Comparative Research Grant 2021

Call for Proposals; Deadline: March 1, 2021

Any researcher can apply for a Comparative Research Grant. In 2021 Netspar has € 60,000 to allocate (three grants of € 20,000).

The pension and retirement systems in different countries differ a lot in institutional detail. Nevertheless the over-arching issues are the same in all countries:

  • What is the level of adequate pension income during retirement?
  • How should pension capital be invested during accumulation and decumulation?
  • Which benefits could be means-tested and what are the implications for the system?
  • How much choice is preferable within the system?
  • How should we design choices (choice architecture)?
  • How can trust in the pension system be stimulated?
  • How should we design policies targeted on the labor market for older workers?
  • How can we enhance lifelong learning, and/or employability and productivity among older workers?
  • What is an adequate balance between PAYG and funding ?
  • What is the impact of the corona crisis on (future) pension adequacy ?
  • Etc…

The goal of Netspar’s Comparative Research Grants is to compare the regulatory and product choices made in different countries (including the Netherlands) and relate these to the academic literature.

Main characteristics

  • Compare pension products or pension regulation in two or more countries (including the Netherlands)
  • Explore and outline the links with the academic literature
  • Budget maximum of € 20,000
  • Nine months to one year to complete a paper for the Netspar Discussion Paper Series
  • Objective to present (a preliminary version of) this paper at the Netspar International Pension Workshop in January 2022
  • Invitation to discuss the outline of this paper at a Netspar Taskforce Day.
  • Contribute to existing literature and add value to the Netspar research agenda

Selection criteria

  • The proposal must link up with the Netspar Research Agenda.
  • The application is submitted by a university or knowledge institute, Dutch or non-Dutch.
  • The applicant(s) have adequate institutional information on the countries and products they want to compare
  • The project is well grounded in academic research and has a clear link to the pension practice.

Application requirements

Proposals for a Comparative Research Grant should contain the following information (please use the template):

  • Title page with names of all authors and contact details of the corresponding author
  • Description of the comparison of pension products or regulation that is proposed and the links with the academic literature that will be explored (max. 3 pages)
  • Timetable for completion of the project (max 1/2 page)
  • Statement about other funding for the project (if applicable)
  • CVs of the applicant(s)

Only applications in accordance with the Netspar format will be accepted for the selection procedure. Please convert seperate documents into one PDF file.


Proposals can be submitted by email to, mentioning: Application for Netspar Comparative Research Grant. Deadline for submission is March 1, 2021.

Selection process

The program coordinators support the evaluation of proposals. Grants are awarded by the Netspar Board of Directors.


For any questions please contact Silvie van Halder,, +31 13 466 3793.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.


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