Apply Now|Kick-Starter Grant

Get support for impact-driven projects

Attention early career academics! Join the Resilient Delta Initiative on a transformative journey with the Kick-Starter Grant, your gateway to unleashing your potential! Get funding from €5,000 to €35,000 euros for impact-driven projects. Whether you’re building a consortium, creating a prototype, or exploring uncharted territories, this grant has you covered.

But it’s more than just funding. Join a vibrant community of researchers and educators from the TU Delft, Erasmus Medical Centre, and Erasmus University. Together, we’ll pioneer new pathways, challenge the status quo, and create a ripple effect of change.

Break free from the constraints of the current system. Pursue projects not yet appreciated sufficiently within academia. Contribute to an urban/delta-based lab, write a whitepaper on emerging societal challenges, or kick-start a knowledge network around a pressing issue. The possibilities are endless!

By applying, you become part of a movement: young, dynamic researchers and educators passionate about addressing societal challenges through teamwork that transcends traditional boundaries. Shape the future of academia and make a lasting impact on society.

Impact-driven Projects

The purpose of this grant is to encourage early career academics to experiment with new types of impact-driven projects that are not (yet) appreciated sufficiently within the current system. Second, this grant kick-starts a community of young Convergence-minded researchers and educators. Depending on the applicant we will explore opportunities to mix and connect applicants and seeding-grants.

The grant can for example be used for: building a consortium or coalition (to prepare a large research call), creating a prototype, developing a proof of concept, putting together a proposal for an urban/delta-based lab, writing a whitepaper with a research agenda on an emerging societal challenge, creating new transdisciplinary methodologies, kick-starting of a knowledge network around a societal challenge, disseminating results further from a previous project, publishing on transdisciplinary working, realizing novel educational initiatives, etc.

Early career academics (PhD students or 5 years after finishing their PhD) with an appointment at TU Delft, Erasmus University or Erasmus MC are eligible to apply.

Proposal Requirements

[max. 1600 words, excluding captions/images]

  • Include a brief motivation on why you are applying for this grant and what you aim to accomplish. Be reflective about how you see this intervention promoting resilience, broadly defined, in relevant domains.
  • The proposal needs to have a clear transdisciplinary nature: with a societal resilience challenge as main starting point, it should focus on integrating non-academic expertise as other disciplinary perspectives, and must have a clear narrative and plausible trajectory for realizing societal impact.
  • The proposal must generate societal value for the Greater Rotterdam region, and should be thematically pointed towards questions related to social resilience for tackling urban inequalities, resilient societal transitions and/or a climate resilient region or combinations thereof.
  • The proposal needs to include researchers from at least 2 of 3 Convergence partners during the project (TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Erasmus Medical Center). Other (academic) partners are very welcome as co-applicants too. Researchers affiliated with internal research institutes such as DRIFT, Erasmus UPT and AMS Institute are allowed to participate as co-applicant at cost rate tariffs. The same holds for the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. You are encouraged to collaborate with external partners and match with existing impact initiatives and seeding grants within the universities, such as the startersbeurzen (starting grants).
  • A maximum of 35% of the funding can be allocated to external parties (with a fixed fundable maximum hourly tariff of €100), such as consultancies for event planning and communications delivery. Exceptions can be made for purchasing research materials, prototyping and lab facilities.
  • The funding cannot be used to compensate hours of existing academic staff with a permanent contract, but it can be used to hire new temporary staff or expand existing contracts (e.g., extending postdoc positions, hiring junior research assistants).In addition, all project expenditures need to be made before June 2024 and at least 85% of the project budget needs to be spent in 2023.
  • Your faculty project management office and department head must check and agree upon the budget allocation proposed, and agree to provide back-office and project management support.
  • The proposals should be a maximum of 1600 words, excluding visuals, graphs, tables, lay-out etc. You are allowed to use bullets.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to co-create a clear project monitoring structure and impact outlook with Resilient Delta staff, in the form of a mid-term meeting and living document of deliverable(s). Applicants may also be asked to present their RDi-supported work at interim or final project stages, subject to mutually aligned opportunities.

NB: Each researcher can only apply as main applicant for one Kick-starter grant and one as co-applicant.

Resilient Delta offers

  • Mentorship by Resilient Delta colleagues, focused on methodology and societal impact;
  • Project supervision by a relevant academic lead of RDi;
  • Support in spreading and linking your proposal to other (funding) initiatives and/or calls;
  • Free use of co-working, experiment and meeting space at Resilient Delta’s office (“the Yellow Shack”) and outdoor event space, at our location at Galileistraat 33, Rotterdam (so both inside and outside the building);
  • Support to setup links/collaborations with local stakeholders and researchers from other disciplines within the Convergence partners, City of Rotterdam, and other public and private partners (subject to capacity);
  • A podium for your sharing your research and impact ideas and access to new networks;
  • Expert support on transdisciplinary methodology, science communication and business development;
  • Access to the Resilient Delta network and community; involvement in / help (*) with conferences, workshops and other events;
  • Call Opening date: 15/6/2023 – Closing (final submission) date 1/11/2023 (Continuous application).

(*) with certain limitations / upon tuning with RDi staff


We encourage you to reach out to for your queries and testing your initial thoughts before submitting your full proposal. This call works with four submission deadlines: July 10th ; August 23rd  ; September 25th ; and October 23rd . Late submissions will be evaluated during the next evaluation round.

Proposals are evaluated by the RDi core team. The project’s financial expenditures need to finish before June 2024 and at least 80% of the project budget needs to be spent in 2023. You will receive your evaluation within 7 working days after the submission deadline.

Dissemination and communication of the project happens in close collaboration with RDi. In addition, RDi is included in stakeholder selection and collaboration, if applicable. Therefore, granted projects are encouraged to participate in research and dissemination activities organized within the RDi research theme communities of Port, City, Delta System and Methodology. Finally, granted projects will be supervised by the relevant academic lead of RDi.