About this programme

The aim of this programme is to challenge young (bio)medical and/or health researchers to realise new insights and unexpected breakthroughs in medical and/or health research. The focus is on developing an innovative idea into a proof-of-concept. This means that, although the idea or concept has a long-term character, the project focuses on testing the hypothesis underlying the concept/idea. We expect that a few of these experimental studies will result in groundbreaking discoveries, and we also accept that this will not be the case for some Off Road projects (High Risk- High Gain projects).

Proposals within this programme have a high-risk profile and do not fall within established lines of research. Project proposals describe an unconventional research direction that is still in a start-up phase. The assessment will focus on the idea and not so much on the researcher’s CV. The emphasis is on elaborating the idea, and it is possible that this results in a negative outcome. The submission criteria are also less detailed than usual. This concerns a relatively small grant for a short period of time.

There will be collaboration with the Memorabel programme.

Increasing transparency

Within this programme, ZonMw endeavours to use reporting guidelines during the planning of research ideas (for example, the ARRIVE guidelines for experimental animal research). Researchers within this programme are expected to make use of these guidelines wherever that is relevant. Further information about the various guidelines available can be found via the Equator Network.

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