Research policy

Education and research are closely related at HU. The innovation and professionalization of professional practice is accomplished through education that instills an investigative and enterprising attitude. Commitment to applied research on the part of teaching staff also provides a sound basis for achieving this aim.

The HU was the first of the Netherlands’ universities of applied sciences to realize that in a rapidly changing world, a link between teaching and research is indispensible. We were the first to appoint professors to work in research centres and we were the first to develop a system of quality assurance for our research. As such, we have played a pioneering role, and we intend to continue to do so in the years to come, including on the international stage. To find out more, you can visit the site of our partnership

The research within the university is practice-oriented in nature. Research programmes relate to socially relevant themes and research is carried out in collaboration with professional practice (companies, organizations and institutions).

education, research, professional practice

Our professors direct the implementation of these research programmes. Currently, the University has 40 professors who have been appointed to work within four faculty-based research centres. These centres coordinate closely with the degree programmes, which means that the research that is done impacts directly on what our students are studying.

Each research centres has its own website. Click on any of the names above to view the website of the relevant research centre.

The challenges that we are working on

In Europe we face a number of ‘grand challenges’. These are encompassed within the following themes:  growing older actively and healthily, sustainability, mobility, climate and resources, food safety and social innovation.

Together with our partners - businesses, organizations, government bodies and other research institutions - HU University of Applied Sciences has chosen a number of 'challenges' that reflect the specific needs and strengths of the Amersfoort / Utrecht region. We want to ensure that our practice-oriented higher education and research will help the region to take on some of the challenges it faces.

 The challenges are the following:

  1. Creative industry
  2. Sustainable development
  3. Health care and technology, and
  4. Social innovation at the local level.

These are the areas in which we are seeking to lead the way. All our activities in these areas are socially and / or economically relevant. We provide insights and generate tangible, integrated and practical solutions.

Where possible or necessary, we also look to the European level for shared solutions to shared challenges. We do this in cooperation with our partners in Carpe. But we focus primarily on professional practice in the Utrecht / Amersfoort region.

The quality of research at HU University of Applied Sciences

The University applies high standards of quality to its research, as the last ten years have demonstrated. A prime example is Carolien Sino, researcher and lecturer at the HU University of Applied Sciences, who in April 2012 was awarded the annual national prize for the best applied research in Dutch HBO education. Caroline works at the Research Centre for Innovation in Health Care, where her supervisor was Professor Marieke Schuurmans of the research group for elderly care.

All the research work done at the HU University of Applied Sciences conforms to the Code of Conduct for Applied Research. You can download this code of conduct in pdf format. For further information about the research carried out by universities of applied sciences, please go to

Teachers and Research

Research is one of the University’s core tasks, alongside teaching. We strive to ensure that our lecturers gain experience in research and actively encourage them to undertake PhD research work. The doctoral research carried out by our lecturers helps to connect research with teaching and professional practice. Their research is usually supervised by one of the University´s professors. Utrecht University then acts as our preferred partner when it comes to accreditation of PhD research.