Rubicon: for acquiring research experience at a foreign knowledge institute

The Rubicon programme allows researchers who have recently gained their PhD to acquire experience at a foreign knowledge institute. That is an important launchpad to an academic career.

Rubicon is aimed at recent PhD graduates

Rubicon focuses on highly promising researchers who have recently gained their PhD and who are still at the start of their academic career. Based on their scientific qualities, it can be expected that these researchers will be able to assume an important position in the scientific and academic landscape of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Rubicon is part of the Talent Line of NWO/ZonMw and[JTK1]  bridges the phase between a PhD and being eligible for funding from the NWO Talent Line.

Chance to pursue an academic career

Research experience abroad is usually indispensable for an academic career. Rubicon gives talented researchers in the Kingdom of the Netherlands who have recently gained their PhD the opportunity to gain experience at a foreign knowledge institute for a period of one to two years. That increases their chances of being able to continue working in academia.


There are four science domains:

  • NWO Science
  • NWO Social Sciences and Humanities;
  • NWO Applied and Engineering Sciences; and
  • ZonMw (Health Research and Medical Sciences).

ZonMw realises the NWO Talent Programme (Rubicon) for the domain Health Research and Medical Sciences on behalf of the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

Programme-specific information

Budget and duration

The Rubicon programme runs for an indefinite period. There are three funding rounds each year, with deadlines around 1 April, 1 September and 1 December. More information about the budget available per round can be found in the call for proposals.

Assessment per domain

For the call for proposals from the Rubicon programme, you need to choose which domain you want to submit a proposal to. Please do this beforehand and on time. Once you have submitted your proposal, the choice of domain is final, and it will no longer be possible to have the proposal assessed by another domain. If you are unsure about the domain you should choose, for example, because the proposal has a (partially) domain-overarching character, then please contact the Rubicon coordinator. See the call for proposals for more information.

You can choose from:

  • ZonMw (Health Research and Medical Sciences).
  • NWO Science
  • NWO Social Sciences and Humanities;
  • NWO Applied and Engineering Sciences


The research domain ZonMw (Health Research and Medical Sciences), just like the other NWO research domains, works with broadly composed committees of researchers who advise about the quality and ranking of the proposals.

Dr T. (Thomas) Abeel
Prof. dr. G.J (Gosse) Adema

Dr A.A. (Aart) van Apeldoorn
Dr ir. W.M. (Willy) Baarends
Prof. dr. R.M.F. (Rolf) Berger
Prof.dr. R. (René) Bernards
Dr A.M. (Twan) van den Beucken
Prof. dr. N.R. (Nienke) Biermasz
Dr P.C.J. (Patricia) Bruijning-Verhagen
Dr J.M.E.M. (Judith) Cosemans
Dr S. (Suzanne) Derks
Prof. dr. M. (Margot) Eck van der Sluijs-Van de Bor
Prof. dr. S.E. (Suzanne) Geerlings
Prof. dr. T.B.H. (Theo) Geijtenbeek
Prof.dr. A.H.M. (Ad) Geurts van Kessel
Prof.dr. J.H. (Joost) Gribnau
Dr L. (Lucianne) Groenink
Prof. dr. G. (Gerald) de Haan
Dr S.E. (Eleonor) Köhler
Dr H.M. (Nina) Kupper)

Prof. dr. L.F.M.H. (Lou) de Leij
Dr H.F. (Hester) Lingsma
Prof.dr. A.B. (Andrea) Maier
Dr P. (Peter) Meerlo
Dr mr. M.M.(Mostafa) Mokhles
Prof. dr. L. (Lorenzo) Moroni
Dr ir. T.W.J. (Tom) Scheenen
Dr B. (Bart) Spee
Dr R.L. (Rik) de Swart
Dr S. (Silvie) Timmers
Dr A.G. (Annemarthe) van der Veen
Prof. dr. D.J. (Dick) Veltman
Prof. dr. M. (Marcel) Verheij
Dr ir. J.J. (Jolanda) Wentzel
Dr N. (Noam) Zelcer
Dr W.T. (Wilbert) Zwart


In progress
€ 2.280.000
Duration: 9%
Duration: 9 %


Leah Winkel

Programme Manager
rubicon [at]

Fleur ten Tije

Programme Secretary
rubicon [at]

Alba Muniesa Varga

Programme Secretary
Rubicon [at]

Renata Zondervan

Programme Assistant
rubicon [at]