Fundamental knowledge generated through research increases our scientific and cultural knowledge and wealth, and offers an important basis for developing and innovating products and services, and for deciding how we should structure our society.
Pushing the boundaries
Researchers at our University carry out top-level research that makes significant societal contributions to a safer, healthier, more sustainable, prosperous and just world. Innovations emerge from scientific research that aim to make the unknown known and to push the boundaries of existing research fields.
Freedom to excel
Leading researchers shape our research fields, and in Leiden and The Hague they are given the freedom and resources they need to excel, and to serve as an example for our students. Leiden University consequently has a strong position in five prominent international rankings and in individual academic grants and prizes: Spinoza prizes, European Research Council (ERC) awards, and grants within the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (NWO) and (until 2017) the Academy Professor Prize (KNAW).
Integration of education and research
One of our core values is that our education and research are closely interrelated. The intention of this is not only to train students as future researchers, but also to teach them how to approach issues in their future professional practice from a critical academic perspective and with a scientific method.
Disciplinary and interdisciplinary research
Our research has a solid disciplinary basis across a wide range of scientific 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 and the new EU Agenda Horizon Europe are clearly reflected in the themes of our scientific research in Leiden and The Hague. And our research in these two cities is also increasingly guided by the United Nations’ agenda, expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals.
Partnership with Delft and Erasmus
Leiden University, Delft University of Technology and Erasmus University Rotterdam work in close partnership. Collaboration takes place in many areas of education, research, valorisation and societal outreach.
The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Strategic Alliance was established in 2012, building on the existing collaboration between the three partners, especially in the medical / technological domain (Medical Delta) and in the ‘exact sciences’ domain. In 2012 that collaboration was extended to additionally include the ‘alpha-gamma’ domain.
The three universities have highly complementary disciplines and strengths, and by working together in this way they aim to more effectively understand and solve complex societal questions.
Partnership with the University of the Arts The Hague
The University also works closely with the University of the Arts The Hague, with its Royal Academy of Art and Royal Conservatoire, in a joint institute: the Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA). In addition to scientific research in and on the arts, especially in the form of PhD research, ACPA offers academic (arts or other) education and arts courses for academics, and also organises cultural events at the interface between the arts and knowledge.
Researchers at Leiden University build and maintain extensive international networks. This collaboration is a natural and essential aspect of scientific development. But partnerships are not limited to individual researchers: in 2002, Leiden was one of the founders of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), which not only promotes collaboration among its members but also advocates the importance of fundamental research. The 23 members of LERU are leading European universities.
In addition, Leiden University has many other agreements with universities and research institutions around the world.