Applying for Path-Finding Project Funding

Applying for Path-Finding Project Funding

Path-Finding Projects

In addition to the Large Projects, NLeSC has facility to sponsor smaller eScience initiatives. One of such opportunities is referred to as “Path-Finding Projects”.

Path-Finding Projects are intended to provide the opportunity to address novel data or computationally intensive scientific challenges. In this way they can serve as a pilot for future research projects or investigate the potential to initiate full projects.

NLeSC can award typically 5 to 6 Path-Finding Projects each year. Path-Finding Projects are supported via the 100% in kind provision of eScience Research Engineers employed by NLeSC. 

Call for Submissions Open

Next deadline for submission of Path-Finding Project proposals is November 1st 2016.

A Path-Finding Project proposal can be submitted at any time, but will be reviewed only after the earliest fixed deadline in the year: May 1st or November 1st. It is, therefore, in competition with other Path-Finding Project proposals submitted before the same deadline.

Path-Finding Projects will be evaluated by the NLeSC Executive Committee on the following criteria:

  • Scientific quality, novelty and impact (50%, see section 6a)
  • eScience technology state-of-the-art (25%; see section 6b)
  • Potential for technological innovation, impact of new technology on future research and lateral impact (between domains) (25%; see section 6c)

To align with NLeSC’s aims and technological capabilities, Path-Finding Projects should contribute to eStep, the eScience Technology Platform. To this end, Path-Finding Projects preferably incorporate elements of at least one, but possibly more, of the key technological competencies defined by NLeSC:

  • Optimized Data Handling: incl. combining structured and unstructured data, real-time data analysis, database optimization, data-interoperability;
  • Big Data Analytics: incl. data interpretation, data exploration, analysis, data mining, machine learning, text analysis, and visualization;
  • Efficient Computing:incl. high-performance and distributed computing, heterogeneous computing, efficient algorithm design, accelerated hardware (e.g. Graphics Processing Units).

Examples of previous Path-Finding Projects are shown below.

Submitting Proposals

Before submitting, it is advised to contact NLeSC first to discuss the aims and direction of your project idea. Also, for more information on the procedures and content of Path-Finding Projects, please send an email to .

Submission of a Path-Finding Project proposal requires sending the completed submission document to You can download the submission document here: submission document.

General terms and conditions of NLeSC projects can be found here (Dutch). The NLeSC policy towards publishing, licensing and intellectual property can be found here. Note that this will include Open Access Policy as defined by NWO.

Submission will be (temporarily) closed in case the budget for Path-Finding Projects has been exhausted.


Director of Technology Prof. Rob van Nieuwpoort

Rob is responsible for eScience Technology development in all projects, project leader of our eScience technology platform, and manager of the eScience engineers.

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