Corona Research Support

Last review: 10 Sept, 9:30

By following the Coronavirus (COVID-19) developments closely we've come across best practices from faculties. On this page, a selection of these best practices is shared to hopefully inspire you. Also, we try to answer the most common questions you might have about research.

Best practices

  • The Erasmus Behavioural Lab (EBL) can offer support for the following systems:

    • Inquisit (millisecond.com): online experiments with accurate timing. Runtime clients available for Windows & Apple computers, Android and Apple tablets and smartphones. An extensive library of standard tests is available.
      Custom experiments require some programming skills and an additional Lab software license, basic support is available from the EBL staff.
      Pricing is approximately 140 euro/month, per concurrent online experiment, with a minimum of 2 months. A lab license is approximately 165 euro.
      Information on 
      Millisecond and GDPR Compliance can be found at: https://www.millisecond.com/products/gdpr.aspx
       
    • E-prime for staff, PhD’s and students with a master thesis research project:
      Remote usage of E-prime 3 software. Please contact the EBL to get, or give your students, remote access to E-prime 3 (Windows 10 computers only).
      The EBL will coordinate and support remote installation, configuration for your students, as well as technical support on programming experiments. E-prime has no online runtime client capabilities.
       
    • Participant recruitment of EUR students.
      Paid participants: EURO system at: https://www.eur.nl/euro, accounts for researchers can be requested at the EBL.
      Psychology students: ERAS obligatory participant hours
      Members of the staff can find ERAS through: MyEUR > ESSB > Research > EBL Research Administration System (ERAS)
      Direct link: https://my.eur.nl/en/essb-employee/research-0/ebl-research-administration-system-eras
       
    • Paid participants: Mturk & Prolific
      Mechanical Turk (mturk.com) offers ‘on-line workers’ that will fill out surveys or participate in your on-line experiment for a small fee.
      Prolific (www.prolific.co) offers similar services, but with higher quality connected to better paid participants.
      The EBL can help you adding funds to Mturk given available budget from you or your department.
       
    • Generic support is furthermore available on the use and creation of Excel macro’s, specific analysis software used in the EBL, format conversion of data-files, etc. The EBL can be contacted by email: ebl@essb.eur.nl.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you cannot find your question or if you want us to add a question, then please contact Erasmus Research Services (ERS) through researchservices@eur.nl. You can also read the latest information of Erasmus University Rotterdam page and check the FAQs on MyEUR for more general information. 

    • There is no ‘one size fits all’ answer.

      Every case should be assessed individually on whether or not we may fail to meet our obligations. You can start with making an analysis of the impact of Corona measures on your project; how will it likely affect matters such as planning and delivery of project results?

      If based on this analysis, you fear we will not be able to fulfil our obligations, you can contact Renée Hanegraaf (hanegraaf@eur.nl) to assess the contractual agreements and to make recommendations as to the steps to be taken.

    • Yes, please do so. The Research Ethics Review Committees will give priority to resubmissions.  

      For an overview of the Ethical Review Boards and contact information, please visit the Ethical Review webpage

      • When you use an online questionnaire, the Informed consent form can be presented as the first question followed by a checkbox. The participant can check whether s/he agrees with the information that is presented in the informed consent form.
      • When it concerns an interview, the researcher:  
        • Can read the informed consent form and ask permission to record (audio-recording) the participant’s response to the provided information.
        • Can show the informed consent form, ask the participant to read the informed consent form and ask permission to record (audio-recording) the participant’s response to the provided information.
        • Share the informed consent form by email and ask for a response per email.
    • For online questionnaires, EUR has the Qualtrics tool, which all EUR-employees (including ISS researchers) have access to. Eur has an agreement with Qualtrics to ensure our research participants’ data is used for research and no other purposes. Alternatives like, for instance, SurveyMonkey do not have this benefit, so respondents’ privacy is not guaranteed there.

