Ready for the future with the new VU Research Strategy

VU Amsterdam is at the heart of a rapidly changing world. Societal issues that have a major impact on our daily lives are becoming increasingly complex. This requires an open attitude and room for groundbreaking research. The VU Research Strategy, drawn up by the vice deans for research of the faculties, is committed to improving research collaboration and support within an inspiring academic environment. A cornerstone of the strategy is to propagate and strengthen the broader mind attitude and the value orientation of our academics and support staff. Through this open attitude, we strengthen cooperation in dynamic networks in connection with society. With this in mind, we will focus on free and responsible science for a better world over the next ten years.

With its scientific research, the VU can use new knowledge to make an important contribution to understanding problems in society and finding solutions. These include issues in the fields of economics, demography, migration, integration of cultures, the gap between rich and poor, security and the environment. To do this, an open attitude, interand transdisciplinary cooperation of scientists with other disciplines and partners from outside the academy is important. This requires a flexible integrated approach that connects different research-related ambitions and programmes. The VU Research Strategy describes the direction for the next ten years and which priorities we are focusing on.

Broader mind

Through scientific research, VU Amsterdam provides new knowledge for understanding problems that play a role in society and for finding solutions. These include issues in the field of the economy, demography, migration, integration of cultures, the gap between rich and poor, security and climate. To be able to do this, an open attitude, interand transdisciplinary collaboration between academics and other disciplines and partners from outside the university is important. VU Amsterdam’s Research Strategy describes how VU Amsterdam wants to shape this. The strategy focuses on collaboration between different disciplines. VU Amsterdam wants to support academics in developing joint solutions to major issues through dialogue with society and thus contribute to the future of humanity and our planet.

The research strategy has been drawn up by the vice deans for research of the faculties (VU Consultative Meeting for Research, VUCMR) with input from many representatives of the VU research community and support services.* The VUCMR working group VU Research Strategy, consisting of three research vice deans for research, coordinates and monitors the implementation. In order to achieve the ambitions, the working group actively involves representatives of the VU wide community in the implementation, including institute directors, members of the Amsterdam Young Academy, PhD candidates, URC and ERC professors and representatives of the PhD Council, the Graduate Schools and Staff and Student Council.

Andreas Daffertshofer (chair of VUCMR and professor Neural Dynamics): "Our research is of very high quality and is characterized by its societal relevance. The VU Research Strategy underscores our commitment to increasing the visibility of this research and strengthening our reputation as a societally engaged university that builds a better world through groundbreaking research."

Next ten years

The VU Research Strategy has been drawn up within the VU Strategy 2020-2025 and elaborates on the ambitions for research for the next ten years. It is an integrated, adaptive strategy with strategic goals for 2033 and a specific elaboration with priorities and activities for 2024-2025. The strategy connects ongoing strategic programmes and initiatives that affect VU Amsterdam research and scientists and anticipates the new institutional plan.

Elco van Burg (chair of the VUCMR working group VU Research Strategy and professor Organizational Theory): "The VU Research Strategy connects various research-related ambitions and programmes, so that we can drive interand transdisciplinary research with strengthening of collaborations on and around our beautiful campus. It is also very important that we focus on improving support and providing an inspiring environment for talent."

Unique VU story

The new strategy builds on the unique story of VU Amsterdam with its identity, core values and priority areas: these guide who the VU scientist is, how we conduct research and how we design the research environment. We improve research collaboration and support and offer an inspiring environment where sustainability, diversity and enterprising are the guiding principles. In this way, we are ready for the social challenges of today and in the future.

*The VUCMR working group VU Research Strategy consisted of Elco van Burg, Jacquelien van Stekelenburg, Cees Kleverlaan, Philipp Pattberg, Lidewij Henneman and Gert-Jan Burgers) and Andreas Daffertshofer (chair of the VUCMR) with valuable input from representatives of the VU research community including the vice deans for research for the faculties, Amsterdam Young Academy, URC and ERC professors, PhD candidates, PhD council, Graduate Schools, Employee Participation, leads of the profile themes and the Chief Impact Officer.

Want to know more? Contact Finette Lips (policy officer Research) and Anne van Maagdenberg (project manager implementation VU Research Strategy)

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