Frequently asked questions about the NWO network hack

Some translations may be pending. We apologise for the inconvenience.

General

  • NWO has been hacked. What does this mean in practice?

    On 8 February criminal group DoppelPaymer hacked the NWO network. On fundamental grounds, NWO, as part of the Dutch governmental institutions, isn't willing to pay ransom. On 24 February, DoppelPaymer therefore has started publishing internal NWO documents from recent years on the dark web.

    The hacking of the network servers has made it impossible for NWO, the NWO-I office, the Task Force for Applied Research (SIA) and the Netherlands Initiative for Education Research (NRO) to perform their primary functions – organising the funding of science - until 22 March. All of the related activities, from opening new calls for proposals up to and including the assessment procedures, have therefore been suspended until that day. E-mails sent to employees of NWO, the NWO-I office, SIA, NRO, the High-tech Systems and Materials (TKI HTSM) programme and the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH) are now reaching them, but can not be answered before 22 March.

    The situation is different at the Netherlands Foundation of Scientific Research Institutes (NWO-I). The NWO institutes have their own network, infrastructure and data storage system and have not been affected. Their work is continuing. But NWO-I’s central office has been affected becase it uses NWO’s IT systems. The staff of NWO-I are endeavouring to continue their services, including those for the institutes, as far as possible.

    NWO resumes operations in the week of 22 March, with the necessary changes in deadlines and lead times. A revised integral call planning will be published in the week of 22 March. Until then, it will not be possible to reply to individual enquiries regarding specific calls.

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • Which parts of the system were hacked?

    The network drives containing the data processed by NWO, the NWO-I office, SIA and NRO, which also contain these organisations' mail servers. Connections to various external applications have also been disabled or shut down.

  • Has the ISAAC grant application system been hacked?

    The ISAAC system is unaffected, but as a precaution it has been temporarily closed to all (internal and external) users until the financial process can be started up again. However, data from ISAAC was copied to the network during processing, which means that a large quantity of the data has very probably been hacked.

    This may involve personal details of researchers, referees and committee members, research applications and projects, contracts, and committee reports that had been copied to the central network drives.

    NWO is closely monitoring what documents are being leaked. We will immediately notify anyone affected if documents are leaked. 

    NWO resumes operations in the week of 22 March, with the necessary changes in deadlines and lead times. A revised integral call planning will be published in the week of 22 March. Until then, it will not be possible to reply to individual enquiries regarding specific calls.

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • What other organisations have been affected?

    In addition to NWO, the NWO-I office, NRO, SIA, TKI-HTSM, TKI Chemie, European Polar Board and LNVH have also been affected. They use the same network servers. ZonMw is not directly affected by the hack, but programmess that work in conjunction with NWO's systems might experience delays.

  • What files have been hacked and what is the risk that documents or data of mine will be disclosed?

    NWO is currently working with a team of experts to identify what files have been hacked. It has proved impossible to gain a complete overview because the hackers also partially erased the traces of their actions.

    We are therefore carefully monitoring whether data has actually been leaked. The hackers group has already leaked a small number of documents on the dark web in an attempt to force NWO to pay a ransom. As of yet, the leaked documents only contain personal information about employees of different units of the organisation. NWO deeply regrets this. Because NWO will not accede to the demands of the hackers, there is a risk of further documents being leaked. However, we will only know this when documents actually appear on the dark web.

    The ISAAC grant application system has not been hacked, but because documents relating to the application procedure are also saved on the network we assume that the data has very probably been hacked and could therefore be leaked. That has not been the case up to now. NWO is closely monitoring the situation and will notify anyone affected as soon as possible in order to review with them how the damage can be minimised.

  • Some data has already appeared on the dark web. What is the risk for my data with NWO?

    Because NWO refuses to accede to the demands of the hackers, they started leaking a small number of internal NWO documents relating to NWO employees from the last few years on the dark web. This means that those documents can be read on a separate part of the internet via a special website. Although NWO deeply regrets the unauthorised disclosure of its own employees data, th'at in no way alters its decision not to accede to the demands of the hackers. Consequently, it is possible that more stolen documents will be published in the near future. We are aware of the impact publication of these kind of data and documents can have. Unfortunately, we can only inform people if documents are actually leaked. NWO is monitoring the situation closely and will notify persons whose data is leaked as soon as possible and advise them on what action they should take.

