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This advisory report will offer organisations that evaluate research in the social sciences a set of guidelines for defining sound evaluation instruments, in particular quality indicators in the social sciences.
The Academy is proposing a new system of quality indicators specifically for the humanities.
The Academy has investigated how researchers in various disciplines manage their research data and what improvements can be made. The study was prompted by the heated discussion on this subject.
The Dutch Research Agenda summarises all the key scientific questions and themes to which Dutch researchers can make a major contribution. It describes what the Dutch research community believes it should be concentrating on in the years ahead. Although there are other research agendas, many of them focusing on socially relevant issues, this is the only one that concerns questions of a scientific nature.
The role of scientific research and the use of research results are crucial concerns in the climate change debate that has sprung up in various sectors of society. The Academy intends to publish a booklet for the general public in which it highlights the position of research in that debate and clarifies the certainties and uncertainties surrounding the results of climate change research as presented by various parties.
Biological research is set to make an important contribution to resolving many of the issues facing society, for example food security, the bio-based economy, and sustainable development. That makes it all the more urgent for the Netherlands to develop a national strategic agenda for research and education in the biosciences.
In 1998, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science introduced a new policy instrument: the Research School Incentives Strategy. Its purpose was to identify and encourage national clusters of top research schools that would conduct outstanding scientific research. The current funding period ends in 2013, and the Minister asked the Academy to advise on the way forward.
Collaboration between universities is critical to training PhD candidates. In the Netherlands, there are two main categories of PhD programme: interuniversity research schools and what are usually “local” graduate schools. There is plenty of scope for both categories, according to an advisory report published jointly by the VSNU, the NWO and the Academy in March 2010.
Dutch earth scientists must retain their leading role both in research and in promoting innovation and social regeneration. This means that the national knowledge infrastructure for the earth sciences must be improved.
Culture and identity are major topics of debate in Dutch national politics and in government policy. Culture and identity have been put under pressure, both in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the world, by two interlocking processes: globalisation and technologisation. Researchers and experts in the humanities can make a major contribution to resolving issues of culture and identity.