More than 100 million euros for Dutch top science

8 May 2017

Once again six research teams of top scientists from various Dutch universities have received funding to jointly set up excellent scientific research programmes in the coming years. The Dutch Minister of Education Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker, has made 18.8 million euros available for each programme, which is a total amount of 112.8 million euros.

VLNR: Prof. dr. I. Sluiter (UL), Prof. dr. H.M. Buhrman (CWI/ UvA), minister Bussemaker (OCW), Prof. dr. A.M. Dogterom (TUD), Prof. dr. C.L. Mummery (LUMC), Prof. dr. C.V.C. Bouten (TUE), Prof.dr. N. Ellemers (UU) en Prof. dr. R.P.M. Wittek (RUG).Left to right: Prof I. Sluiter, Prof. H.M. Buhrman , minister Bussemaker, Prof. A.M. Dogterom, Prof. C.L. Mummery, Prof. C.V.C. Bouten, Prof. N. Ellemers and Prof. R.P.M. Wittek. Credits: Melvin Tas

The programmes awarded funding concern research in the area of regenerative medicine that makes use of the regenerative capability of the body to heal damaged or diseased tissues and organs, quantum computers and quantum networks, the construction of an artificial biological cell, research based on the Greco-Roman world, research into the origin, development and characteristics of sustainable cooperation, and the development of miniature organs on microchips for specific diseases.

University research at top level

With the grants, the researchers will be able to do top-level university research for a period of ten years and collaborate at the highest scientific level.
The grants are part of the Gravitation programme funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) selected the research groups on behalf of the Ministry. In the groups, researchers from various universities work together on setting up excellent scientific research programmes. The last grants were awarded in 2013.
Minister Bussemaker emphasised the importance of fundamental research: ‘With this we encourage curiosity-driven, free and curiosity-driven research that is vitally important for realising breakthroughs. I am pleased that on this occasion research proposals within the humanities and social sciences have been awarded funding as well.’
Furthermore, Minister Bussemaker was enthusiastic about the diversity of men and women within the consortia: ‘Diversity within science is important. Four of the six main applicants are women and a large proportion of the researchers within the consortia are women. That was not the case in previous rounds.’

Selection procedure

NWO received 37 applications for funding within Gravitation. The assessment, comparison of the applications and selection was performed by expert referees and an international independent committee of researchers with a broad knowledge of scientific developments and experience with large scientific research groups.

Summary awarded projects Gravitation

Source: NWO