The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) enforces a Code for dealing with personal interests in order to guarantee that the decision-making process is objective.
This code of conduct stipulates how inappropriate involvement in the assessment procedure and decision-making should be determined and what to do if there is a risk of it happening.
Parties applying for grants must be able to count on decisions being made impartially and without any personal interests being at stake. For grant applications, committee members and referees contribute to the process of assessment and decision-making. They must be able to trust ZonMw to organise the assessment process in such a way that its integrity cannot be questioned. ZonMw has therefore drawn up this code of conduct in order to achieve this.
A committee is made up of experts from the fields of research, development and implementation who have an understanding of the relevant area based on their academic, scientific or social position. Committee members are appointed in their personal capacity and do not therefore participate in the committee on behalf of an organisation.
The committee advises on the relevance and quality of grant applications. The relevance of applications is related to the objectives of the programme. The quality of a grant application is assessed by independent external referees.