ZonMw tijdlijn Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance https://www.zonmw.nl/ Het laatste nieuws van de tijdlijn van Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance en-gb Thu, 12 Dec 2019 01:43:50 +0100 Thu, 12 Dec 2019 01:43:50 +0100 TYPO3 news-4976 Wed, 04 Dec 2019 09:36:18 +0100 Are you an artist or designer and interested in the life sciences? Submit your proposal for the Bio Art & Design Award 2020 https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/are-you-an-artist-or-designer-and-interested-in-the-life-sciences-submit-your-proposal-for-the-bio/ We are happy to invite artists and designers to submit a proposal for a collaboration with leading Dutch life sciences research groups. The Bio Art & Design Award (BAD Award) is a competition that awards € 25.000 for three successful applicants to fully realize new bio art or bio design. These art works will be exhibited in MU at the end of 2020. Not only does this collaboration provide new insights at the frontiers of art and science, the BAD Award is a unique experience for both parties.

The Bio Art & Design Award highlights and explores exciting new intersections among design, artistic practice and the Life Sciences. The Award is a product of collaboration between ZonMw, MU and BioArt Laboratories.

To be eligible for the award you must have graduated no longer than five years ago from a design or art programme (at either the Masters or Bachelors level). Applicants are encouraged to relate their proposals to recent advances in the Life Sciences, including those within specialties such as ecology, biomedicine, big data, and genomics. Please be sure to read all information about the award regulations and participating research groups before submitting an application on the BAD Award website. The applications can be submitted ultimately 30 January 2020.

news-4870 Mon, 28 Oct 2019 12:30:00 +0100 International funding for antimicrobial resistance https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/international-funding-for-antimicrobial-resistance/ ZonMw JPIAMR, in collaboration with NWO-WOTRO and the ZonMw programme Goed Gebruik Geneesmiddelen, finances innovative projects on diagnostics and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Call for funding

The 9th call JPIAMR Call "Diagnostics and Surveillance" has yielded 34 full applications with innovative research projects. 20 international financiers participate in this call. The research projects focus on new or improved diagnostic and surveillance tools, technologies and methods to effectively control antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and the environment (One Health). Low and middle income countries (LMICs) are strongly represented as project partners.

Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)

New in this call was that 3 specific LMIC funders were involved:  NWO-WOTRO  (Netherlands), SIDA  (Sweden) and  IDRC  (Canada).  One of the specific goals of this call was to support and increase the participation of LMIC researchers. Research and innovation in the field of AMR by and within LMICs are of great importance for our collective global future. AMR thrives in environments with limited access to water and sanitation, medicine, veterinary medicine and healthcare. These circumstances therefore represent increased and unknown risks for humans, animals, and the environment. Including LMIC perspectives in the development of AMR diagnostics increases understanding of local limitations as well as cultural, contextual, and behavioral factors that can influence the use of antibiotics. It also provides knowledge about which technologies and methods are the most suitable and cost-effective to implement.

This call is therefore well aligned with the message that was conveyed during the 2nd ministerial conference in June this year. At this conference it was emphasised that AMR causes an increase in poverty and in particular poses a major threat in LMICs.

How do we fund such an international call?

Of the 34 project applications, 12 are recommended for funding. Dutch researchers are involved in 5 of these projects, often with a coordinating task. Because of this success and the limited Dutch budget, we started looking for additional funding within and outside ZonMw. The majority of the budget has been made available from the ZonMw JPIAMR international subsidy program; with an additional budget from the ZonMw program GGG, the French subsidy provider ANR and the Swedish development aid financier SIDA. NWO-WOTRO participates in this call by funding LMIC activities: they finance global development and capacity building activities, both carried out by Dutch researchers in LMICs and by local LMIC researchers.

International collaboration

The beauty of international collaboration is that international funders can support each other. And in this way can together solve a potential budget deficit. This allows to grant as many project applications of good quality and relevance as possible. Moreover, the knowledge that can be acquired in international projects is often many times greater than in projects that are performed solely nationally. In addition, as a funder you also have access to the results of the project in which no Dutch researchers are involved.

'One Health' approach

The purpose of this call is to effectively control antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals, and the environment. Looking at the relations between humans, animals and the environment is called the 'One Health' approach. It is the joint effort of multiple sectors and disciplines - both local, national and international - to achieve the optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.

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news-4768 Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:41:58 +0200 Feedback wanted for the inventory of Organ- and Tissue transplantation https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/feedback-wanted-for-the-inventory-of-organ-and-tissue-transplantation/ Assigned by the Dutch ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, ZonMw (The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development) is making an inventory of organ- and tissue transplantation. This inventory should give us a clear overview of promising research, innovations, technologies and treatments which can lead to more successful organ- and tissue transplantations and in the end to shorter waiting lists. We need your help for this consultation! We are looking for experts in the field of organ- and tissue transplantation who are willing to give their feedback. The output of this inventory might lead to a new call on organ- and tissue transplantation. Therefore this consultation exists of two parts: one with questions about your own research and ideas and one part on what this future call should look like.

Are you interested and willing to give your feedback? Many thanks, but please do so by November 11th, 2019. After this date the consultation is closed and all the results will be collected and looked at. If you have any questions regarding this consultation or inventory, please send an email to transplantation@zonmw.nl.

Click here for the internet consultation


news-4658 Mon, 07 Oct 2019 14:00:00 +0200 ZonMw Veni round: Deadline submission full proposal postponed https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/zonmw-veni-round-deadline-submission-full-proposal-postponed/ For various reasons, we have been forced to postpone two deadlines for the current Veni round by one month. This concerns the deadline for informing the ZonMw applicants about the intended decision concerning their Veni pre-proposals and the deadline for submitting a full proposal. The period between the intended decision and the deadline for submission of a full proposal therefore remains the same, namely eight weeks. The deadline for the final decision about the full proposals also remains the same. New deadlines

The modified planning is as follows:

  • Intended decision pre-proposals: no later than 15 November 2019 (instead of October ).
  • Period in which a written reaction can be submitted following a negative decision: 1 week after intended decision.
  • Deadline submission full proposals: 11 February 2020, 14:00 h MET (instead of 9 January 2020).
  • Date decision full proposal (remains the same): mid-July 2020.

New planning only applies for ZonMw

The new planning only applies to proposals submitted to ZonMw and not to proposals submitted to the domains of NWO Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), Science (ENW) and Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES).

Reasons for postponing the deadlines

This year, far more Veni proposals were submitted to ZonMw than in previous years, namely one third more. In addition, we have experienced a major adjustment in the work process due to two innovations, namely the pilot pre-proposal and the implementation of the new ICT system (MyZonMw). This has given rise to extra work.

This means that in the original planning, too little time was available to realise the pre-proposal phase in a correct and meticulous manner. We have therefore postponed the deadline for sending the intended decision to applicants by one month. To ensure that the preparation time Veni applicants have for submitting a full proposal remains the same, we are also extending the submission deadline by one month. We have taken these measures because we want to safeguard a correct and meticulous selection process in which the chances for all applicants are the same.

