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Research profile

The scientific research at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) is of high quality, anchored in (inter)national research networks and has a strong societal orientation. Sources of inspiration in the quest for solutions to global issues, are cosmopolitical Rotterdam, the harbour and region. In 2019, we have made big steps towards regional collaboration. 

An ambitious year

2019 was an ambitious year for education at EUR. New lines of research strategy and research collaborations were started, and the launch of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus strategy 2020-2025 meant a boost for the three universities' collaboration. The main aim is to contribute jointly to the great societal issues. The three universities’ may collaborate internationally and multidisciplinary on regional, national and global challenges due to their great scientific quality, the enormous bandwidth of the complementary portfolios and their location in their proximity. 

During the opening of the academic year, Strategy2024 was presented. During the presentation, ambitions and aims for the positive societal impact of EUR research were emphasised. An example is the announced fourth Erasmus Initiative, directed at the social consequences of artificial intelligence. In 2019, the other three Erasmus Initiatives have built their internal and external networks to increase their research’s impact. In the research at the faculties, research flourished and was awarded with prizes and scholarship, including seven Veni awards, six Vidi awards and two Vici awards.

In April 2019, it was announced that Delft University of Technology, Erasmus MC and Erasmus University will collaborate more closely. With this move, the societal and academic necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration between medicine, technology and social sciences is emphasized. The structural reinforcement of collaboration offers an enormous chance to profile our region more clearly, both nationally and internationally. In 2019, on both managerial and scientific level, a lot of effort was made to create a common research and educational strategy, and translate this strategy into practice.

Erasmus Initiatives

The connection and interaction between science and society, between theory and practice is in our DNA. Erasmus Initiatives bundle the powers of science that matters in three research lines: Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity, Smarter Choices for Better Health en Vital Cities & Citizens.

Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity (DoIP)
DoIP is a collaboration between the faculties ESL, RSM and ESPhil. It is investigated how people can profit from increasing prosperity, while at the same time, limiting the negative effects. Activities are organized around three focus areas: inclusive cities, sustainability and inclusive ecology, and inclusive financial systems. In 2019, DoIP organized eight events, mostly together with external partners. The events brought the group of core researchers – seven academic staff members and ten PhD students with their promotors – who formed the start of the development into a community of involved academics whose work is related to the activities of DoIP.
To stimulate the work of Inclusive Prosperity faculty broad, DoIP continues its usual habit to assign small grants (up to 10,000 euros) to initiatives of researchers. Also, connections were made with external partners within the Netherlands ana abroad. For example, a collaboration agreement was signed with the China Academy of Urban Planning & Design, and conversations were held with several cities in the Netherlands to elaborate on opportunities for long-term collaboration.

Smarter Choices for Better Health (SCBH)
SCBH has been started as a collaboration of the faculties ESHMP, ESE and Erasmus MC. Along four Action Lines, research is conducted on prevention, cost control and effect measurement of healthcare and health inequality.
As the result of an open call in 2019, SCBH has broadened its scope in 2019 by starting five new PhD projects within the Action Lines. Two of these projects are ESSB’s and ESPhil’s, increasing the number of facilties actively involved with SCBH.

The fourteen PhD students and three Postdocs within the initiative have built their own network to reinforce their mutual relationships – being divided among five different faculties and two campuses.

Researchers tied to SCBH remained successful in receiving grants and prizes. The most noteworthy is Dr. Carlos Riumallo Herl. Afer receiving an EU grant in 2018, he received a Marie Curie Fellowship in 2019 and, during the opening of the academic year in August, the EUR Research Prize.

Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC)
VCC is a collaboration between the faculties ESSB, ESHCC and ISS and directs itself on the contribution of life quality in urban environments. Within VCC, four themes have been created: Resilient cities and citizens, Inclusive cities, Smart cities and citizens, Sustainable and righteous cities. In 2019, seven group levels on medior/senior level were appointed, to balance the number of junior researchers (eighteen PhD students and seven Postdocs). This reinforced the further cohesion of the programme.

