Netspar supports innovative academic research on all aspects of the social sciences related to aging and retirement. As part of these efforts, Netspar offers Theme Grants for three years, with a maximum of k€ 250  per project. This year, Netspar has k€750 to allocate.

All proposals should be relevant for the Netspar research agenda 2019-2023 and the 2019-2023 Netspar Action Plan. Netspar encompasses a large variety of academic disciplines ranging e.g. from economics to law, sociology, psychology, communication science and data science.  Research proposals from all relevant disciplines that contribute to the Netspar research agenda are encouraged.

Main Characteristics

  • Funding for three years (Netspar funding is k€ 250).
  • The project team consists of several academics, plus staff members from an industry partner.
  • Project team members are available during the course of the project to present research results at Netspar events.
  • Project team members are expected to participate in task forces meetings when writing industry-oriented Netspar publications.
  • The project leader is responsible for the project in terms of content and finances. The project leader also serves as the first point of contact for project monitoring.

 Selection Criteria

  • Proposals  must link up with the Netspar research agenda.
  • The application must be submitted by a Dutch university or knowledge institute that will be responsible for the administration if the grant is awarded. The proposed project leader must be employed by this Dutch university or knowledge institute.
  • At least 10% of the budget provided by Netspar (in €) must be supplied by one or more academics associated with a foreign university.
  • Netspar encourages matching in cash or in kind.
  • Active participation in the Netspar Match Making event (March 19, 2019) is recommended when submitting a proposal.

Application Requirements

Proposals for a Theme Grant must contain the following documents:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Annex I: Detailed Description of the Proposal (no prescribed format)
  • Annex II: Budget Plan, in accordance with the prescribed format
  • Annex III: Output Commitments, in accordance with the prescribed format
  • Annex IV: CVs of the applicant and all project members (converted into a single pdf-file)

Only applications in accordance with the Netspar format will be accepted for the selection procedure.

 Selection Process

There is one selection round each year.

  • Applications are evaluated for academic quality by the Scientific Council. In this evaluation round at least three members of the Scientific Council will judge and grade the academic quality of the proposals. Proposals have to get an average of 3.5 points (out of 5) in order to continue on to the next evaluation round.
  • Applications with sufficient academic quality are submitted to the Partner Research Council, which makes recommendations to the Netspar Board of Directors.
  • Grants are awarded by the Netspar Board of Directors.

Timetable for 2019

March 19 Match Making Event
April 16 Deadline for draft version of application (Completed Application Form and Annexes I, III, and IV).
April 20 – May 8 Feedback meeting with the Scientific Director of Netspar or program coordinator(s)
May 20 Deadline for submitting draft of the Budget Plan (Annex II)
June 24 Deadline for submitting final version (including all documents)
July 1 – August 5 Evaluation by Netspar’s Scientific Council
August 19 Deadline for applicant responses to comments made by Netspar’s Scientific Council
September 19 Recommendation by Netspar’s Partner Research Council
October 1 Formal decision by Netspar Board
November Administrative kick-off meeting
January 2020 Start of project



Submit to and mention ‘Application for Netspar Theme Project’ in the subject line.



For questions, please contact Netspar: Silvie van Halder +31(0)134663793,

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.


Mission en strategy           •           Network           •           Organisation           •          Magazine
Netspar Brief            •            Actionplan 2015-2019           •           Researchagenda


Our partners

View all partners