More information


  • Guillaume Macor
  • Hesham Alghiwi
  • Rosan Rongen
  • Email: Veni@zonmw.nl
  • Phone: +31 (0)70 349 5468
news-4582 Thu, 19 Sep 2019 15:41:54 +0200 AquaticPollutants Cofund accepted by the European Commission http://www.jpi-oceans.eu/news-events/news/aquaticpollutants-cofund-accepted-european-commission The consortium consisting of 32 partner institutions from the three Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs) on Water, Oceans and Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) has been invited to sign the Grant Agreement. news-4487 Fri, 30 Aug 2019 10:00:00 +0200 More than 100 million euros for groundbreaking fundamental research https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/more-than-100-million-euros-for-groundbreaking-fundamental-research/ Six consortia with top researchers from different Dutch universities have received a total of 113.8 million euros to carry out scientific research programmes in the coming years. The Minister for Education, Culture and Science (OCW), Ingrid van Engelshoven, made these funds available for research consortia that are among the best in the world in their field in carrying out groundbreaking research. The research programmes awarded funding concern research into complex brain disorders at the molecular and cellular level, strengthening agricultural crops to tackle the challenges of sustainable food production, a radical new approach to mental diseases to realise a healthy society, measuring and explaining the effects of the environment on our health (the so-called "exposome"’), the development of a system for artificial intelligence (AI) in which people take centre stage (hybrid intelligence) and a new approach for investigating the development of disruptive technologies.

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news-4475 Tue, 27 Aug 2019 11:48:00 +0200 The heart as defibrillator https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/the-heart-as-defibrillator/ Researchers from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and TU Delft have developed a method for resetting a disrupted heart rhythm. They do that with gene therapy and a tiny, implantable LED lamp. The collaboration between researchers from Leiden and Delft is the unforeseen outcome of a Vidi project from ZonMw. The heart is an electrical organ: it contracts under the influence of electrical current. However, the electrical conduction can become disrupted, leading to fibrillation: the irregular and rapid contraction of (a part of) the heart. Atrial fibrillation affects 1 to 2 percent of the Dutch population. This number is rising due to the ageing population: the disorder mainly occurs in older people. Atrial fibrillation is not fatal because the ventricles of the heart still contract normally, but patients can often suffer from a noticeable irregular heartbeat, dizziness and tiredness. Furthermore, they have a higher chance of developing a stroke and heart failure. The development of an effective treatment is therefore desirable.

Resetting the heart

Patients with atrial fibrillations can undergo a cardioversion treatment to get the heart beating normally again. Under a mild narcosis, they are administered a strong electric shock on the chest via electrodes that resets the heart so that the atria contract normally again. Alternatively, an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) can be implanted under the skin and connected with electrodes to the heart. An ICD recognises fibrillation and immediately administers a strong electric shock that normalises the heart rhythm.

Painful shock

‘Although cardioversion is the best method for directly normalising the heart rhythm, it does not prevent the next cardiac arrhythmia’, says Dr Daniël Pijnappels, head of the Laboratory for Experimental Cardiology and associate professor at LUMC’s Department of Cardiology. ‘Furthermore, the electric shock is very painful and traumatising.’ Pijnappels and his colleagues therefore went in search of other methods to get the heart rhythm under control with less inconvenience for the patient. ‘We know that the heart is electrically active and so we asked ourselves: is it possible to use that capacity for therapeutic purposes?’ Pijnappels and his colleagues elaborated the idea of the biological defibrillator. ‘If we enable the heart itself to stop the cardiac arrhythmia, then no electric shock should be felt. After all, we do not feel anything from the electricity that the heart produces.’

Algal channels

To harness the heart's capacity for biological defibrillation, the researchers made use of optogenetics: a technique to control the functioning of cells, tissues or even complete organs in the body using gene therapy and light. ‘Algae use light sensitivity to move towards the water surface’, says Emile Nyns, physician-researcher in the laboratory of Pijnappels. ‘They contain channels that allow ions to pass through under the influence of light.’ The researchers transferred the genetic information from the light-sensitive ion channel to atrial cells and brought this to expression in an animal model. The hypothesis was that the electricity the heart generates when illuminated is strong enough to stop atrial fibrillation. The principle proved to work. ‘Instead of the application of a painful electrical shock, the heart rhythm can now be restored with a light pulse too’, says Nyns. ‘In the future, patients with atrial fibrillations could be treated in a pain-free manner using this technique.’

And there was light

However, the last step, illuminating the heart in the body, required a unique collaboration. The technique could only be developed further if the light source was made a lot smaller. ‘You cannot predict the direction a research proposal will take’, says Pijnappels. ‘Once we realised that we needed a tiny LED lamp, we discovered that this could not be obtained anywhere.’ He therefore sought contact with the Department of Microelectronics at TU Delft. Pijnappels received a response within a few hours. Several weeks later, the two research groups met and they started to elaborate an idea. ‘We jointly established the requirements: the LED had to be small and thin, with a uniform light distribution, little heat generation, and a high light intensity with a specific wavelength. We set to work on the basis of those requirements,’ says Dr René Poelma, researcher at TU Delft. Now there are several prototypes of tiny LED lamps that are already being used in animal models. For Poelma and his colleagues, this collaboration was a very different type of application than what they were used to. ‘Our work usually has very little to do with the human body, but we found it really interesting to collaborate on this subject.’

Fundamental research applied

The development of the tiny, implantable LED lamp and gene therapy are two topics that illustrate the impact of fundamental research, according to Pijnappels. ‘We are seeking a therapy based on biological defibrillation that will ultimately no longer require light. With the help of gene therapy, we can learn how the heart can correct itself in the event of a cardiac arrhythmia. Light is merely the key for opening the ion channel.’ Although the work of the researchers from Leiden and Delft is increasingly moving towards the clinic, it could still be a while – depending on the safety research – before the technique can actually be used. Therefore consultations are being held with cardiologists about the feasibility of the therapy and the need for it. Pijnappels: ‘We already do a lot in and around the heart with devices like an ICD or pacemaker. The elaboration of our idea is not that different, but the perspective it offers is: new biology for therapeutic purposes.’

For his research into biological defibrillation, Dr Daniël Pijnappels received a Vidi grant. With this prestigious grant from ZonMw/NWO, experienced researchers can set up their own innovative line of research. Such fundamental research can yield groundbreaking insights that can benefit patients.

Text: Koen Scheerders

news-4363 Tue, 23 Jul 2019 10:04:37 +0200 Proof of Concept projects https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/proof-of-concept-projects/ ZonMw selected two challenges for ‘proof of concept’ projects of Create2Solve. With Create2Solve, ZonMw makes funding available to research organisations and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) for the development of animal-free innovations within the program More Knowledge with Fewer Animals. This call for demand-driven innovations is now open for proposals. On 22 August, ZonMw will organise a webinar for any interested parties who want to know more about the call and the challenges. Create2Solve Challenges

Two Challenges are selected that have been formulated by the chemical and food industries.

  1. Better in-vitro Dosing (BID): Framework and technology development for improving the quality of in vitro data.  Companies: Shell, Sabic and LyondellBasell
  2. Need for human mini -brains as screening tools to assess efficacy of pharmacological or nutritional agents for neurological disorders characterized by white matter issues. Companies: Danone Nutricia Research and Charles River

Webinar Challenges Create2Solve

Do you have any questions you would like to ask the companies that have set up Challenge 1 or Challenge 2? That will be possible! On August 22, ZonMw organizes an webinar. Representatives of both Challenges will present their challenge and answer your questions live. Do you want to ask questions about the procedure and conditions of this call? That is also possible during the webinar. ZonMw will give a presentation about this, and of course, you can also ask questions live. You can register for the webinar by sending an email to mkmd@zonmw.nl.

