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Research capacity Dutch universities

data publication
31 August 2021
research university
In this data publication we provide information about the research capacity. This is the proportion of the time employees at universities spend on research. Three graphs provide information about 1) the development of the overall research capacity of Dutch universities, 2) the research capacity by scientific area and 3) the research capacity by position.

In short

  • Total research capacity of the Dutch universities show a steady upward trend over the period 1997-2017.
  • Total research capacity is by far the largest for Health sciences
  • Researchers and PhD students spend most time on research.

Total research capacity of Dutch universities by funding flow

Total research capacity of the Dutch universities show a steady upward trend over the period 1997-2017, with a small dip in 2016.

Between 1997 and 2011 the first funding flow - as a share of total research capacity - shows a declining trend, while the shares of the second and third funding flow both increase over the same period. In the years between there are some fluctuations. From 2011 onwards the shares of the different funding flows seem to stabilize.

Research capacity by scientific area

Total research capacity is by far the largest for Health sciences, comprising 31% of total university research capacity. Engineering (19%), the Natural sciences (18%) and the Behavioural sciences (12%) follow. The remaining scientific areas employ about 20% of total university research capacity.

When considering the shares of the different funding flows, Law and Economics each have a large share of their research capacity in the first funding flow, with a share of respectively 73% and 65%. The Natural sciences have a large share of their research capacity in the second funding flow, compared to the other scientific areas (36%). The third funding flow is most important compared to total research capacity in Health sciences (39%) and Engineering (38%).

Research capacity by position

We see that most professors, associate professors and assistant professors spend 40% of their time on research. Most researchers and PhD students spend more time on research, 90% and 80% respectively. These percentages - from the Association of Universities in the Netherlands - correspond well with the percentages of research time from the study 'What motivates researchers?', for almost all positions. Only for researchers the percentage of research time is slightly lower in the 'What motivates researchers?' study.