External funding is an essential precondition for good academic research. But how do you determine a strong funding strategy? Where do you find the right funding bodies and how do you persuade them to fund your research? This page will help you to find your way around the world of finding and applying for funding, and the support that the UG can offer researchers in their quest.
Before you can apply for funding for a research project, you must set out your funding strategy. This is an integral part of your research strategy. A well-considered funding strategy increases your chances of success when applying for research grants.
Thorough preparation is essential when determining a successful funding strategy. The following recommendations will help you to get started.
The Faculty Funding Officers are the UG specialists in the area of funding options, applications, and strategies. They can provide expert input for your funding strategy. So, make sure that you arrange an appointment with your Faculty Funding Officer (see faculty links at the bottom of this page).
There are numerous grants and subsidies available, including individual grants, subsidies for collaboration, and European grants. Read the funding bodies’ criteria and regulations before you start, and then decide whether your research project satisfies them.
You are not the first researcher to apply for funding, so use your network and ask colleagues with more experience in this respect whether they have any tips. They can advise you about your funding strategy and about presenting your research idea.
More information about grants and funds
See which grants and funds correspond with your research proposal and profile.
Are you interested to see which prizes and awards of grants would be most beneficial to your research? Or would you like some advice from fellow researchers? See more information about prizes and grants.
The Young Academy has compiled a useful guide explaining the ins and outs of the universities and research funding system in the Netherlands.
Developing a Talent for Science, Funding your Career in Science, and Leading your Research Team in Science, is a series of books written by Professor Ritsert Jansen, Dean of Talent Development at the UG. It contains tips and exercises for researchers at every stage of their academic career, from PhD students right through to full professors. The following book provides advice for researchers on compiling a successful application for funding.
More information per faculty
One of the most important parts of your funding strategy is exploring the funding options for your research project. There are various research grants: from individual grants and subsidies for collaboration, to European grants. Competition for these research grants is fierce. Thorough preparation is therefore essential so that you know which funding options and grant applications have the greatest chance of success. If you need help with this, the UG offers researchers intensive support in finding the right funding bodies.
Finding the right funding for your research can be tricky. So keep your eyes and ears open, ask your colleagues for advice, and attend research meetings —those organized by the YAG, for example. In addition, it is sometimes a good idea to sign up for the newsletters of organizations such as the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO), and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), and to attend their information meetings, if they match with your research. The grants for research page provides detailed information about funding options and grant applications. Another database for funding possibilities is Research Connect. Please inquire with your Faculty Funding Officer how access is organised for your Faculty.
The grant landscape for researchers is vast and offers countless opportunities. The Research grants page gives a detailed overview of the grants most commonly used by researchers. Before you submit an application, you should always contact your Faculty Funding Officer. They can also help you to find a specific grant if you are unable to do so. The categories that you can use to search for grants are shown below.
UG funding programmes
The UG has a number of its own funding programmes. They can involve funding allocated by the Board of the University, for example, or by the faculty, or alumni. The Booster Fund is an example of a funding programme set up by the UG, in association with a few other educational institutions. For more information, visit the website of the University of the North.
Regional and national funding programmes
The three northern provinces, Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe, have formed a partnership known as the SNN to stimulate the regional economy. This also gives researchers an opportunity to apply for funding. One of the most important academic funding bodies at the national level is the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Take a look at the current NWO calls for submitting research proposals, and see which new calls are on the agenda. One of the national funding programs that is effective at the moment is the National Growth Fund, more information can be found on the page of Grants for research.
European funding programmes
Submitting a proposal to one of the European funding programmes may also pay off. The best-known European funding programme is Horizon Europe, which includes the ERC programme, the MSCA programme, and a number of thematic programmes. Read the current list of calls for research proposals Horizon Europe here. The UG also has an active role in the EU Erasmus+ programmes, and takes part in numerous international partnerships.
Funding programmes in the rest of the world
There are also global funding programmes that researchers can take advantage of. Contact your Faculty Funding Officer to discuss the possibilities that exist in your field.
As well as research grants, there are several other forms of subsidy open to researchers. These include: special grants for lecturers who conduct research alongside their work, grants for PhD students who carry out at least a part of their PhD programme abroad, and financial backing for academics who organize a conference or symposium.
