given specific attention in the application. This page will clarify the general relevance criteria.

General relevance criteria

The general relevance criteria are:


Attention to diversity and target group differentiation by characteristics such as sex, age, socio-economic situation, educational level, migratory and cultural backgrounds, and sexual inclination, inasmuch as these are relevant to the theme of the project.

ICT in care provision

ZonMw takes a broad view of the use of ICT in care provision, by which we understand the use of e-health applications, domotics, robotics, and data storage. We have formulated attention points for ICT applications and ICT standards in research settings.


Knowledge becomes especially useful and applicable in education when it has arisen in an exchange between research, training and practice. How have you shaped interaction between training, research, practice and policy? What results do you expect your project or research to deliver for education?


In selecting projects to support, ZonMw seeks to involve stakeholders, including the ultimate target group or end users, whose knowledge is based on practical, personal experience. By ‘involve’ we mean consulting, asking for advice, collaborating, and/or involving end users in project decisions.

Access to data

ZonMw promotes the optimal use of data. In your project proposal or grant application, describe the possibilities of making use of existing data files and justify any stated need for new data collection. If you are setting up a new data collection, indicate how access to this data will subsequently be managed.


By this we mean the expected applicability and use of the project results or products, either in practice or in shaping policy.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about relevance criteria, please approach the contact person of the call for proposals concerned.


Ensure that your initial project idea deals with all the general relevance criteria. If a certain relevance criterion is irrelevant to your project, then make your case for this. The assessors can then take it into account.

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