  • How will I know whether information about myself, my organisation or my research proposal has been leaked?

    NWO is closely monitoring the situation and will notify anyone whose data is leaked as soon as possible. Up to now, no data relating to research projects or applicants has been leaked on the dark web.

  • Is it still safe to use the NWO website and the files on the website?

    The website does not seem to have been infected, Reports that visiting NWO's website could cause an infection are also based on incorrect assumptions.

    If there really was a substantial risk, we would already have taken additional measures and
    immediately informed everyone concerned, directly or via this website and the FAQs.

    NWO therefore requests everyone to accept only the information in the FAQ section of this website as correct.

  • Can I open e-mails from NWO? And their attachments?

    Emails from NWO can be opened. The risk that attachments to emails dating from before the hack are infected is practically zero. Reports to the contrary are premature and are based on inaccurate information.

    If there really was a substantial risk, we would already have taken additional measures and immediately informed everyone concerned, directly or via this website and the FAQs.

    NWO therefore requests everyone to accept only the information in the FAQ section of this website as correct.

  • What should I do with files that I have received recently from NWO/NRO/SIA?

    Reports have been appearing in various places asserting that files received from NWO since a particular date should be discarded. These reports are premature and are based on inaccurate information.

    If there really was a substantial risk, we would already have taken additional measures and immediately informed everyone concerned, directly or via this website and the FAQs.

    NWO therefore requests everyone to accept only the information in the FAQ section of this website as correct.

  • Are there any risks for organisations that have contact with NWO?

    Emails from NWO can be opened. The risk that attachments to emails dating from before the hack are infected is practically zero. Reports to the contrary are premature and are based on inaccurate information.

    If there really was a substantial risk, we would already have taken additional measures and immediately informed everyone concerned, directly or via this website and the FAQs.

    NWO therefore requests everyone to accept only the information in the FAQ section of this website as correct.

Contact and information

  • Where can I find the latest information?

  • Who can I contact with enquiries concerning the funding process and the hack?

    NWO's central telephone number (+31 (0)70 3440640 ) can be reached.

    In the week of 22 March, it will again be possible to reach individual employees of NWO on the NWO telephone numbers and via their NWO e-mail addresse, at which time you will be able to submit the enquiry to your contact person at NWO.

    NWO has created a web page with the commonest frequently asked questions. The page can be found at www.nwo.nl/en/news/nwo-network-hacked.

    If you have any general questions about the hack or the resumption of the subsidy process, you can send an email to nwo@nwo.nl. Please state your name and contact details.

  • I have submitted a question, when and how will I receive an answer?

    If you have submitted an enquiry using the form and included your e-mail address, we will endeavour to reply as soon as possible.

    You will again be able to contact the NWO employees directly with enquiries concerning (ongoing) grant programmes and project management in the week of 22 March.

  • How will researchers/applicants be informed?

    Via the website and social media.

    Please consult this page on a regular basis. In the week of 22 March we will resstart the grant process, and resume direct communication. On 22 March, NWO will publish an extra edition of the newsletter. If you do not subscribe to the newsletter yet, you can do so at www.nwo.nl/newsletter.

  • Can I contact employees of NWO, NRO and SIA?

    The employees of the aforementioned units of the organisation have been forced to suspend performance of their duties. It will again be possible to contact NWO staff members by email and telephone in the week of 22 March. Although emails are arriving, it will be the week of 22 March before they can be read. Communication via email is therefore impossible until that time.

  • I have an invoice for NWO. Will it be paid?

    NWO has now resumed payment of  invoices. New invoices can be submitted follwing the regular procedure.

  • Will organisations be informed of whether their data was involved in the data breach at NWO?

    NWO has hired external experts to help it identify what information has been hacked. It has proved impossible to gain a complete overview because the hackers have also partially erased the traces of their actions.

    NWO is closely monitoring what documents are actually being leaked. Individuals or organisations whose documents have been leaked will be notified as soon as possible.

  • I have submitted a job application to NWO. What is the situation?

    We will resume our activities on 22 March. If you have submitted a job application, you can expect a reaction from that date onwards.

  • I am due to start work soon at NWO-D. What should I do?

