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Coronavirus Updates

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research / AISSR

Find the latest updates about the AISSR processes on Covid-related damages and delays on this page. We are very aware that our staff continues to be affected by Covid-related disruptions and anxieties. If you have any questions about the content, please reach out to us at aissr@uva.nl. Latest updates: 21 January 2021.

  • Update 21 January 2021| Update for PIs

    We are writing to update you on the way in which Covid-19 related damages to your externally funded projects will be handled in the months to come. Please note that this process concerns externally funded projects only (2e/3e geldstroom) and does not apply to 1st money stream projects and PhDs, nor to external PhD projects.

    PIs of externally funded projects have been invited to report Covid-related damages and delays to their Project controllers twice: in May and December 2020 (‘Inventarisatie impact Covid-19 op onderzoeksprojecten’). Many of you have faithfully and prudently reported damages and outlined the ways in which you are looking for alternatives in your project design, methods and budgets – for which many thanks.

    On the basis of these reports, the projectenbureau has now finalized a list of damages which we as AISSR have approved. Concretely, this means that budgets are being reserved for covering the damages, but not necessarily that all damages will be covered as reported. As projects develop and get nearer to their end dates, actual damages may prove to be (slightly) different than reported.

    Concretely, this means:

    • Additional financing will become available if and when needed and after a cursory check by us as AISSR. Please alert your programmemanager once reported damages need to lead to concrete decisions on contract extensions or other financial decisions. In general, this means contacting your programme manager about 5 months before a contract decisions needs to be taken. We will do our best to monitor proactively on project end dates, and approach PIs to confer on decisions. Together, we will assess whether the reported damages are (still) realistic, and what budgets can be used to cover them;
    • We strongly recommend that all PIs request Covid-related extensions with their funders if they have not yet done so, even if these are no-cost extensions (so that we may, if needed, extend contracts beyond current project end dates). At the moment, funders seems to be generally cooperative on extensions. In some cases, it is worth exploring whether some of your OL budgets can be moved to PL, to help cover damages;
    • If you eventually realise that you have under-reported Covid damages to date, please communicate this with your programme manager. This also applies to projects which still incur Covid-related damages in 2021, due to continued lockdowns;
    • Please inform your early career scholars (Phds / post-docs) of these processes and continue to help address their questions, uncertainties, and sometimes, anxieties;
    • At the same time, it is important to continue looking for alternatives, and to help your PIs, post-docs and PhDs rethink their projects, methods and design in creative ways. In some cases, it is just not viable to keep pushing fieldwork forward, as the shape of post-Corona travel is still very uncertain and will be so for a long time to come. In order to support early career scholars in designing creative ways forward, AISSR is in the process of planning a mini-seminar series to offer space for discussion and best practice examples. Some of our PhDs are also working on a Short-Intensive Course on these topics.

    Please note that no-one has a right to compensation, so far the Faculty and AISSR are taking the initiative to compensate delays (though small budgets from CvB and NWO are expected). We will continue to look for ways to mitigate the impact of the crisis on projects and on the well-being of researchers.

    And finally: academic work and practice for all career stages is still far from normal. Many of us are still struggling with disrupted work schedules and home schooling. Please know that AISSR will continue to take this into account, and that productivity levels are not expected to continue as normal.

    For questions about this message or these procedures, please contact Marieke de Goede, or members of the AISSR Covid committee (Ursula Daxecker, Rivke Jaffe, Don Weenink, Laurens Bakker).

    For questions about your project or project damages, please contact your programme manager.

    For questions about the AISSR Covid seminar series (or to volunteer as speaker), please contact Lotte Batelaan.

  • Update 21 January 2021| Update for PhDs

    We are writing with an update about the AISSR processes on Covid-related damages and delays to your project. We are very aware that you continue to be affected by Covid-related disruptions and anxieties. Many of you are facing further delays to fieldwork and other research processes. Some are struggling with home-schooling. It is also possible that your supervisors are less available while they struggle with their own workloads, disrupted schedules and having their kids at home due to closed schools and daycare.

    Although there are still uncertainties about the financial budgets to deal with these delays, we would like to update on the following:

    If you work within an externally funded project (NWO, ERC, EU, etc), delays and damages have been reported in the Covid-questionnaires via Principal Investigators. AISSR has reserved budgets to cover these damages. Financing will become available if and when needed at the end of your project or contract. Your supervisor and/or PI can get in touch with the AISSR programme manager 4-5 months before the end date of contracts or projects, so that extensions can be realized where needed. If you are unsure about how your delays have been reported in the Covid questionnaire, please ask your supervisor or PI/project leaders. If new delays are incurred in 2021, it remains possible to report these via the programme managers.

    If you do not work within a project but are a ‘First money stream’ or ‘external PhD’ (including PhDs on a bursary/ scholarship), please continue to report your delays and concerns to your supervisors and programme group leaders. We will re-examine the Covid damages reports made in April and also conduct a new inventory of project delays via programme group leaders. (Modest) budgets are available to cover damages and support projects in need.

    If you need support in other ways (for example an extension of the deadline of the 8-month paper) you can contact PhD coordinator Lotte Batelaan. If you are in need of necessities for your home office, you can request this at the departmental secretariats.

    In many cases, it is important to continue looking for alternatives, and to rethink, together with your supervisory team,  your research methods and design in creative ways. In some cases, it is just not viable to keep pushing fieldwork forward, as the shape of post-Corona travel is still very uncertain. We know that this redesigning is already happening in positive and creative ways across many projects. In order to support you in designing ways forward, AISSR is in the process of planning a mini-seminar series on research in times of Covid, to offer space for discussion and best practice examples.

    Finally, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us (Marieke de Goede and/or Lotte Batelaan) directly in urgent cases of need.

    For questions about this message or these procedures, please contact Marieke de Goede, or members of the AISSR Covid committee (Ursula Daxecker, Rivke Jaffe, Don Weenink, Laurens Bakker).

    For questions about your project or project damages, please contact your supervisor or project leaders.