Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Questions & Answers about the NWO call for proposals Thematic Digital Competence Centers (TDCCs)

When considering solutions in a project, is it preferable to scope a project to one solution, tool or approach, or to include several of these? 

In most cases, you should make the result of what you propose to do relevant and useful to organizations that are outside your organization, and thus relevant to multiple institutions.

How do I approach ideas that are suitable for two different DCCs?

Within the current call, project proposals must go through one TDCC. The best approach would be to submit an idea/Expression of Interest to the TDCC/domain with which the proposal overlaps the most. The TDCC roadmaps should provide guidance with that.

Is it possible to submit a similar topic to two domains?

In theory it is possible that a project for one TDCC could later be extended or built upon through an additional project for another TDCC.

What happens when two proposals submit a similar idea?

This differs between the TDCCs. Either the TDCC or the community will align and connect the two initiatives.

What does the open consultation process entail?

This can differ depending on the TDCC. It entails contact through an ‘expression of interest’ or ‘project idea submission’. TDCCs will facilitate a community-driven process, from idea to full proposal. Successful project proposals will get a submission letter, which is required to apply for funding at NWO. Please, consult the TDCC website for your specific domain, as the process differs between TDCCs.

What role should the existing DCCs play in the project?

Relating to the local DCCs (LDCCs), the TDCC’s purpose is to be complementary to the work of the LDCCs. However, due to how differently each LDCC is organized (particularly in relation to other local support), they do not necessarily have to be involved in the project proposals from their institutions. The TDCCs are not able to check this and we trust each institution to align internally. It is important that the foreseen outcomes of the projects will be embedded in organizations and the LDCCs could play a role here. Including LDCC in project proposals could thus strengthen your application. 

What is the difference between bottleneck projects and this call?

Bottleneck projects exist for all three TDCCs and are currently in development. You can still follow bottleneck projects or get in touch, but it is no longer possible to apply for funding. The bottleneck project applications are also a different process that is a separate process from this TDCC call.

For the NES TDCC, there is also a mention of international collaborations. How important is the balance between the national and international community in drafting the proposal and implementing the project?

International collaborations cannot be funded, but this does not mean that collaborations cannot be fostered. It is encouraged to include or describe how the project relates to international activities within the domain. 

How does this call relate to the NWO Open Science Fund and the upcoming NWO Open Science NL Infrastructure Fund? Is there a group or person that manages the portfolio of funded projects and fosters synergy between them?

There is not one person, but the TDCCs are aware of this and are in close contact with Open Science NL and will internally discuss this. As a general indication, the NWO Open Science Fund is for projects up to 50.000 euros, whereas the TDCC call is for 50.000-400.000 euros. Additionally, the TDCC roadmaps cover things beyond open science.

Can people from universities of applied sciences (HBO) be funded with the TDCC call?

No. Unfortunately, HBO institutions are not included on the list of possible eligible institutions in this current call.

Are collaboration partners limited to organizations eligible for funding?

No, collaboration partners can include other partners that are not listed as eligible for funding. However, they will not be able to be compensated or receive any funding in any way.

Can the funding be used for covering the personnel costs of employees that are already employed in the team?

Yes, existing personnel can be covered. Scientific staff needs to already be part of the institution. However, staff cannot be double funded: If the person is already part of another NWO project, they cannot be funded again for the same work.

Can I apply for funding for a project idea that already exists at my organization?

Yes, existing ideas or initiatives can be built on to submit a project idea to a TDCC, if they fit the ambitions and requirements of the TDCCs. However, projects cannot be double-funded.

Is an applicant required to provide their own contribution for this round of projects?

For the current call, an applicant will not be expected to provide their own contribution. This will however be required in upcoming calls.

Which responsibilities does the person that submits the project to ISAAC have?

The person that submits the project in ISAAC (NWO’s submission system) will also be the person responsible for the project and it is important that this person is also available two weeks after submission for questions or changes related to the project from NWO. 

Sustainability is not specifically mentioned as a challenge in the roadmaps, but could it still be a relevant factor in this call?

Momentarily, it is not specifically mentioned in the roadmaps, but in the future the roadmaps will be revised, and it might be included in the updated version. Even though it is not specifically mentioned in the roadmap now, we recommend that applicants think about sustainability in their proposals and embed them in the outcomes of their project proposal.