The life sciences are part of the NWO Domain Science (ENW). The Life Sciences Roundtable is an important advisory body for the NWO Domain Science Board. The life science field encompasses a variety of research areas, which are represented in five research communities.
The life sciences cover, for example, physiology, neurobiology, cell and developmental biology, ecology and evolutionary biology, microbiology, plant biology, behavioural biology and nano or molecular biology. Research in these fields contributes to solving major societal challenges such as the sustainable use of natural resources and issues with respect to climate change, through research on ecosystems and biodiversity. Patient-oriented life sciences research belongs to the working field of ZonMw.
Stimulating and facilitating the Dutch life sciences requires a strong connection with researchers, public partners and private partners in the field. An annual national life sciences congress will strengthen the collaboration between researchers, partners and NWO. A good connection with other organisational units of NWO, ZonMw and other knowledge institutions is also vital.
NWO stimulates collaborations and strategic programmes within several top sectors that are relevant for the life sciences and that align with the Dutch National Research Agenda. NWO is involved in national and international developments in the life sciences and puts research on European and global agendas, for example via European Joint Programming Initiatives and the Belmont Forum.
Marjolein Robijn is the head of the Life Sciences Team.