VCC connects interdisciplinary academic research with societal impact. There is a large connection with the city of Rotterdam, and directs itself on the development of a common knowledge agenda and the areas of sustainability, inclusivity and social, cultural an economic inequality. VCC collaborates with so-called ‘knowledge hotspots’- such as ‘livable districts’, ‘smart cities’ and ‘healthy cities’ – where the city of Rotterdam and EUR (ESSB/VCC) closely cooperate.

In 2019, VCC opened the doors for external stakeholders and it is the intention to do this much more in 2020. The leading Dean Professor Victor Bekkers signed a collaboration agreement between knowledge institutions and public and private actors that are partners of VVC in the Green Deal Aquathermia.

Academic Integrity


For EUR, it is of great importance that the principles of a professional and conscientious academic practice, as well as the norms and frameworks for good scientific practice are stated clearly, and well taught, known and applied. The responsibility for the reinforcement of these principles is carried by all persons involved in the education and research. Besides this individual responsibility, the revised Netherlands Code of Conduct for Research Integrity (2018) emphasises the university’s role in stimulating professional and ethical scientific practice. As described in this code of conduct, he five duties of care for the university relate to (1) training & supervision, (2) research culture, (3) data management, (4) publication & spread, (5) ethical standardisation and procedures. In 2018, EUR has translated these duties of care into an implementation plan: the EUR Roadmap academic integrity.

In 2019, a lot of progress has been made concerning the implementation of the duties of care. For example, a monitoring tool has been developed to keep track of the developments within the research culture and the extent to which EUR fulfills the duties of care. In late 2019, a first corporate survey was spread among all faculties’ staff members to map the ways in which academic integrity is embedded within the faculties: Is it a topic of discussion, are the staff members familiar with the code of conduct? This survey’s results were regarded as a baseline, and included in the Audit agenda. Also, the result serves as a basis for the implementation plan ‘evidence-based policy’, containing policy interventions. The aim of all this, is to achieve an even better research culture.

Dilemma Game as App
The Dilemma Game is one of the ways EUR pays structural attention to academic integrity. The game consists 75 dilemmas of integrity and invites reserarchers to discuss these dilemmas in small groups. As the game is a very succesful method to discuss this sensitive topic – both within EUR and in a broader inter/national context – a smartphone app adaptation of the board game has been made. This way, new dilemmas and features, such as individual use, can be added easily. This innovation allows EUR to be even more active in its contribution to an open, safe and inclusive research culture, discussing dilemmas surrounding integrity in the coming years.

Confidential Counsellor, Commission and Coordinators
Apart from the introduction of new measures in 2019, a lot of efforts have been made that year to reinforce and improve the existing facilities for academic integrity. EUR staff members can speak with the confidential counsellors Academic Integrity, if they have questions about academic integrity, suspicions of breach of integrity and abuses. Besides, everyone has the right to file a complaint with the Commission Academic Integrity. Also, every faculty has a Coordinator Academic Integrity, whose responsibilities include putting the topic in the spotlight, coordinating events and activities that contribute to this, and refering to relevant coordinators and confidential counsellors. With the purpose to create an unambiguously and transparent overview of relevant information in 2019, all information facilities for academic integrity have been reviewed.  

Research Profile

Research Quality
The achievements of EUR research groups in the areas of research quality, impact and viability are monitored and improved in external evaluations based on the Standard Evaluation Profile (every six years), and in interim assessments by EUR. The progress of the implementation of research strategies that were built upon earlier external evaluations were assessed by means of an interim evaluation, and qualified as sufficient.

Strategic Research Policy Proceeds

Erasmus Research Services (ERS)

EUR’s mission is to create positive societal impact and the strong ambitions striving for excellent research demands a professional service that supports researchers. Therefore, the Executive Board has decided to structurally anchor the ERS programme within the organisation: Since 1 January 2020, ERS is officially launched as a new service under Professional Services.

