Frequently asked questions

To ensure a level playing field, on this page we collect relevant questions related to the NICHE programme and our official answers.

If you have a question about NICHE that is not answered below, please fill in the contact form.

Questions

  1. Can a NICHE project partner acting as a 'requesting organisation' become a partner in a bid for another NICHE project?
  2. Does Nuffic consider the local (officially registered) country office of an organisation operating globally (e.g. with headquarters in the Netherlands) to be a Southern partner, in case they participate as subcontractor in a tender?
  3. Does the lead applicant have to be Dutch or can a consortium also be led by an applicant from another EU country with at least one Dutch partner?
  4. I am interested in participating in a call for tender for a NICHE project. Could you refer me to potential partners to form a consortium?
  5. How can I check if expenditures are not in breach of legal regulations that apply in the country where the project is being conducted?
  6. How can I express my organisation's interest in participating in small projects?
  7. I am interested in a forthcoming NICHE subsidy tender. Can you send me the details of the requesting organisation so that I can contact them?
  8. Is it possible to include a government agency of a Netherlands Ministry in a consortium for a subsidy tender bid? Is it an eligible applicant?
  9. The logframe format published on your website includes a category 'costs'. What information should be filled in here and in what detail?
  10. Where can I find more information about the COCA?
  11. Is it possible to submit missing documents after the bidding deadline?
  12. How does Nuffic decide which bidder wins the tender?
  13. Is it possible for two different faculties (and/or departments of the same faculty) of the same Dutch University to take part (as a consortium partner) in different NICHE bids?
  14. Currently, the situation in various NICHE countries is not stable. What is the policy of Nuffic with regard to launching a tender and implementing projects in unsafe areas? What are the obligations of the provider in reaching project outcomes when security threats are persistent?

Answers

1. Can a NICHE project partner acting as a 'requesting organisation' become a partner in a bid for another NICHE project?

Yes, it is possible for a requesting organisation implementing its own NICHE project to act as subcontractor in a Dutch consortium in a different NICHE project.

2. Does Nuffic consider the local (officially registered) country office of an organisation operating globally (e.g. with headquarters in the Netherlands) to be a Southern partner, in case they participate as subcontractor in a tender?

No. A local (officially registered or not) country office of an organisation operating globally (e.g. with headquarters in the Netherlands) is considered to be a Northern partner. However, local experts that pertain to these organisations are considered to be 'regional experts' and will be evaluated as such by the Tender Evaluation Committee.

3. Does the lead applicant have to be Dutch or can a consortium also be led by an applicant from another EU country with at least one Dutch partner?

Bids for NICHE subsidy tenders can only be submitted by consortia whose lead partner is an organistion or institution, established in the Netherlands. Consortium partners may be from any part of the world.

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4. I am interested in participating in a call for tender for a NICHE project. Could you refer me to potential partners to form a consortium?

In order to guarantee a level playing field for bidders, Nuffic is not allowed to interfere in the conformation of consortia. Through the NICHE website you can get an impression of the organisations that might be active in a certain country and/or area. You can also contact the Platform for International Education which promotes activities of the Dutch Institutes for post-secondary education in the field of institutional strengthening of education and research capacity in developing countries (www.pieonline.nl).

5. How can I check if expenditures are not in breach of legal regulations that apply in the country where the project is being conducted?

Your expenditures need to comply with local law and regulations, for example with regard to subsidy tenders. Considering that there will be a variety of expenses, it is not possible to give an exact answer. Your accountant will have to determine compliance of local expenditures on a case to case basis by checking if a specific expenditure falls under local regulations. If so, he will have to request these regulations and check compliance.

6. How can I express my organisation's interest in participating in small projects?

Nuffic does not pretend to be fully informed about all the expertise Dutch higher education institutions have to offer. We therefore encourage institutions to send us information about their specialisms and expertise. You can do this by sending us, for example, brochures and other materials and by making sure your website is always up-to-date. When we look for potential implementers for small projects we mainly rely on the internet and on our knowledge of and experiences with institutions.

In addition, you can register for our email alert list. We may use this list to check if there is an interest for a particular project or to collect information that enables us to find the right implementer for a particular project.

7. I am interested in a forthcoming NICHE subsidy tender. Can you send me the details of the requesting organisation so that I can contact them?

Subsidy tenders that are announced in the project pipeline deliberately only contain project titles and not the names of requesting organisations. This information becomes available when a subsidy tender is officially published on our website. This is because we want to guarantee a level playing field for all Dutch partners. You are free to contact a requesting organisation, once a tender has been published on our website.

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8. Is it possible to include a government agency of a Netherlands Ministry in a consortium for a subsidy tender bid? Is it an eligible applicant?

As of 1 January 2014, Government agencies and state authorities are allowed to participate as main applicant or consortium partner in a bid for subsidy tenders.

9. The logframe format published on your website includes a category 'costs'. What information should be filled in here and in what detail?

The logframe should not contain detailed cost information. This information must be included in the budget format. The specific inputs per activity must be included in the budget. The logframe should only contain information about inputs that are required to achieve the planned outputs, subdivided per category (A to F). This mainly concerns the use of Dutch, local and/or regional experts of the project team. The aim is to give a global indication of the amount of time expert X and/or Y will spend on a specific part of the project. For the detailed cost overview you can refer to the budget.

10. Where can I find more information about the COCA?

You can download more information about the COCA from the Document Download Area. If you have additional questions about the COCA please use the contact form.

11. Is it possible to submit missing documents after the bidding deadline?

All required documents have to be submitted before the bidding deadline. In case you have already submitted your bid, but would like to add new, additional or missing documents to your bid, this will only be possible if the deadline has not been passed yet. Please be sure to clearly indicate which bid these documents belong to and always verify receipt at Nuffic.

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12. How does Nuffic decide which bidder wins the tender?

The new tender procedure uses a two-envelope system in which the quality and the price of a proposal are assessed separately. The quality of a proposal is awarded up to 150 points, and refers to the capacity of the organisation or consortium, the (technical) quality of the proposed project and the quality of the proposed team members.

Once the qualitative assessment is concluded, the second envelope with the bid price is opened. The price is used to calculate proposal's quality-price score by dividing the total price figure by the total points for quality. If more bids are received, the bid with the lowest price per point wins the NICHE tender. The process is explained in the NICHE Handbook.

Download the NICHE Handbook(825 kB)

 13. Is it possible for two different faculties (and/or departments of the same faculty) of the same Dutch University to take part (as a consortium partner) in different NICHE bids

No. The ‘one bidder, one bid’ principle is determined at the level of the legal representative of the organisation. The principle of ‘one bidder, one bid’ means that:

  • the applicant has submitted NO MORE than one bid;
  • a consortium partner or sub-contractor is NOT included in more than one bid; 
  • a person is included as a team member in NO MORE than one bid.

If two different faculties (and/or departments of the same faculty) of the same university take part in different NICHE bids in the same call for subsidy tender, both bids will be excluded. This is also stated in chapter 3.1.3. of the tender document.

14. Currently, the situation in various NICHE countries is not stable. What is the policy of Nuffic with regard to launching a tender and implementing projects in unsafe areas? What are the obligations of the provider in reaching project outcomes when security threats are persistent?

Bidders are advised to take into account the security situation and adjust their proposed strategy accordingly. Please note that the implementing parties are always responsible to deal with security issues within NICHE projects. EP-Nuffic is not liable for any claims caused by security issues. Please consult the website of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs  for the latest information on security issues. In case the security situation deteriorates during project implementation, Nuffic may decide to put the project on hold and/or withdraw the grant.

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last modified May 17, 2017 12:25 PM