Advisory reports

The Academy’s most recent advisory reports are listed below. Earlier advisory reports can be found under Publications. The list includes advisory reports published by The Young Academy and the Society of Arts.

Efficiency gains through innovation in medicines development: how can science contribute?

2020, Greater Efficiency through Innovation Committee

Storage and availability of data for research

Het Rolling-grantfonds

(Rolling grant fund committee, 2020) The fund is intended to reduce the application pressure because it will no longer be necessary to apply to NWO for even the smallest research projects. Such core funding via universities will provide a natural air supply for research.

Evenwicht in het wetenschapssysteem

(Optimal balance between NWO research programmes committee, 2019) The Academy will issue an advisory report on an optimal balance between programmes for talented researchers, curiosity-driven research (open/free competition) and thematic research.

Hergebruik van publieke data

Committee on the Accessibility for Scientific Research of Data, 2017) Data held by public-sector organisations provides a wealth of knowledge for research and government policy, but is not yet fully utilised for that purpose.

Inventarisatie: Het belang van dierproeven en mogelijkheden tot vermindering daarvan in fundamenteel neurowetenschappelijk onderzoek

(Committee for a Vision Document on Innovations without Laboratory Animals in the Neurosciences, 2019) The Academy is taking stock of innovative research methods and techniques that have the potential to serve as alternatives to methods involving animals in basic neuroscience research.

Doing the splits or dancing a duet?

(Committee Integration of Teaching and Research at Dutch Universities - 2018) The Academy has noted that the integrated nature of teaching and research is under pressure at Dutch universities.

Wederzijdse versterking

(Mutual reinforcement, 2018) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) When government invests more in R&D, so does the private sector. There is a risk of competition from abroad, however. When public investment in R&D rises in other countries, it attracts Dutch private sector R&D.

Maatschappelijke impact in kaart

Tracking societal impact, 2018) (In Dutch, with a summary in English.) Consider networks and users when assessing impact of research. The point is not to chart the impact itself, in other words, but the factors and processes that increase the potential for societal impact.

Big data in wetenschappelijk onderzoek met gegevens over personen

(Big Data in research involving personal data, 2018) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) Researchers must work much more in teams that include data specialists and, not least, ethical experts.

Freedom of scientific practice in the Netherlands

(Committee for the Freedom of Scientific Pursuit, 2018) There are no indications that scientists in the Netherlands exercise self-censorship or that they are limited in the opinions that they feel they can express, but vigilance is certainly advised.

Talen voor Nederland

(Languages for the Netherlands, 2018) (In Dutch, with a summary in English)

Aantrekkelijkheid van Nederland als onderzoeksland

(The Netherlands' appeal as a research hub, 2018) (In Dutch, with a summary in English)

Replication Studies

(Committee Replication Studies, 2018) The systematic replication of other researchers’ work should be a normal part of science. That is the main message of this advisory report. Funding agencies and scientific journals should also make it easier for researchers to carry out and publish replication studies.

Nederlands en/of Engels?

(Dutch and/or English? A consideration of language choice in Dutch higher education, 2017) (In Dutch, with a summary in English)

Genome Editing

(2016) In this position paper, the Academy reviews the scientific, ethical and societal aspects of genome editing in humans, animals, micro-organisms and plants and makes a number of recommendations.

KNAW-Agenda grootschalige onderzoeksfaciliteiten

(Academy Agenda for Large-scale Research Facilities, 2016) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) The Academy Agenda for Large-scale Research Facilities is meant to inspire young Dutch researchers to develop plans for research facilities operating at the forefront of knowledge, and to work together on turning those plans into actual proposals.

Ethical and legal aspects of informatics research

(Original title: Ethische en juridische aspecten van informaticaonderzoek, 2016) The Academy recommends the installation of ethical review boards for informatics research, based on experience gained in the field of medicine. The Academy wishes to see such review boards work together to develop a transparent review mechanism.

Promoveren werkt

(The PhD system works, 2016) (in Dutch, with a summary in English) The Academy concludes that the Dutch PhD system does in fact work, that it is future-proof, and that it produces highly qualified, independent-minded PhDs. One point for improvement is that PhD candidates should be better prepared to pursue a career outside academia.

Ruimte voor ongebonden onderzoek

(The range for unbound fundamental research. Signs from the Dutch scientific landscape, 2015) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) There are no real 'blank spots' in Dutch research, but there are areas of concern that merit attention. That attention will remain necessary to prevent the concentration of research and research funding on broad themes from reducing the scope for basic, unfettered research.

Klaar om te wenden ...