More information


news-4265 Mon, 01 Jul 2019 08:13:50 +0200 Professor Monique den Boer receives second ZonMw Open Science Boost https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/professor-monique-den-boer-receives-second-zonmw-open-science-boost/ On Friday 21 June, Monique den Boer from the Princess Máxima Center received the second ZonMw Open Science Boost. Radjesh Manna, director of programmes at ZonMw, handed her the prize during a surprise visit to Utrecht. Monique den Boer, Professor of Molecular Pediatric Leukemia, together with her research group, made a big contribution to the objectives of open science: responsive, transparent, and responsible science. With this boost, ZonMw wants to encourage her to continue along this path and be an example for researchers within and outside her research group. Ambassador for open science

The ZonMw Open Science Boost consists of an award of 1500 euros that Monique den Boer can use for a visit to an international conference. ZonMw also asks her to be an ambassador for open science there. She furthermore received a trophy in the form of a crystal ball as a symbol for a future with transparent and responsible medical science.

Surprise visit to the Princess Máxima Center

The awarding of the ZonMw Open Science Boost was a surprise for Den Boer. On Friday afternoon, Radjesh Manna stood in front of her to award the second Open Science Boost 2019. Manna explained that she has received this encouragement because the final report for her Vici project "Challenging old dogmas: improved diagnostics and tailored therapy by unraveling biology of acute leukemia in children" revealed that she, together with her research group, makes open science possible in a structural manner. During her Vici project, she published 33 articles in open access form, as a result of which everybody has access to the results. With this, she made a big contribution to open access. She also realised a systematic review, as a result of which she had an as complete as possible overview of all previous research on her subject, made data from her research available, and also published the negative results of her research. The latter unfortunately happens too little, partly because the current publication culture is mainly focused on positive results. The publication of negative results ensures that the knowledge within a research field becomes more complete. By making all knowledge accessible, unnecessary research can be prevented.

Particularly impressive: how her research group works

For Monique den Boer, open science is more than just open access, making data available and carrying out systematic reviews. It is also part and parcel of how she leads her research group by encouraging collaboration and letting the group assume joint responsibility for responsible and transparent science. One of the ways she has achieved this within her group, which is also part of the Oncode Institute, is the introduction of an audit system for publications. Before an article from her research group is published, the researchers first determine, on the basis of raw data, whether the data and conclusions are correct. A colleague from the group performs this audit. This not only contributes to the transparency of the data but is also a learning exercise for the more junior researchers. Furthermore, she has ensured the systematic use of a digital lab journal. All researchers in her group use this system to archive the data in a clear, uniform and accessible manner. By regularly using this digital lab journal in work meetings, everybody can contribute ideas about the documentation of experimental data and suggest how this can be improved. This approach to archiving works so efficiently that other groups within and outside of the Princess Máxima Center want to adopt this approach too.[QUOTE van Monique] “Data stewardship is a team effort with high gains  in data transparency and reproducibility!”

Role model for Open Science

ZonMw is impressed by how Monique den Boer structurally embeds Open Science in her research and her research group. With this, she has made a big contribution to the objectives of open science and responsible science. She is a role model for her research group and researchers in the field of paediatric cancer. With the Open Science Boost, ZonMw endorses her efforts for responsible and transparent science and hopes that her example will inspire other researchers to realise the objectives of open science in the medical sciences.

More information

ZonMw actively supports Open Science. Open Science make science accessible for researchers, society and the economy. Collaboration and exchange of knowledge are key aspects of this. The aim is to increase the quality and impact of scientific research. See the ZonMw website about Open Science.

Monique den Boer has received various grants from NWO and ZonMw:

  • Vidi: "Biological role and clinical relevance of miRNAs in childhood acute leukemia"
  • Vici: "Challenging old dogmas: improved diagnostics and tailored therapy by unraveling biology of acute leukemia in children"
  • Programme Translational Research: "Proof-of-principle study of a new diagnostic test for classification and stratification of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia"

Monique den Boer was appointed as senior principal investigator at the Princess Máxima Center in 2018. With her group, she investigates paediatric leukaemia. Leukaemia develops due to changes in the DNA. This only happens in the leukaemia cells and not in the healthy cells. The research focuses on finding errors in the DNA that cause the leukaemia cell to divide and proliferate whereas this does not happen in healthy cells. With this research, the researchers hope to develop better criteria for the diagnosis and treatment of paediatric leukaemia and to better match the choice and use of medicines to this ("targeted therapy", also referred to as "precision medicines").  

Monique den Boer leads the Oncode research group "Acute lymphoblastic leukemia", one of the 62 research groups of the Oncode Institute. The Oncode Institute is a network of more than 800 researchers from 12 institutes. Oncode consolidates the strengths of the Dutch research world and translates fundamental cancer research findings as quickly as possible into applicable methods for diagnosis and treatment.

news-4261 Thu, 27 Jun 2019 16:34:00 +0200 Contribute to international overview AMR databases https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/contribute-to-international-overview-amr-databases-1/ At least once, you must have had one of the following thoughts…  

  • Does this data already exist?
  • I wish I could compare this resource to other resources!
  • What are possible collaborations? Which groups/consortia are collecting similar information to my group?
  • Could our data be linked to others to investigate entire new research questions?
  • So many databases. How do I know what kind of data are actually in this database or biobank? I wish there were good metadata available that describe that.

We are working on the solution!

ZonMw (the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) invites you, on behalf of JPIAMR and the recently started consortium VALUE-Dx, to take part in a survey on resources (collections of biological material and databases) that are relevant for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) research. In parallel, we set out to collect information about services that are provided by research infrastructures and some biobanks.


Please follow this link to the survey: https://nl.surveymonkey.com/r/VS87GV8 and complete the survey before September 1st, 2019. You are more than welcome to further distribute this message amongst your network.

Why should you participate?

By participating in this survey, you are contributing to closing the current gap of information, and establishing a strong basis for AMR research. As the survey is initiated by a large network of active AMR researchers, participation may also open up opportunities for future collaboration, publications, and research funding. Also, you will get first-hand information from the report that will be constructed from this survey.

Aim and ambition of the survey    

The aim is to get an overview of existing resources and services that are relevant for AMR research. Our ambition is to improve their findability and reusability, and thereby their sustainability. The AMR research community will benefit from this initiative, as it will expand options for innovative research. The overview will become available for the entire AMR research community.

