Universiteit Leiden

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About our research

Our research covers a very broad terrain and has a strong disciplinary basis across a wide range of scientific disciplines and fields.

Starting out from this basis, our researchers conduct both disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. They maintain close links with society and draw inspiration from scientific and societal questions of the future, which they translate into fundamental research questions.

The Dutch government’s National Research Agenda is clearly reflected in the themes of our scientific research in Leiden and The Hague. And our research is also increasingly guided by the United Nations’ agenda, expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals. This is especially evident in The Hague, which is the world’s third UN host city, after New York and Geneva.

Impact of our research

The results of our research have an impact on society. We use knowledge to improve society and contribute to social debate and political policy-making.

More about our impact

Two cities

Leiden is a University in two cities. From our three unique campuses – the historic city centre of Leiden, the Leiden Bio Science Park, and Campus The Hague – our researchers bring together international institutions and the public, private and non-profit sectors.


Leiden University is largely organised on the basis of disciplines, a model that is characteristic of research universities worldwide. Yet many complex questions facing the world today require collaboration between researchers from different disciplines. Leiden University encourages this in numerous ways, which include establishing interdisciplinary centres, such as the Leiden Centre for Brain and Cognition, and allocating extra funds for interfaculty collaboration.

Promotion of research

From 2010 to 2018, the University invested in 11 ‘research focus areas’, aimed at building networks and promoting collaboration across disciplinary borders. This eight-year initiative was highly effective in enhancing such collaboration. In the period after 2018, the faculties and institutes can choose whether or not to continue with an extra financial incentive. Which means that the University as a whole again has the opportunity to give a special stimulus to new, sometimes more current, collaborations.

Research infrastructure, facilities and collections

Our research infrastructure, facilities and collections are among the best in the world. They are important determinants of our success and our scientific and societal impact. And in areas where our University occupies a unique position at national or international level, we are particularly careful in our approach to sometimes delicate research fields and scientific collections.

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