Overview of regulations and grants especially for female academics

Regulated within Leiden University

Leiden University has effective policies on combining work with private life. As well as maternity leave, the university also offers paid adoption leave and partially paid parental leave (62.5%), and university staff can use the university’s childcare provision at Kattekop. For more information about these possibilities, visit the page about work and leave.


NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research)
Aim: to ensure that more female university lecturers progress to posts such as senior university lecturer or professor. Executive Boards that promote female recipients of Vidi and Vici grants to senior university lecturer or professor qualify for this award. Women can also apply for this subsidy who have been judged worthy of receiving a grant but have not received one due to resource constraints. Part of the money must be spent on measures which improve women’s position or career opportunities within the university.

Athena (Chemical Sciences)
Aim: to ensure that more female postdocs in Chemical Sciences progress to permanent academic posts. The grant is awarded to women in Chemical Sciences. Every year, NOW Chemical Sciences awards one Athena Award. The Athena Award is composed of the following elements: an amount of money, to be spent on research-related activities, a small statue and an article in Elements. Unlike Aspasia, this grant is for the female researcher herself and not for the Executive Board.

MEERVOUD Aim: to ensure that more female postdocs in the sciences and mathematics move on to a post as university lecturer. This is achieved by creating temporary positions for university lecturers with the guarantee of progressing to a permanent academic post.

FOM/v (Physics)
Fom/v consists of a broad package of measures in which FOM aims to help retain female physicists in the field of physics in the Netherlands.

Stimulation Programme (Stimuleringsprogramma)

The programme consists of personal grants for postdoc posts. The aim is to help Dutch physicists into a good position from which to continue their career. Women who have just been awarded their doctorate or women who already have a postdoc post abroad (or have just completed it) can apply for the grant.  

FOM/v also has transitional subsidies which faculties/research institutes can draw on to support the appointment of women to permanent positions; for example, to contribute to the permanent appointment of a woman as university lecturer or senior university lecturer. 

Other funding for female academics
Catharina van Tussenbroek Fund  
Aim: promote women’s academic development. The aim of the Fund is to support women who want to conduct research abroad but for whom the prevailing funding channels (such as faculty regulations, NWO and KNAW grants etc.) are not open. 

Jo Kolk Study Fund for Women 
The Jo Kolk Study Fund Foundation provides financial support to women in following an academic or higher professional programme as well as in conducting academic research. Grants are awarded for:

a. A graduation project or graduation research at home or abroad;
b. PhD research or prior research;
c. Attending courses for women returning to work.

Dr Christine Buisman Fund Foundation (Biology)
Aim: to promote the study of biology. The Fund provides bonuses for female students/graduates of Biology for placements/congress visits.


  • Fom/v: Minerva Prize (female physicists). The Minerva Prize is awarded every two years to the author of the best physics publication by a woman, to raise awareness of female physicists’research. It is an honour to receive the Minerva Prize, and the laureate provides an inspirational example to other women. 

  • L'Oréal-UNESECO programme
    In 1998 a partnership was begun between cosmetics corporation L’Oréal and UNESCO with the motto ‘The world needs science and science needs women’. The prestigious programme awards prizes to exceptional female scientists and allocates grants to young female researchers.

Other regulations

Extension clauses in the event of pregnancy − NWO
Applications to the NWO are subject to a deadline: applications must be submitted up to a certain number of years after candidates have been awarded their doctorate. This deadline can be extended in the event of sickness incapacity, parental leave, maternity leave or carer’s leave (also applicable to men). 

Last Modified: 28-04-2016