      • Although EUR has a campus licence for Zoom, it is discommended to use Zoom for confidential conversations. Zoom is not encrypted and there is a lack of clarity with regard to the use of data by third parties. Therefore, privacy and intellectual property rights are insufficiently protected. Good alternatives are:
        • Microsoft Teams. People that do not have a Microsoft account, can be invited through outlook.
        • Telephone call.
      • The researcher cannot check or influence the circumstances under which the interview takes place. Therefore, please consider including the following lines in your invitation:
        • Before entering a meeting, turn on your webcam and see what is visible in the background. Check if you’re comfortable showing that during a (recorded) session.
        • If you need to share your screen during a session, clear your desktop of any extra tabs or programs you have open. Make sure private or sensitive information is hidden for other participants.
        • Be aware that you’re visible for others. Yawning, picking your nose or checking your phone won’t go unnoticed.
        • Make sure you’re in a quiet space without any eavesdroppers when discussing private or sensitive information.
    • NWO has drafted a guideline for postponing the primary process for the submission of ongoing and upcoming funding rounds. This guideline includes the following measures:

      • Deadlines for ongoing funding rounds are extended.
      • Rounds with the deadlines already extended go ahead. NWO is constantly monitoring the situation and if the number of the submissions drastically decreases, the deadline will be readjusted again. Monitor carefully the call page.   
      • For upcoming funding rounds in which the deadline has not yet passed, the entire schedule of the round is postponed by two months.

      For more information on the NWO guideline, updates and questions, please consult NWO FAQ page and NWO news updates. For updates on NWO calls, please consult NWO Calendar page. For ZonMw applications, please consult ZonMw website.

    • NWO has rescheduled the deadline for submitting preproposals in the next Veni funding round (2021) in the domains SSH, AES and ZonMw from September 2020 to January 2021.

    • The deadline for the next Vidi round 2020 remains early October 2020.

    • For funding that requires the formation of a consortium and/or co-financing (e.g. NWA/ORC), upcoming and ongoing funding rounds will be completely put on hold until further notice and will be resumed one month after the national protection measures are suspended.

    • NWO has extended the submission of the detailed application by two months.

      • Evaluations are being conducted remotely but delays have been reported.
      • Applicants are given 10 working days to respond to the referee reports in rebuttals.
      • Interviews for ongoing funding rounds such as Veni and Vidi have been postponed.
      • If you have applied for Veni, the interview selection has been rescheduled from May to June 2020. Shortly after this selection, NWO will inform the candidates whether they have been invited for an interview.
      • The Veni interviews are planned for September 2020.
      • The Vidi interviews are planned for September 2020.
    • Deadlines for the submission of administrative documents for ongoing projects (e.g. interim and final reports) is extended by four months. Deadlines for the submission of start-up documentation (consortium agreements, data management plans) and the appointment of staff to projects are also extended by four months.

      For more information on NWO grants, please consult this page.

    • No, awarded grants will be paid out.

    • NWO in consultation with VSNU, NFU and ZonMW, and with the Promovendi Netwerk Nederland and PostdocNL, are in dialogue with various Dutch ministries to obtain tailor-made solutions to this situation. The discussion is being held to extend the contracts of (post-doctoral) researchers for more than four years or extend their appointment more than twice.

      Read more: https://www.nwo.nl/en/news-and-events/news/2020/04/research-project-delays-research-institutions-working-on-solutions.html

    • The researchers are asked to strive to complete all running projects. Means to complete the research can include but not limited to the extension of the project timeline within reasonable time limits, adjusting the research design or (part of the) problem definition, or (where possible) adjusting the level of ambition.  

      NWO cannot yet comment on the exact rules on how to extend the end date of a project, but a procedure to submit a request for deferment is being currently evaluated. No answer is known at the current stage what the consequences will be if the deferment will lead to higher costs.

      Each decision is likely to be reached case-by-case. NWO’s advice is to explore the tailor-made solutions in consultation with the researcher in question and, for example, deans, institute directors, graduate schools or department heads, depending on who is best positioned to deliver these solutions and who has the authority to make these decisions.

    • The panel evaluations of proposals are currently being organized remotely. For the moment, ERC does not anticipate any delays with upcoming evaluations, but delays have been reported in the provisions of the results.

      For more updates on ERC Grants, please consult this page.

    • The recent escalation of restrictions related to the COVID-19 outbreak may hamper applicants’ ability to prepare and finalise high-quality proposals. For this reason, for Horizon 2020 calls with original deadlines between now and 15 April, extensions will be applied. The precise new deadlines for each call and topic are published on the call and topic pages on the Funding and Tenders Portal.

