Tessa Blanken Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences UvA

Postdoctoral Researcher at Psychological Methods

Melissa Hooijmans Amsterdam UMC

Postdoctoral Researcher Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Mark Boukes Associate Professor of Corporate Communication

Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences UvA

Aybüke Özgün Faculty of Humanities UvA

Assistant Professor in Login, Language and Computation

Evgenia Lysova School of Business and Economics VU

Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior

Evaluating the Starting Grants

An AYA perspective

In 2022, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science announced a significant initiative: 300 million euros per year for ‘starting grants and incentive grants’. Of that total, 156 million euros is structurally available for starting grants aimed at assistant professors securing a permanent contract. The objectives behind the Starting Grant are to reduce work load and to stimulate ‘unbound’ research. By making researchers less dependent on the competition at the Dutch Research Council, the Starting Grants would allow for more ‘calmness and space’ in the system. Eligible researchers can freely spend the Starting Grant of €300.000,- within a period of six years as a ‘personal work capital’ for personal research time, employing a PhD student or acquiring small-scale research facilities.

However, members of the Amsterdam Young Academy have heard mixed signals about the implementation of the Starting Grants. As the amount of grants is not always sufficient to fund all starting assistant professors, universities, faculties and department find themselves in a situation of scarcity, forcing them to make difficult choices.

With this project, the Amsterdam Young Academy wants to know how faculties of the UvA and VU have implemented the Starting Grant and how this has been experienced by eligible assistant professors. This will result in a report that reflects on whether the stated objectives behind the Starting Grant have been achieved and offers recommendations as to the future design and implementation of the Starting Grant. 

The research project consists of a survey with both closed and open-ended questions. If you are an academic at the UvA or the VU and have been eligible for the Starting Grant since its introduction in 2022 (regardless of whether you actually received it or not), you are encouraged to fill out the surveyThe questionnaire will take up to 15 minutes. You will also contribute to charity, as AYA will donate €10,- per completed questionnaire to Plan International, an NGO advancing children’s rights.