NWO believes that adjustments to the planning are necessary. As a result of these adjustments, everybody involved in the application and assessment process will have sufficient time and space to do their work. Due to the measures imposed as a result of the coronavirus, not only the availability of applicants but also that of the referees who assess research proposals and members of the selection committees is under pressure. In addition, NWO employees must be able to supervise the process in a satisfactory manner.
This new planning for procedures has been realised with particular attention for the medical sciences and healthcare research. These applicants and committee members, mainly clinicians, are so involved in controlling the crisis that the expected limited availability of researchers, referees and committee members means that equal opportunities for applicants and transparent and meticulous assessment are not possible.
By making these adjustments, NWO will prevent the overlap of funding instrument timetables within the Talent line. As a result of these adjustments, no undesirable peak pressure will occur after the summer either. With these adjustments there will be sufficient availability of referees and committee members and enough capacity at NWO, and the “unity” of the Talent Programmes will be upheld.
These are the measures:
Rubicon has three funding rounds per year. The adjustments are:
- The deadline for submitting applications in the first funding round has been rescheduled from 31 March to 12 May.
- NWO will merge the second and third funding rounds of 2020 into a single round with 1 December 2020 as the deadline.
For applicants for Veni funding the following adjustments apply:
- During the course of April, with a possible extension into June, NWO will send them the remaining requests for a rebuttal.
- The response period for these rebuttals has been doubled from five to ten working days.
- The interview selection has been rescheduled from May to June 2020. Shortly after this selection, NWO will inform the candidates whether they have been invited for an interview.
- The Veni interviews are planned for September 2020.
- The decision about the Veni round 2020 will be taken in October 2020.
- NWO has rescheduled the deadline for submitting pre-proposals in the next Veni funding round (2021) in the domains SSH, AES and ZonMw from September 2020 to January 2021. This is to ensure that candidates have enough preparation time.
For applicants for Vidi funding the following adjustments apply:
- The interviews with the candidates who submitted proposals in October 2019 should have been held in March and April 2020. NWO has rescheduled these interviews for September 2020.
- The deadline for the next Vidi round 2020 remains early October 2020. This is in order to be able to guarantee the steady schedule and thus the spread of the various Talent Programmes.
- The small group of candidates who come for an interview in September, are rejected, have another chance and want to submit again, have very short time to rewrite their application and submit it in October. Only they can therefore choose from these options:
- Submit a proposal a year later (2021), and for this group, the cut-off date of 1 October 2020 will remain. (The cut-off date determines whether the applicant may still submit, namely at most 8 years after the PhD graduation date.)
- Participate in the standard round of 2020. Applicants will then be given until 1 December 2020 to adjust the proposal and submit it.
For applicants for Vici funding the new deadline for submitting pre-proposals, namely 30 April 2020, remains. The deadline had already been extended by a month following the first set of measures that NWO took as a result of the corona outbreak. NWO assumes that the majority of the Vici applicants have or have largely completed this concise proposal. Therefore NWO will not push back the deadlines further as then it can still ensure that the funding rounds in the Talent line remain spread out.