Role and composition


The Science Committee provides an independent review of the scientific quality of research protocols written by researchers of VU/VUmc appointed at the APH Institute who wish to embed their study within the APH Institute. The purpose of the review is to ensure the highest quality of research and to support researchers affiliated to APH. In addition, the Science Committee provides the Director with (solicited and unsolicited) advice on matters directly related to the Institute's science policy. Finally, the Science Committee rates the quality of applications grant rounds when requested by the Director.

Tasks of the Science committee

A) Review proposals

The Science Committee’s main task is to review the methodological quality and feasibility of the research grant proposals submitted.

Other roles of the Science Committee are to:

  • review applications for internal calls, such as travel grants and fellowships.
  • review the suitability and relevance of proposals for inclusion in the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (in particular VENI proposals).
  • prioritize proposals that are subject to internal pre-selection (e.g. NWO medium-sized investment grants).

B) Management

  • Management and archiving of submitted proposals, comments and final recommendations.

C) Policy

  • Advice on science policy in response to questions from the Director and programme directors.
  • Unsolicited advice to senior management and programme directors with regard to scientific policy.
  • Advice on training-related activities relating to EU grants and veni, vidi, vici applications.

D) Communication

  • Information about funding possibilities provided by the Science Committee of VUmc (VCW)  is passed on to the academic staff.

E) Authorities and responsibilities

  • The Science Committee provides the Director with advice on research proposals.
  • Each member of the Science Committee shall observe strict confidentiality with regard to their work for the Science Committee.
  • The Science Committee has the right, if necessary, to request additional information from researchers who submit a proposal to the Committee.
  • The Science Committee enters new project proposals into the project database.

Rules and regulations

Potential new members are suggested by the Science Committee to the Director. If the Director approves membership, the potential member is invited to the Committee.

New members are appointed by the Director for a period of 3 years. The term may be extended once for another three years. The chair and Secretary are appointed by the Director for a period of 2 years.


The Committee consists of at least two representatives of each research programme. The Committee consists of the following members: Name, Programme - Department

  • Dr. Teatske Altenburg Chair, Public and Occupational Health
  • Vancant, Secretary 
  • Dr. Evert Verhagen, MSH - Public and Occupational Health
  • Dr. Karen Schipper, QoC – Medical Humanities
  • Dr. Hans van der Wouden QoC, Department of General Practice and Elderly Care Medicine
  • Dr. Barbara Regeer - Athena Institute
  • Femke Lamers, MH - Psychiatry - GGZinGeest
  • Hanneke van Dongen, LOD - FALW Health Sciences
  • Dr. Jeroen Lakerveld, LOD - Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Dr. Roeline Pasman - Public and Occupational Health
  • Dr. Hilde van der Aa - Ophthalmology 
  • Dr. Tara Donker - Clinical Psychology
  • Tanja Rijstenbil, office assistant


The Director has made a secretarial staff position available to support the Science Committee.

Both the chair and the Secretary of the Science Committee receive a fee in compensation for the time they spend on activities for the Committee.


  • The Committee meets once a month (one hour).
  • The Committee and Director meet twice a year (one hour)
  • The chair and Secretary have monthly meetings with the Director (30 minutes)
  • The chair joins the meeting of programme directors once a year (2 hours)
  • The chair meets with other science committees and the Medical Ethical Committee (METC) of the VUMC once a year.  

Responsibilities and time use

Chair: process control, plan meetings, check meeting reports, meeting management / PLO / METC, manage secretaries, representative duties, correspondence, policy plans (Time spent: 0.1 FTE)

Committee Secretary: correspondence with Institute, appoint referees, manage secretaries, manage applications, organisational procedures regarding government funded projects /fellowships, manage time schedules, edit letters. (Time spent: 0.1 FTE)

Committee members: evaluate project proposals (approximately 12 proposals per year per member), review and prioritise applications for government funded projects and NWO major and medium-sized funding. (Time spent: 0.05 FTE)

Office assistant: enters new proposals into the project database, sends the proposals and review forms to the referees, sends (if necessary) reminders to referees, processes reviewed proposals; supports the Secretary in specific procedures (government funded projects, etc.), discusses the meeting agenda with the chair and sends the meeting documents to all Committee members, takes minutes of meetings, sends information regarding calls for proposals to WP; handles phone calls/e-mail correspondence for Science Committee. The office assistant is appointed for 0.6 fte (20 hours per week).

[last modified Janruary 10, 2018]