Soon, anyone submitting a weak research proposal to the Dutch Research Council (NWO) will be barred from taking part again for one or two years. The universities and NWO hope this will reduce the number of applications.
The Association of Universities and NWO put forward this plan in a letter to Education minister Van Engelshoven. Another measure to curb the flood of submissions is to get rid of deadlines at NWO so researchers only submit a proposal once it is really good. The universities are also considering having their own pre-selections to reduce the number of research proposals sent on to NWO. The idea is that a coordinator will be appointed at each university to streamline the applications. The universities and NWO are also studying the option of using quotas, in which certain NWO programmes get a maximum number of applicants to be divided among the universities.