Additional investment in accelerated research programs to COVID-19 in the Netherlands

13

May 2020

On April 1, 2020, Minister of Health, Welfare, and Sport decided to secure a total of €42 million for studying the most urgent corona-related issues. It is estimated that these additional funds will enable 80 - 100 evaluations to be carried out. The Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Dutch Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMW) will work together on the research programs.

Rapid incidental funding ('first wave'):

  • Immediately after the COVID-19 was detected in the Netherlands, incidental funding was used to conduct targeted and urgent research on ways to fight the coronavirus pandemic. This was funded by ZonMw (€1 million), the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport (VWS) (€4 million) and NWO (€1.5 million)
  • The funding involves:
    • Medical research: monitoring the patients recovering, the virus transmission to and from children, hospital epidemiology, virus evolution, antibodies, and the development of drugs that can be used in the short term. Socio-scientific evaluations of the social isolation impact and its consequences were also in priority. These projects are being coordinated by ZonMw and have already been started or will begin shortly
    • Behavioral research: evaluations on social distancing and its impact on the spread of the virus. This is being coordinated by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
  • Small funding (from €7,500 to € 5,000) can also be requested for creative solutions for practical (hospital) care. To ensure the fastest possible deployment of creative solutions, ZonMw responds to applicants within two weeks
  • A total of € 6.5 million is available for this initial research from ZonMw, VWS, and NWO

A COVID-19 research program to be launched shortly ('second wave'):

  • ZonMw and NWO are currently developing an additional research program in close cooperation with VWS. This new program, there will provide space for various types of research (practical and fundamental research) on topics similar to those in the rapid incidental funding, but also paying attention to the (wider social) consequences of the crisis and the measures to be taken in long-term. The grants will be awarded shortly. The entire program will run no longer than the end of 2024.
  • ZonMw, NWO, VWS, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science provided €20 to 25 million for this type of research.

Fast-track data NWO research:

  • NWO developed the so-called 'fast-track data' request, to acquire data that can only be collected during the crisis. Researchers can apply for funding for studies that require real-time data collection on issues arising from the crisis, that can help to manage the crisis, or that can enhance the learning ability of a society during a pandemic. To ensure that researches are started as quickly as possible NWO provides go/no go decision within one working week. Researchers should give open access to collected data and initial analysis as soon as possible.
  • In total, €1.5 million is allocated for these researches by NWO

See the full details here.

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