Call for Sustainable Software 2023 (SS 2023)

Enhancing successful research software

The call at a glance:

  • Open to researchers from all disciplines.
  • Receive 2 person-year (PYR) in-kind support from eScience Center RSEs on improving the sustainability of your software.
  • Two rounds, lightweight pre-proposal and full proposal
  • Full proposal round includes support from an eScience center employee.
  • Timeline:
    • February 21th: Information event
    • March 16th: Deadline pre-proposal
    • June 8th: Deadline full proposal

Purpose of this call 

This call for proposals supports communities of researchers who require their software to meet higher quality standards to ensure the continuity and advancement of their research in the longer term.

Proposals should meet one or more of these objectives:

  • making successful research software applicable to disciplines or research problems other than those from which the software first emerged;
  • improving the accessibility of successful research software (e.g. through packaging and release, enhanced user interfaces, or research-software-as-a-service);
  • enhancing the Technology Readiness Level of successful research software;
  • further developing research software to support the formation of a community of researchers and developers;
  • engaging in community building activities (e.g. through setting up a governance model, creating tutorials, organizing workshops or hackathons, or improving documentation).

A competitive proposal should:

  • make clear why an improvement of existing research software is demanded from the research community, and why this improvement requires the eScience Center’s research software expertise;
  • explain the nature of, and the expected impact on, the research communities that requires the improved research software;
  • include a clear strategy for the future maintenance and sustainability of the research software resulting from the project (including the involvement of relevant communities), and a realistic and concrete plan describing the measures that will be taken to ensure its usability and availability beyond the duration of the project itself.

This call is open to applicants from all disciplines; for eligibility, please see the full call document. Full proposals will be co-authored by the Netherlands eScience Center.

To inform interested applicants about the specific aims of the Call for Sustainable Software 2023, as well as the role and expertise of the eScience Center, an online information event will be organized on Tuesday, 21 February, 2023, 13.00-15.30. Sign up below to receive a Zoom link for the information session. 

What can be applied for?

A project may be requested for an in-kind budget of 2.0 PYR (1.0 PYR represents 1,536 hours of RSE time available for the duration of the project). The project duration should be between 18 and 24 months.

The organization of one substantial workshop is mandatory. The main goals of the workshop should be to discuss new use cases for the software, foster and augment the research community making use of the software, and explore options for increasing software sustainability. The format and costs of the workshops should be negotiated with the eScience Center. Expenses of up to 15,000 EUR will be covered.

Awarded projects are offered an in-kind investment in expertise in the form of RSEs employed by the eScience Center. To maximize the added value and impact for applicants, the technological needs and requirements of the project should match with the Center’s expertise. Its current expertise areas are:

  • AI: machine learning, image processing;
  • Analytics: big data analytics, text analysis, visualization;
  • Data processing: databases, real-time data analysis, interoperability and linked data;
  • Computing: exploitation of hardware accelerators, high performance computing, cloud computing, combining simulations;
  • Software quality: developing workflow technologies, improving software practices, advancing software sustainability.

Does this sound like the opportunity you were looking for? Then look no further. For more information about this call for proposals, including how our RSEs can help, how to prepare the application, assessment procedure and more, be sure to download the full call below.

Who can apply?

Each proposal is to be formally submitted by a single named researcher (henceforth the ‘Lead Applicant’ or LA). The proposal needs to be written together with a senior member of the eScience Center, to ensure that the envisaged project aligns with eScience Center expertise and addresses the appropriate technological options. The LA represents a larger community of researchers and will act as primary contact for the eScience Center.

The LA must:

  • be employed by a Dutch research performing organization. An overview of all eligible organizations is included in the full Call document.
  • be in possession of a PhD;
  • hold a permanent contract;
  • ensure a minimal personal commitment to the project work for half a day per week on average for the duration of the project.

The activities of the research team, including eScience Center RSEs, should be integral to the proposed project structure. Proposals supported by large research infrastructures and/or research consortia will be positively valued. Researchers employed by research organizations not mentioned in the full Call document may also participate in the consortium.

The LA is allowed to submit only one proposal in that capacity in this call.

Submitting the application

Applicants are required to submit a Project Proposition before they can submit a Full Proposal. The closing date for the submission of Project Propositions is Thursday 16 March 2023, 14:00 CET. Project Propositions and Full Proposals can be submitted only via NWO’s electronic application system ISAAC: www.isaac.nwo.nl. For technical questions, contact the ISAAC helpdesk.

Downloads and links

SS 2023 – Sustainable software Call 2023

SS 2023 – 1. Template Project Proposition

SS 2023 – 2. Template Full Proposal

SS 2023 – 3. Template Software Management Plan 2023

Bijzondere voorwaarden NLeSC subsidies 2023

IP Rules for NLeSC projects 2023

Download all

Contact details

If you have specific questions about this call for proposals and the assessment procedure, please contact Sam Woldringh, Program Officer NWO, via +31 (0)70 349 4101 or

For technical questions, you can contact the ISAAC helpdesk from Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 17.00 hours (CET) via ISAAC +31 70 3440600 or 

For questions about the Netherlands eScience Center, or the eScience requirements for this call, please contact Programme Management Netherlands eScience Center via +31 (0)20 460 4770 or

Other opportunities

We are always open for opportunities to collaborate with our colleagues! Be sure to check out our other calls for proposals.