Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Multimillion-euro subsidy to keep biological clock healthy

Dutch Research Council (NWO) allocates subsidy to the BioClock consortium

26 Nov 2020 15:45 | Faculty of Education

The BioClock consortium has received a subsidy of 9.7 million euros to carry out research, in collaboration with social partners, aimed at keeping our biological clocks ticking healthily in our modern 24-hour society. Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is a member of this research consortium.

Its secretary is Joke Meijer, professor of neurophysiology at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).
The research consortium is made up of 8 university partners and 2 universities of applied sciences, including Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In addition, the consortium includes dozens of bodies from the public and semi-public sectors and from the commercial sector: from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) to municipal authorities, and from environmental organisations to health and safety at work services.

Focusing on the biological clock, the consortium partners are jointly developing strategies aimed at contributing to a sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants.

More about the project

Our biological clocks are being disrupted by the 24-hour society in which we now live. In the BioClock consortium, researchers will ensure that our biological clocks are and remain healthy. The plans are society-wide: from the health of people through to living nature and the retention of biodiversity. Topics including the health effects of shift work, the biological clock within education, optimum times for immunotherapy for cancer and flu vaccinations, chronotherapy for depression and the consequences of light pollution for insects and other light-sensitive species will all be covered within this six-year research programme.

Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences’ Contribution

The Science and Mathematics Education research group (Centre for Applied Research on Education) is heading up the work package ‘Educational interventions for healthy biological clocks in secondary education and university students’. Within this work package, new forms of education are being developed and researched for both secondary and higher education, and these link up well with the current Denker project.

BioClock is unparalleled internationally in terms of the breadth and applicability of the research it is carrying out into the biological clocks. Many of the university members of the consortium have contributed to long-term fundamental research in this area. The subsidy now allocated will allow them to develop this further as well as work on concrete applications for use in society.

Two NWA projects granted

This is one of the projects granted finance within NWO’s Dutch Research Agenda programme. The Dutch Black Holes Consortium, of which Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences is a part, is also receiving a sizeable grant from the NWO.