Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)
NWO division

Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)

The Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) and the NWO division Physical Sciences together help to shape physics research at universities and institutes in the Netherlands.

FOM advances fundamental physics research, with a main focus on acquiring new insights and theories. FOM covers the entire spectrum of fundamental research from curiosity-driven to research that is partially inspired by possible applications. The latter also provides an important link to industry. FOM carries out the research at two types of location: at its FOM institutes and in research groups at universities.

FOM's fields of research

  • Subatomic physics
  • Nanophysics/technology
  • Condensed matter and optical physics
  • Physics of life processes
  • Fusion physics
  • Phenomenological physics
  • Other physics

 Fundamental energy research is a spearhead in the current strategy.


With the strategic plan 2015-2019 entitled 'Topfysica midden in een veranderende wereld' (Dutch) FOM sets out a course for physics research in the Netherlands.

In the plan FOM/N describes four ambitions with lines of action:

  • investment in top physics as a strong base;
  • physics as a platform for multidisciplinary research;
  • contributions to innovation, knowledge utilisation and the impact of physics;
  • investments in the Dutch science system from the perspective of physics.

As the title clearly states, FOM finds itself in a greatly changing world. For example, with the publication of the strategic plans for NWO and FOM it was also announced that the NWO organisation will undergo drastic changes in the coming years. This will lead to a major restructuring of FOM, which will be split into a granting section that will become part of a broader natural sciences unit and a part that will form the basis for an organisatial and shared facilities unit for all NWO institutes. Due to changes within the NWO organisation a considerable part of the strategic plan will have to be realised in a different administrative context.

Three institutes and one ARC

FOM has three research institutes and one Advanced Research Center:

  • AMOLF, institute for physics of biomolecular systems and nanophotonics
  • ARCNL,  Advanced Research Center for nanolithography
  • DIFFER, institute for fundamental energy research
  • Nikhef, institute for subatomic physics



Stichting FOM
Postbus 3021
3502 GA Utrecht

Van Vollenhovenlaan 659
3527 JP Utrecht

Phone: +31 (0)30 600 12 11