Interview of site visit

For several instruments, (the Talent Scheme, Gravitation and Investment Grant NWO Large, for example), an interview or a site visit has been added to the selection procedure. NWO considers this to be important for a good assessment of the proposals.

For the Talent Scheme, NWO wants to be able to assess if the researcher has the necessary personal qualifications needed for an individual grant. NWO considers an interview to be a necessary part of this assessment.

For funding instruments for large research facilities, NWO wants to know whether such a facility will be constructed on a fruitful basis. This is assessed by a site visit or an interview.

The additional information obtained from the interview, or the site visit, provides the selection committee with a better impression of the applicant's qualities, the proposed research or the research facility requested.

During an interview, the committee asks questions that arise from the referees' report, the applicant's rebuttal or another source. The individual committee members who pose questions during the interview do so on behalf of the committee. The interview gives applicants the opportunity to present their research proposal and personal qualities in the best possible light.

What the applicant can expect

The applicant is usually asked to give a short presentation at the start of the interview. This should be completed within the set time limit. During the presentation, the committee wants to hear about the major lines of the research in the applicant’s own words. A handout or PowerPoint presentation can support the explanation given.

During the subsequent interview, the committee will ask more specific questions about the research proposal. The applicant can discuss the research proposal with the committee, and provide a more detailed explanation of certain aspects of the proposed research.

An applicant should remember that the selection committee has a diverse range of members, and usually has only one expert in the area of their proposal. As the final assessment is the outcome of the discussions of the entire committee, both the presentation and the answers to the committee’s questions must be comprehensible for all committee members. Applicants, therefore, need to give a clear explanation of their work. Without making too many concessions with respect to the complexity of the research.