By Emmy Tsang, with contributions from Alastair Dunning, Meta Keijzer-de Ruijter and Yan Wang
(Disclaimer: This piece represents the author’s and contributors’ interpretation of the NWO Open Science Fund Call for Proposals and does not reflect NWO’s official position, other than in the parts where the Call for Proposal document was directly quoted/referenced.)
The Dutch national research funder NWO has opened a new funding call to support researchers to “develop, test and implement innovative ways of making research open, accessible, transparent and reusable”.
- Each project can apply for a maximum of 50,000EUR, for maximum 1 year
- The call is open until April 1, 2021.
In this post, we outline what the Open Science Fund is and how the TU Delft Open Science Programme (OSP) plans to help incubate suitable ideas at TU Delft, support applicants, and if successful, grant implementation and working openly on the projects.
💡 If you are a TU Delft researcher and have an idea (no matter how small!) that can help drive open science in your community and are thinking of applying to the Open Science Fund, please contact Emmy Tsang (Community Engagement Manager (open science), f [dot] tsang [at] tudelft [dot] nl) – we’d love to brainstorm and refine the idea with you, and explore working on the project together!
What is the NWO Open Science Fund – what kind of projects does it support?
You can read all about it in the Call for Proposals.
In particular, the Open Science Fund would like to encourage projects that advances one (or more) of the following goals. We’ve added some examples (in sub-bullets) of what we think project ideas can potentially be:
- Rewards & incentives: incentivise other researchers to practise Open Science, for example by improving how good practice is recognised, embedded and rewarded, or by developing new indicators to assess impact;
- ✅ An alternative index for measuring research outputs’ impact
- ✅ A new community platform that promotes knowledge exchange and sharing
- ✅ A website showcasing open-source research software developed at institutions, and associated metrics
- Open Scholarly communication: transform the way researchers publish, for example by developing open source tools that increase the use of pre-prints, by enhancing the publication of data and software code, or by testing new ways to support open peer review or to report null or negative findings;
- ✅ Researchers-led/driven training for the management and sharing of a specific type of data, e.g. IIIF gallery for map data.
- ✅ Jupyter-driven publication templates in research fields that don’t currently implement these
- FAIR outputs and standards: improve how research outputs are made findable, accessible, interoperable, re-usable (FAIR) and reproducible, for example by pioneering approaches to enrich and standardise metadata, particularly in disciplines where standards are not available, or to assess the reproducibility and reusability of findings;
- ✅ Template for Git-based experimental documentation
- ✅ Cite-a-thons: a 3-hour session where everyone in a department works on improving the citability of their research software/datasets
- ✅ Discipline-specific metadata standard for models, or interview transcripts
- ✅ Community-driven peer review protocols and evaluation criteria.
- Open tools and platforms: develop, test or adapt open platforms or tools, for example to combine or repurpose datasets and other research outputs from different locations and disciplines, to advance the quality, reusability and sustainability of software code, to crowdsource ideas, or to mine vast quantities of research data and content
- Culture change towards open science: stimulate wider adoption of Open Science practices among researchers, for example by promoting wide uptake or implementation of existing tools or ways of working, or by facilitating exchange of practice through training activities or by developing communities around existing Open Science tools and platforms.
- ✅ A template and pilot sessions for virtual Open data days/lunches
- ✅ Toolkit for building an OER community in your dept
- ✅ Community-driven development of a curriculum on open data and GDPR/data privacy and ethics
- ✅ Online community open space for updating/exchanging disciplinary practices
Looking at the assessment criteria, project ideas should aim to:
- Be innovative and novel – show a clear understanding of the problem space and landscaping efforts to identify existing solutions to be sure not to reinvent/duplicate existing work
- Have well-defined, measurable impact – demonstrate thorough consideration of how the success of the project would be measured, and how that data/feedback can be collected
- Be feasible, include a project roadmap with time points and well-scoped deliverables towards the project’s goals, and a well-reasoned budget
- Be led by a suitable team, team members should have the required expertise to complete the various project elements; the main applicant should have a solid track record in practising and being involved open science
Costs that cannot be applied for:
- ❌ Activities that are part of mandatory Open Access and research data management requirements for any other project any of the applicants may hold
- ❌ Any costs that are already covered by applicants’ other grants
- ❌ Basic facilities (e.g. Laptop, desks)
- ❌ Maintenance and insurance costs
What do you mean by “support”? Surely I can just submit my own application?
You can definitely submit your application on your own, but the TU Delft Open Science Programme team has diverse expertise and knowledge on many aspects of open science, and we would like to share that with our applicants. Through working together with TU Delft applicants, we also hope to learn how our Open Science Programme can better align our efforts to our research community’s needs.
During the application phase, we can:
- Work with you landscaping (do similar solutions/ideas exist already?) and roadmapping (sections 3.2 and 3.3 of the application)
- Help identify potential collaborators/partners
- Offer project domain specific support, e.g. on rewards and incentives, scholarly communication, FAIR outputs and standards and community building
- Advise on research data management planning (section 5 of the application)
- Help research and bring to attention public datasets that you can reuse for your project
- Advise on the use and collection of any sensitive and/or personal data
- Advise on software sustainability plans (section 6 of the application)
If your application is successful, we are happy to help with:
- Advising on data and software management
- Software development – you can apply for dedicated resource from the Digital Competence Centre through their regular calls for applications
- Publishing and making more parts of your project work open (e.g. through the sharing of data and code output, open publications and broader communications)
If the grant application is unsuccessful, we can see if we can match alternative sources of funding for the projects.