Incubator Grants

The Incubator Grant (8k for a maximum period of 12 months) is the Pathways to Sustainability funding instrument that aims to invest in community building by offering interdisciplinary teams of UU scholars the opportunity to take the time to collaborate on innovative interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary ideas. Our intention with this grant is to offer teams the opportunity to get to know each other, reflect on the process of collaboration, build trust and understanding for each other’s perspectives, and further develop the consortium and the idea for a subsequent Signature Project (50-150k for a maximum period of 24 months). We guide and support Incubator teams throughout this process.  

Gallery with Funded Incubators

The Application Procedure

For the 2024 application round, pre-selection takes place before a Kickstarter workshop event. This means that we move from a two-staged (as in 2023) to a one-stage approach for the Incubator application. Several ideas will be chosen and notified at the beginning of March 2024. The awarded Incubators take centre stage during the Kickstarter workshop event that takes place on 23 April.

In order to support researchers who have an idea for an Incubator or Signature project and may have questions or need advice on the process, the application procedure, the criteria or suggestions for how to grow their idea or team, we are organising Open Office Hours. Every Tuesday from 2-4pm in the Common room on the first floor of the VMA (1.06) from 16 Jan - 13 Feb 2024.

Timeline Pathways to Sustainability Incubator and Signature Project Grants

The 12 Incubator Grants that are awarded in 2022/2023


  • Plastics on your plate: Where do they come from, how bad are they, and how to avoid them?​ - Ernst Worrell, Erik van Sebille, Florian Meirer, Arturo Castillo, Li Shen, Helene Knaus, Hilde Aardema, Jorke Kamstra, Roel Vermeulen, Virissa Lenters

  • Conceptualising Ecocide - Daan Van Uhm, Cedric Ryngaert, Susanne Knittel, Marijke van Kuijk, Frank Biermann, Eggo Müller, Julia Tschersich, Jérôme de Hemptinne

  • Whose Ocean? - Francesca Sangiorgi, Erik van Sebille, Alex Oude Elferink, Sabine Gollner, Susanne Ferwerda, Magdalena Gorska, Junjie Wang, Martine de Vos

  • Resourcefulness: Mapping the changing flows of material and finance for the energy transition - Nikkie Wiegink, Ernst Worrell, Carolina Sanchez, Friedemann Polzin, Allard Mosk

  • Pathways to sustainable coastal peatlands in The Netherlands​ - Natalie Dobson, Frank Groothuijse, Marleen van Rijswick, Mariet Hefting, Esther Stouthamer, Niko Wanders, Gilles Erkens, Marjolijn Haasnoot, Martin Wassen, Ralph Temmink, Paul Schot, Dries Hegger

  • Rethink Hydrogen - Sustainable hydrogen production from seawater - Nongnuch Artrith, Rodrigo García-Muelas, Peter Ngene, Hamed Aslannejad, Vinzenz Koning, Matteo Gazzani, Udeke Huiskamp, René van Roij, Friedemann Polzin

  • Future-proof dietary proteins: Looking beyond planetary health - Prescilla Jeurink, Johan Garssen, Anna Gerbrandy, Joyce Delnoij, Julie Fraser, Hanneke van Eijken, Hanna Hauptmann, Melanie Mendel, Max Alatieh, Junjie Wang,  Gabi Matias de Pinho, Roel Vermeulen, Simone Pekelsma, Friso Smit

  • People’s Energy: The role of energy communities in accelerating the energy transition - Elena Fumagalli, Jiamin Ou, Annelies Huygen,  Denise de Ridder, Marleen Gillebaart, Karlijn van den Broek, Sanne Akerboom, Jesse Hoffman, Kees van der Wel, Nenya Jochemsen, Francesca Pilo, Nathan Wood, Wilfried van Sark, Madeleine Gibescu, Ioannis Lampropoulos, Luis Ramirez-Camargo, Sanli Faez

  • Women, health and water – striving for environmental justice in the agribusiness sector - Stefanie Lutz, Tatiana Acevedo-Guerrero, Hans Kromhout, Julia Swart, Sarah Carmichael

  • NATURICITY: (Changing) narratives of urban nature - Tatiana Acevedo Guerrero, Katrin Merfeld,  Susanne Ferwerda, Helen Toxopeus, Harriet Bulkely, Stephen Snelders, Niki Frantzeskaki

  • Sustainable Finance - Sophie Klein, Udeke Huiskamp, Dr. Pita Verweij, Rens Van Tilburg, Anna Duden, Gerdie Knijp, Joep Keuzenkamp, Laura Wermuth, Xingxuan Li.

  • Compounding Hydroclimatic Extremes - Jing Hu, Anna Duden, Gerbrand Koren, Arie Staal, Despoina Georgiou, Tim Hermans, Kees Oosterlee.