Research projects form the basis of NICAS. With these projects, we can advance our knowledge of the material biographies of objects. By working together with museums and other Cultural heritage institutions, we ensure that the research we do is relevant for existing problems and questions in the field, and translate fundamental knowledge into practical applications and tools.

The division for Physical Sciences of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has provided NICAS with an earmarked budget of 5 million euros for the first five years of its existence. With this budget, several dedicated calls for proposals have been organised, and from it NWO has contributed to the Joint Call for transnational research proposals entitled ‘Conservation, Protection and Use’ of the Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage and Global Change (JPICH).

In addition, NICAS iniatiates research projects that are the result of the close collaboration between the partners of NICAS and cultural heritage institutions in the Netherlands. These can be collaborative, involving several researchers, or individual, in the form of PhD or postdoc projects. These projects are funded with cash and in-kind contributions by the partners of NICAS, as well as various sources of external funding.

NICAS also has a permanent funding scheme for small projects that are intended to further stimulate the collaboration between academic partners and museums and other cultural heritage institutions. These Small Project Grants can be used to explore new areas of joint research or map challenges and questions in Dutch heritage collections.