Universiteit Leiden

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Criteria for collaboration

The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Our students and staff are worried, and our researchers are delivering important contributions to climate science. And as a university we are committed to raising awareness and making our teaching and operations more sustainable. The Executive Board is constantly looking for ways in which we can have a positive impact on a sustainable world. One example of this is how we are working on clear criteria for collaboration with external parties such as the fossil fuel industry.


The question has been raised both within and outside the university of whether we should still collaborate with the fossil fuel industry. We held a debate on this at the university on 27 September 2023 with our students and staff. During the debate it became clear that there are other sides to this issue. We want to consider these carefully with not only our community but also experts.

Assessment framework

We therefore started working on an assessment framework in the autumn of 2023. In this framework we want to determine whether, and if so under what conditions, we want to collaborate with the fossil fuel industry. We think it is important that the academic community’s voice is heard on this issue. We also want to include relevant scientific knowledge and developments in these considerations.


What exactly does this mean? In the autumn of 2023, we discussed the content of such an assessment framework with a group of experts, deans, the University Council and student and staff representatives. After positive advice from the University Council in February 2024, the Executive Board has released a statement with basic principles that collaborations with the fossil fuel industry should adhere to.


After this, these principles will be developed into criteria that will apply to our research and teaching. We want to concretise what these ciriteria for collaboration will come to mean for students, staff, student associations and other relevant parties. The Executive Board will make a final decision in the autumn of  2024 on the assessment framework for collaboration with external parties.

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