As a research University, Leiden University focuses on fundamental research and research-based education. In contrast to profit-driven research, such as most applied research and development work, fundamental research is usually unpredictable as to its course and outcomes. Fundamental research is typically curiosity-driven, and researchers develop their curiosity through their observations. Fundamental research often leads to new insights into the essence of nature, the human mind, and the complex interactions between their elements. This gives rise to innovations, and new developments and solutions to problems emerge.
Curiosity-driven fundamental research does not mean that we are not required to account for our research activities. It is one of the principles of our University to systematically justify the results of our research and teaching programmes. To achieve our aims in this area, Leiden University has evolved a system for monitoring the quality of our research and teaching courses. An important component in our system is that Review Committees, with cross-boundary experts, are invited to assess our research and education programmes. This implies that all our research will be evaluated once every six years, based on the national evaluation system for publicly funded research in the Netherlands. Research institutions produce a self-evaluation every three years.
Assessment reports by the Research Review Committees and information on how they are acquired can be attained via the following links.