The external developments as well, demand a permanent service for the support of researchers. This support relates to topics such as the increasing demand of revenue from Horizon Europe, NOW and contract research: the care duties of universities surrounding research data management and ethical review: open science; and the new view on recognition and validation of researchers. Stemming from this, the research landscape is at the onset of a cultural change in its way to perform and value research.

In conjunction with the faculties and other services, ERS offers high quality research services with an appreciation for the unique character of every research project, to every researcher. ERS supports researchers – before and during their research project – from different areas of expertise, subsidy support, legal support, research data management, open science, ethics and research intelligence. In the coming years, ERS works on its service portfolio, and agreements are to be made with the faculties on the services they need. ERS represents research in centrally organised processes at EUR, and aims to bring external networks together, creating an overview of all of EUR’s research activities.

PhDs and bursaries

In 2019, 366 PhD defenses took place. This is a small increase, compared to the average of the last five years (358 between 2014 and 2018). Especially remarkable were the increase of the number of PhDs at ESHCC (from 6 to 11), ISS (from 12 to 20) and RSM (from 14 to 26). 12 women and 10 men were awarded their PhDs with distinction.

Table 3.1 PhD Defenses with Distinction and without Distinction

  M   F    
Faculty with Distinction without Distinction with Distinction without Distinction Total
ESE   13   4 17
ESHPM   2   7 9
ESHCC 1 4   6 11
ESL   13   9 22
ESPhyl   3   1 4
ESSB   10 3 15 28
Erasmus MC* 8 85 7 129 229
ISS 1 7 2 10 20
RSM   19   7 26
TOTAAL 10 156 12 188 366
* Incl. the joint initiative with VU          

Developments at the Faculty Level

Every faculty is asked to name a few highlights in the area of academic research and its societal impact. These wonderful examples show that EUR is a groundbreaking university, influencing society.

Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

PhD and job market
In 2019, seventeen PhD defences were held, and fifteen new PhD students started. There were a number of successes. For example, Esmee Zwiers was positioned at the Center for Health and Wellbeing at Princeton University as Postdoctoral Research Associate, and PhD alumna Caroline received the AoM Dissertation Award 2019. Besides, in 2019, ESE hosted the Europan Job Market, involving more than 1900 candidates and recruiters from across European academia. The job interviews were held at the Woudestein Campus, where Professor Thomas Piketty held a well-visited guest lecture on economic inequality and its causes, relating to his new book Capital and Ideology.

Quality Care
The midterm review research has been completed in January 2019. The commission was positive on the research quality at ESE and the enthusiasm of the staff members at ESE. The commission therefore advised to elaborate on differentiation in the career policy.

Health and economics
The world-leading health economist Professor John Cawley (Cornell University, USA) is connected to the Erasmus Initiative Smarter Choices for Better Health. His research, in collaboration with among others Professor Hans van Kippersluis, is directed at prevention in relation to obesity and smoking. Professor Cawley visits EUR twice every year for a few weeks. The rest of the year, he is involved at the EUR research while staying in the USA. As part of the same Erasmus Initiative, ESE researchers visited the well-attended annual meeting in 2019. Within EUR, a significant number of researchers works within the intersection of health and economics, in which there is always a connecting role for ESE.

Sustainable development goals
At the end of 2018, twelve ESE projects were initiated, that were specifically directed on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). During an interactive workshop in September 2019, the involved researchers were enthusiastically informed about each other projects. Among the attendees was former Prime Minister Professor Jan Peter Balkenende, who emphasised the international relevance of the SDGs. Although many SDGs are strongly focused on concrete progress, with among others a civil technological character, economists can deliver an important contribution towards the debate on better education, clean water, sustainable transportation and diversity.

