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Members and associate members

There is a difference between members and associate members of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. If you are really interested, here is the explanation.


Research in Dutch universities is organized in research institutes. The Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials (formerly called the MSC)  is one such research institute, as are GBB and Stratingh. In 1998, most groups in MSC, and several groups in GBB and Stratingh, joined forces in a programme that, after fierce competition, in 1999 was awarded the coveted status of National Research School Combination (NRC). This recognition came with additional financing and allowed additional staff to be hired. The combination was called MSC plus , to distinguish it from MSC.


In practice, little distinction was made between the two organizations. In 2001, the Boards of MSC and MSC plus have merged. The scientific director of MSC became also the scientific director of MSC plus , and the MSC Co-ordinating Office works for both organizations.  Distinguishing between MSC and MSC plus proved to be  a nuisance. It was therefore decided by the Board, and sanctioned by the Faculty Board and the University Board, to use only one name, from 16 January 2007 onward: the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials.


As the Dutch law does not really cover this situation, formally we have to distinguish those whose work contract stipulates that they work for the research institute Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, from those whose work contract says they work for GBB or Stratingh, but who nevertheless participate in the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials. The latter group of persons are called associate members of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials.


To complicate matters further, there is also the phenomenon of research school, through which PhD programmes are accredited by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). MSC was first accredited as such in 1993. This epitheton seems to have lost most of its original distinction.



Last modified:22 October 2012 2.28 p.m.