BCC.20.003 – Towards a more collaborative science

Route: Between conflict and cooperation

Cluster question: 062 How does science operate, what is good science, and how can policy key into it?

The urgent need to address societal challenges requires scientific collaborations that are able to deal with increasing complexity and uncertainty. Successful scientific collaborations require a shared goal, coordination, and a long-term perspective, yet scientists are often evaluated based on individual accomplishments. Now that we have updated the Dutch Research Agenda, how do we create room for successful Dutch Research Collaborations?

An important first step is to examine which researchers would be willing to dedicate time to collaborative long-term research projects and identify the research projects they would be willing to contribute to. Second, we aim to identify social dilemmas in the reward structure to learn how we can re-design those aspects of academia that stand in the way of long-term collaboration. Based on pilot work within Dutch Young Academies there are indications that many talented early career researchers leave academia to work in more collaborative environments. Therefore, a third issue we aim to address is the extent to which lack of collaboration leads talented individuals to pursuit careers out of science, and, most importantly, how we can keep this talent in academia. Finally, many fields have little experience with collective decision making with respect to the value of specific research projects among stakeholders. If we want to support long-term collaboration, we need to develop procedures that allow teams to collectively decide what the most pressing questions are to address, given resource constraints.
Starting with an interdisciplinary team that is facilitating unusual collaborations between four universities (UU, UMCU, TUE, Wageningen) for the next four years by funding collaborative research projects for 6 million euro, we aim to collaborate with stakeholders such as applied universities, funders, and societal parties to turn this interuniversity alliance into a living lab. Our goal is to facilitate a move towards a more collaborative science.


Cooperation, good science, knowledge creation

Other organisations

UMC Utrecht (UMCU), Utrecht University (UU), Wageningen Universities and Research (WUR)


Organisation Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
Name Dr. D. (Daniel) Lakens
E-mail D.Lakens@tue.nl
Website https://sites.google.com/site/lakens2/