Every year, ESE contributes to KidsRights Index. Besides, our academics, with their methodological research, have contributed to a newly started initiative of the KidsRights Foundation: A preferendum among youth on Climate Change that was on top of the agenda of the UN-top in September. From this preferendum, it stems that 91 percent of the more than 10,000 consulted youth see climate change as a huge issue that demands for quick action.

Erasmus School of Law (ESL)

New member of The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
On 16 September, the The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has installed Professor Xandra Kramer (1971) as a new member. She pioneers in research on civil procedural law in cross-border disputes (see information below) and is involved in the development of a European legal system that is accessible for all (Building EU Civil Justice). Xandra Kramer is professor of private law at Erasmus School of Law, and part-time professor of international private law at Utrecht University. She advises among others the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Ministry of Justice and Security and the The Council for the Judiciary. Furthermore, she is a deputy judge at the Rotterdam Court of Law.

Informed choices in cross-border enforcement (IC2BE)
In December 2019, Professor Xandra Kramer and Dr. Elena Alina Onţanu completed a study in which they assessed whether existing European regulations of the ‘second generation’ warrant an effective enforcement of allocated damages in cross-border disputes, or whether the EU needs a more coherent legal framework. The research was financed by the European Union via the programme Civil Law 2014-2020, and was part of the IC2BE project, in which seven European universities and institutes participated. The findings of the project partners have been added to an open access database on national and European jurisprudence  (www.uantwerpen.be/en/projects/ic2be/). Every partner organized a number of workshops to share national findings with the stakeholders. In a closing conference, the researchers discussed the main results of the project with legal practitioners from different member states, national and European policy makers and academics within the field.

Illicit Drugs in the Rotterdam Harbour
Commissioned by the City of Rotterdam, Rotterdam Police, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and Customs, the research project ‘Drug crimes’ was performed in the Rotterdam harbour between January 2018 and April 2019. Based on 73 interviews, an analysis of 10 casefiles, and observations from within the harbor, enabled the research team (Professor Richard Staring, Dr. Robby Roks, Dr. Lieselot Bisschop, Professor Henk van de Bunt and Elisabeth Brein MSc) to map the societal organization and management of illicit drug smuggle in the Rotterdam harbour. In particular, they looked at the vulnerabilities for drug smuggle in the logistic process. The research resulted in a book, a published lay summary and an article in the journal Justitiële Verkenningen. The research team organised a CIROC conference to discuss the results, on 12 September 2019. The project received a lot of media attention, leading to many invites of the research team by companies in the Rotterdam harbour, for a discussion of their results.

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC)

Social consequences of catastrophes

Given the current concern on infectional diseases, it is absolutely necessary that we obtain an overview of the societal consequences of large scale epidemics. The NOW Vidi project Positively Shocking! The Redistributive Impact of Mass Mortality through Epidemic Diseases and Violent Conflict in Early Modern Northwest Europe (2019-2024) of Dr. Daniel R. Curtis investigates how violent conflict and epidemic diseases have a long-term impact on the wealth distribution of the affected societies. In the past, it is found that specific social groups were more than other groups able to react to the challenges, enabling them to use the dangers to their benefit.  

Racial stereotypes in soccer journalism

Dr. Jacco van Sterkenburg investigates the role of ethnicity and skin colour in the production process of soccer journalism and its translation into media content and audience experience. This study takes place in four countries, and offers new insights in soccer as a catalysator of discourse surrounding ethnicity and skin colour.

Worlds of Imagination

The large-scale ERC research project Worlds of Imagination is directed at film tourism and the increasing recruitment of the film and tourism industries.Within this project, several workshops have been organized in 2019, aiming to bring professionals and film and tourism scientists together, working towards more sustainable forms of film tourisms in the long term. For example, Débora Póvoa Ribeiro organised a seminar during the international film festival in Alter do Chão (Brazil) and researcher Apoorva Nanjagud organized two local workshops in Mumbai (India), the film center of Bollywood.

