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The Grant Support Hub


​The Grant Support Hub (GSH) offers a wide range of services to UMCG researchers considering to apply for national or international consortium grants. The permanent staff of the GSH work closely with other departments to offer tailored services based on your needs. 

Service overview

Intake meetings and funding/partnering advice

Whether you are looking for consortia funding opportunities, are interested in applying for a specific grant, looking for partners, or support in an on-going grant application process, we strongly encourage you to schedule an intake meeting with one of our staff members. During the intake meeting we will discuss your needs, and develop a support plan to explore relevant funding opportunities, or assist you with your application. Based on the intake meeting we will create a plan for a tailored support which suits your needs. Support for PhD students to find suitable funding does not fall under our services.

Workshops, presentations and training for groups and departments

The GSH organises workshops, presentations and training on funding opportunities for interested staff within the UMCG. Roadshows are tailored to your needs and interests.

How does it work?

  • Find a group of people interested in learning about funding opportunities.
  • Contact the GSH. 
  • The GSH will schedule an intake meeting (30 minutes) to understand your interests and suggest a tailored programme.
  • You arrange the logistics: inform your group and book a room.
  • The GSH will be ready to present at your set location and time.

Examples of workshops

  • Horizon2020 calls (overview and calls)
  • Department-wide funding scan
  • Grant writing workshops (also for PhDs)
  • Alternative funding opportunities
  • Networking events to connect researchers at the UMCG/RUG ​

Project Management Support

If you would like to apply for a consortium grant as primary coordinator, the GSH can arrange for project management support throughout the application process and cover those costs. Project management is generally provided through the Research BV, but external parties can also be involved, in cases of limited capacity.


  • The applicant must be the primary coordinator of a consortium grant.
  • Financial support may differ according to application stage (see financial support).
  • An intake meeting must first take place with the GSH before support can be offered. The GSH must be approached well before the deadline of the call (e.g. for H2020 applications at least 3 months before deadline). 
  • The GSH has a transparent and fixed budget for support (see financial support) per application. In case the primary applicants want to increase the hours of support, they are responsible for covering additional costs.

Contact us at Contact. Due to a high volume of requests, the GSH may take 3 working days to answer your questions by email. If you have an urgent request, please indicate it in the header of your e-mail or call us: (050) 361 54 82.

Financial Support

Financial support is provided by the GSH in the pre-award application phase. In case of full support during an application, a notice of intent (NOI) form  must be submitted by the researcher and discussed within the GSH for approval. In case of funding for travel (networking or consortium meetings), a financial support form must be completed by the researcher. To download our forms, please visit our page on intranet or contact us. ​


Nick Arends, LL.M – Project manager

I completed a Master in Laws (LL.M) in EU public law at the University of Groningen in 2014, and minor studies in politics and public governance at Cambridge University and Leiden University. After my master, I worked with government and private organizations in financial-administrative and policy advising roles on EU grant applications and the coordination and evaluation of national and international multidisciplinary projects. My previous employments include the European Commission in Brussels, where I was responsible for the substantive compliance and control of policy, grant applications and project reports, PNO Consultants, and Samenwerkingsverband Noord-Nederland (SNN). In December 2018, I joined the UMCG Research BV as a project manager, where I focus on the development of post-award project management capabilities in the organization.
Expertise: pre- and post-award project management, grant agreements and conditions, legal, compliance and control, H2020 grants
Departments: Research BV and Department of Cardiology
Contact: Contact

Miriam Boersema, PhD – Funding officer

I joined the team in 2018 to advise researchers on the best grant opportunities and help with their funding acquisition efforts. Part of my task is the identification of calls and increase the chance of success by arranging needed assistance and expertise. I am also part of the Research BV as a project manager.
Contact: Contact 

Laura Damiano, PhD – Funding officer

In 2018,  I became a member of the GSH team to advertise our services and the funding landscape to researchers, and to communicate our activities. As part of my tasks, I organize informative meetings on selected funding opportunities and meet with researchers to advise them on the best support. I am also part of the Research BV as editor and project manager.
Contact: Contact

Ellen van Drooge – Management assistant  

I started working at the UMCG in 1986. I worked in several departments and was also active as a board member for the secretarial organization within the UMCG. My current job is management assistant for the Healthy Ageing Team and the Centre for Development and Innovation. I am known as the ‘spider in the web’. I join the 2-weekly team meetings to write minutes. 
Contact: Contact

