Application for ship-time

The Netherlands have a limited number of research vessels and associated infrastructure, managed by the National Marine Facilities (NMF), part of NIOZ. This research infrastructure is made available for the entire Dutch research community. Recent developments in policy and financing structure through NWO initiated a new system for the application of ship-time. With this new application procedure, a transparent and fair access is offered to both national and international research vessels to all researchers. Ship-time on international vessels through the E Ocean Facilities Exchange Group (OFEG) may be applied for through the NMF-coordinator (in consultation with OFEG-partners).


Researcher who apply for a project grant through NWO, may also researchers who apply for project grants at their institute (or private party) may access ship-time.


  1. Contact the NMF-coordinator Erica Koning ( before requesting ship-time on the NMF- or OFEG-fleet.  In consultation with the NMF-coordinator, requests for ship-time will be optimized within the concept sailing schedule. Also, requests for embarks (use of vacant berths on planned cruises) can be made. 
  2. After consultation with the NMF-coordinator, requests for ship-time are notified through the website Marine Facilities Planning (MFP). The request is placed on hold in the planning system until a positive decision has been made on the financing of the research proposal. Hereafter, the ship-time request is further processed in the planning system and included in the sailing schedule.


The basic costs for ship-time are covered through a central budget from NIOZ/NWO-I. This means, in general, that ship-time does not need to be covered through the project budget and researchers do not need to include costs for ship-time in their proposal. The exception to this are subsidy instruments (e.g. ERC grants, NWO-NWA, NWO-Gravitation) which allow inclusion of costs for ship-time in a proposal. Applicants are, where possible, expected to cover 50% of the basic costs for ship-time through their project proposal. Consumables and other costs for executing projects are not covered under basic costs and always need to be covered under the budget of a project proposal (see below).

For the Pelagia a daily sailing fee of 20.000 euro should be budgeted, for the Navicula a daily dailing fee of 4.500 euro. This includes all costs which are directly coupled to the use of the facilities:

  • Ships, including crew and meals/drinks on board.
  • On-board equipment (incl. depreciation and maintenance of on-board equipment)
  • Personnel supporting the on-board equipment.
  • Harbour costs, except personal costs.
  • Costs which are not covered, and always need to be budgeted:
  • Personal travel and accomodation
  • Required training and medical examinations to be allowed on board.
  • Personal costs in harbours (transport from/to airports and ship)
  • Transport of own equipment, including associated costs related to supplying the equipment to a foreign harbour (customs, agent, harbor personnel)

National Ship-time Committee

The NWO-domain Science (ENW) installs the National Ship-time Committee. This committee is charged the task to distribute ship-time efficient, transparent and fair among the user community. The National Marine Facilities (NMF) is in charge of setting up the sailing schedule. De the National Ship-time Committee evaluates the sailing schedule and may approve the schedule or otherwise requests the NMF to apply changes to the schedule. The National Ship-time Committee meets once or twice a year to evaluate and approve the planning.


The National Ship-time Committee consists of 5 persons: a scientific member from an academic institute, the NMF-coordinator, a scientific staff member of NIOZ, a member from the associated Topsectoren (e.g. TS Water & Maritime, TS Energy, TS Agri&Food), as well as an independent chair.

  • Prof. dr. Jack Middelburg  - chair
    Professor of General Geochemistry in the Department of Earth Sciences at Utrecht University. He served as chairman of the scientific advisory committee for the 2017-2018 NICO expedition (Netherlands Initiative Changing Ocean) funded by NWO and carried out by NIOZ-NMF with the RV Pelagia.
  • Reginald Visser
    Former director Maritime Knowledge Centre- MKC
  • Dr. Katja Peijnenburg
    Senior Researcher Marine Biodiversity Naturalis Biodiversity Center. Senior staff member Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED), Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA)
  • Dr. Erica Koning
    National Marine Facilities (NMF)
  • Prof. dr. Gert-Jan Reichart
    Head of the Ocean Systems Department (Royal NIOZ)