ZonMw Open Competition: for research proposals for free, fundamental research

About this programme

ZonMw Open Competition funds research proposals for non-programmed, fundamental research. This funding instrument has no thematic limitations and focuses on research proposals in all scientific disciplines with a question or problem that concerns, or overlaps with, fundamental research into healthcare and innovation.

Through this programme, ZonMw wants to bring together researchers from two or more disciplines to facilitate excellent team science that results in innovative (groundbreaking) research of exceptional quality in the field of healthcare research. The expected outcome of a project is primarily scientific advancement (increased knowledge, development of modelling and theory) within a new collaboration between research groups (team science). ZonMw considers this open stimulus for science to be the primary driver for innovation in science and healthcare for the longer term.

Funding for different modules

Within the ZonMw Open Competition, funding can be requested for different modules: Personnel, Material Credit, Investments, Knowledge Utilisation and Internationalisation.
Via the module Investments, extra funding can be requested for medium-sized infrastructure. Within this module, a minimum of € 100,000 and a maximum of € 250,000 can be requested, and this is intended for funding an investment such as innovative scientific equipment. For this extra investment in infrastructure, financial matching must be provided.
In summary, the ZonMw Open Competition is about:

  • Innovative (groundbreaking) science with a broad impact on science and/or society;
  • Team science: innovative and synergistic collaboration between research groups.


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

Prof.  Hans Heesterbeek

Prof.  Madelon Peters

Dr Truus Abbink
Prof. Anke van den Berg
Prof.  Hendriek Boshuizen
Dr Pouyan Boukany
Prof. Jan Buitelaar
Prof. Suzanne Cannegieter
Prof. Remus Dame
Prof.  Dirk-Jan Duncker
Prof.  Isabelle van Gelder
Prof. Lisette van Gemert-Pijnen
Prof.  Maria Hopman
Prof. Henriëtte van der Horst
Prof.  Anke Huckriede
Prof. Paul Lucassen
Dr Federico de Martino
Dr Frank Meye
Prof. Madelon Peters
Prof. Klaas Poelstra
Prof. Dirk-Jan Reijngoud
Dr Ynte Ruigrok
Prof.  Ioannis Sechopoulos
Prof. Mangala Srinivas
Prof. Monika Stoll
Prof. René Toes
Prof. Marianna Tryfonidou
Prof. André Uitterlinden
Prof. Karin de Visser
Dr Femke de Vrij
Prof.  Anna Wilbik


In progress
€ 19.000.000
Duration: 55%
Duration: 55 %


Angela Sarabdjitsingh

Senior Programme Manager
opencompetitie [at] zonmw.nl

Anne Lippinkhof

Programme Manager
opencompetitie [at] zonmw.nl

Sara Helgason

Programme Secretary
opencompetitie [at] zonmw.nl

Eva Vlaar

Programme Secretary
opencompetitie [at] zonmw.nl

Dilys Sandel

Programme Assistant
opencompetitie [at] zonmw.nl

Jacoline Griep

Programme Assistant
opencompetitie [at] zonmw.nl