Scientifically excellent research and social impact

We have formulated objectives for the three programs, which are derived from longer-term goals for society as a whole, to which we want to contribute. To make this concrete, we have described “change paths” per program. We do not walk those paths ourselves; we are looking for project partners who can bring about these changes. We support these partners with financial resources, as well as with our knowledge, experience and networks. Our small team is therefore in close contact with the project partners.

Innovative practical projects concern finding the right way to tackle a social problem. That way must be proven in practice and become viable, or “market-ready”. The practical projects have to reach people and companies and get them moving. Excellent scientific research can serve to guide practical projects, but can also serve to acquire insights and knowledge – which must then be applicable in practice.



Strategic significance

To what extent does the research contribute to the focus of Goldschmeding Foundation within the domains of People, Work and Economy? Do the results of the requested plan contribute to the dream of the Goldschmeding Foundation based on the aforementioned basic principles?


Social relevance

To what extent and in what way is the plan important? Does the research solve a scientific problem? Or does the plan answer a social question or problem? How can the plan contribute to resolving this? Are relevant domain-specific knowledge and theories listed and are they adequately linked? Has it been described what type of research is involved and why this is appropriate?

Scientific content

Does the research offer interesting scientific perspectives? Have the relevant parts been worked out clearly? According to his / her most recent scientific publications, does the applicant have sufficient expertise in the relevant research field? Is the proposed researcher sufficiently qualified to conduct the research? How can the research results be used?


Does the plan contribute to the methodological renewal? Are the proposed methods and techniques suitable to answer the research questions? Are the sources and data mentioned accessible and available and are they suitable for answering the questions mentioned in the problem definition? Is the work plan well thought out, logical in structure, phased and provided with intermediate measuring points? Are new methods and / or instruments being developed? Have existing insights from other disciplines been applied in an original way?


Does the choice of the problem definition and its approach deserve the qualification “original and innovative”? Does the proposed plan work innovatively on the development of theories on the theme? Are new research methods being developed and tested in the plan, or are existing methods given a new application? Are existing insights applied to new data in an original way? How can the plan be called innovative?

Valorisation (= the project must be of value to society)

Social: How does the proposed plan contribute to social valorisation? What social impact is expected from this plan? How can social valorisation be guaranteed based on the design and working method of the plan? In which layers of society will the expected impact take place? Which stakeholders are there and how are they involved in the process? How is society involved in the research and where do the challenges lie in this area?


How does the financial investment relate to the output or value of the research results? What expected investment is necessary to implement the proposed plan? How does the plan contribute to the positive and measurable results that can be transferred and used for other parties?

The Goldschmeding Foundation determines the research themes and proactively approaches the researchers itself

The research programs and projects to be awarded funding have in common that they conduct innovative research into or otherwise contribute to the solution of social issues. The foundation itself chooses the topics for research and invites eligible institutions and individuals to submit a well-documented project proposal. Unsolicited proposals will in principle not be taken into consideration and will be discarded without extensive motivation. A project proposal is co-created with Foundation employees and is assessed by its Board of Trustees on the merits. In all cases, the Board itself determines, with due observance of the advice of the Curatorium, how the available capital will be invested and how the progress of the investigation will be monitored and the results.

The Goldschmeding Foundation supports the following programs and projects:

  1. Long-term research programs are aimed at collaboration between a group of scientists and companies, governments and / or social organizations, whereby high-quality, innovative and original scientific research is combined with valuable input from practice. The ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ of the program are clearly formulated. Collaboration with private and / or public partners must already be given concrete form on the basis of the research proposal. The duration of a program is five years (with the option of extension).
  2. Pilot projects have a maximum duration of one year. The ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘what’ of the pilot project are clearly described. They concern fundamental research, experimental development of, for example, models and, if desired, a demonstration project aimed at validating innovative research results in a realistic environment. They are partly aimed at increasing the interaction with companies or social partners with a view to knowledge exchange and dissemination and contributing to solving economic or social issues. The outcome of the pilot project may form the impetus for a large-scale research program as referred to under the first item.
  3. Nursery projects are research projects in which the ‘what’ of the application is clear and there seems to be potential in the research to proceed to valorisation. The application is aimed at promoting the social and / or economic utilization of scientific knowledge and should clarify the possibilities for this within a maximum of one year.