Thorbecke Fund

The Thorbecke Fund was established to support research into the life, work, and intellectual legacy of Johan Rudolph Thorbecke (1798-1872), statesman and founding father of Dutch parliamentary democracy.

The Fund’s assets consist of a gift and a bequest from the estate of Willem Thorbecke (1920-2014), Johan Rudolf Thorbecke’s great-grandson. The Academy uses the Fund to finance the Statesman Thorbecke Programme. The Fund is also financing a scholarly biography of Johan Rudolf Thorbecke by Academy member Remieg Aerts.

What does the Thorbecke Fund cover?

The Fund will consider project proposals submitted by members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and The Young Academy. Preference is given to the appointment of a postdoc as project coordinator, working under the applicant’s supervision. The project period should be between one and four years. The maximum grant per project is € 200,000.


Eligible projects will focus on disciplines in which Johan Rudolf Thorbecke distinguished himself as a politician and scholar. One approach would be to use Thorbecke’s life, work and intellectual legacy to reflect on contemporary societal issues. Preference will be given to integrative projects, for example interdisciplinary studies or projects combining politics and the law, society and science, or different national perspectives.

Who is it for?

Members of the Academy and The Young Academy.

How to apply