Procedure ACT

Do you have an innovative idea, a question or an unsolved problem that you cannot get to? Working with students of Wageningen University & Research (WUR) could be a solution. Society Based Education connects questions from society to education at WUR. They also do this for the course Academic Consultancy Training (ACT). ACT is a course in which you can work together with students on your consultancy question!

The aim of ACT is to offer teams of students the opportunity to execute an academic consultancy project in collaboration with an external commissioner. The student teams, composed of students with various disciplinary and often cultural backgrounds, work in a trans-disciplinary manner. This means that based on data collection and analysis, the teams merge multiple academic and practical knowledge in order to respond to the consultancy question of the commissioner. Their work ends with an academic consultancy recommendation on future actions for their commissioner.


Consultancy questions can be submitted throughout the entire academic year. Each year, there are 5 start moments for the ACT course. These are in September, November, January, March and May.

To determine whether (and for which academic period) your consultancy question can be offered to the students, the following is examined:

  1. Whether your consultancy question meets the requirements that the course ACT sets for a question;

  2. Whether the subject of your consultancy question matches the expertise of the students who have registered for the course for the next period. This varies per period.

This last point in particular determines the starting point of when a consultancy question can be offered. Therefore, please note that some time may elapse between submitting and starting the project.

At the bottom of this page you will find information about what is expected of you as a commissioner.

Does my consultancy question fit the requirements of ACT?

Do you have doubts whether your consultancy question fits the requirements of the ACT course? Please contact Society Based Education using the contact form. Together we will discuss the possibilities for your question.

Criteria for the consultancy question of the company/organisation

  • It is an actual question
  • The question is complex: it requires an academic thinking and working level
  • The question falls within the Food and Living Environment domain
  • The question is practical: the students will be challenged to find practical solutions based on scientific knowledge and societal insights
  • The question is transdisciplinary: it strives towards integration of scientific knowledge from different academic disciplines and practical insights from society.

The student teams work within a learning environment, which means that you are expected to be open to guiding students to achieve their learning goals.

Submit a question

Do you have a consultancy question that meets the criteria, and are you considering working with students? Please fill in the ‘Form for submission ACT’ and send it to us via the contact page. We will contact you as soon as possible to go through the following steps:

  1. We will discuss with you your consultancy question
  2. We check whether your consultancy question is suitable for the course ACT
  3. We discuss with you in which period your consultancy question can be offered to students, and the preconditions of the course.

Form for submission ACT

Contact page

What we expect from a commissioner:


  • During the first three weeks of the project, the commissioner is required to be available two or three times for a short interview. This will give the students the opportunity to write a project- and budget proposal;
  • The commissioner evaluates the project- and budget proposal as if the students were a professional consulting firm;
  • The commissioner is then asked to have contact with the students a few times. This means that the commissioner is available for one or two meetings during the project, and is also available for contact by e-mail;
  • In addition, he or she must be available for one meeting at the end, which may or may not be followed by the final presentation.

The dates for these meetings are generally set before the start of the project and are communicated when a project has been submitted.


  • The commissioner is asked to reimburse the expenses incurred by students - such as travel expenses, printing costs, etc. The amount of these expenses depends on the request of the commissioner. For example, the costs increase if the students have to travel more often. The costs usually vary between 300 and 800 euros;
  • The course has an administrative fee of 50 euros. The students make a budget overview in advance and ask the commissioner to approve this;
  • After the agreement has been reached, both parties, plus a representative from the university, sign the final budget proposal and the project plan, giving it the status of a contract;
  • The final bill will never exceed the approved and signed budget and only the actual costs will be charged.


  • The commissioner must be aware that although the students are studying at Master's level, the teams are still operating in a learning environment;
  • This means that the commissioner is expected to be open about creating a setting in which the students feel supported in achieving learning outcomes such as improved profesional working skills. The commissioner can achieve this by providing relevant information and explaining their query and needs. Because it is a learning environment, this also means that the output of the students cannot be used by the commissioner in publications by Wagenigen University (disclaimer).