    We will resume our activities on 22 March. Please contact your future supervisor or P&O consultant.

  • Can I submit a Government Information (Public Access) Act (Wob) request?

    Until 22 March, requests can only be submitted by post. NWO cannot deal with your request before 22 March.

  • I am a former employee of NWO. Are there any risks for me as a result of the hack?

    The hackers could possibly have gained access to privacy-sensitive and personal data. This means that the stolen files might also contain data pertaining to you, such as your name and address, Citizen Service Number (BSN), bank account number, a copy of your ID, salary slips, annual salary statements, details of sick leave and other personal information. If NWO feels that former employees need to take action, it is writing to them with information about the procedure to be followed, contact details and a description of how to declare any expenses. This mainly concerns former employees whose still valid passport was copied and saved by NWO.

    If you have not yet received a letter there is no reason to take any immediate action. However, we advise you to be alert to any signs that you might be the victim of phishing, spam, fraud or other methods of deception or attempted fraud via post, email, WhatsApp or telephone. Treat any contact from people you do not know with caution. You should also be on your guard for other ways in which your name, address, bank account number and/or date of birth could be used. You will find further information about this at https://www.rvig.nl/fraudebestrijding/instrumenten-fraudebestrijding [in Dutch].

    If you have moved since leaving NWO and NWO does not have your new address and you suspect that NWO has a copy of your currently valid passport, please notify us at the email address below.

    If you have any questions, please send an email to nwo@nwo.nl.

  • I am speaker or attendee at an NWO/SIA/NRO event. Will it take place?

    NWO will resume its activities from the week of 22 March. NWO will notify participants and speakers if any changes are made in the schedule of events. Please keep an eye on the website.

    Further information about any changes in the dates of events will follow later on the websites of NWO, NRO and SIA.

Application process

  • Is the ISAAC system accessible?

    ISAAC will be accessible again in the week of 22 March, when the other parts of the grant procedure will also start up again.

    The system has been shut down for security reasons but the the data has not been infected. Please note that you will not receive a warning message if you try to access ISAAC; you will simply not be able to enter the system.

  • What is being done with the current calls for proposals?

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

    Ongoing rounds first, pending calls deferred

    To minimise the consequences of the hack for the system as a whole, our strategy is based in the first place on the desire to adhere as closely as possible to the original planning. This means that we will take up ongoing funding rounds and complete them as soon as possible. We will also give priority to rounds in the Talent programmes in view of the applicants’ heavy dependence on these rounds for their careers. In many cases, other parties also invest in programmes. If there is a risk of that investment being withdrawn because of the delay, we will endeavour to take that into account. In practice, this means that the deadlines for almost all calls with an original deadline before 27 May 2021 will be deferred by five weeks, unless there are serious arguments for doing otherwise.

    Effects of extended deadlines for applicants

    We are aware of the impact these changes will have for applicants. Decisions not made, funds not awarded and interviews cancelled. Many applicants carefully time the submission of their applications, particularly in the Talent programmes. Their plans could be thrown into dissaray by the delays that have now been caused.

    In that context, we are now making the following commitments:

    • As far as possible, we will address the needs of applicants in ongoing rounds with customised agreements. If it is necessary to revise the terms of the agreements, it will done in consultation with the applicants.
    • We are investigating whether customised agreements can be made with applicants in ongoing rounds who are encountering problems because of the changes. Where possible, we will employ the solutions that were adopted last year in connection with the rescheduling due to the corona epidemic.
    • In the Talent programmes, there are limits to the maximum period within which candidates can apply after obtaining their PhD. For the next round, the criterion for eligibility to submit an application will be same as it was before this delay.
    • In many cases, a deadline has expired for individuals or for rounds in the last week. This could involve an administrative matter (such as a minor correction to an application), the submission of a rebuttal or the submission of a proposal. Everyone can rest assured that they will still be given a reasonable length of time to give their reaction after the grant procedure has been opened up again.

    Information about specific rounds

    In advance of the publication of the integral call planning, for a number of rounds this section provides specific information that applicants urgently need to be aware of.

    Read more about these rounds

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • What is being done with planned calls for proposals?