      For the IMI2-2020-21-01 call, no extension of deadline/cutoff date will apply. The cutoff date for the EIC Accelerator part of call EIC-SMEInst-2018-2020 is extended by 48 hours, to Friday 20 March 2020 at 17:00:00 (CET).

      In all cases, potential applicants are advised to prepare themselves as necessary, especially by establishing effective communication links for remote collaborative work, also anticipating possible further restrictions in the coming weeks.

      Please consult regularly the Funding and Tenders Portal for other calls of proposals that might be extended in the next period.

    • Postponement of the starting date of the action is possible for grant agreements about to be signed (in Grant Agreement Preparation stage) and, via an amendment, for grant agreements already signed but with a starting date in the future (no work has started yet). A starting date fixed later in time will delay the pre-financing payment.

    • Considering the specific conditions under which projects need to be currently implemented, the European Commission issued a notice for all Horizon 2020 running projects regarding the possibility to invoke the clause “force majeure” according to art.51 of the Grant Agreement.

      Article 51 of the H2020 MGA sets out the conditions in which the force majeure clause can be used. ‘Force majeure’ relates to an extraordinary and unforeseeable event or situation that is beyond the beneficiaries control and that prevents them from fulfilling their obligations under the action.

      Alternatively, project coordinators can also opt for invoking the “suspension of the action implementation” (art.49 of the Grant Agreement). If you are struggling with implementation problems, please do not hesitate to inform immediately the project officer in the commission, which will examine on a case-by-case basis the implications this situation has on your project. 

    • Beneficiaries must immediately inform the Commission/Agency/Funding Body, which will examine on a case-by-case basis the possible application of the rules on force majeure. Moreover, beneficiaries must immediately take all the necessary steps to limit any damage due to force majeure (e.g. try to cancel the flight ticket, claim the reimbursement from the cancellation insurance (if applicable)).

      Costs will be eligible if they fulfil the general eligibility conditions set out in Article 6 H2020 MGA like any other costs incurred under the action. For example, if a meeting/event cannot take place due to force majeure, travel and accommodation costs may still be charged to the H2020 action if they fulfil the cost eligibility conditions, even if the beneficiary did not travel and did not take part in the meeting/event. If force majeure entails extra costs for the implementation of the action, these costs may be eligible if necessary for the implementation for the action (e.g. a cancelled conference is reorganised at a later stage). However, the maximum grant amount cannot be increased.

    • Beneficiaries may request an amendment for an extension of up to 6 months of the initial project. Such requests will be handled favourably and in a speedy manner. Any request beyond the 6 month period mentioned before will be granted based on a case-by-case assessment by the funding body. However, the maximum grant amount indicated in Article 5 H2020 MGA cannot be increased.

    • Full flexibility is given on scheduled due dates for deliverables, milestones and reports whose performance was impacted by the confinement measures.

    • The coordinator will still be able to submit the report at the due date set in the grant agreement, but flexibility will be allowed as regards the 60 days period for the submission of the report. However, any late report linked to payment will subsequently lead to later payment.

      More information on interim and final payments can be found here.

    • You can initiate the communication with your MSCA project officer through logging in to the EU Participant portal, and then go to My projects. On the right side, you will see the acronym of your project. Under heading ‘Actions’ choose option ‘Manage Project’ and you will be redirected to ‘Participant Portal Grant Management Services’. There you can find the name of your Project Officers – by clicking on their name you can start the communication with them. In your communication you need to mention the circumstances and ask for options available.

    • Project coordinators are advised to contact as soon as possible their project officer in order to discuss the situation and receive support.

      For more information about MSCA grants, please consult this page.

    • Given that under MSCA actions, the duration of the action extension will highly depend on how long the COVID-19 crisis will last, amendments to extend the project duration should be requested as follows:

      • For projects with an end date in the coming three months, this type of amendment should be requested by contacting the project officer as soon as possible.
      • For projects with an end date after three months, once beneficiaries are able to assess the impact on the action due to the confinement measures.
    • The project duration is directly linked to the employment contract of the researcher and the number of person-months implemented. Any extension of the duration (without suspension of the action implementation or change to part-time employment) would normally require an increase of the person-months and therefore of the unit costs due. Since the maximum grant amount cannot be increased, such requests for project extensions for MSCA-IF cannot be approved.