More information

news-4237 Mon, 24 Jun 2019 16:03:35 +0200 Active & Assisted Living Call 2019 preliminary results http://www.aal-europe.eu/call-2019-preliminary-results/ The AAL Call 2019 focused on “Sustainable Smart Solutions for Ageing well” was closed on 24 May. The Call, which is the 12th one published by the Programme since its inception in 2008, received 82 applications, out of which 57 were collaborative projects and 25 were small collaborative projects. Following the central eligibility check, 81 applications were admitted to the evaluation. news-4210 Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:55:05 +0200 Evaluating research: what effects do current funding practices have in the Netherlands? https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/evaluating-research-what-effects-do-current-funding-practices-have-in-the-netherlands/ On Friday June 14th, the workshop ‘Evaluating research: what effects do current funding practices have in the Netherlands?’ was hosted by ZonMw. The workshop was a result of the research project ‘Follow the Money’, that was funded as part of the ZonMw-programme ‘Fostering responsible research practices’. An audience consisting of around 30 researchers and funders with a wide variety of disciplinary and institutional affiliations discussed the merits and drawbacks of existing funding practices, as well as proposing improvements. Too much low risk and top-down science

After an introduction by project leader Gerben ter Riet (Amsterdam UMC and HvA), postdoctoral researcher Stephanie Meirmans (Amsterdam UMC) presented some of the project’s findings on scientists’ experiences of how competitive research funding affected their scientific practice. Based on 14 interviews and 12 group sessions with researchers from the humanities, natural and biomedical sciences, in the Netherlands and Switzerland, she showed that scientists were predominantly, although certainly not exclusively, negative in their assessment. Scientists warned for dangers such as too strict planning and bureaucracy in research, too much low-risk and top-down science as well as unrealistic expectations leading to unintended side effects. Expectations and values of researchers and funders may in practice diverge to such an extent that they can lead to demotivated researchers. Strikingly, Swiss scientists were much more positive than their Dutch colleagues about their situation and their relation with science funders.

National differences between scientists’ experiences

A number of commentators added extra perspectives to the scientists’ perceptions. Barend van der Meulen (Rathenau Institute) found the national differences between scientists’ experiences remarkable, given the large similarities between the Dutch and the Swiss science system at a macro-level. He hypothesized that especially the relation between scientists and their funders constituted an important difference, contrasting a Swiss sense of ownership among scientists to a feeling of distance and consumerism in the Netherlands. In his historical contribution Pieter Huistra (Utrecht University), the project’s other postdoctoral researcher, pointed out that scientists’ reservations vis-à-vis their funders have a long history, but that such reservations may have lately increased due to an increasing power and importance of funding bodies.

Competition versus collaboration

Sonja Jerak-Zuiderent (Amsterdam UMC) added an anthropological perspective to the discussion. Her research consists of ethnographic studies of scientific practice, to find out what ‘achieving good science’ means on an everyday level. Her most important conclusion was that our tendency to understand science in terms of competition is contradicted by much of scientists’ collaborative work and therefore is at least partially misguided. The need to think beyond competition was also much heard in the second part of the workshop, dedicated to constructive changes in the funding system.  

Sharing research evaluation amongst funders and researchers

Drawing upon her interview material, Meirmans offered a number of suggestions for fostering good science, scientists and evaluation practices, e.g. more focus on long-term aims also extending beyond economic ones, bottom-up science, more time and room for scientists to tinker, and a reduction in the number of evaluations and more care when doing so. Speaking from his own experience, Jeroen Geurts (ZonMw) added the need for diversification in evaluations. He shared his dream for research funding that should foster science in the form of bottom-up interdisciplinary collaborative ‘networks of networks’, which led to a very fruitful discussion. Gerd Folkers (Swiss Science Council) gave an insight into the benefits and downsides of the Swiss funding system, illustrating some elements responsible for its success: high-risk high-gain funding, a mix of funding instruments, a certain degree of scepticism towards evaluators, and a firm conviction to design funding ‘with the researchers and for the researchers’. It led the workshop’s chair and project leader Herman Paul (Leiden University) to conclude that the way forward for research evaluation should be shared by funders and researchers.

More information

ZonMw research programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices (FRRP) FRRP Project Follow the Money

Author: Dr Pieter Huistra, Department of History and Art History at Utrecht University

news-4176 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:36:30 +0200 Three bio artists win €25,000 with Bio Art & Design Award 2019 https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/three-bio-artists-win-eur25000-with-bio-art-design-award-2019/ Bio artists Emma van der Leest and Aneta Schaap-Oziemlak (duo), Jon Ho and Michael Sedbon were named the winners of the Bio Art & Design Award 2019 (BAD Award) on Thursday June 13. During the finale, eleven international teams of artists and scientists pitched their bio art project ideas. An independent expertjury, led by jury chairman William Myers, has chosen these three projects as winners, who will each receive a prize of €25,000 to realize their bio art project. The three artworks will then be exhibited from November 29, 2019 at MU in Eindhoven.  

The award ceremony took place during the Border Sessions festival in The Hague, where the eleven teams presented their project ideas during the festival night of the four-day event. The reactions from both the jury as well as the audience were full of praise. William Myers, chairman of the international expert jury, was impressed by the submissions: “This year we had a diverse mix of ideas in the proposals, the quality of which made selecting winners difficult. Overall, they show that these kind of collaborations embrace recent research in the life sciences while pushing its boundaries. The BAD Award is among the first such awards where collaboration is central. We are proud that we can show that the fusion of creativity and research can build community while fostering deeper and better discussions about the impact of the sciences on culture.”

From bacterial culture to leather and gender fluidity 

The duo Emma van der Leest and Aneta Schaap-Oziemlak investigate the wide spectrum of properties of fungi, such as dyes and texture, and how these can be applied to improve qualities of biofabricated products. This has led to a cellulose-based ‘leather’, produced by microorganisms. In this collaboration they develop a waterproof fungi-derived biocoating to improve functional design of ‘leather’. They will realize the project in collaboration with researchers from the Center of Expertise in Mycology (Radboudumc/CWZ). 

Artist Jon Ho looks at sexual fluidity from a new perspective. Recent medical advances, combined with the increased use of gender-fluid identities in popular culture, enable the modern human to envision a reality that extends beyond the traditional confines of one’s biological sex. He dives deeper into this and aims to build an immersive installation chronicling the complex and transgressive capabilities of hermaphroditic fluidity. He will do this in collaboration with the Department of Ecological Science (DES) at VU Amsterdam.

Michael Sedbon explores the era that will be marked by the agency of everything non-human: from selforganizing urban infrastructure to ubiquitous politically driven digital networks. This raises new questions: will this act as a catalyst of already existing tensions or allow for totally new distributions of power? In an experimental setup he highlights both the hopes and issues through an artificial ecosystem comprised of photosynthetic bacterial culture sharing light resources. Governance of this resources is executed by a constantly refining algorithm. Like so, the photosynthetic cells and the computer are experimenting with different political systems granting access to this life necessary resource. Sedbon collaborates with the Biophysics of Photosynthesis research group at the VU Amsterdam. 

The jury about the winners

See the attachment for the jury's laudations about the three winners of the BAD Award 2019 (English).

About the BAD Award

The Bio Art & Design Award (BAD Award) is a unique competition for artists and researchers who push the boundaries of art and science with biotechnological projects. Since 2010, the BAD Award has encouraged young artists and scientists to explore the world of bioart and design. With the support of renowned Dutch scientists, they create new work in which life sciences and art merge. The Bio Art & Design Award is a product of collaboration between ZonMw (Medical Research Council, The Hague), MU Artspace (Eindhoven) and BioArt Laboratories (Eindhoven).

