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Coffee and a chat with Gert Renkema, Head of Financial and Economic Affairs

Twice a year, Gert Renkema, Head of Financial and Economic Affairs informs us about the processes and financial situation at FGGA. This time Gert talked to us about the starter grants and ‘sectorplannen’, the positive prognosis, and the growing number of FTEs.

Gert Renkema

Starter grants and ‘sectorplannen’

‘In August, we handed in the budget for 2023-2026. And we recently received word that the Executive Board (CvB) has approved our budget. When we were creating the budget, it was not known yet that we would be receiving additional funds from the ministry for starter grants and sectorplannen. Added to the expected growth, this will provide an extra boost to our Faculty.

The starter grants have been earmarked for research, and are mainly intended to provide assistant professors, who have recently been appointed, with extra money or time to conduct research. Researchers have six years in which they can use their grant. For instance, they can spend it on research time for themselves and team members, new colleagues and acquisitions, or use of small-scale research facilities. At the moment we are busy setting our own set of rules. As soon as they have been approved, people who are eligible will be able to submit their plan with the Institute Board and Faculty Board.

Another means of funding we will be receiving comes from the sectorplannen, an investment aimed at education and research. For all universities combined, this will be €200 million per year, that will be put towards sectorplannen in four domains: social and behavioural sciences, beta, technique, and medical. FGGA is participating int the SSH domain (Social Sciences and Humanities). We are obviously also busy making plans for this. In preparation we have already started recruiting.’

More financing from the Rapenburg

 ‘The customary financial contribution the Faculty receives from the University is based on the number of study points and diplomas that have been obtained. For this, they always take a look at the situation two years ago. That means that as a growing faculty, your financing lags behind. This year, we are expecting a contribution of 20.7 million and next year we will be growing towards 24 million. A huge increase!
This additional financial room will give us the possibility to hire new employees. 

Finally, the CvB will also be making an additional contribution of 250,000 euros for the project ‘The Learning Mindset’, for which LUC has received the Nederlandse Hoger Onderwijspremie (an award for innovative education in higher education) earlier this year. It is a nice way to receive the appreciation from your own organisation for this project. 

For the completion of the new Spui building and the costs we will be making to prepare for new study programmes we have agreed upon a separate financial construction with the CvB. The expectation is that the new programmes will start in 2025/2026.’

More new colleagues and fixed contracts

‘The prognosis we have issued for 2022 is in line with the prognosis we had previously issued for 2022. FGGA is continuing to grow! The past year, we have grown with 7% in comparison to the year before and in 2023 we will continue to grow. More growth also means more new employees. The expectation is that FGGA will end up this year with 318 FTE. For the upcoming year we have budgeted 346 FTE, a considerable increase. The additional colleagues that will be recruited based on the starter and stimulation funds, and sectorgelden will be added on top of this. 

We have noticed that it is difficult to find people to fill the vacancies. The labour market has become a lot more restricted. Recruiting new colleagues is a challenge. That is something I am also experiencing in my own line of work. 

The good news is that we have been able to offer a lot of fixed contracts to new colleagues. An agreement that was made as part of the CAO. At FGGA, 17% of the colleagues in education are on a temporary contract, at the end of last year that was 32%. This makes me very happy!’

Text: Judith van Doorn

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