About this programme

Off Road is a programme for young researchers which gives them the opportunity to explore an ‘outside the box’ idea. This research will cover the terrains of (bio)medical- and health sciences. The focus is on developing an innovative idea into a proof of concept. Though the idea or concept may be matter a for the long term, the project should be designed to test the hypothesis behind it. We expect several of these experimental studies to result in groundbreaking discoveries and accept that this will not be the case with some Off Road projects (‘High Risk-High Gain’ projects).

The applications will have a high risk profile and will not follow well-trodden research paths. Project proposals should describe an unconventional research strategy at a start-up stage. Assessment will be based above all on the ideas, rather than the researcher’s track record.
Projects should involve fundamental research at the start of the knowledge process. The emphasis will be on exploring the idea and the outcome may well be negative. There are therefore fewer criteria than usual for the submission of applications. The sums available are lower, and the project duration will be shorter.

There is a collaboration with the program’s Innovative Medical Devices Initiative (IMDI) and Memorabel.

Increase transparency

Within this program, ZonMw strives to use reporting guidelines when planning research ideas (for example the ARRIVE guidelines for animal experimental research). Researchers are expected to pursue the use of these guidelines where relevant. Via Equator Network you can find more information about the different available guidelines.   

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