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Photo: Wouter Vellekoop

news-4148 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 14:36:14 +0200 Call for proposals: Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/call-for-proposals-hestia-refugees-in-science-scheme/ The ‘Refugees in Science’ pilot programme that was first launched in 2018 is set to continue in 2019 and 2020 under the name Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme. On 4 June, NWO will announce the new call for 2019. The ‘Refugees in Science’ pilot programme that was first launched in 2018 is set to continue in 2019 and 2020 under the name Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme. On 4 June, NWO will announce the new call for 2019.

Through the Hestia – Refugees in Science Impuls, NWO will provide funding for the appointment of academics who have fled their home country and wish to continue their scientific career in the Netherlands. Candidates must hold a master’s degree or a doctorate and must have been granted refugee status in the Netherlands. The pilot was developed in consultation with the Young Academy, KNAW and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF.

  • The deadline for the call for proposals is 10 September 2019. 
  • More information about the call for proposals will be given during the information session on 3 July.

More information about the call for proposals and the information session can be found on the website of NWO.

news-4145 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 11:13:16 +0200 Final version of Plan S published https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/final-version-of-plan-s-published/ Friday the first of June, cOAlition S published the revised and final version of Plan S. This plan aims to accelerate the transition to open access of all academic publications. The publication of the revised plan follows an intensive consultation process, with more than 400 responses from over 40 countries. Several changes have been made to the plan, including an extension to the formal commencement point for Plan S which will now take effect from 1 January 2021. The current version of Plan S is in alignment with the open access policy ZonMw applies since 2013. The revised version of Plan S can be seen as a logical follow up. 

More about the revised verson of Plan S can be found on the website of NWO.

Zie: Finale versie van Plan S gepubliceerd voor de Nederlandse versie.

news-4139 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 08:41:43 +0200 Twenty-six teachers receive Doctoral Grant https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/twenty-six-teachers-receive-doctoral-grant/ From research on the effect of music on slowing down dementia, the impact of the digital society, the use of smart software to explain a medical diagnosis, to research that designs a model for SME financing – these are some examples of the various subjects that the talented teachers will be doing PhD research on in the coming years within this science-wide programme. The grant is meant for teachers in primary, secondary, vocational, higher vocational and special education. There are no limits to the type of PhD research that they do or want to do. With the PhD grant a replacement teacher can be appointed for a period of maximum 5 years for half of the contract hours, up to a maximum of 0.4 fte.

These are the Doctoral Grants for the domain Health reserach and development:

Nurses’ participation in Antimicrobial Stewardship (NuPAS)

M.J. (Maria) Bos (f) Avans University of Applied Sciences – Radboud University Nijmegen

Antimicrobial resistance (resistance of micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria) against antibiotics) is a global threat with major consequences for healthcare. One of the interventions that can reduce antimicrobial resistance is to ensure that antibiotics are used appropriately. Nurses can play a crucial role in this. This research aims to clarify and describe this role.

Towards nursing competencies which improve access to care for Turkish and Moroccan migrants with dementia and their informal caregivers

G. (Gözde) Duran (f) Windesheim University of Applied Sciences – VU Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The number of Turkish and Moroccan migrants with dementia is rapidly increasing. These migrants hardly use dementia care. This study explores how nurses can recognise, assess and strengthen the ability of Turkish and Moroccan migrants with dementia and their informal caregivers to improve their access to appropriate dementia care.

From black box to intelligible machine learning for the accurate diagnosis of medical images

R. (Ralf) Raumanns (m) Fontys University of Applied Sciences – Eindhoven University of Technology
Smart software, trained in medical imaging, has major potential in healthcare. It is extremely difficult, however, to pinpoint how the software ‘thinks’. This research examines how we can provide those involved with a better understanding by adding a more explicit visual explanation about the diagnosis in order to clear the path for application.

Synthesis of carbohydrate-based multivalent galectin inhibitors

N.V. (Nishant) Sewgobind (m) Avans University of Applied Sciences – Utrecht University
Blocking the action of carbohydrates on certain proteins, specifically galectins, can close off undesirable paths to certain illnesses. Powerful and selective inhibitors for galectins can make this happen. These are designed, synthesised and strengthened in this project. The evaluation will take place in important cell systems and ultimately in mice and humans.

Access to music for people with dementia

R.R. (Rik) Wesselink (m) Windesheim University of Applied Sciences – Eindhoven University of Technology
The quality of life of people with dementia decreases rapidly when they experience difficulties using everyday products and lose their initiative. This research will examine how smart technology can support people with mild-moderate dementia to benefit from the positive effects of listening to music in daily life.

Read more on the website of NWO.


news-4127 Mon, 03 Jun 2019 10:17:54 +0200 Automated tools to ensure value in research https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/automated-tools-to-ensure-value-in-research/ Research environments are expected to drastically change with recent advancements in artificial intelligence and automation. Dr Gerben ter Riet and Dr Mario Malički have been commissioned by ZonMw to identify automated tools that could enhance funder's workflow and support funders in ensuring value in research, while stimulating open science and research innovation. Their findings are published in the report ‘Possible uses of automation technology for optimizing funder’s workflow’. The project included a broad literature study on automated tools and stakeholder consultations. As a result 34 current tools and services were identified and grouped according to the task they aim to facilitate within the funder workflow. For example, automation of knowledge synthesis, writing of proposals or publications, finding reviewers, and evaluating research impact. Validation of the automation tools is still lacking: nevertheless, these tools have the potential to enhance the current workflows. In addition, these tools will help to avoid research waste, fostering responsible research practices and ensuring value in research.

Read more about their findings and recommendations for funders in the article:

Mario Malički and Gerben ter Riet: Possible uses of automation technology for optimizing funder’s workflow. Report For the Committee on Open Science at ZonMw (April 2019) pdf

At The Researcher to Reader Conference in London in February 2019 they organised a series of workshops to discuss their findings.

Video of Mario Malički introducing the workshops

Video of Gerben ter Riet sharing the conclusions of the workshop


news-4092 Fri, 24 May 2019 08:25:02 +0200 Discover the to-reach Strategic Research Agenda https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/discover-the-to-reach-strategic-research-agenda/ The TO-REACH Consortium is pleased to share its draft Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). The SRA has the ambition to address the increasing challenges faced by health systems, directed to those research areas of major relevance in the coming years. In particular, the TO-REACH SRA provides a European strategy to advance our knowledge and understanding of the adoption, implementation and potential scale-up of service and policy innovations while also addressing their translation to other settings within and across countries.

TO-REACH is also launching an online consultation on its SRA. The aim of the consultation is to gather inputs on the document from a wide range of stakeholders to move towards the development of a future EU joint research programme on health services and health systems research.

The consultation will be open until 28th June 2019 !

news-4066 Tue, 21 May 2019 13:44:00 +0200 85 researchers receive NWO-Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/85-researchers-receive-nwo-vidi-grant-worth-800000-euros/ The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research has awarded 85 experienced researchers a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros. The grant enables them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years. With the grant the Vidi laureates will do research on a variety of subjects including how an enzyme can be used to convert wastewater nitrogen compounds into commercially valuable hydrazine and how a smart biological ink can enable the creation of important tissue structures to replace patient’s damaged organs. The Vidi will also help study how artistic practices can provide a platform for institutional experimentation and innovation across and beyond Europe and help develop new methods to identify DNA mutations in order to discover genetic causes for Amyotrofische Laterale Sclerose (ALS).

