CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Science4Arts, an interdisciplinary research programme for the conservation of art, calls for proposals for network grants

From the Science4Arts website, 16 February 2011

The Science4Arts research program aims to investigate changes in artworks with regard to an object’s chemical and physical dynamics, significance and substance, as well as its frame of reference. Collaboration between specialists in the fields of conservation, humanities, physical and chemical sciences is pivotal as they collectively investigate an object or group of related objects in a museum environment. The program aims to develop and strengthen interchange between the research of various research institutions and the museological field.

Two areas of research are central to the program, namely ancient art and modern and contemporary art. Ancient art is in this case a collective term for visual and applied arts and works on paper before 1880. Modern and contemporary art covers the same categories from 1880 onwards, but additionally includes all facets of installation art, conceptual art and new media art. The differences in the use of materials, aesthetics, ethics and presentation between these two areas demand different approaches to conservation. The Netherlands plays a leading role in both the conservation fields. This program aims to strengthen and expand this prominent position, not in the least by integrating the results from both research areas where possible.

NWO works internationally together with the SciArt program of the NSF. NSF and NWO will therefore accept joint bilateral research proposals between researchers from the US and The Netherlands. On the US side these proposals must fit in the SciArt program solicitation.


Who can apply

Proposals are submitted by interdisciplinary teams consisting of senior researchers of different research disciplines and one or more museums or galleries (or similar institutions possessing important works of art). The main applicant is employed at a university, whereas the co-applicant is connected to a museum/gallery. In case a museum/gallery or conservation institute in the Netherlands has a regular research activity at academic level in conservation science, it may be eligible as a main applicant after consultation of NWO and approval of the steering committee. In that case the co-applicant has to be from a university to ascertain beforehand the availability of a thesis advisor for Ph.D.-students.

The museums/galleries must have an active involvement in the research. The involvement of museums/galleries therefore is obligatory. Besides giving access to relevant collections they must cooperate by providing the involvement at an academic level of staff for instance from their own personnel of at least 1,0 fte over 4 years (this matches € 15,000 a year).

What can be applied for

This call for network grants is the first phase of Dutch proposals or the combined US-Dutch proposals. The second phase of submission is the application of full proposals for NL or US-NL applications. Participation in the first phase is obligatory for participation in the second phase. Groups receiving a network grant will be invited to submit a full proposal. The other applicants are advised not to submit a full application.

Network subsidies are intended to enable collaboration between groups from different disciplines and museums/galleries to establish an integral approach of the research object in preparation of a full research proposal. The subsidy is especially intended to organize expert meetings.

Eligible for funding are costs for travel and subsistence and material costs (including costs for non academic personnel).

When can be applied

Closing date for submitting the proposal for the NL or US-NL network grant to NWO is 15 March 2011.
The application of a network grant is obligatory for participation in the second phase.

Additional for joint US-NL proposals

The Dutch principal applicant is required to submit a proposal for a networking grant on behalf of the envisioned US-NL cooperation.

Extra Information

The research program is an initiative of the NWO (The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) divisions Humanities and Chemical and Physical Sciences. It is a follow up to previous NWO programs in the field of interdisciplinary art-technological and scientific research as applied to conservation (e.g. Molart (1995–2002) and De Mayerne (2002–2006)).

The National Science Foundation runs a program SciArt. The program focuses on collaborative activities between conservation scientists and chemists and materials scientists to address grand challenges in the field of science of cultural heritage. NWO and NSF collaborative in this field. The NSF Division of Chemistry and NWO will accept bilateral research proposals between researchers from the US and The Netherlands who work in academic institutions.

Applications (both for the NL or US-NL networking grant and the full NL or US-NL proposal) must be submitted as a PDF document by the main (Dutch) applicant. Applications have to be submitted through NWO’s electronic submission system Iris.

For more information please see the Science4Arts website.