Develop project idea

Phase one of the project life cycle. Click the image to return to the overview page.

During the development of a research idea, talk to colleagues and people in your department to further develop your research plans. Prepare a one-page proposal to crystallise your ideas, which can be used to facilitate these discussions.

When preparing your funding application, it is also a good time to start thinking about the role of societal impact, ethics and research integrity, and Open Science in your research. Also consider the context of your own career - research is central to the mission of our university and your research plan should be a central part of your career plan.

Below you will find information about Utrecht University's services, services specific for Geoscientists, and background information on the 'Develop project idea' phase. Click the boxes to jump to the information you're looking for.

Support and contact via Utrecht University

The network of the Utrecht University Research Support Office provides extensive support to its researchers via the Research Funding Academy, such as training and workshops for writing research proposals.

Ethics and Research integrity

Utrecht University and the Faculty of Geosciences attach great importance to research integrity. Scrupulousness and integrity are researchers’ personal responsibilities. You can find relevant codes of conduct and other information on the Utrecht University website on research integrity, and more information about ethics in research on the Utrecht University website on ethics assessment and the website of the Science-Geo Ethics Review Board.

Data management and privacy

A data management plan is required for all research projects; this is a project document which tells the story of your research data. It outlines what research data were collected, how they were collected and what you will do with your data during and after your research. The data management plan states where and how you store your data securely. It will also state where and how the data can be found and accessed for other researchers: your data should be ‘open when possible, closed when necessary’. You can create your data management plan using the online tool DMPonline.

All research should be compliant to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). One of the principles of the GDPR is ‘Privacy by Design’ – this means that you should consider privacy at the initial design stages and throughout the complete development process of your research that involves processing personal data.

It will save you a lot of time and effort if you consider data management and privacy from the beginning. Note that proper data management and handling personal data properly, may also have implications for your project budget.

Information and support for Geoscientists

The Research Support Office is your first point of contact, for all your funding related questions, if needed they can connect you to the right expert. 

Societal impact

Societal impact is an integral part of any research project. The Geosciences societal impact guide gives a brief overview of the topic, with five steps to take towards impact creation. Additional information on the topic can be found at the NWO website on knowledge utilisation. Utrecht University’s strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability developed the Transdisciplinary Field Guide, which provides information on engaging with societal actors.

Human resources

Find information about your academic career and the promotion policy of the Faculty of Geosciences on the Geosciences website. Additionally, dedicated career support for PhD candidates is available with the Graduate School of Geosciences.


The Faculty of Geosciences has many facilities that employees can make use of. You can find information about the labs and facilities on the Geosciences website. Your supervisor can tell you more about experts in the field within Utrecht University and where to find them.

Background information

Open Science

Open Science stands for the transition to a new, more open and participatory way of conducting, publishing and evaluating scholarly research. At Utrecht University, the Open science programme focusses on four themes: Open access, FAIR data and software, Public engagement, Awards & recognition. On their respective websites you can find more information on Open Science programmes at Utrecht University, NWO and the European Union.