There are many possibilities for teachers and educational programms to receive (financial) support in the form of subsidies or incentive schemes for realising educational innovation. This page gives an overview of the current possibilities. If you have any questions about writing or submitting proposals, please contact Dr Silvester Draaijer ( of the Department of Student and Educational Affairs.

Open Regulations

Comenius Grant

The Comenius programme was set up by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to enable teachers and training managers (Fellows – EUR 50k, Senior Fellows – EUR 100k, Leadership Fellows – EUR 250k) to realise their ambitions and plans for educational innovation and improvement. The Comenius programme will grow into a programme with a substantial budget (EUR 12.6k in 2021), which will be made available for dozens of projects.

SURF Incentive Scheme for Open and Online Education

The SURF Open and Online Education Programme was set up by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science to enable institutions to gain experience with Open and Online Education. The projects are intended to contribute to the quality, accessibility, and efficiency of higher education or to higher educational success. The project does not need to be innovative for the Netherlands; it needs to be innovative for its own institution. The size of the application is a maximum of EUR 100,000 with 50% matching of the own institution.

KnowVU Award

Knowledge Network Education VU (KnowVU) stimulates the discussion about the quality of education at the VU and stimulates educational innovation. An annual prize is awarded to encourage and support innovative educational ideas. Are you an instructor at the VU, VUmc or ACTA and do you have a good idea with which you could help improve the education within your study programme, your faculty or perhaps even the entire educational institution? Submit your educational idea and compete for the KnowVU Award jury prize of €7,500 and 50 hours of help from student assistants at the VU Educational Workshop. There is also an audience prize of €2.500,-.

Grassroots VU

Grassroots are small-scale innovations that teachers and students can bring about in their teaching. For grassroots, teachers can apply an existing technology or didactic approach for the first time in their subject or – as is usually the case – develop a new technology, whether or not in combination with a specific didactic approach and deploy it in their teaching. This means that Grassroots do not have to be state-of-the-art, but they have to be innovative for the person working with it. For the grassroots there are five prizes of €1000,- . This amount can be used to hire expertise or to pay for special resources.

Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships

Strategic Partnerships aims to support the development, transfer and/or implementation of innovative practices as well as the implementation of joint initiatives promoting cooperation, peer learning and exchanges of experience at European level. 

Priorities in higher education:

  • Supporting higher education institutions to implement the necessary reforms in line with the 2011 EU Modernisation Agenda and its priority areas: increase attainment levels; improve the quality and relevance of higher education; strengthen quality through mobility and cross-border cooperation; make the knowledge triangle work; improve governance and funding.
  • Supporting the implementation of the 2013 Communication on Opening Up Education: promoting the development of new modes of delivery, in particular the integration of a greater variety of study modes through new forms of personalized learning, strategic use of open educational resources, virtual mobility, blended mobility and virtual learning platforms; as well as stimulating the internationalization of Europe’s higher education systems in Europe and beyond.

Examples of Erasmus+ programmes in which the VU participates within the framework of Educational Innovation are:

  • Online Proctoring for Remote Examination (OP4RE).
  • IBIS: Implementation of a Business & Innovation module in Science programmes (in the educational curriculum of Science Business and Innovation). More information can be found on this page.
  • e-InFo-TED: Electronic International Forum for Teacher Educator Development (in the educational curriculum of Teacher Training VU).

STW Take Off

Do you have a product or service idea as a teacher for educational applications? The STW Take Off program can help to further develop and market the product. The Take-off programme makes funds available for financing the early phase (early phase financing) of innovative business activity and entrepreneurship through Dutch universities and colleges of higher education and the research institutes recognised by NWO. This involves product, process, care or service innovation that builds on knowledge from all areas of science (STEM, life sciences and alpha/gamma). Take-off is set for the years 2014-2018 and has two rounds per year. Employees of STW, NWO and ZonMw are involved in the implementation. The Take-off programme has two phases: phase 1 – feasibility studies and phase 2 – early phase projects.

Subsidies from the VU-Association and the van Coeverden Adriani Foundation

VU-Association and VCAS support projects that have a connection with the objectives of the association and that benefit the VU and the VUmc (Amsterdam UMC). You can apply for subsidies for various project proposals.

Conditions and Applications

Subsidy applications are assessed on the basis of the VU-Association/VCAS subsidy scheme. The assessment takes into account the degree of co-financing of the subsidy applied for and whether the subsidy proposal is not (only) intended to cover fixed personnel costs.

View the conditions and assessment criteria in the subsidy scheme (not available in English, please e-mail ).

If you wish to apply for a subsidy from VUverenigingg/VCAS, please use the subsidy application format (not available in English, please e-mail ).

The deadline for applying for a subsidy for 2019 has expired. All grant applicants have been notified of the possible allocation. If you wish to apply for a subsidy for the year 2020, you can submit an application via before 15 August 2019 at the latest.

The VU-Association / VCAS Subsidy Committee advises the VU-Association Board and the VCAS Board. The Subsidy Committee consists of the chairman, treasurer and secretary of VU-Association, three members from the Council of Members, the rector magnificus VU and a VCAS Board member. The Subsidy Committee meets twice per academic year: in September to advise on new subsidy applications for the coming year and in April to assess the annual reports on previously granted subsidies. Following the advice of the Grant Committee, the VU-Association and VCAS Boards decide on the granting and rejection of the grants and the applicants are notified.

Consultancy or Information

For more information about the possibilities to apply for a subsidy from VU-Association / VCAS, please contact VU-Association / VCAS:
A. (Annemarie) Bibo, MA   
Secretaris VUvereniging  
T 020 5985340  

Closed Regulations

2016 – SURF Tailor-Made Education Innovation Programme

This innovation scheme is part of the SURF programme Testing and Assessment Oriented Learning, one of the six projects of the Tailor-Made Education Innovation Programme. This programme is implemented by SURFnet and contributes to the ambition of higher education institutions to offer personalised and flexible education that meets the learning needs of the individual student.

More information can be found at the SURF website.

Under this scheme, Dr. Ines Lindner of FEWEB obtained a grant for an online mathematics summer school.