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NWO measures due to COVID-19 outbreak

NWO has communicated the measures it has taken because of the COVID-19 outbreak. These measures will have significant implications for open and future calls of which we provide an overview in this news item. The impact on running projects remains very limited. We advise researchers to keep a close eye on the website of NWO.

NWO wants to maintain its policy of ensuring a uniform and fair assessment of all research proposals now that national COVID-19 restrictions have been issued. The measures communicated by NWO will be effective as of 17 March and will be valid until at least 6 April. An update of the measures taken by NWO will be communicated by NWO before 6 April. 

Measures taken by NWO thus far:

Open calls: calls with a deadline for submission (pre- or full proposal)

  • Instruments that do not need interaction with applicants, will take place as expected, committee meetings will be held online, and results will be published.
  • Significant delays in the assessment of proposals should be expected.
  • Deadlines will be extended for at least one month.
  • In case you have already submitted a pre-proposal (for instance for the Vici) you are allowed to withdraw and resubmit. 
  • The time for preparing a rebuttal will be doubled.  
  • As of now there will be no interview rounds organized by NWO for all calls until 1 May. This includes VIDI interviews.

Upcoming calls (from 17 March onwards)

  • Opening of all upcoming calls will be extended with at least one month. Rounds with no deadlines will be kept open.
  • NWO will communicate the new planning/deadlines on calls and their publication before 6 April.

Complex instruments: instruments that require consortia building and/or co-funding

  • These rounds will be paused effectively immediately and will only be restarted one month after national Corona related measures have been withdrawn. Please keep a close eye on the NWO website for actual information and new deadlines. (e.g. NWA-ORC current round, Perspectief).

Running projects

  • Reporting:
    • All deadlines on reports for running projects, mid-term reports and final reports, will be extended with 3 months.
  • Cancellations of travel abroad:
    • Costs that have been made for the preparation of a visit abroad, (conference, research stay), in which the trip is no longer possible to make (or to reschedule), are eligible for funding if the following conditions are met:
      1) When the costs are listed on an NWO approved budget overview of a specific grant. Please make sure you have copies of receipts of costs including a negative travel advise and confirmation of cancellation by the conference or research institute that would receive you.
      2) When you are ill yourself and therefore can’t travel, NWO does ask you to contact your own insurance company and request a refund of costs. If the insurance doesn’t cover the costs, they will be eligible for funding. You will need to include the statement of the insurance company refusing to cover the costs. 
  • NWO conferences:
    • Costs made by registering for an NWO conference, which is now cancelled, will be automatically be paid back by money transfer.

Future developments

It is likely that further measures will be taken by NWO in the coming period. The Grants Office (as part of Strategic Business Development) will monitor the situation closely and will come with updates when needed.

We strongly advise researchers to keep working on their project proposals as calls will only be postponed, not cancelled. Our team is up and running, available for questions and assisting in funding applications for NWO during the outbreak.

Communication with NWO

As you may understand, the NWO organization is under significant strain at the moment. We, therefore, would like to ask you to direct your general COVID-19 related questions for NWO to the grants office via grants-office@utwente.nl. We will reply to your questions as soon as possible.

news item generated on 18-3-2020