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

    Pending calls deferred

    Almost all calls with an original deadline before 27 May 2021 will be deferred by five weeks, unless there are serious arguments for doing otherwise. We will give priority to rounds in the Talent programmes in view of the applicants' heavy dependence on these rounds for their careers. In many cases, other parties also invest in programmes. If there is a risk of that investment being withdrawn because of the delay, we will endeavour to take that into account.

    Original planning unchanged for calls from 27 May onwards

    Calls with deadlines from the end of May onwards will in principle follow the original planning. However, the extension of the deadlines for the calls from before 27 May will inevitably cause bottlenecks in connection with (school) holidays, public holidays and other circumstances. A further complication arises in relation to funding rounds that are organised several times a year. A round must be completed before another round begins in order to give candidates a chance to participate again. There may also be substantive reasons for departing from the five-week extension. In addition, all planned appointments for committee meetings or interviews will have to be rescheduled, which could also lead to delays.

    Effects of extended deadlines for applicants

    We are aware of the impact these changes will have for applicants. Decisions not made, funds not awarded and interviews cancelled. Many applicants carefully time the submission of their applications, particularly in the Talent programmes. Their plans could be thrown into dissaray by the delays that have now been caused.

    In that context, we are now making the following commitments:

    • As far as possible, we will address the needs of applicants in ongoing rounds with customised agreements. If it is necessary to revise the terms of the agreements, it will done in consultation with the applicants.
    • We are investigating whether customised agreements can be made with applicants in ongoing rounds who are encountering problems because of the changes. Where possible, we will employ the solutions that were adopted last year in connection with the rescheduling due to the corona epidemic.
    • In the Talent programmes, there are limits to the maximum period within which candidates can apply after obtaining their PhD. For the next round, the criterion for eligibility to submit an application will be same as it was before this delay.
    • In many cases, a deadline has expired for individuals or for rounds in the last week. This could involve an administrative matter (such as a minor correction to an application), the submission of a rebuttal or the submission of a proposal. Everyone can rest assured that they will still be given a reasonable length of time to give their reaction after the grant procedure has been opened up again.

    Information about specific rounds

    In advance of the publication of the integral call planning, for a number of rounds this section provides specific information that applicants urgently need to be aware of.

    Read more about these rounds

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • I have missed a deadline (application, rebuttal etc). And now what?

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. You will then still be able to submit your proposal, rebuttal, etc. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

    NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and current applications and decisions in the week of 15 March. Please keep an eye on this website for the latest information. NWO is currently focusing on repairing all the systems and other activities have been suspended. Until such time as the activities are resumed, we will not be responding to personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

    Ongoing rounds first, pending calls deferred

    To minimise the consequences of the hack for the system as a whole, our strategy is based in the first place on the desire to adhere as closely as possible to the original planning. This means that we will take up ongoing funding rounds and complete them as soon as possible. We will also give priority to rounds in the Talent programmes in view of the applicants’ heavy dependence on these rounds for their careers. In many cases, other parties also invest in programmes. If there is a risk of that investment being withdrawn because of the delay, we will endeavour to take that into account. In practice, this means that the deadlines for almost all calls with an original deadline before 27 May 2021 will be deferred by five weeks, unless there are serious arguments for doing otherwise.

    Effects of extended deadlines for applicants

    We are aware of the impact these changes will have for applicants. Decisions not made, funds not awarded and interviews cancelled. Many applicants carefully time the submission of their applications, particularly in the Talent programmes. Their plans could be thrown into dissaray by the delays that have now been caused.

    In that context, we are now making the following commitments:

    • As far as possible, we will address the needs of applicants in ongoing rounds with customised agreements. If it is necessary to revise the terms of the agreements, it will done in consultation with the applicants.
    • We are investigating whether customised agreements can be made with applicants in ongoing rounds who are encountering problems because of the changes. Where possible, we will employ the solutions that were adopted last year in connection with the rescheduling due to the corona epidemic.
    • In the Talent programmes, there are limits to the maximum period within which candidates can apply after obtaining their PhD. For the next round, the criterion for eligibility to submit an application will be same as it was before this delay.
    • In many cases, a deadline has expired for individuals or for rounds in the last week. This could involve an administrative matter (such as a minor correction to an application), the submission of a rebuttal or the submission of a proposal. Everyone can rest assured that they will still be given a reasonable length of time to give their reaction after the grant procedure has been opened up again.

