On 23 May 2024, Marcel Levi, Chair of the governing board of NWO (the Dutch Research Council) published the final reports of all 9 NWO institutes, including NIOZ, with a formal statement: “The international experts of evaluation committees see the same as we do, our institutes are among the world's best.” NIOZ director Han Dolman: “I think we can all be proud of ourselves and NIOZ. The report is very positive, both of our science and of our academic culture.”  

The executive summary of the final report about NIOZ highlights a variety of aspects:

Excellent research, innovative technology and Societal relevance

With its renewed fleet and financially stable position, its excellent research and innovative technological developments, NIOZ is perfectly placed to act as the national hub for sea research in the Netherlands and to play a key leadership role in the national network and among universities.

Its renewed focus on climate change and biodiversity underlines the societal relevance of the fundamental multidisciplinary research done at NIOZ. The review committee sees excellent opportunities for further international cooperation and more prominent societal collaborations, strengthening NIOZ’s profile and position, both nationally and internationally.

Vibrant and welcoming culture

NIOZ has a vibrant and welcoming academic culture and is working on present day challenges, such as increasing diversity in higher management, harmonizing PhD and HR policies, and streamlining talent management.

The culture change towards an open science mentality and policy is a priority for the near future, as is the viability of the institute in terms of fleet operations and mitigation of associated risks. The committee congratulates NIOZ with the excellent work done over the past period, and looks forward to seeing the promising new developments set in by the current management come to fruition in the near future.

About the evaluation procedure
This evaluation was carried out as part of the evaluation of the nine research institutes of the Dutch Research Council (NWO). NWO asked evaluation committees of external peers to perform an evaluation of its research institutes over the period 2017-2022. The evaluations were carried out according to the Strategy Evaluation Protocol 2021-2027 (SEP), the protocol for research evaluations in the Netherlands, agreed upon by NWO, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the Universities of the Netherlands (UNL).

On 13 and 14 September 2023, an independent assessment committee evaluated NIOZ, as part of the SEP. A significant component of the evaluation was the site visit, which took place on the NIOZ-location Texel. The committee was guided around all departments, and for the Yerseke-based department of Estuarine and Delta Systems Research via a previously recorded film. The committee interviewed more than 50 NIOZ members of staff on various topics around the NIOZ strategy, the research quality, open science, societal relevance, HR policies as talent management, PhD policy and training and the institute's culture.