General grant conditions

At the heart of the General Terms and Conditions Governing Grants are the obligations that are imposed on an applicant by the acceptance of a grant.

They also contain basic principles and preconditions that are relevant to the entire grant allocation process. For instance, there are conditions that concern the open access policy, definitions, applying for a grant, the relevant codes of conduct, the duty to publish, determining the grant, and accountability. The General Terms and Conditions Governing Grants are therefore important throughout the entire period that you are in contact with ZonMw.

The terms and conditions that apply to your project are those specified in the decision to accept your grant application.

Submitting a declaration of agreement

No more than a week after having submitted a detailed grant application, the applicant must submit to ZonMw a ‘Declaration submitting full grant application’, signed both by the main applicant and the party responsible for administrative issues. With this sustainable solution ZonMw meets the requirements of Article 8, section 6 of the General Terms and Conditions Governing Grants.

METC/CCD approval

Certain projects require the approval of a recognised medical ethics committee (METC) or a project licence issued by the Centrale Commissie Dierproeven (CCD). The grant application form therefore includes questions on this subject. Applicants are advised to find out whether their project will require this approval, as our grant conditions specify that a project requiring such approval cannot start work with the inclusion of test subjects or animals without it. You should budget €2000 for applying for a METC certificate or a CCD licence.

The Centrale Commissie Mensgebonden Onderzoek (CCMO) has more information on METCs, and the CCD website has more information on animal experiments. 


This section clarifies a number of financial issues.

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ZonMw grants are paid inclusive of VAT. Whether you are liable to pay VAT on this income depends on whether you perform a service to ZonMw in return. If you do not, then you are not liable for VAT. You are liable to pay VAT, however, if the grant represents a fee paid by ZonMw in return for carrying out an assignment, or if ZonMw obtains a direct benefit from the activities for which the grant was awarded.

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Your grant application should always be accompanied by a detailed budget. Before you complete the budget form, please read ZonMw’s General Terms and Conditions Governing Grants.


Choose the right budget form for your type of organisation. It will comprise the following budget components: staffing, materials, implementation costs, other costs, and third-party contributions. It will require the signature of both the main applicant and the person responsible for finances within your organisation.

Audit protocol
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ZonMw’s audit protocol has been aligned with the Koninklijke NIVRA (merged into the Royal Netherlands Institute of Chartered Accountants, the NBA) and its feasibility has been tested by the Controleprotocollen (COPRO) working group. It came into force on 1 January 2011, and applies to all ZonMw projects to which the General Terms and Conditions Governing Grants of 1 January 2009 also apply.


As of 2011, the modeltekst Accountantsverklaring (bijlage B) has lapsed and been replaced by the standaard controleverklaring (standard audit declaration, attached). This declaration was drawn up by the NIVRA and has been employed from 2011 onwards to supervise all projects on which the auditor is obliged to report. Organisations receiving a ZonMw grant that were asked in 2011 to provide a declaration for those of their projects that were completed in 2011 are kindly requested to employ the model audit declaration that is currently available on the website.

‘Bench fee’ allowance
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This is an additional allowance allocated alongside the allowances for a project’s staffing and material costs. Projects given grant approval on or after 1 April 2001 (the date on the letter communicating the grant decision or allocation) are allocated a standard bench fee of €4538. Grants allocated after 1 July 2004 are allocated a bench fee of €5000.


The contract with the VSNU specifies the following bench fee agreement: PhD students (assuming a four-year post) and senior researchers (assuming a two-year post) are awarded a personal bench fee of €5000. If the post is shorter than four years or two years (respectively) then this bench fee is awarded proportionately.


Supplementary agreement

Bench fees awarded to PhD students appointed for a period shorter than four years, as a result of the new arrangements surrounding PhD appointments and terms, are subject to a lower limit of two years. PhD students appointed for a term of more than two years are awarded the full bench fee.


This agreement also applies to three-year PhD students, if they have already completed a year’s PhD study during their Master’s phase.


The bench fee is intended to offset the costs of the doctoral degree and conference attendances at home and abroad. The bench fee is made available to the project leader, but it is intended for the person carrying out the project, who therefore has a right to it. The use to which the bench fee is put needs to be negotiated between the project leader and the person carrying out the project. For PhD students, compensation for the printing costs of the doctoral thesis is included in the bench fee; this means that PhD students carrying out this type of project are no longer eligible for separate allowances for thesis printing costs. However, the project leader and project implementer may agree to use the bench fee in any way they see fit.

Under what circumstances is an accountant’s report required?
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Smaller organisations are no longer required to submit an accountant’s report to ZonMw for grants received after 1 January 2009; it is only universities and UMCs that are required to submit an annual accountant’s report. In spot checks, however, smaller organisations may be requested to produce an accountant’s report of their completed projects for a given year. Projects awarded grant support before 1 January 2009 are, however, required to submit an accountant’s report if the grant allowance exceeded €125,000.


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