Our research is firmly anchored in professional practice: it always addresses a pressing problem from the field, and is consequently conducted in close collaboration with professionals.

Across AUAS, we bundle our expertise in seven multidisciplinary Centres of Expertise (CoEs), which give strategic focus to our research themes.

Research is conducted by professors, researchers, lecturers and students, while our Centres for Applied Research serve as the organisational units from which our research activities are conducted.

Find out more about how we organise our research at the AUAS in this section.

Our vision: education and research interwoven with professional practice

The AUAS is a knowledge institution, where the connection between education, research and professional practice forms a common thread in all of our curricula and applied research. Through this emphasis on connecting education, research and practice, the AUAS develops students into innovative professionals.

As a knowledge institution, the AUAS facilitates opportunities for learning, experimenting and innovating. This is always in co-creation with the professional field and other partners in the city. Amsterdam is our laboratory and our classroom. This innovation takes shape at our field labs and living labs, where we set to work on solving current urban problems. Read more about the AUAS Vision.

Our strategic research policy

The AUAS’ strategic research policy states how the institution aims to achieve its goals related to research, as well as the processes in place for appointing professors and doctoral candidates, quality assurance, research data management and our research council.

Take a look at AUAS's Strategic Research Policy.

Professors drive our research

Professors are collectively responsible for the execution of research at the AUAS. The vast majority of our research groups at the AUAS are led by professors. These research groups may also be called ‘professorships’: this signifies that a professor is at the helm of the research group’s activities. Our first AUAS professorship launched in 2003. We now have nearly 60 professors conducting applied research on behalf of our institution, and this number continues to grow.

Professors are appointed to lead research groups (professorships) based on their particular expertise. The research is conducted in cooperation with lecturers, who allocate a portion of their work-week to research. Lecturers are at the heart of our hands-on, applied research at the AUAS: many conduct research themselves and educate students to become professionals with evidence-based expertise. Some of the research groups at the AUAS are led by teams of lecturers and researchers, rather than professors.

The AUAS Executive Board determines which professorships exist and appoints professors to lead these research groups according to a standard procedure.

Doctoral research

At the AUAS we encourage our lecturers to grow professionally. Although it’s only possible to obtain a PhD in the Netherlands at a research university, we offer our staff the opportunity to pursue a PhD during their employment at the AUAS. Over 80 lecturers have already taken advantage of this arrangement. Read more about the Dutch educational system here.

The research conducted by the PhD candidate must align with one of the existing AUAS research groups. Candidates are supervised by one of the AUAS professors. In addition to this, they receive guidance from a supervisor. These agreements are finalised prior to the commencement of the doctoral research.

The doctoral research is partially conducted at the AUAS, and partially at the university associated with the PhD supervisor. The admission requirements for the PhD are determined by the partner university, which officially grants the doctoral title.

The Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (VH) issued a statement in September 2019 calling for the introduction of ‘professional doctorates’ – a new type of PhD specifically for Dutch universities of applied sciences. More information on this will follow in due course as this development is in early stages.

Looking for more information on Dutch doctorates? The website Study in Holland provides a handy overview about pursuing a PhD in the Netherlands.

Each of our faculties at the AUAS has its own centre for applied research, with the exception of Health and Sports & Nutrition, which bundle their activities. These centres serve as a ‘home base’ for our professors and researchers, both in terms of operations and financial accountability. Research groups and professorships are organised within these centres. Research assessments therefore take place at this level: per faculty/centre for applied research.

While our centres for applied research serve a practical organisational purpose, we increasingly work together across faculties in research focusing on our Centres of Expertise. This is a cooperative, multidisciplinary and concentrated effort, which sees the AUAS transcend faculty lines to resolve metropolitan and societal issues by drawing upon the wealth of knowledge across our institution.

Please contact our Centres for Applied Research for more information.

Published by  Communication 1 September 2023