Call: Grants focus area Higher Education Research

The focus area Higher Education Research offers the opportunity to researchers from UU and UMCU to apply for grants. Proposed projects should have a budget between €10.000 and €15.000, and should at least result in a finished research report within one year time from the start of your project.

Thematic Higher Education Research grants

We encourage you to work on an issue of relevance to higher education as a field, with implications for university teaching and learning in general and in Utrecht specifically. We welcome you to work interdisciplinarily if necessary. Higher Education Research focuses on four themes; 1) Inclusivity of Higher Education, 2) Interdisciplinarities & flexibilities in student journeys, 3) Transitions & lifelong learning, 4) Learning for engagement in society. Associated subthemes are shown below. We welcome all research projects aiming for an original contribution to the knowledge base of higher education, as long as projects are clearly positioned within one of the themes. The focus can be on (the learning of) students and/or teachers, interactions between teachers and students, or on affordances of education as a setting.


The research projects should lead to tangible output; a research report to be completed in 2023 and an academic publication, which could be finalized later. The report should be the foundation for an academic publication to be submitted. The grants can be used to hire a researcher or research assistant, to compensate exemption from other responsibilities (replacement), or for assistance, travel expenses or pilot study costs.


Higher education is changing rapidly and needs to do so to keep pace with changes in society. These educational changes should be evidence-informed to improve the quality of education, provide an evidence-base for academic teaching, and to equip Utrecht University to respond effectively to societal changes. In this thematic plan, we define current challenges for teaching and learning in higher education to guide grant application for the focus area in the coming years.

Therefore, the focus area will invest in the following themes the upcoming years:

  1. Inclusivity of Higher Education: equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility of HE, academic community, student and teacher experience.
  2. Interdisciplinarities & flexibilities in student journeys: combining perspectives in Higher Education, multi-, inter- and transdisciplinarity, student choice, transitions towards and within HE.
  3. Transitions & lifelong learning: professional performance, transitions towards work, adaptivity, hybridity.
  4. Learning for engagement in society: community engagement, partnerships.

Application for HER research grants

Format: max 2 A4 pages. Please send the proposal to