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.

A new research programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the Embassy Science Fellowship Netherlands. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates this research programme together with the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The Embassy Science Fellows focus on various themes at embassies and permanent representations of the Kingdom of the Netherlands all around the world. With the support of researchers on location for three months, we want to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations and 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, 1 special professor is working at a Dutch university for 1 day a week, for education and research. The associate professor is:

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.

Topic Name
European Cooperation
Europe and the World Tony van der Togt
The European Union Robert Farla
Consulair Affairs Henk van der Vegt
Development Cooperation
Development Cooperation - transcending Henry Gerner
Development Cooperation – expertise policy Veerne Koops
Inclusive Green Growth (climate, water, food security, and energy resources) Karen Arnon
Sustainable Economic Development (innovative financing, private sector development, etc.) Isabelle van Tol
Social Development (social organisations, democratisation, development cooperation, Lobby & Advocacy processes, and Strategic Partnerships) Reinier Hoffen
Stability and Humanitarian Help (including Rule of Law and migration) Frieda Nicolai
Foreign Affairs
Multilateral Affairs Mark van den Boogaard
Security Policy Wendela Haringhuizen
Region Western Hemisphere Dorine van Norren
Region Africa Onno Koopmans
Region Asia Mark Versteden
Region North-Africa and Middle-East John van der Zande
International Law René Lefeber
Foreign Trade
Trade Politics and International Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship Tjalling Dijkstra
Foreign Economic Affairs - transcending Harry Oldersma
International Entrepreneurship Jan Pieter Barendse
Communication Yvonne van Hemmen en Marloes Klop