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)

Assessment Innovative Abilitiy

In 2019, Hanneke Gieske defended her PhD dissertation on the innovative ability of the Water Authorities. Among others, she found that if water authorities continue with optimisation for too long (and thus, not innovating), this contributes to a decrease of performance. Furthermore, she rebuilt her survey method with focus groups to a tool that is now used at several public organisations, such as the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management, to asses and reinforce their innovative ability. The application of this tool leads to new data that can be used for research.

A better understanding of anxiety disorders

Since anxiety disorders are prevalent among fifteen percent of the population, there is an urgent need for a better understanding of these disorders and better treatment options. In collaboration with the researchers of the University of Würzburg (Germany), Professor Matthias Wieser and Dr. Marta Andreatta investigated how individuals with a low respectively high anxiety level processed threatening information in both more as less predictable contexts. By using EEG to measure brain activity, they found that individuals with a high level of anxiety processed unpredictable threatening information in another way, compared with individuals with a low level of anxiety. Their findings were published in Scientific Reports.

Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPHil)

In 2019, the faculty received several research grants. We have chosen to highlight the three grants below.

Professor Han van Rulen received an NWO Open Competition-SGW grant. This grant, to the value of 750,000 euros at most, stimulates excellent independent and curiosity-driven research within the social sciences and humanities. In this research, Van Ruler collaborates with Dr. Erik-Jan Bos, historian of the early modern philosophy and the 17th century republic at the Faculty of Letters at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and the Erasmus School of Philosophy. He is an expert on the French philosopher and scientist René Descartes and his contemporaries.

In a research project, that is partly connected to the research of Professor Van Ruler, Dr. Paolo Rossini (SNS Pisa, Italy) received a grant of 176,000 euros from the Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA IF) of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme. The MSCA IF Grant aims to enable experienced researchers to work abroad, expand their network and built their academic resume.

Associate Professor Constanze Binder, co-director of the Erasmus Instatute for Philosophy and Economics (EIPE) and program director of the Research Master’s degree programme Philosophy and Economics, received an EUR grant of 150,000 euros and an NOW Aspasia grant of 150,000 euros. NWO Aspasia confers grants aiming to help female academics ahead in their path towards becoming associate professor or full professor.

Erasmus MC

Immunosuppressive effects of Measles infection

Measles is a very infectous disease, caused by the measles virus. Vaccination with the mumps-measles-rumbella vaccin has had a predominant role in reducing the morbidity and death among children. Rik Swart (Department of Virology) discovered, together with a team of international researchers, that the measles virus damages the cells of a specific area of the immune system that creates antibodies against other pathogens. As a result, children who have had measles – until years after their measles infection – suffer from more infections than children who did not have measles. Given the record number of measles infections, it is advised – based on this study – to keep better track of patients who have recently had a measles infection, to expand the measles vaccination campaign, an to expand herd immunity for different kinds of pathogens in countries with recent outbreaks of the measles.

Medicine for rare thyroid disease

Erasmus MC researchers have, headed by Edward Visser (Department of Internal Medicine) developed a medicine against a rare thyroid disease: the Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome (AHDS). This disease is caused by a genetic defect of the thyroid hormone transporter MCT8. As a result of this, the thyroid hormones have no access to the nerve system, that depends on signals from the thyroid to function well and develop. There is no established treatment for AHDS. In an international multicenter clinical trial among patients with MCT8 deficiency, started at the initiative of researchers, a medicine named Triac has resulted in effective improvement of among others body weight, heart beat and heart rhythm, blood pressure and biochemical markers of thyroid hormone activity in several tissues. The medicine is currently being registered, and will possibly be available to patients next year.

Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Erasmus Center for Data Analytics (ECDA)

In 2019, the Erasmus Center for Data Analytics (ECDA) has been formally launched. ECDA is one of RSM’s leading research centers and combines researchers from almost every department at RSM. ECDA has a completely open architecture, enabling even researchers from EMC, ESL, ESSB and ESPhil to participate as academic directors. One of the spearheads is research into the further incorporation of artificial intelligence and blockchain in the financial system. EDCA researcher Dr. Dion Bongaerts, Associate Professor of Finance at RSM, collaborates with researchers of among others TU Delft, to identify new ways to create trust in the Internet economy. The consortium of collaborating researchers received a subsidy of 3,3 millions of euros of among others NOW for a daring experiment: launching a user community of 50,000 Internet users, to determine whether blockchain and similar technologies can form a source of trust in relatively loose online communities.

Humanitarian logistics

In 2019, RSM consolidated her position as one of the leading schools worldwide in the area of fundamental and applied research into transport and logistics. An important new development is de emerging field of humanitarian logistics. Researchers in this field, reflect on the storage and delivery of relief supplies around a crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic or natural disasters, but also the movements of patients and healthcare professionals as well. RSM has reinforced itself with several researchers in this area. For instance, Dr. Harwin de Vries studies the optimal location of clinics along roads in southern Africa, to prevent the spread of infectional diseases by truck drivers. Furthermore, in 2019, Dr. Pieter van den Berg received a Veni grant for his research in humanitarian logistics, studying among others choices of locations for trauma helicopters, ambulance posts, and posts of firefighters, to find a optimal balance between coverage of the population and response time.

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)

When disaster and conflict meet

Of the 400 natural disasters taking place annually, more than 30 percent take place in countries in conflict situations. With the five-year project When disaster and conflict meet, Professor Dorothea Hilhorst and her research team investigate the connection between disaster and conflict. An undiscovered, yet important research area. It is analysed how the government, non-government and humanitarian actors react to disasters in several conflict situations. The research project aims to understand how politisation of reactions on disasters affect the legitimacy, power and relations between government actors. The case studies of South Sudan, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Haiti, Ethopia, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Yemen and Colombia serve as a basis. Currently, a number of publications, policy briefings, international consultations and collaborations, opinion pieces and blog posts have been released, and a MOOC training has been developed. The project is financed as part of the NWO’s Vici programme.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights in Uganda

Since 2016, Dr. Auma Okwany coordinates a large-scale project aimed at studying and improving the quality of services in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights in Uganda. The project finances six PhD students and eight Master’s degree students in Uganda, and has ordered ten policy relevant studies. The study’s results do not only serve as a basis for lobbying and the translation to policy and practice, but also for an accredited education- and training programme of both students and professionals. In late 2019, more than 360 professionals had been trained and in October, the Centre of Excellence for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) was officially opened at the Makerere School of Public Health. Currently, eighty subnational leaders are educated to SRHR influencers. The project is financed by the Netherlands Initiative for Capacity Development in Higher Education (NICHE) programme of Nuffic, and runs until November 2020.

Water and health innovations in Africa

The question how you make products, services and system innovations in Africa available to a large group of consumers with a minimal income was key in the project Frugal Innovation and Responsible Innovation in Africa. For Dutch companies, ISS investigated between 2014 and 2020 new approaches in the area of design and company models that should improve water and health innovations in Africa. This occurred both on economical as well as social-ethical perspective to combine profitability and societal value for the local population. An important outcome was that a substantial impact can be acquired especially with system innovation, and not solely with product innovation. This project involved a unique collaboration between African enterpreneurs and three Dutch companies in the top of the water- and health sectors: Royal Philips and the water companies Oasen and Hatenboer. The project was financed by three companies and the Programme Socially Responsible Innovation (MVI) of NOW, and was executed within the framework of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa (CFIA).

Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM)

The pedagogics of regulation
With its ethnographic study The Pedagogics of Regulation: Strategies and Instruments to Assist Learning from Disadvantageous Events, a ESHPM research group has contributed to the knowledge gap surrounding the execution of the work of regulators, as well as the multifaceted nature of an educational enforcement approach. The study was specifically directed at the functioning of the Health and Youth Care Inspectorate, and the use of monitor systems, enabling Dutch hospitals to learn from serious damaging situations within healthcare institutions.    


