Proposal granted: starting your project
Once your proposal is granted, you will need to do a few things to ensure a swift start of your project. Please contact the Research Support Office directly once you have won the award and send any contracts for evaluation as early as possible. The Research Support Office will help you in registering your grant, writing your data management plan, and getting ethics approval. Please contact them for the evaluation and signing of contracts and agreements, and/or to negotiate with third parties.
Below you will find information about Utrecht University's services, services specific for Geoscientists, and background information on the 'Proposal granted: starting your project' phase. Click the boxes to jump to the information you're looking for.
Finance and control
Once your grant has been registered with the Research Support Office, Finance and Control will create a project number for you and your project can officially start. Additionally, Finance and Control generally organises a chat with new project leaders to explain the funder requirements during the project. In case there are any desired changes to the research plan, please discuss these with Finance and Control. Please note a project can only start once all contracts have been signed.
You may be faced with legal issues when collaborating with external parties on a research project. Legal issues can arise not only in NWO, RVO and European Commission funded projects, but also in contract research, sub-contracted research, secondments or other partnerships. The Research Support Office helps with such legal issues and can negotiate with third parties on your behalf. You can find the basic premises of Utrecht University concerning cooperation in the sense of the indirect funding survey on intranet.
Please note only the dean is legally mandated to sign contracts on behalf of our faculty.
If you have to recruit personnel for your project, HR will help you during this process, for example with the advertisements and the recruiting process itself. At our faculty we have one dedicated HR representative per department. After the recruitment process is finalised, it's time for onboarding and giving your new colleague a warm welcome. If your project team includes PhD candidates, you may want to know about the required actions related to hiring and supervising PhD candidates. If you are the coordinator of a larger project and have budgeted for a project manager, please discuss this at an early stage with the Research Support Office, since they have a pool of experts who can serve as project managers.
Research Project Management set-up
For any project it is important that the research project management is set up properly. In case of a larger, multi-partner project, generally a project manager will be appointed at the coordinating institute. The Research Support Office has a pool of experts who focus on project management. Please discuss your needs with the Research Support Office prior to submission.
Your data management plan must be elaborated now. You may have created a provisional data management plan in the phase Designing and writing your proposal. For many funders, the data management plan is a deliverable of you project. You may have used the tool DMPOnline. When using this tool, you can request the review of your plan by a data manager.
If your research involves human subjects and personal data, then you must take action to protect the interests of you participants and to comply to the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) law. Find geosciences-specific information on the faculty of Geosciences research data support site (under development), or non-geo-specific information on Utrecht University's Research Data Management site.
As discussed in the Designing and writing your proposal phase, the faculty of Geosciences has a privacy manager to guide you through the process of making your research GDPR-compliant (General Data Protection Regulation). If you provide the privacy manager with relevant information about your (planned) research, they will draw up a privacy scan, in consultation with you. A privacy scan is an instrument to map the privacy risks of data processing. This scan is necessary because the GDPR prescribes that you must be able to demonstrate that the processing complies with important GDPR principles, such as lawfulness, transparency, purpose limitation and correctness. In the privacy scan, the privacy risks are identified - and measures to mitigate these risks.
If the outcome is that – even after mitigating measures – privacy risks are high, a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) should be made. A DPIA is like a privacy scan but goes more in depth. You will work together with the privacy manager to draw up the DPIA and have it reviewed by Utrecht University's Data Protection Officer.
Note that data collection of personal data can only be started after a privacy scan or – if relevant: a DPIA – has been approved.
Ethics review when working with or without human subjects
If your research involves working with human subjects (or their data), this is the time to submit your project to the Science-Geo Ethics Review Board for ethics review. Some funding agencies ask for an ethics review as a condition for funding. Journals often require ethics reviews as a condition for publishing your articles. Even without external requirements we recommend having your proposal checked – many researchers do so for improving their project. Be sure to have your project reviewed before the start of the actual study. Please note that if a DPIA is necessary, you develop the DPIA in parallel to the submission of your proposal to the ERB. The ERB will initiate the ethics review and give a conditional advice. The ERB cannot make a final decision until the DPIA has been reviewed and has also been received by the ERB. This is illustrated by the figure in the Design Phase.
At this moment, the faculty of Geosciences does not provide for ethics review on other issues than working with human subjects. If you need information on, for example, the Nagoya Protocol (when working with certain material) or if you get a request from a funding agency for ethics review on topics other than human participants or data, please contact the Research Support Office for advice.
When your proposal is granted, you may want to contact the faculty of Geosciences Communications department. They can help you spread the news about your grant, if it is a large-scale project or has, for example, many important partners, and they may help you gain some (social) media attention if you wish. The Communications department will work together with you to figure out the best strategy for your research project. Some researchers choose to wait until they are about to publish their first results, but it is helpful for the Communications department to know what you are working on during this phase.
If you want to set up a project website, always contact the editor in chief of the Communications department. They will inform you about the possibilities as well as important aspects such as corporate identity guidelines and how much time and resources to invest and budget.
Post award support
As indicated in the proposal writing stage, as coordinator of a (larger) project you will be responsible for the appropriate project management and generally the communication and outreach support. Please be sure to discuss your needs before submitting a proposal and once you have secured the grant.