    Information about specific rounds

    In advance of the publication of the integral call planning, for a number of rounds this section provides specific information that applicants urgently need to be aware of.

    Read more about these rounds

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • I have a deadline soon. What will happen now?

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

    Ongoing rounds first, pending calls deferred

    To minimise the consequences of the hack for the system as a whole, our strategy is based in the first place on the desire to adhere as closely as possible to the original planning. This means that we will take up ongoing funding rounds and complete them as soon as possible. We will also give priority to rounds in the Talent programmes in view of the applicants’ heavy dependence on these rounds for their careers. In many cases, other parties also invest in programmes. If there is a risk of that investment being withdrawn because of the delay, we will endeavour to take that into account. In practice, this means that the deadlines for almost all calls with an original deadline before 27 May 2021 will be deferred by five weeks, unless there are serious arguments for doing otherwise.

    Effects of extended deadlines for applicants

    We are aware of the impact these changes will have for applicants. Decisions not made, funds not awarded and interviews cancelled. Many applicants carefully time the submission of their applications, particularly in the Talent programmes. Their plans could be thrown into dissaray by the delays that have now been caused.

    In that context, we are now making the following commitments:

    • As far as possible, we will address the needs of applicants in ongoing rounds with customised agreements. If it is necessary to revise the terms of the agreements, it will done in consultation with the applicants.
    • We are investigating whether customised agreements can be made with applicants in ongoing rounds who are encountering problems because of the changes. Where possible, we will employ the solutions that were adopted last year in connection with the rescheduling due to the corona epidemic.
    • In the Talent programmes, there are limits to the maximum period within which candidates can apply after obtaining their PhD. For the next round, the criterion for eligibility to submit an application will be same as it was before this delay.
    • In many cases, a deadline has expired for individuals or for rounds in the last week. This could involve an administrative matter (such as a minor correction to an application), the submission of a rebuttal or the submission of a proposal. Everyone can rest assured that they will still be given a reasonable length of time to give their reaction after the grant procedure has been opened up again.

    Information about specific rounds

    In advance of the publication of the integral call planning, for a number of rounds this section provides specific information that applicants urgently need to be aware of.

    Read more about these rounds

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • I have an interview or meeting in due time. Will this proceed?

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. This will include information on when interviews and meetings will resume. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

    Ongoing rounds first, pending calls deferred

    To minimise the consequences of the hack for the system as a whole, our strategy is based in the first place on the desire to adhere as closely as possible to the original planning. This means that we will take up ongoing funding rounds and complete them as soon as possible. We will also give priority to rounds in the Talent programmes in view of the applicants’ heavy dependence on these rounds for their careers. In many cases, other parties also invest in programmes. If there is a risk of that investment being withdrawn because of the delay, we will endeavour to take that into account. In practice, this means that the deadlines for almost all calls with an original deadline before 27 May 2021 will be deferred by five weeks, unless there are serious arguments for doing otherwise.

    Effects of extended deadlines for applicants

    We are aware of the impact these changes will have for applicants. Decisions not made, funds not awarded and interviews cancelled. Many applicants carefully time the submission of their applications, particularly in the Talent programmes. Their plans could be thrown into dissaray by the delays that have now been caused.

    In that context, we are now making the following commitments:

    • As far as possible, we will address the needs of applicants in ongoing rounds with customised agreements. If it is necessary to revise the terms of the agreements, it will done in consultation with the applicants.
    • We are investigating whether customised agreements can be made with applicants in ongoing rounds who are encountering problems because of the changes. Where possible, we will employ the solutions that were adopted last year in connection with the rescheduling due to the corona epidemic.
    • In the Talent programmes, there are limits to the maximum period within which candidates can apply after obtaining their PhD. For the next round, the criterion for eligibility to submit an application will be same as it was before this delay.
    • In many cases, a deadline has expired for individuals or for rounds in the last week. This could involve an administrative matter (such as a minor correction to an application), the submission of a rebuttal or the submission of a proposal. Everyone can rest assured that they will still be given a reasonable length of time to give their reaction after the grant procedure has been opened up again.