Karen van Eunen, PhD – Project manager

I received my PhD in systems biology in 2010 from the VU University in Amsterdam. In 2010, I started my post-doctoral research at the Department of Pediatrics of the UMCG, where I was involved in several projects, all connected to energy metabolism. In 2018, I had the opportunity to start as a project manager on an ITN project in the group of Prof. Barbara Bakker (Dept. of Pediatrics). Since this is not a full-time position, in January 2019 I joined the UMCG Research BV as a pre- and post-award project manager. I am a team player who likes to connect researchers from various disciplines.
Expertise: systems biology, metabolism, life science, project management
Departments: Research BV and Department of Pediatrics
Contact: Contact

Angesom Habte Girmay, MSc – Junior project manager

After completing my undergraduate studies in Economics in Eritrea, in 2010 I moved to Tel Aviv (Israel), where I worked as a customer service specialist for a year. In 2011, I started my own small business. After few years of exciting and challenging experience, I moved to Groningen to follow two Master’s Programmes (MSc in Business Administration and MSc in International Business and Management). In January 2019, I joined the UMCG Research BV as a project management intern, where I look forward to gaining experience in pre-award project management and contributing to the success of ongoing projects.
Expertise: economic policy, business strategy, joint venture, international business, corporate social responsibility, foreign direct investment
Departments: UMCG Research BV
Contact: Contact

Gerda Klooster, MSc - Charitable fundraising coordinator

I started working at the UMCG in 2003 where I managed the finance of projects and of large innovative studies with the pharmacy, and helped to set up projects. Since my strategy was successful, I got the opportunity to implement the same system in other departments also for laboratory studies. I was helping researchers to perform their innovative work, but realized that many projects could not be easily financed. Therefore, I started as a fundraiser for the UMCG Kanker Researchfonds. With my experience in business as an account manager, the fundraising successfully increased. I combined my tasks with a part-time job as a manager of the Department of Hematology for two years, an inspiring environment where many changes were implemented in that period. In 2016, I also became a fundraiser for the UMCG with the aim to increase the awareness and fund for charity, a nice new challenge, which I was very happy to accept.
Expertise: fundraising, management, change and implementation
Departments: Stichting Steunfonds UMCG
Contact: Contact

Martijn Nawijn, PhD – Team leader

I am an associate professor  at the Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, where my research focuses on single-cell biology, functional genetics of chronic lung diseases and translational research into the mechanisms of allergen immunotherapy. In 2018, I became team leader of the Grant Support Hub; as part of my responsibilities, I report to the Dean and pro-Dean of Research.
Contact: Contact​​

Jantien Oppentocht, PhD – Policy advisor and grants officer

I am the Legal Entity appointed Representative (LEAR) for H2020 and the Organisational Representative for USA/NIH grants for UMCG. In addition, I provide information and help researchers with their funding applications and awards, organise further support and informative meetings for researchers.
Contact: Contact​​​

Anja Smykowski, PhD – Funding coordinator

I joined the UMCG GSH in 2017 to advise researchers on funding and strategic consortium set-up. In the frame of EU projects, I am particularly interested to support efforts in dissemination and communication of results, both within a research area and to the wider public. 
Contact: Contact 

Sieta de Vries, PhD – Project manager

I conducted my PhD research focusing on patient perspectives in the benefit-risk evaluation of drugs at the department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology (CPP) of the UMCG. Since receiving my PhD in 2015, I have been working at the department of CPP as a post-doctoral researcher focusing on personalized drug treatment, patient perspectives, regulatory sciences and psychological aspects of drug treatment. In March 2018, I had the opportunity to additionally work as a project manager on the H2020-funded PROMINENT project (involving UMCG and RUG). By part-time joining the UMCG Research BV team from October 2018, I can continue my project management tasks for PROMINENT and be also involved in other projects. I really enjoy working in a team that brings a project to success.
Expertise: post-award project management, social psychology, medicine, pharmacy
Departments: Research BV and Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Contact: Contact

Advisory board 

Suzette Boontje – Clinical research office project manager​
Rositsa Jordanova – EIT Health Liaison
Nicolien Wieringa – Research office policy advisor