Board transfer NWO with effect from 1 October 2016

31 August 2016

The board transfer at the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) will take place on 1 October 2016. The current Governing Board will then transfer the governance responsibility to the new director professor Stan Gielen and Caroline Visser. They will jointly form the Governing Board until the new Executive Board assumes its responsibilities with effect from 1 January 2017. The change of governance is part of the transition towards a new NWO.

At the start of July NWO announced the names of all members of the new Executive Board. With effect from January 2017 the Executive Board will, besides the director, Stan Gielen, have a member for Operations and Finances and four scientific members, each of whom will oversee one of the future domain boards. The four scientific members are: professor Ineke Braakman, professor Wim van den Doel, professor Jeroen Geurts and professor Jaap Schouten. Caroline Visser will be the board member with the portfolio Operations and Finances.

Giving the new board a flying start

To give the new board a flying start the current board, led by professor Jos Engelen, has in good consultation with the new directors agreed to formally transfer its responsibilities to Stan Gielen and Caroline Visser with effect from 1 October 2016. ‘Over the past few months we have been working hard on a new NWO,’ says Jos Engelen. ‘The appointment of the new board is a logical step in that process. We think that it is in NWO's best interest if the new board can start as soon as possible.’

Stan Gielen and Caroline Visser will form the Governing Board until the entire Executive Board assumes its responsibilities with effect from 1 January 2017. The current NWO board will remain involved in the organisation until 1 January 2017 and will be available to contribute to a supple transfer. ‘The new board is rapidly preparing for the transfer of governance,’ says Stan Gielen. ‘We are delighted that we can switch to the ‘new NWO’ in such good consultation.’

New NWO: new organisation and new board structure

The organisation of NWO will be set up in a more efficient and transparent manner. The current nine divisions of NWO will be clustered into four domains: Exact and Natural Sciences (ENS), Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES), Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) and Health Research and Development (ZonMw). Furthermore, the institutes will be brought together in an institutes organisation. With effect from 1 January 2017 the organisation will start with the new organisation structure and the members of the new Executive Board will assume their responsibilities. After an amendment to the NWO Act, Ineke Braakman, Jaap Schouten and Wim van den Doel will become the domain directprs of ENS, AES and SSH respectively. Jeroen Geurts will start on 1 January as the director of the independent ZonMw, which is expected to be integrated as the fourth domain within NWO by the start of 2019.

The future Executive Board of NWO will function as a collegiate board and will be responsible for the integral strategy and programming of the organisation and the allocation of the budget across the domains and institutes. These changes will enable NWO to position itself more strategically, to increase its decisiveness and organisational capabilities, to deploy funds more flexibly, and to increasingly work with a single coherent programming.

About NWO

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research is one of the biggest science-funding bodies in the Netherlands and ensures quality and innovation in science. Each year NWO invests more than 800 million euros in about 6000 research projects at universities and knowledge institutions. These concern research driven by scientific curiosity as well as research into societal issues. Based on the advice of independent researchers from the Netherlands and abroad NWO selects the best research proposals. NWO encourages national and international collaboration, manages and funds eight national research institutes, invests in large-scale research facilities, and promotes the use of research results.

Source: NWO