    Information about specific rounds

    In advance of the publication of the integral call planning, for a number of rounds this section provides specific information that applicants urgently need to be aware of.

    Read more about these rounds

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • I have submitted an application. What will happen now?

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

    Ongoing rounds first, pending calls deferred

    To minimise the consequences of the hack for the system as a whole, our strategy is based in the first place on the desire to adhere as closely as possible to the original planning. This means that we will take up ongoing funding rounds and complete them as soon as possible. We will also give priority to rounds in the Talent programmes in view of the applicants’ heavy dependence on these rounds for their careers. In many cases, other parties also invest in programmes. If there is a risk of that investment being withdrawn because of the delay, we will endeavour to take that into account. In practice, this means that the deadlines for almost all calls with an original deadline before 27 May 2021 will be deferred by five weeks, unless there are serious arguments for doing otherwise.

    Effects of extended deadlines for applicants

    We are aware of the impact these changes will have for applicants. Decisions not made, funds not awarded and interviews cancelled. Many applicants carefully time the submission of their applications, particularly in the Talent programmes. Their plans could be thrown into dissaray by the delays that have now been caused.

    In that context, we are now making the following commitments:

    • As far as possible, we will address the needs of applicants in ongoing rounds with customised agreements. If it is necessary to revise the terms of the agreements, it will done in consultation with the applicants.
    • We are investigating whether customised agreements can be made with applicants in ongoing rounds who are encountering problems because of the changes. Where possible, we will employ the solutions that were adopted last year in connection with the rescheduling due to the corona epidemic.
    • In the Talent programmes, there are limits to the maximum period within which candidates can apply after obtaining their PhD. For the next round, the criterion for eligibility to submit an application will be same as it was before this delay.
    • In many cases, a deadline has expired for individuals or for rounds in the last week. This could involve an administrative matter (such as a minor correction to an application), the submission of a rebuttal or the submission of a proposal. Everyone can rest assured that they will still be given a reasonable length of time to give their reaction after the grant procedure has been opened up again.

    Information about specific rounds

    In advance of the publication of the integral call planning, for a number of rounds this section provides specific information that applicants urgently need to be aware of.

    Read more about these rounds

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • What is the situation with funding rounds that are organised by both NWO and ZonMw?

    The announcement of the decisions on the applications for the ZonMw part of the Vici 2020 round took place as planned. The Vici 2021 round, which is now open and whose deadline is 25 March, has been suspended. The new deadlines for programmes jointly organised by NWO and ZonMw will be determined shortly.

    Deadlines in the near future for rounds in the Talent programme that are jointly organised by NWO and ZonMw, have been rescheduled. In practice, this means:

    • The interviews for the current Vidi round will have to be rescheduled. We hope to conduct them in May/June, with the decisions for all domains (including ZonMw) in July.
    • Whereas NWO initially decided to defer the entire Veni round for 2021, it has now decided to split up the science domains. We are moving the deadline for detailed Veni applications to 2 September for all domains (including ZonMw). Decisions will then be made in April 2022.For the domains Science (ENW) (which has no pre-proposal phase) and Health Research and Development (ZonMw) (which was not affected by the hack), NWO is reverting to the original planning from before the hack, that is 20 May.
    • The extension of deadlines in these rounds will also have an impact on the succeeding rounds. We will provide more information about this in April.
    • For the Rubicon programme, we are combining the rounds in September and December 2021.

    See detailed information about these rounds

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • Is the information contained in my application safe?

    The impact of the hack is still being investigated. We are currently unable to say with certainty which files are safe and which are not.

  • Are my personal data safe?

    The impact of the hack is still being investigated and we are unable to give any guarantee of that.

  • I am a member of a committee or a referee. What will happen now?

    In the week of 22 March, we will contact referees and committee members as quickly as possible in order to make new arrangements. It is in the interests of applicants that we complete the ongoing funding rounds as soon as possible so that they can start their projects.

  • I want to lodge an objection. Is that possible?

    Until 22 March, objections can only be lodged via (regular) mail, not via e-mail. NWO cannot process any submitted objections until that date.

  • I am already involved in an ongoing objection procedure. How will it proceed?

    The hearings on 25 February and 4, 9, 18, 25 and 30 March 2021 have been cancelled due to the hack. If your hearing was scheduled for one of these dates, we will inform you about your new hearing date in the week of 22 March.