      Yet, EC provides a number of solutions which allow the researchers to continue to receive the salary.

      The researcher in consultation with the project officer and the beneficiary may consider suspend the project or change the employment from full to part-time. Such changes can only be accepted only if the researcher has explicitly agreed with these measures and with any resulting temporary suspension/reduction of the salary, and as long as the researcher’s contract is extended accordingly to allow him/her to finalise the work.

      Moreover, the unit-cost funding system of MSCA IF provides sufficient flexibility to cater for this exceptional situation. For example:

      • Periods in which a researcher is absent for 30 consecutive days or less (for reasons other than normal annual leave) may still be charged to the IF project, i.e. the costs remain eligible.
      • Unspent institutional unit costs can be used to maintain the salary of the researchers during suspension periods. Recruiting institutions may also cover these expenses from dedicated national or own resources.
      • The monthly living allowance paid to the MSCA IF researchers is a gross amount, including compulsory deductions under national law, such as employer/employee social security contributions. This means that MSCA IF researchers should also be able to benefit from national social security systems if they are left temporarily out of work. If necessary, MSCA National Contact Points will be able to provide detailed information. The respective Project Officer in the Research Executive Agency can also provide assistance.

      More info here

    • The deadlines for submission of applications to various actions have been extended. Please check the dedicated page on the extension of the deadlines.

    • There is no one size fits all answer. NWO in consultation with VSNU, NFU and ZonMW, and with the Promovendi Netwerk Nederland and PostdocNL has drafted a series of responses in regard to the ongoing projects’ delays. 

      Starting point is that the health of the researcher is more important than the research. However, in consultation with the deans and institute directors, particular research can be considered necessary and therefore given permission to continue.

      The general advice is to continue to work on the research if possible but adjust expectations. Means to conduct the research can include but not limited to the extension of the project timeline within reasonable time limits, adjusting the research design or (part of the) problem definition, or (where possible) adjusting the level of ambition. What is needed will depend on many factors, such as the field of research, the type of research and the stage of the research. PNN, PostdocNL, VSNU, NFU, NWO and ZonMw continue to discuss the frameworks for this approach.

    • If there is no further information about a specific round you are searching for, then that means there is none available at that point in time. You can contact Erasmus Research Services (ERS) through researchgrants@eur.nl or contact your school funding officer for further information

Overview of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from Funders

For any Corona-related questions and uncertainties related to the preparation of your current and future funding applications, submission processes, and/or deadlines, you can contact Erasmus Research Services (ERS) by sending an email to researchgrants@eur.nl. We would also be happy to provide the information from funding bodies and advise you on the point of contact on managing and implementing your running projects (delays, additional costs, contract status, etc) in these challenging times.

Please get in touch with ERS (researchgrants@eur.nl) or with your school funding officer if you'd like to discuss funding matters or set up a (virtual) meeting.

EU: Horizon 2020 Framework programmes

National: NWO

COVID-19 Funding opportunities

Various databases on COVID-19 Funding opportunities

  • SCIENCE EUROPE Database - on all COVID-19 related funding opportunities that includes funding for research aimed directly at combating the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the resulting COVID-19 disease, but also for research into the societal and economic effects of the pandemic. Updated regularly.
  • SCIENCE BUSINESS Database - updated regularly; works well in Chrome browser.
  • The European Commission corona platform - per country with national calls and other initiatives related to Corona research

 

COVID-19 Calls in the spotlight

  • PRACE support to mitigate impact of COVID-19 pandemic

    PRACE is welcoming project proposals requesting computing resources to contribute to the mitigation of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic-open deadline. 

  • Rolling - Mercatus Center: Emergent Ventures Grant

    Fast track funding for scientists at an academic institution currently working on a COVID-19 related project. Funding will be given to high-reward projects that advance prosperity, opportunity, liberty, and well-being.  Rolling deadlines, with fast grants of $10k to $500k and decisions made in under 48 hours.

  • Rolling – Global Innovation Fund

    Grants and investment finance to support the testing, development and scaling up of social innovations with strong potential to improve the lives and opportunities of people in the developing world. Applications are also invited for innovations that will address the COVID-19 pandemic in developing countries.