Stichting Fonds Pontium for systematic zoology


Fonds Pontium provides funding to projects which promote the scientific field of systematic zoology in general and in particular alpha taxonomy at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden. In general grant sizes will vary between 1000 and 2500 euro. The foundation ('stichting') is registered as RSIN 862206546.

The board of Fonds Pontium:
Erik Smets (chair), Willem Renema (vice chair), José Joordens (treasurer) and Vincent Kalkman (secretary). 

Contact details: Vincent Kalkman, secretary of Stichting Fonds Pontium,
 +31 (0)71 751 7373,


Applications should make use of the Fonds Pontium application form. The form should be sent to the secretary of Fonds Pontium. Applications that do not use this form, or applications without a letter of support of a staff member of Naturalis will not be considered. 

A project regarding systematic zoology can be a research project, a collecting expedition, travel costs for visits to other institutions, lab analyses costs or publication costs. No funds are available for attending conferences, symposia or personnel costs.

The annual deadlines for submission of applications are 1 February and 1 September, for the respective board meetings in February and September. 

Only one project per applicant can be granted annually. Each applicant (including students) has to be able to show previous experience with fieldwork and or publishing scientific papers.

Projects that have already been started or have already been completed before the deadline are not eligible for funding.

Applications should be made by the person who seeks to be the recipient of the subsidy. In case a project involves more than one person, each person should apply separately, and clearly indicate the contribution of each one to the project.

A detailed budget for the requested amount of money has to be provided, in addition to an overview of the total costs of the proposed activities. If financial support for this project has been requested at or granted by other funding institutions, this has to be included in the budget. Also, if applicable, personal financial contributions of the applicant have to be included in the budget as well (see application form).

If a project is conducted in the service of an organization, the contribution of this organization has to be indicated and supporting documents have to be added.

The application needs to clearly indicate how the project will promote systematic zoology in general and in particular alpha taxonomy at Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden

A written report, including a financial overview, has to be submitted to the Secretariat within one month after the end date of the subsidized time period of the project. Unused subsidies have to be refunded.

The support by Fonds Pontium should be mentioned in each publication that may result from a funded activity.

The Board of Fonds Pontium reserves the right to reject applications without motivation.


It should be made explicit in the application whether the project involves a new study or an activity linked to previous or ongoing projects.

Before starting a collecting expedition, the applicant has to be in possession of all necessary visa, investigation-, export- and import permits for animals, parts of animals or DNA-samples. The applicant has to realize that absence of these permissions can not only get themselves into trouble but may also, directly or indirectly, harm Naturalis Biodiversity Center.

Please be aware that as of December 10th 2014, collected material is subject to the Nagoya Protocol.

Fonds Pontium does not accept any responsibility in case the applicant fails on one or more of the conditions mentioned before.  

The collected material, together with the required documentation and permits, resulting from collecting expeditions funded by Fonds Pontium should at an appropriate time be transferred to Naturalis Biodiversity Center or, if applicable, to the designated institute in the country where the material is collected. 

If social media, for example blogs or websites, are used to inform others about the expedition the contribution of Fonds Pontium should be acknowledged.

Fonds Pontium does not accept any responsibility and the applicant is responsible for safety during the fieldwork. All fieldwork conducted as part of Naturalis activity should comply with the guidelines set for this by Naturalis. For further information regarding safety during fieldwork contact the research coordination office.

Any written publication completely or partly subsidized by Fonds Pontium should mention the support of Fonds Pontium.


Lab analyses costs can include a variety of analyses needed for the research project, including molecular analyses. Personnel costs are excluded from funding which means that work done by personnel of the Naturalis labs needs to be covered from the budget of a research group. In case costs for molecular analyses are part of the budget, a researcher of Naturalis has to take responsibility for the proper documentation of the data and explicitly state this in the support letter. When the project is focused on producing barcodes,  the Naturalis researcher will be responsible for ensuring that these  barcodes are compliant and submitted to BOLD.

Policy plan
and formalities

Board members of the Stichting Fonds Pontium do not receive any compensation for their activities for the Fund. They may, however, receive compensation for expenses incurred.

The policy plan of the foundation (in Dutch) can be found here.