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Scientists cautious over NWO budget transfer proposal

The royal Dutch science academy KNAW and the Young Academy have voiced concerns over a proposed €100-million budget transfer from the national research council NWO to universities.

Only €65m of the total sum would be taken from the competitive NWO grants budget, according to a proposal by the Van Rijn Commission, whose long-awaited report on Dutch research funding was published last week. The other €35m would come from the so-called SEO regulation fund, with which the NWO compensates universities for the costs incurred from participating in Horizon 2020, the EU research funding programme.

The Van Rijn Commission wants to give this money directly to the universities as part of their core funding. How much each university will receive would be based on the long-term average of EU funding they have acquired, the commission suggests, making their finances more predictable.

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