  • I want to report a violation of contractual data protection or confidentiality clauses

    For the time being, violations can only be reported by post, though NWO cannot deal with your objection right now. Please keep an eye on our website.

  • I have a substantive question about a call. Is there any other way of submitting the
    enquiry other than via email?

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. You can submit your question to your NWO contact then. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

Project management

  • Will the scheduled user committee (GC) meetings take place?

    Scheduled user committee meetings can take place under the leadership of the project leader. The programme officers have been forced to abandon their work and are unable to participate in user committee meetings until more is known about the impact of the hack.  The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. As soon as the systems are operational again, you will be contacted with further information.

    Detailed information about the resumption of the grant process

  • I have a question about/want to submit a change for my current project. Can I use the request form for that?

    It is impossible to perform regular management or administrative tasks relating to projects at this time. Systems are currently inaccessible and staff members cannot be contacted. Consequently, work has had to be halted entirely and change requests and other messages relating to the management or administration of projects that are submitted using this form cannot be dealt with. The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. You can submit your question to your NWO contact then.

    In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

  • My organisation is involved in a joint project with NWO. What will happen now?

    It is practically impossible for joint projects in which NWO, NRO and/or SIA are involved to continue for the time being. Because documents cannot be downloaded from the network and we do not want employees to use private accounts to send business e-mails, it will be practically impossible until the week of 22 March to proceed with such projects. If possible, the responsible policy officer will contact the relevant project team in person.

  • What is the situation with payment for research projects (tranches)?

    NWO has now resumed payment of  invoices. New invoices can be submitted follwing the regular procedure.

  • Can I start a project?

    A project can start without explicit approval if the following conditions are met:

    • It is a project without a consortium agreement
      or
    • It is a project with a consortium agreement and the agreement has been signed by all the relevant parties and explicitly approved by NWO
      and
    • All of the conditions stipulated by NWO in the grant award letter are met, including the timely submission of the documents requested by NWO in the letter, with the exception of the PIF (Personnel Information Form) and/or the start form and/or the data management plan.
    • The PIF and/or the start form and/or the data management plan to be submitted later meet the requirements stipulated by NWO.
    • The PIF, start form(s) and data management plan must then be submitted within a month of the resumption of NWO's procedure.

    NWO is currently unable to verify whether projects comply with these conditions. Accordingly, starting the project without the explicit approval of NWO is for the account and risk of the applicant.

    You may not start your project if the regular procedure cannot be followed. In such situations, it is not possible to handle applications with an alternative procedure at this time.

    It will be possible to contact the relevant NWO employee as soon as NWO is able to start up its grant procedure again.

    In general, as with the changes connected with corona, we will be flexible in extending deadlines that have lapsed or dealing with other administrative requirements that could not be handled because we were unavailable. You will again be able reach the contact persons for your projects in the week of 22 March.

    The activities will resume in the week of 22 March. In the week of 22 March, NWO/NRO/SIA will publish a revised schedule for current and planned programmes and its consequences for deadlines, periods and ongoing applications and decisions. Until then, we are unable to deal with personal enquiries regarding programmes and projects.

NWO-I

  • Is it safe to use the NWO-I website?

    The website of NWO-I has not been hacked and is therefore safe to use. Files can be downloaded safely.

  • I am an employee of NWO-I. Is my personal data safe?

    Every member of the staff of NWO-I has received a memo about the hack and its potential implications. That memo contains all of the information currently available to us.

  • I am an employee of NWO-I. Where can I find answers to any questions I have?

    If you work at NWO-I, you can contact your manager if you have any questions. Employees of the NWO institutes should address their enquiries to the manager of their own institute. Employees working in the Administrative Unit for Research Groups at Universities (BUW) can receive answers to their questions by contacting the e-mail address or telephone number provided at the bottom of the e-mail you received on Monday 22 February last.

Questions?

As of 22 March, NWO can again be reached by email addresses and telephone. The question form is therefore no longer available.

For questions about a specific call or programme, please contact the programme manager involved. You can find their contact details on the call or programme page for that programme.

If you have any general questions about the hack or the resumption of the subsidy process, you can send an email to nwo@nwo.nl. Please state your name and contact details.