(Ready to tack ... The academic study of religion in the Netherlands: a foresight study, 2015) (in Dutch, with a summary in English) Dutch religious studies and theology must sail close to the wind if they are to continue to play a significant role in the future. Both fields have been struggling with budget cuts and fragmentation for some twenty years, putting their quality and relevance at risk.

Position paper Biofuel and Wood as Energy Sources

(Martijn Katan, Louise Vet, and Rudy Rabbinge, 2015) This position paper concludes that the co-firing of wood in power stations and the use of biofuels for transport do not lead to a substantial decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Subsidies and guidelines in this context do not achieve their intended purpose.

Gebruik van niet-humane primaten (NHP) als proefdier

(The use of non-human primates in experiments, 2014) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) Primates remain necessary in research on infectious diseases and brain disorders. The report makes ten recommendations for improving such research.

International Scientific Cooperation - Challenges and Predicaments

(2014, Committee for the Freedom of Scientific Pursuit ) This booklet discusses the challenges and predicaments of international scientific cooperation. It addresses the responsibility of researchers and administrators to make potential conflicts clear in advance and offers them an analytical framework to assess the risks involved.

Evaluation of new technology in health care

(2014) (in English, with a summary in English) The report aims to offer the various stakeholders guidelines for selecting the research method that best suits the relevant medical device, including postmarketing surveillance. It makes clear that there are different ways of tackling such evaluations, and that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is insufficient.

Correct citation practice

(2014) (In English, also available in Dutch) Advisory report by the Committee on Citation Practice clarifying what constitutes the correct reuse of previously published texts, ideas, and research results. The Academy analysed the various types of reuse, with or without attribution. It also developed an assessment framework that provides guidelines for assessing specific cases and that can be used to help train young researchers.

Benutting van octrooien op resultaten van wetenschappelijk onderzoek

(Utilisation of patents on the results of scientific research, 2014) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) At the request of the Dutch State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, a committee set up by the Academy, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), and the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) surveyed the utilisation of patents on the results of scientific research conducted at universities and research institutes.

Improving biosecurity

(Committee Biosecurity, 2013) (In English, also available in Dutch) Early awareness of the potential misuse of life science research will help reduce risk and avoid controversy later regarding the publication of research results.

Publieke kennisinvesteringen en de waarde van wetenschap

(Public investment in knowledge and the value of research, 2013) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) Science contributes to prosperity and wellbeing. But what is the actual return on investing in knowledge? The Academy explored the possibility of quantifying the return on public investment in knowledge, i.e. in knowledge-based institutions and knowledge workers.


(2013) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) Dutch art historical research will remain robust if universities, museums and other institutions operating in this area cooperate more. The Academy favours the establishment of a national centre for Dutch art historical research in which art historians of every stripe can work on a common research agenda.

Vertrouwen in wetenschap

(Trust in science, 2013) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) Guaranteeing trust in science is primarily a matter for the scientific world itself. However, external parties such as funding bodies, public authorities, the media and the educational establishment can also contribute.

Responsible research data management and the prevention of scientific misconduct

(2013) (In English, also available in Dutch) The Dutch research community needs a new code of conduct to combat fraud, but it must also do much more to publicise the existing rules. Research data must be accessible so that researchers can verify and build on each other’s work.

Towards a framework for the quality assessment of social science research

(2013) (In English; also available in Dutch) This advisory report will offer organisations that assess research in the social sciences a framework for defining sound assessment tools, in particular quality indicators in the social sciences.

Effecten van universitaire profilering en topsectorenbeleid op de wetenschap in Nederland

(Effects of developing distinct university profiles and the Top Sector policy on research in the Netherlands, 2013) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) The Academy believes that there is a danger of ‘blank spots’ developing mainly in those disciplines that are poorly coordinated and are therefore unable to offset local decision-making. The effect of the Top Sectors policy on the scope for unfettered basic research is noticeable mainly at the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).

Kwaliteit en relevantie in de geesteswetenschappen

(Quality and relevance in the humanities, 2012) (In Dutch, with a summary in English) This advisory report focuses mainly on promoting the use of a new system for assessing research in the humanities as proposed in the Academy advisory report ‘Quality indicators for research in the humanities’ (2011).

Beyond the horizon of RIO +20

(Rio+20 Committee, 2012) Dutch research has made a major contribution to sustainable development. The Netherlands is prominent in many different areas, including water, agriculture and nutrition, and environmental and earth sciences. But the real strength of the Netherlands lies in its ability to make connections. Dutch researchers are skilled at international and multidisciplinary collaboration.