More information about other grants is available on the Research grants page.
More information per faculty
Applying for funding
Funding applications require thorough preparation, an awareness of the assessment processes, strict planning, and a substantial amount of time. Every faculty has its own procedures and time frames when it comes to applying for and acquiring funding. You should always arrange an appointment with your Faculty Funding Officer before submitting a grant application.
Steps in the grant application procedure
To help you to get started, we will now explain some of the steps involved in applying for funding for your research.
Study the website and objectives of the organization you are considering asking for funding, and decide whether they match the aims of your research.
Read the information in the call carefully, particularly the criteria that will be used to assess your research proposal.
Write a clear, concise, and convincing proposal covering just one page, setting out the aim of your research and how it matches the objectives of the organization. Make sure that your proposal can be understood by people who are unfamiliar with the field, as well as experts. Remember that funding bodies want to be sure that you will actually achieve the results you are aiming for in your research project.
Make a list of the documents that you need for the application procedure. You should also take note of the compulsory steps in the procedure and whether or not you need support —for example in the shape of training courses or editorial support. Integrate this into a time frame, which includes time for peer feedback.
Ask your colleagues to take a critical look at the draft version of your proposal. Share the assessment criteria too, so that they can form a well-balanced opinion about the content of your proposal.
In the final version of your proposal, focus on the summary and the lay-out (i.e., use of diagrams and figures), and ask someone to proofread this version.
What if your grant application is rejected?
Despite thorough preparations and a strong research proposal, your grant application may still be rejected. If you are unsure about why it was rejected or have doubts about the procedure that was followed, you may file an objection to the decision. You can ask the UG’s legal department, the General Administrative and Legal Affairs Office, for advice. It is important to contact your Faculty Funding Officer first.
Host Commitment Letter (Inbeddingsgarantie)
For some grant programs, it is a requirement to include a statement that the institution agrees with the application and that it is possible to carry out the project if the application is granted. This Host Commitment Letter (Inbeddingsgarantie) must be signed by the President of the Executive Board. A statement from your Faculty Board is required for this purpose.
Please keep in mind that organizing these declarations is time-consuming and that there are internal agreements regarding the timely delivery of the necessary documents. So start this process in time!
Contact your Faculty Funding Officer about the specific arrangements within your faculty.
More information per faculty
Remember: the procedures and support available when applying for and acquiring funding differ per faculty. Your Faculty Funding Officer can explain more about the process as a whole.
Writing course for compiling grant applications
Are you planning to submit a proposal for a Veni, Vidi, Vici, or another NWO or ERC grant? The UG and external organizations offer various courses and workshops to help you to write a successful grant application. There is a wide range of courses, catering to every type of application and every phase of your career.
Range of courses
Grant Writing Training and Interview Training
Here is a list of courses provided by the UG to help with applications for Veni, Vidi, or Vici grants. Tip: sign up ahead of time and prepare properly.
The Corporate Academy also offers a range of courses: from general writing courses for novice researchers to courses for specific grant applications.
The RVO (Netherlands Enterprise Agency) provides support to researchers who want to apply for a European grant, including Horizon Europe, ERC, MSCA, and COST. In addition to general support, they also offer training courses and workshops. This calendar shows the range of courses, workshops, and events.
More information per faculty
No matter how good your research proposal is, we always recommend that you ask for advice on the wording of your text (scientific editing support). The editors at Talent Development (TD) can advise you about your proposal and help you to formulate the optimum text. They can advise you about the guidelines of the funding body, the organization, logic, and structure of your text, and how to make your research proposal as appealing and convincing as possible. In addition to that, the University Translation and Correction Service (UVC) of the UG can offer linguistic support.
More information and support
The editorial team at TD can support you when writing a proposal for a Vidi, Vici, ERC Starting, Consolidator, or Advanced grant application. You should apply to your Faculty Funding Officer to find out if you are eligible for editorial advice from the TD editors. Make sure that you apply in plenty of time and that you have written a draft version before you ask for it to be customized.
The UVC editing services offer support for all kinds of texts, including research proposals for grant applications. They will check the overall linguistic quality of your text, including spelling, grammar, and cohesion.
|09 January 2024 12.55 p.m.