NWO Talent Scheme

Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. Together with Veni and Vici, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Scheme. Researchers in the NWO Talent Scheme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use. A total of 443 researchers submitted an admissible research project for funding during this Vidi funding round. Eighty-five of these have now received grants. That amounts to an award rate of 19%. See the online list of awarded grants for the 2018 round which contains the names of all of the laureates and brief summaries of their research projects.

Facts and figures for the 2017 round

Number of (admissible) submissions: 443
Gender ratio of submissions: 245 men, 198 women
Number of grants awarded (award rate): 85 (19%)
Gender ratio of awarded grants: 50 men, 35 women
Award rate among men: 20%
Award rate among women: 18%

More information

  • NWO news (op 24/5 link aanvullen)
  • list researchers (op 24/5 link aanvullen)



news-4023 Fri, 10 May 2019 14:22:42 +0200 New strategic research and innovation agenda on antimicrobial resistance https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/new-strategic-research-and-innovation-agenda-on-antimicrobial-resistance/ The update of the JPIAMR Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda on Antimicrobial Resistance (SRIA) presents an overview of recent developments and future needs for AMR research. The agenda was launched 7th May 2019. The SRIA outlines 6 key priority topics within the AMR field: therapeutics, diagnostics, surveillance, transmission, environment and interventions. The SRIA has defined a set of research objectives within each priority topic. Together, 27 countries have created the SRIA.

The SRIA highlights many important research needs, including:

  •     The need to address AMR with a holistic One Health approach
  •     The necessity of including innovation in every aspect of AMR research
  •     Increased inclusion of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)
  •     The need for developments incorporating personalised medicine and artificial intelligence

The SRIA is a prime guiding tool for AMR research prioritisation in investments, research activities and planning for JPIAMR member states and other funding initiatives. It is also one of the most thorough guidelines on AMR research, helping researchers, policy makers, media, educators, health workers and the scientific community to work together on solutions to curb AMR on a global scale.

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news-4019 Thu, 09 May 2019 15:02:31 +0200 Award Fostering Responsible Research Practices https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/award-fostering-responsible-research-practices/ Three projects have each been awarded 75,000 euros to implement knowledge from previous projects from the Fostering Responsible Research Practices programme. These include the establishment of a platform for knowledge and advice about responsible scientific editing policy, the organisation of workshops for hospital personnel to improve the implementation of guidelines and laws concerning the use of human material, and finally the provision of workshops and courses about the shared ideals for responsible biomedical research and how these can be applied in practice. With this approach, the programme will make an important contribution to responsive, transparent and responsible research practices.

In 2017, various projects started within the opening round of the Fostering Responsible Research Practices programme. These projects have now yielded promising results in the area of responsible research practices. ZonMw wants to ensure the implementation of this knowledge and experience. The project groups were therefore invited to submit an implementation plan in the Open Round – Implementation Call.

The following three projects were awarded funding:

Platform for Responsible Editorial Policies (PREP)

Project leader: Dr W. Halffman

The PREP project is a follow-up to the IMPER study into how scientific journals assess their publications using the peer-review procedure. We found pointers for the types of peer review that are more likely to ensure that articles are not first published and then retracted due to errors. In PREP, we will build a website about peer review on which academic journal editors can receive advice about how their peer review procedure could be improved. In exchange for that advice, we will, in turn, collect more data about the current peer review procedures of academic journals. We intend the PREP website to grow into a knowledge platform about responsible editing of academic journals. Recommendations about improved transparency and the responsible use of publication indicators will therefore be included.

PREP will be realised in collaboration with the Centre for Science and Technology Studies in Leiden.

Practical help towards responsible use of residual biospecimens and data in medical research in the Netherlands

Project leader: Dr M.K. Schmidt & Dr S. Rebers

For many disorders, human material, such as tumour tissue, is taken during an operation or for diagnostic purposes. Subsequently, surplus material often remains that can be used for scientific research. Dutch and European guidelines and laws govern the proper and transparent "further use" of human material with respect to privacy and consent, for example. The project group has developed a toolkit to help hospitals better implement these guidelines and laws. The toolkit contains technological and other resources, examples of good practices and implementation strategies. This project aims to facilitate the use of this toolkit by organising workshops. This meets the wishes of hospital employees to share experiences to facilitate the implementation. Moreover, specific knowledge acquired during the earlier project, especially about GDPR, will be translated into online flow diagrams to enable hospitals to use this knowledge in a practical way.

Stimulating Academic Gatekeeper Engagement in responsible research assessment (SAGE)

Project leader: Prof. S. de Rijcke

The project "ORR" has yielded a wealth of knowledge about the shared ideals of responsible biomedical research and the different ways in which these ideals are shaped in practice. In "SAGE", the researchers will translate the results to the practice of organising and evaluating biomedical research. With this, the focus will be on the "gatekeepers" at university medical centres who can contribute to changing the criteria for assessing and rewarding researchers. SAGE will result in: a workshop tailored to the organisation and a report for each of our two partner institutes (Deliverables 1 and 2); a two-day course for the responsible administrators working at all Dutch university medical centres (Deliverable 3); instructional videos about responsible evaluation for the purpose of the course, which will be made available online upon conclusion of the course (Deliverable 4).

More information

  • Programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices  The programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices funds research into responsible research practices. This programme therefore responds to the need for more quality, integrity and efficiency in scientific research.


"Evolution or Revolution" The researcher in 2030
On Thursday, 23 May 2019, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference "Evolution or Revolution?" which will be held at the Fokker Terminal in The Hague. Would you like more information? Programme and registration


news-4017 Thu, 09 May 2019 11:55:16 +0200 Call for proposals for innovative research on lymphoma https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/call-for-proposals-for-innovative-research-on-lymphoma/ The Lymph&Co Foundation is funding innovative scientific research from basic/preclinical research through translational research to treatment and prevention of lymphoma by outstanding researchers worldwide. In 2020, we intend to fund one or two research projects with a maximum budget of 1.5 M€.

The deadline for submitting the pre-proposals is 15 July 2019.

More information?

Please visit Lymph&Co Research Grant

news-3989 Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:49:48 +0200 Apply now for a Gender in Research Fellowship - deadline 9th of May https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/apply-now-for-a-gender-in-research-fellowship-deadline-9th-of-may/ The deadline to apply for a Gender in Research Fellowship is approaching fast! With the fellowship, both national and international PhD-students and postdoctoral researchers from all kinds of health-related disciplines are given the opportunity to attend this interesting new course of the Erasmus Summer Programme, focusing on gender, health and research. Through the Gender and Health course and the Gender in Research workshops, participants are provided with new skills and knowledge on why and how to include sex and gender considerations in all phases of the research cycle. This is highly important, as biological, psychosocial and cultural factors can affect the health of men and women differently.

ZonMw encourages the next generation of researchers to gain the skills and know-how of integrating sex and gender in their future work. The course is held from 19-23 August 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. ZonMw offers 20 fellowships for this joint course programme. Deadline for application is May 9th, 14.00h. Read the flyer for more information.