Alliantie Leiden-Delft-Erasmus

Multi-year plan and budget LDE centres 2019-2024
On 4 February 2019, the LDE governing board has set the multi-year plans and budgets of the five LDE centres for the period 2019-2024.

As a result, the Centre for Education and Learning, the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, het Centre for Sustainability, the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, and the Centre for BOLD Cities can enter a new phase for further inter-university collaboration on the respective societal themes. Even the Centre for Governance of Migration & Diversity received green light and will start early 2020.

The multi-year plans have been discussed extensively by the representatives from the LDE governing board, the academic directors of the centers and the deans of the faculties involved. It is desirable that more deans will become a member of the centre steering groups, to strengthen faculty involvement.

LDE’s contribution, as set in the multi-year budget, will be reduced in the plan phase. The centres are supposed to acquire sufficient external funds to operate independently without financing from LDE. The progress of the multi-year plan will be evaluated in 2021.

Strategy LDE Alliance 2019-2024 confirmed
On 17 June, the steering group of the LDE Alliance has set the strategy for 2019-2024. Prior to this, the participation councils and the Supervisory Boards of the universities involved have been consulted. The set strategy’s profiling themes serve as a basis to improve our ambitions to contribute to different societal and economic agendas of regional and local shareholders. The profiling themes are: Sustainable Society, Inclusive Society, Healthy Society and Digital Society. Within these themes, five existing LDE centres are active, acting upon our ambitions in the area of education, research and innovation. These are the Centre for Education and Learning, the Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa, the Centre for Sustainability, the Centre for Global Heritage and Development, and the Centre for BOLD Cities.

Following the confirmation of the strategy, the steering group has also passed two proposals for the LDE Centre on Governance of Migration & Diversity respectively the LDE research programme Port Cities & Regions Futures.

A number of different proposals in the area of Safety & Security (Cybersecurity especiallt) and Space for Science and Society will be sharpened and elaborated on, at the request of the steering group, before a decision will be made on the eventual adjustment within the LDE collaboration consortium.  

In the strategy, the course for the expansion of the collaboration relating to education. The coming years, efforts will be made to improve the educational portfolio’s accessibility for students of the three universities, and new educational initiatives will be made, fitting the profiling themes. Besides, the innovation of the online and blended learning, and the collaboration on the educational centres relating to teachers’ professionalisation are important points within the educational development.

Extended Communication Campaign
During the fall, a broad communication campaign took place, following the new strategy of the LDE Alliance. An extended social media campagne has been set up, and an interview has taken place for ScienceGuide with three Board chairpersons: Kristel Baele (EUR), Carel Stolker (Universiteit Leiden) and Tim van der Hagen (TU Delft). The common collaboration was a key theme in this interview. Also, a corporate magazine has been released that is dedicated on the societal and scientific impact, based on the new themes from the strategy: Digital society, Healthy Society, Sustainable Society and Inclusive Society.

Apart from the public communication, several conversations have been held between Board chairpersons as the LDE boards’ representatives with the mayor and advisors of Rotterdam, The Hague, Leiden and Delft respectively. Besides, they have spoken with the Province Zuid-Holland, Economic Board Zuid-Holland and Innovation Quarter. Key to these conversations was the alliance’s new strategy and the regional and local themes, exploring the common interests. These conversations have lead to further process agreements.

Transfer of LDE Presidency from EUR to TU Delft  
As of 1 November 2019, Tim van Hagen is the chair of the strategic alliance Leiden-Delft-Erasmus. The presidency is a rotating presidency. Van der Hagen takes over the presidency from Kristel Baele, Chair of the Board at EUR.

