Money Follows Cooperation creates opportunities to enhance the scientific and social impact of research projects by using expertise from abroad that is not available in the Netherlands.
The Money Follows Cooperation option has been implemented as a budget module in almost all NWO funding instruments.
The Money Follows Cooperation module cannot be applied for in the NWO Talent Programme or in (large-scale) infrastructure and bilateral or multilateral programmes such as the Merian Fund, Science Diplomacy Fund and WOTRO programmes.
Budget and accountability
The requested budget in the Money Follows Cooperation module may be up to fifty per cent of the total requested budget. No additional funds can be secured via this scheme. However, Money Follows Cooperation does provide the option of spending part of the costs from other budget modules on a foreign knowledge institute. This does not alter the budget ceiling.
The main applicant receives the grant and is responsible for transferring funds from the grant to the co-applicant’s foreign knowledge institute and for the financial accountability of the expenditure of the Money Follows Cooperation part of the grant. The exchange rate risk lies with the applicant(s). Therefore, gains or losses due to exchange rates are not eligible.
When submitting a proposal, the lead applicant must convincingly demonstrate that the relevant expertise is not available in the Netherlands (unless NWO has signed an MFC agreement with a sister organisation in the foreign researcher’s country of origin). The lead applicant must submit this to an NWO evaluation committee for assessment. If the application is positively reviewed by the committee, then NWO will also fund the researchers affiliated with foreign knowledge institutions.
To be able to spend a grant on a certain knowledge institute, a researcher from that knowledge institute must always act as (co-)applicant. However, this foreign cooperation partner can never be the main applicant.
Note: NWO does not award grants to co-applicants abroad who are subject to (inter)national sanctions laws and regulations.
For guidance in this respect we refer to
NWO enters into mutual agreements with like-minded sister organisations through Money Follows Cooperation. These agreements are always driven by reciprocity, as a result of which Dutch researchers can also submit proposals to the sister organisation in an international consortium.
In 2019, NWO concluded a similar reciprocal Money Follows Cooperation agreement with the Research Council of Norway (RCN). This agreement started on 1 July 2019. As of 1 July 2020, an agreement was signed with The Swiss National Science Foundation SNSF. When applying for a Money Follows Cooperation module with a Norwegian or Swiss co-applicant, the applicant no longer has to show that the expertise is not available in the Netherlands. Moreover, Dutch researchers can be funded by a Norwegian or Swiss consortium.
Does Brexit have an impact on the Money Follows Cooperation scheme?
The departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union has no consequences for the Money Follows Cooperation scheme.
Do the NWO grant rules also apply to foreign co-applicants?
The foreign knowledge institute (where the researcher works) must meet all the requirements set out in Article 1.1, paragraph 3 of the NWO Grant Rules 2017, as well as any additional requirements for co-applicants in the Call for Proposals, with the exception of the requirement that the (knowledge institute where the) co-applicant (works) must be established within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Do the VSNU rates also apply to foreign co-applicants?
No, in view of Article 1.4, paragraph 4 of the NWO Grant Rules 2017, the Executive Board of NWO has laid down more detailed rules which determine the rates for the personnel costs of researchers working at the foreign institute. To determine these rates, NWO uses the following country correction coefficients table. The Dutch VSNU rates are the starting point and are then increased or decreased by a percentage pertaining to the country in question.
Download the document NWO Country Correction Coefficients (CCC) at the bottom of this webpage.
Can Money Follows Cooperation be requested for all countries in the world?
No, there are some exceptions. NWO does not provide grants to fellow applicants abroad who are subject to (inter)national sanctions laws and regulations.
For guidance in this respect we refer to
What will change for researchers if NWO signs a bilateral Money Follows Cooperation agreement with a sister organisation abroad?
NWO has signed mutual agreements with like-minded sister organisations regarding Money Follows Cooperation. There is always reciprocity in these agreements, as a result of which Dutch researchers can also make submissions to the sister organisation in an international consortium. In 2019, NWO concluded a mutual Money Follows Cooperation agreement with the Research Council of Norway (RCN). This agreement took effect on 1 July 2019. The Swiss Nationale Science Foundation (SNSF) and NWO have signed a bilateral Money Follows Cooperation (MFC) agreement on 1 July 2020. When applying for a Money Follows Cooperation module with a Norwegian or Swiss co-applicant, the applicant no longer has to prove that the expertise is not available in the Netherlands. Moreover, Dutch researchers can be funded in a Norwegian or Swiss consortium.
Some European countries have a Co-Investigator Scheme. Is this the same as Money Follows Cooperation?
Yes. This term Co-Investigator Scheme is mainly used in Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
What is the difference (for applicants) between the Internationalisation module and the Money Follows Cooperation module?
The aim of the Internationalisation module is to stimulate international cooperation. The requested contribution per module is a maximum of 25,000 euros. The total amount requested must be specified. If the maximum amount is not sufficient to carry out the research, it may be deviated from, provided the application is well-founded.
The following are eligible:
- travel and accommodation expenses insofar as these are direct research costs arising from the international cooperation and additional costs that are not covered in any other way, e.g. by the bench fee
- travel and accommodation expenses for foreign guest researchers
- costs for organising international workshops/symposiums/academic meetings
What is the difference between Money Follows Cooperation (MFC) and Money Follows Researcher (MFR)?
The Money Follows Researcher scheme allows researchers who receive an appointment at another knowledge institute to take the remainder of their funding with them. The scheme aims to stimulate the mobility of researchers worldwide. Researchers who wish to qualify for the Money Follows Researcher scheme can submit a request to NWO.
Will NWO keep track of how often the Money Follows Cooperation grant is applied for?
NWO will monitor the impact of this scheme. The Executive Board may decide to revise the terms and conditions of the scheme if there is reason to do so.