Apply here for the fellowships

Flyer Gender&Health



news-3986 Mon, 29 Apr 2019 10:38:00 +0200 InnoSysTox – Moving 2019 Call for Proposals https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/innosystox-moving-2019-call-for-proposals-1/ The ZonMw More Knowledge with Fewer Animals programme (MKMD) announces the second call for ‘Innovative Systems Toxicology for the replacement of animal testing’, in short InnoSysTox. The aim of the call is to bring about a mind shift towards human biology in the field of toxicology and computational modelling. Furthermore, it stimulates applications without the use of animal testing. InnoSysTox is an initiative that is jointly organised by the funding organisations ZonMw (Netherlands), BMBF (Germany) and F.R.S.-FNRS (Belgium, Francophone). The call enables scientists to build an effective international collaboration with a clear benefit for human biology and replacing animal tests in the field of toxicology.

Deadline for application is Tuesday July 2th 2019, 23:59h. Applications can only be submitted via the online submission tool.

This joint call is open to public-private consortia formed by research organizations and Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s). ZonMw will fund Dutch partners in a consortium consiststing of at least one Dutch public partner and one German and/or one Belgian (FNRS fundable) public partner and at least one SME (Dutch or non-Dutch). A total budget of up to M€ 3.8 is expected to be available for the call. ZonMw will contribute up to M€ 2.0 and will only allocate grants to applicants based in the Netherlands. Joint research projects may apply for a joint project scale with a maximum duration of four years.

More information:

news-3971 Thu, 25 Apr 2019 12:15:40 +0200 Share your vision about scientist 2030 https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/share-your-vision-about-scientist-2030/ The recognition and appreciation of the scientist of the future will be the subject of our discussion with established and young scientists, researchers, funding organisations and civil-society partners. New set of competencies for tomorrow’s scientists

Is science in need of renewal? Society as a whole takes a critical view of the value and function of science. The recognition and appreciation of scientists relies strongly on citations and impact factors and scientists face serious pressures in terms of their time and their performance in both research and teaching. But what does the current system say about their contribution to science or to society? Is it time to consider a completely new set of competencies for tomorrow’s scientists?

Share your vision

In the Fokker Terminal in The Hague on 23 May, 2019, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference 'Evolution or revolution? Join the conversation about the scientist of 2030'. You are warmly welcome to attend – sign up and share your vision.

Join the conversation online: #wetenschapper2030



news-3954 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 17:20:01 +0200 ZonMw joines GLoPID-R for infectious diseases https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/zonmw-joines-glopid-r-for-infectious-diseases-1/ GloPID-R is pleased to welcome the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), represented by Suzanne Verver, into the network. GloPID-R is a unique international network of major research funding organizations. The network of 27 countries facilitates a rapid and effective research response to infectious disease outbreaks. ZonMw and international research

ZonMw funds health research in the Netherlands and promotes the practical application of the knowledge this research produces. While mainly focused on research projects within the country, it also has an international focus through its participation in various European initiatives, including Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs), ERA-NETs, and European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). ZonMw also participates in Heads of International Research Organisations (HIROs) to discuss large, international health care themes.

Antibiotic resistance

ZonMw runs separate programmes for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and other aspects of infectious diseases. For these programs the aim is to cover the entire spectrum of research from science to policy and through a One Health approach. ZonMw currently runs a national research program on antibacterial resistance (ABR) and is partner in the Strategic Research Agenda of the JPI on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), also a partner of GloPID-R. In the national programme, ZonMw finances many projects studying ABR such as alternative ways to reduce antibiotic use in animals and human-animal ABR transmission.

Infectious diseases

ZonMw also runs a national programma on infectious disease control, including non-alimentary zoonoses. Emerging infectious disease research is part of this programme. The programme funds currently around 40 large research projects, including projects on HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, STIs, pneumonia, vaccine preventable diseases, infection control, arbovirusses, Lyme disease, campylobacter, rabies, Zika, tick-borne diseases, psittacosis and clostridium difficile. By joining GLoPID-R ZonMw intends to expand its international collaboration on emerging infectious diseases.

Data sharing

Despite being a new member, ZonMw jumped into the network and has already participated in the GloPID-R Data Sharing working group. GloPID-R appreciates their participation and looks forward to learning more from their expertise.

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news-3952 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:49:00 +0200 ZonMw, NWO and KNAW to sign DORA declaration https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/zonmw-nwo-and-knaw-to-sign-dora-declaration/ KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and ZonMw (Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) will sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) on 18 April. DORA is a global initiative that aims to reduce dependence on bibliometric indicators (such as publications and citations) in the evaluation of research and researchers, and increase the use of other criteria. The declaration outlines a set of recommendations on how to improve research evaluation. KNAW, NWO and ZonMw fully endorse the principles laid out in the DORA declaration and will adapt their own procedures to it.

The DORA declaration was published in 2012 and targets research funders, publishers, research institutes and researchers. The declaration has already been signed by more than 1,200 organisations and almost 14,000 researchers around the world.

Signing the DORA declaration fits within the broader aim of developing new approaches for recognising and valuing researchers in the Netherlands. Moreover, this coincides with the transition to open science and open access. The key aim is to evaluate research and researchers on their merits.

Signing DORA means that organisations have to align their practices and procedures with the principles in this declaration. DORA is about more than just that, however. Endorsing the values of DORA requires a broader discussion within the scientific community about how researchers evaluate (each other) and about the criteria for evaluating scientific quality.

Joint follow-up actions

KNAW, NWO and VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands, which had already signed the declaration) will team up to ensure that the DORA principles become firmly entrenched during the forthcoming review of the standard evaluation protocol (SEP).

As far as the KNAW and NWO institutes are concerned, staff policy will be made DORA-proof where necessary. Indeed, more attention will be devoted to the value of the content and the impact of the research, and other forms of output like citations or impact factors of journals will be taken into account as well. On 23 May, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference 'Evolution or revolution?' to launch a discussion about rethinking how we recognise and value scientists. KNAW is organising a gathering for its members on 7 June to discuss the significance of DORA.

    Join the conversation about the scientist 2030 at the conference Evolutie of revolutie (23 May 2019)

NWO and ZonMw’s follow-up steps

As a result of having signed the DORA declaration, NWO and ZonMw are planning to take the following concrete steps:

  • Identify (and substantiate) more clearly which criteria will be used to evaluate quality. This will be carried out for all funding instruments in the context of the specific objective of the instrument in question.
  • Remove all references to Journal Impact Factors and the h-index in all call texts and application forms.
  • Actively inform referees and committee members about NWO and ZonMw’s signing of DORA and the consequences that this will have for them, namely: that their main priority when evaluating research proposals must be the quality of the researcher and of the proposal’s content and not the prestige of the journals in which researchers have published or the statistics derived from that, such as the Journal Impact Factor or the h-index. A training activity is being developed for referees, committee members and secretaries.
  • Take other scientific outputs with scientific and/or societal impact into account as well (such as data, software, codes, patents, and so forth) when evaluating quality.
  • Maximise publication lists in applications. Ask researchers to explain in detail how they are contributing to their scientific field: why and what was the impact of their work on science and/or society? Some experience has been gained in this area already, among others through the pre-proposal pilot for the Veni scheme.
  • Accept preprints as research output, in line with recent policy changes introduced by the European Research Council (ERC).
  • Explicitly recognise open research practices by applicants in evaluation procedures and acknowledge their value. NWO is considering a pilot with an ‘open science track record question’ on application forms. Researchers would thus be asked about their commitment (in the past and in the future) to open science activities: open access publishing, sharing of preprints, sharing of research data and other kinds of open science.