Van der Hagen employs four anchor points for the collaboration: Quality, Diversity, Complementarity and Proximity. The societal themes for the coming years will be approached as clusters, and are part of the confirmed strategy plan of 17 June, valid for the years 2019-2024. This includes Digital Society, Healthy Society, Sustainable Society and Inclusive Society. These themes will be further elaborated upon in agreement with the researchers involved. The is to not only develop common research, but even common education, as is already the case with the successful LDE minors.

Wim van den Doel appointed as strategy alliance’s figurehead

The Executorial Boards of Leiden University, TU Delft and EUR have decided to appoint former NWO director and former Dean of Humanities Professor Wim van den Doel, as LDE alliance’s figurehead as of 1 February 2020. It concerns an appointment for the duration of four years, during which Van den Doel will translate the new strategy in a concrete programme.

With his background, the LDE steering group considers him to be the right person to direct the collaboration consortium in Zuid-Holland to its next phase.

Collaboration with the City of Rotterdam

Generating Positive Societal Impact is one of the pilars within the EUR strategy. This happens frequently in collaboration with other societal partners from the public and private sector. An example is the since 2010 existing collaboration with the City of Rotterdam. Another form of societal impact is EUR academic’s participation in the public debate and joing the activities concerning science communication. Examples of knowledge sharing where inhabitants of Rotterdam and professionals can gain new insights useful in daily life, are the annual Rotterdam Lecture on a current issue in the city (in 2019, on obesity), the monthly academic talkshow in the Rotterdam Theatre and the Academic Café organized by Erasmus MC. www.rotterdamlezing.nl | www.studioerasmus.nl | www.wetenschapscafe.nl

The City of Rotterdam continuously approaches EUR for large scale studies. For instance, Mayor Aboutaleb commissioned a large scale research into crimes related to narcotics in the Rotterdam harbor at ESL.

During the opening of the academic year, Mayor Aboutaleb awarded the seventh Rotterdam thesis Prize 2019 to public management alumna Myrthe van Delden for her thesis on the approach on undermining criminality in Rotterdam-Zuid.

Extended collaboration
In 2019 as well, new collaboration initiatives have been created with the City of Rotterdam. For instance, at the initiative of full professors at ESSB, a strategic collaboration project with a focus on knowledge development and sharing in the area of Governance of Transitions (GOVLAB010) was launched. Furthermore, the Knowledge Workshop Organisation of the Smart City has been created.

EUR has become a partner in the Rotterdam CityLab010 programme. Here, the expertise of researchers and students is connected to citizen’s initiatives that have been arranged in CityLab010. As a result, researchers and students deliver a contribution towards the translation of these initiatives into practice.

City Deal Knowledge Creation Rotterdam
The programme City Deal Knowledge Making is developed by the Ministry of Education under the national programme Agenda City. The project team City Deal Knowledge Creation Rotterdam consists of representatives of the City of Rotterdam and the Rotterdam higher education institutions. Collectively, a digital map of initiatives has been developed. This way, educational initiatives of the several knowledge institutions connected to the city of Rotterdam are made visible. During the project, it appeared that, as a result of the amount of initiatives and their great diversity, a lot of time was needed to come to a workable map. Therefore, a survey has been designed, resulting in data needed for the creation of this Rotterdam initiatives card. The entered data shall be analysed, to see whether there is such a thing as a Rotterdam approach. The map is also intented to support lecturers and researchers in exploring new collaboration opportunities. Even though the project is in its final stage, it remains the intention to fill the map with initiatives of Rotterdam higher education institutions.

University Library Research

Open access

In 2019, further progress has been made in open access publications within EUR: more than half of the articles is made available in open access format. These articles are frequently accessed: the repository counted 1.5 million downloads in the last year.

The University Library has the Erasmus Open Access Fund to support academics who cannot finance the publication fees for open access from their research budget. In the previous year, this fund was not fully utilised. Nationally, several licenses were made, enabling academics to publish open access at no additional cost.

Volgend hoofdstuk: 4 Operational management