Call for Questions: Dutch Science Agenda and beyond

There are good reasons to be critical of the government’s project of a Nationale Wetenschapsagenda that started on April 1; quite a few of you have voiced their concerns by signing the OSL statement ‘Vrijheid van onderzoek’ not long ago. However, since the NWA is a fact now, we—the members of the board and the directorate of OSL—would like to seize this opportunity to make the research ideas of OSL-members visible in a national context and try to influence the general direction of research politics and funding in the Netherlands, even if only on a minor scale. In order to focus and coordinate our school’s involvement in this process we have therefore set up an internal selection procedure to determine 3 questions that will be submitted to the NWA as ‘OSL questions’. (The organizers of the NWA have announced that they have a preference for questions submitted by research groups and appreciate the clustering and revision of questions by academic institutions.) We believe that this procedure—seen as an informal ‘census’ of research questions—will also be very useful for OSL itself, since it can help us to plan the school’s program and stimulate future collaborations and joint grant proposals within OSL and beyond.

We invite you to submit your contributions for this internal ‘call for questions’ by April 22. All OSL-members (RMA students, PhD candidates, staff members of the different universities) are invited to participate!

Your questions: We encourage you to hand in questions that reflect your actual research interests rather than strategic considerations. You can submit questions individually or as a group. Keep in mind that the organizers of the NWA have announced to have a preference for questions that are ‘challenging’, ‘not answered yet’ and connected to fields of research that are either already well established in the Netherlands or promising for the future. Please stick to the NWA-format for submissions (= use clearly phrased question as a title, followed by a brief explanation of ca. 200 words). For more information see

Procedure: The deadline for submissions is April 22, 24:00. Please email your question(s) to the member of the OSL-board that represents your university (see following page). Members of the board and directorate also form the jury that will collect and sort your contributions and determine which questions will be sent to the NWA as ‘OSL questions’. (Of course, you can still submit yourquestion to the NWA if it does not make the final OSL cut.)We are looking forward to your questions!

Kind regards,

Henk van der Liet (Director), Brigitte Adriaensen (Head of the board) and Stephan Besser (Program director)

  • Universiteit Utrecht – Geert Buelens,
  • Universiteit Leiden – Thony Visser,
  • Univeristeit van Amsterdam – Ellen Rutten,
  • Vrije Universiteit – Diederik Oostdijk,
  • Rijksuniversiteit Groningen – Liesbeth Korthals Altes,;
  • Universiteit Maastricht – Aagje Swinnen,
  • Radboud Universiteit – Brigitte Adriaensen,
  • Universiteit Tilburg – Helma van Lierop,

For questions please contact Stephan Besser (