Finding collaboration partners

While developing a novel project idea or proposal it often comes natural to think about with whom you could collaborate to be able to succesfully complete the research you have in mind or to be able to fully exploit the results you would like to achieve.

In order to involve external collaborators, it is always worth to have a 1 to 2 page description of the project idea or proposal concept, as to share a tangible description of what you have in mind. 

Where to start?

For collaborative projects a useful point to start is your peers and direct contacts with whom you (successfully or satisfactorily) worked in the past, included the links that your research team and colleagues may have in mind. Being able to work with someone you collaborated in the past, shall give you a good perception if that researcher or research institute would be a good and fitting partner for your future endeavor.

Once a small group of well-connected partners is gathered around the project idea, it will be then possible and easier to enlarge iteratively the consortium by adding partners which can be suggested from the other core partners. Thereby, you are establishing a virtuous circle where necessary components are added at the right timing, though early enough to integrate them in the working group writing the proposal.

Below we present existing tools that could be useful to your partner search.


These platforms serve as virtual meeting points for professionals and organizations, enabling easy access to potential partners and resources for your project.

Events and activities

Engaging in relevant events and activities is a great way to establish connections and find potential collaborators.

  • Information and matchmaking events

    The Dutch Research Council (NWO) and European Commission normally organizes physical meetings and/or online sessions when new calls for proposals are launched.

    • The European Commission presents the Work Programme topics, deadlines and discuss expected outcomes. Along these sessions it is common to have also a brokerage event attached to the Info Day. Organisations participating to Info Days and especially brokerage events are often there to do partner search.
    • NWO organises matchmaking events and conferences in several topics. For some calls is participation in the matchmaking events mandatory. 
  • Becoming an evaluator or jury member

    Becoming an evaluator for the European Commission and/or Dutch Research Council (NWO) means accessing a restrained but very experienced group of experts who are working in related or closed research fields. These expert usually have a great knowledge of European and/or Dutch projects and dynamics. While developing proposals, such experts are aware of the EC/NWO expectations and topic expected outcomes, apart from having a strong personal network at national, European and often international level on top of the domain expertise.

  • Memberships

    Consider all relevant membership and partnerships in your circle: from yourself, your peers and the University of Twente. For example, letters of intent or collaborations signed from your faculty or the university with external organisations, such as ECIU, CESAER, municipality or regional entities.

The SBD-Grants Office can assist you with your partner search and guide you in your next steps.
Contact Grants Office
Please reach out to SBD-Grants Office to place your question. 

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