Mr Joop Schippers, professor of Economics at the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance (REBO), received an EU grant through the 7th Framework Programme for his research project called Active Aging.
“As a growing number of researchers rely on external funds, it is becoming more difficult to obtain them. More and more researchers are discovering European grant programmes and, as a result, competition has been growing. To be successful, you really need to be constantly alert to new opportunities, to new sources that you can tap into. All the readily available funds have since been allocated, but there are certainly still a number that remain unclaimed. Researchers could consider teaming up with a German partner to apply to some of the German ‘Stiftungen’, for example.
At the same time, it is essential that researchers have the right tools at their disposal to help them compete effectively. Investing in support has proven more than worthwhile. Our faculty has an excellent Grant Office that makes it easier to apply to various grant programmes. I have experienced this first-hand. When I applied to the 7th
European Framework Programme for my Active Aging project in 2008, there was no-one to help me. We are now applying for a different grant, and I’ve been receiving extensive administrative support. This has proved a tremendous help, as it leaves me more time to establish useful contacts and focus not on the funding but on the content of my research.
Another welcome alternative is what we call 'seed money', which is currently being used for the 'Institutions' strategic research theme. Researchers are given a sum of money to use while looking for funding and applying for grants, so that they can legitimately focus on fundraising during working hours rather than as an additional task. This has proven to work well: seed money has clearly been shown to have a positive multiplier effect.
Utrecht University still has a comfortable share of the market, although it is becoming more difficult to retain it. Personal support in connection with ERC Grants; Veni, Vidi, Vici Grants; Mosaic Scholarships and so on is highly desirable. Facilities such as the Grant Office of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance or the seed money made available for the Institutions research theme deserve to a follow-up. I expect great results from the Research Funding Week in this area."
Utrecht University Research Funding Week
Making research happen
Research funders are tightening their belts. That is why researchers are under more pressure than ever, to find external funds for their research. Fortunately the European Commission and the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) offer a wide variety of funding programmes. To help researchers make the most of the opportunities on offer, Utrecht University is organising the Research Funding Week, in cooperation with the University Medical Center Utrecht and the Utrecht Valorisation Center. The Research Funding Week will be held from the 25th until the 29th of June 2012 at De Uithof.
More information and registration: www.uu.nl/fundingweek