Purpose of this call

This call for proposals aims to support research and development of innovative eScience technologies and software associated with big data handling, big data analytics and related computational methods, driven by a direct demand from any research area that can be identified broadly by the term ‘Big Science’. 

In the context of this call, ‘Big Science’ broadly indicates those scientific research directions 1) whose challenges in terms of complexity and 2) whose needs in terms of data analytics and data management capabilities, as well as processing power, far exceed that of other research endeavors today. Typically, technological developments in Big Science domains are expected to arrive in – and impact – other (non-Big Science) domains only years or even decades later.

Each project must focus on one of the following ‘Technological Research Directions’:

I. Scalable Machine Learning & AI
II. Processing of Streaming Data
III. Large-scale (Distributed) Data Organization, Management & Semantics

Projects awarded in this call for proposals typically will be led by either: 
– a technology-oriented PI from the selected Big Science research area or
– a domain-oriented PI from ICT Science (i.e. a technical discipline such as data science or computer science). In this case, it is required to include at least one co-applicant & team member from the selected Big Science research area.

Available Budget

In this call, each grant will consist of three parts: 

1) a cash contribution for the employment of local research personnel and other expenses, 
2) in-kind support in the form of skilled eScience Research Engineers employed by the eScience Center, and 
3) in-kind support in the form of advanced Technology & e-Infrastructure Experts employed by SURFsara. 

The total available budget is as follows: k€ 510 in cash funding, 3.9 Person Years (PYR) eScience Center in-kind funding, and 3.0 PYR SURFsara in-kind funding. With a total of 3 projects to be awarded, a typical project will receive k€ 170, 1.3 PYR in-kind eScience contribution, and 1.0 PYR in-kind SURFsara contribution. 

When to apply

The deadline for the submission of pre-proposals is Thursday 9 May 2019, 14:00 CET.
The deadline for submission of full proposals is Thursday 29 August 2019, 14:00 CET.

Information event

To further inform interested applicants of the specific aims of this call for proposals, the mission and approach of both the eScience Center and SURFsara, the role and expertise of the eScience Research Engineers and the SURFsara Technology & e-infrastructure Experts, the software technologies implemented and applied by the eScience Center and SURFsara, and the specific capabilities of the Dutch National e-Infrastructure, an information event will be organized at Amsterdam Science Park on 9 April 2019. Registration is required (see below). Presence of at least one team member at the event is highly recommended, but not mandatory.


13:30 – 14:00 Arrival & Coffee
14:00 – 14:20 General introduction: eTEC-BIG Call for Proposals (Frank Seinstra) Download Presentation
14:20 – 14:50 Netherlands eScience Center & Core Technological Competences (Frank Seinstra + Jason Maassen) Download Presentation
14:50 – 15:00 Break
15:00 – 15:30 SURFsara, Technological Expertise & SURF e-Infrastructure (Axel Berg) Download Presentation
15:30 – 16:00 Collaborative Science at/with the Netherlands eScience Center (Meiert Grootes) Download Presentation
16:00 – 16:30 Remaining questions
16:30 Drinks


Submit your proposal

Please submit your proposal using NWO’s electronic application system ISAAC:


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