Research and expertise

Research and expertise are important to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (BZ). To make The Netherlands safer and more prosperous and to contribute to a sustainable and fair world. Together with our knowledge partners, we focus on research that contributes to our public policy.

The Ministry ensures that expertise within the Ministry remains at the required level. By cooperating with scientists at universities, the Ministry makes sure that more and more research is important for policy-making.

Knowledge partners

The Ministry cooperates with institutions such as universities, think tanks and knowledge platforms. This research is aimed at supporting our policy and its implementation so it can be more effective.

Important areas of research at the Ministry are:

  • agriculture;
  • security & rule of law;
  • climate;
  • terrorism;
  • cybercrime;
  • conflict prevention.

Our knowledge partners include NWOClingendaelThe Hague Centre of Strategic StudiesWageningen University and ResearchNetherlands Environmental Assessment AgencyUtrecht UniversityNetherlands Bureau for StatisticsAdvisory Council on International AffairsNetherlands Institute for Social Research and Erasmus University Rotterdam

Research programmes

The Ministry spends approximately € 33 million annually on research and expertise. This is to increase our safety, to contribute to a more sustainable world and to strengthen the position of The Netherlands.

The current research programme is PROGRESS. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates this research programme together with the Ministry of Defence. PROGRESS focuses on 5 themes: Geopolitics and Global Governance, Europe and its Neighbours, The Future of Europe and the EU, Security and Defence, Strategic Monitoring. With this research we want to make foreign policy more future-proof and knowledge-driven.

Our knowledge platforms (a knowledge platform is used to share and store knowledge online) are:

  • Security & Rule of Law: explores new ways of tackling security and rule of law issues. The platform focuses on areas of vulnerability and conflict.
  • Food & Business: Connects knowledge of food and food safety with entrepreneurship, science, society and policy.
  • INCLUDE: a knowledge platform that focuses on inclusive development policies.
  • Share-Net International: a knowledge platform focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

An overview of our knowledge platforms is also available.

Ministry officials working in scientific research

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has a PhD-arrangement for its employees. As a result, more and more PhD candidates work at the Ministry. With this arrangement, employees can be granted a leave in the final year of their research to fully focus on their dissertation. The ministry also has a 'special professors' arrangement. A special professor at a university is a temporary, part-time appointment (for about 5 years) that strengthens the existing educational programme in a social field.  At the moment, 2 special professors are working at a Dutch university for 1 day a week, for education and research. The associate professors are:

Research coordinators

The research coordinators at the Ministry are responsible for the quality of research within their directorate. They supervise the requests for research from their directorate and questions from colleagues about outsourcing research, data collection, research methods and research questions. They are also the first point of contact for interested university students within their themes.

If you have questions about research on a particular topic, you can contact the research coordinator.