Call for Academy Assistant Projects 2019

Apply for interdisciplinary research projects with 2 student-assistants
Deadline 7 June 2019 at 12.00pm (noon)

The Network Institute’s (NI) Academy Assistants program (NIAA) is now entering its ninth year. Initially funded through a KNAW grant and aimed at combining social sciences and computer science research, it has since been adopted by the Network Institute and opened up for other interdisciplinary projects which fall within the NI’s research themes. The Academy Assistants program aims at promising high-potential master students who want to conduct scientific research and possibly pursue an academic career. As in previous years, this year the program will also be able to fund six or seven projects.

This is a call for new proposals to start in October 2019. The program aims to bring together scientists from different disciplines; therefore the projects must combine methods and themes from two different disciplines affiliated with the NI. For each awarded project, the program funds two student research assistants (0,2 FTE) for a period of ten months. The intended outcome of the projects should be papers and/or research proposals. In addition, at the end of the project (July 2020) we will publish proceedings of this year’s projects.

This call is aimed at VU researchers who are willing to cross the boundaries of their own discipline, and who have a research topic in mind that would benefit from such an interdisciplinary approach. We especially encourage early career researchers, including postdocs and PhDs, to apply for this funding. If you are interested in participating , please send us a short research proposal as outlined in the template proposal below. Send the completed proposals to:, before 7 June 2019 at 12.00 pm. An independent review committee will evaluate the proposals based on quality, interdisciplinarity, and novelty. The successful projects will be announced during the NI end of year meeting on 2 July 2019.

Quick facts:

  • Proposals should combine two disciplines that are part of the Network Institute;
  • Project supervision by two (and not more than two) Network Institute researchers;
  • Project teams can include other people in supervising roles, as long as each assistant has one responsible co-applicant NI supervisor.
  • Proposed projects can be continuations of previous NIAA projects. In that case, supervisors need to address how this new proposal is different from the previous project;
  • A maximum of one project per supervisor will be awarded (although it is allowed to submit multiple proposals. In case multiple projects are awarded, a supervision solution will have to be negotiated);
  • Funding is for two student assistants for ten months at one day per week (0.2 FTE);
  • 500€ travel/expenses budget per project;
  • Submission before 7 June 2019 at 12.00 pm;
  • Decision on 2 July 2018.

Download Proposal Template (PDF)

This year, we offer a matchmaking service: if you are interested in a project but have not yet found a co-applicant, or if you are a student interested in being a NIAA, please send an email to and we will attempt to identify potential collaborators.

If you have any questions regarding this call or eligibility, please contact:

Christine Moser,
Antske Fokkens, or
Victor de Boer

We look forward to receiving your proposals!