KNAW’s follow-up steps

KNAW has further adapted its procedures and practices to the DORA principles during the past period. The guidelines for nominating members to KNAW and The Young Academy are already DORA-proof. The guidelines for awards and funding handled by KNAW will be brought more in line with the DORA principles.

In the coming period, KNAW will also focus on DORA’s points of departure by facilitating discussions between scientists. What are the benchmarks for evaluating quality? What kinds of opportunities have presented themselves? As a scientist, how do you proceed in practice when you have to evaluate dossiers as a member of an appointment committee, as a department head or as a peer reviewer for grants or for nominations and recommendations?

This discussion, which is already being conducted in various juries and committees, will take place during a member gathering on this theme on 7 June, for example.

More information

news-3934 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:19:20 +0200 ZonMw participates in the public-private partnership VALUE-Dx to fight antimicrobial resistance https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/zonmw-participates-in-the-public-private-partnership-value-dx-to-fight-antimicrobial-resistance-1/ On April 1st 2019 the kick-off meeting of the European public-private partnership VALUE-Dx took place. This European-wide approach aims to generate evidence on the medical, economic, and public health value of diagnostics in tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As a member of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), ZonMw participates in this consortium. Better prescription and use of antibiotics

VALUE-Dx is the first Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project that is conceived by representatives of the diagnostics sector and includes world renowned experts from a wide range of academic disciplines. The project is initiated by 6 in vitro diagnostic companies that join forces with 20 non-industry partners that together set out to combat AMR and improve patient outcomes. The consortium aims to transform medical practice to achieve more personalised, evidence-based antibiotic prescription and use in community care settings through the widespread use of clinical and cost-effective innovative diagnostic strategies. VALUE-Dx is co-funded by the European Commission (IMI), the Wellcome Trust and private companies, with a total budget of approximately 14 million euros over 4 years.

AMR and diagnostics

Diagnostics are an essential element in the fight against AMR, and as mentioned by Dr. Pierre Meulien, Executive Director of IMI, “Only by pooling expertise and working together in this way can we hope to address major challenges like AMR”. The project will focus on acute respiratory tract infections acquired in community care settings. These infections are the most frequent cause of medical consultation and inappropriate antibiotic use. Moreover, the outcomes of VALUE-Dx have the potential to be applied to other common infections such as urinary tract infections, blood stream infections, and hospital-acquired respiratory tract infections.


“VALUE-Dx is a unique multidisciplinary consortium, with participation of clinicians, microbiologists, health economists, social scientists, and industry”, states Professor Dr. Goossens of the University of Antwerp and coordinator of this project. Furthermore, he mentions: “the VALUE-Dx project will be a game changer to show the true medical and economic value of diagnostics to support antibiotic stewardship and preserve the efficacy of these medications for improving patient care today and for future generations.”

ZonMw: participation in VALUE-Dx as member of JPIAMR

ZonMw participates in JPIAMR since 2012. This research initiative of 27 countries coordinates national public funding to support AMR research and activities in a transnational manner. ZonMw coordinates two work packages. One has resulted in a newly updated strategic research and innovation agenda including priority areas such as the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, transmission, environment, interventions and surveillance. The second one promotes reuse of research data and microbial collections, as well as supporting services and research infrastructures.


Enabling reuse of data and microbial collections is the common interest of JPIAMR and VALUE-Dx. Therefore, ZonMw is currently developing a survey with the aim of getting an overview of existing resources and services that are relevant for AMR research. The overview will be made available for the entire AMR research community. It will advance AMR research by making valuable resources and services findable, and contribute to their reusability.

More information




news-3910 Mon, 15 Apr 2019 08:46:14 +0200 Young research talents off to foreign top institutes thanks to Rubicon https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/young-research-talents-off-to-foreign-top-institutes-thanks-to-rubicon/ 17 researchers who have recently received their PhDs can do their research at foreign research institutes thanks to a Rubicon grant from NWO. They will investigate, amongst other things, artificial intelligence for improved ultrasonography, Imaging muscle function in ALS patients, Printing living tissue through protective cell coating and new blood vessel formation. The Rubicon programme gives young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience. Thanks to the Rubicon grant, these young researchers can do their research at top institutes like the University of Cambridge and Harvard University.

These 6 project will contribute to health research and development:

A healthy pregnancy for a healthy child's heart

  • Dr A.W. (Arend) van Deutekom (m), VU Amsterdam -> United Kingdom, University of Oxford, Department of Cardiovascular Clinical Research, 12 months. Birth-related factors influence the disposition for later cardiovascular diseases. Using new imaging techniques we will investigate how these factors influence the development of the child's heart, and whether a healthy pregnancy results in a healthier heart for posterity.

Imaging muscle function in ALS patients

  • L. (Linda) Heskamp MSc (f) Radboudumc -> United Kingdom, University of Newcastle, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, 24 months. In ALS patients, some muscles are frequently affected and others rarely. The researcher wants to understand this by using a new imaging technique to investigate the muscle composition and function of several muscles in ALS patients to gather knowledge for the development of treatments.

Printing living tissue through protective cell coating

  • Dr T. (Tom) Kamperman (m), University of Twente -> United States, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Shin Laboratory, 12 months. The 3D printing of organs offers new solutions for treating diseases. Unfortunately, many cells die during the 3D printing process. In this project, I will develop a protective cell coating as a result of which cell death during the printing process will be prevented.

Understanding new blood vessel formation

  • Dr T. (Tommaso) Ristori (m), Eindhoven University of Technology -> United States, Boston University, Biomedical Engineering, 24 months. By combining sophisticated computational models and experiments, I will unravel the interaction between different cellular signals regulating the formation of new healthy and pathological blood vessels. This research contributes to the development of new medical treatments for diseases such as cancer and ischaemia.

Artificial intelligence for improved ultrasonograph

  • Dr R.J.G. (Ruud) van Sloun (m), Eindhoven University of Technology ->Israel, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 12 months. The most important medical imaging techniques today, such as MRI and CT, are not sustainable. The machines are very large, use dangerous radiation or are very expensive. An exception is ultrasonography, but this does not provide the same image quality as MRI/CT. The researcher will deploy artificial intelligence to change this.

A closer look at the inflammatory response

  • Dr L. (Lotte) Spel (f), University Medical Center Utrecht -> Switzerland, University of Lausanne, Biochemistry, 24 months. Constant inflammation without a cause; often associated with fever, skin rash and joint pain. The researcher will investigate the so-called inflammatory diseases at the molecular level. She will zoom in on the working mechanism by unravelling which proteins switch on and switch off the inflammation.

More information

news-3906 Fri, 12 Apr 2019 14:31:12 +0200 MG-NL identifies obstacles to use and reuse genomics data https://www.health-ri.org/news-events/mg-nl-identifies-obstacles-use-and-reuse-genomics-data MG-NL, the Dutch ‘mirror group’ of the European Million Genomes Initiative made an inventory of available genome sequences in the Netherlands. A first analysis clearly identified some major obstacles for the use and reuse of genomics data in research.