Lorentz Center - Mission Statement
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    Mission Statement

The Lorentz Center is a national center for international workshops in all scientific disciplines. Our guiding philosophy is that innovative research thrives on interaction between creative researchers. Lorentz Center workshops focus on new collaborations and on interactions in highly diverse groups of researchers – international and with different scientific viewpoints as well as seniority, gender, and culture.

The Lorentz Center concept

At the Lorentz Center, groups of researchers are brought together to assess the status of a field and share results, problems, methods, and views on future directions of research. Groups can be accommodated in two dedicated venues: Lorentz Center@Oort and Lorentz Center@Snellius, optimized for group sizes up to 55 or 25 participants. Both provide personal working space for all participants, as well as lecture rooms and a casual common room. The workshops usually last 5 days, allowing participants to discuss their research in depth, through a combination of informal talks, working sessions, and discussions. New contacts and collaborations are typical outcomes of Lorentz Center workshops.

Workshops organized by researchers from different scientific backgrounds are welcomed as well as monodisciplinary workshops. Workshops can be proposed and organized by any researcher in any field of research, at any professional level, and from any country. Groups of organizers from institutions in different countries and/or the public and private sectors are encouraged. In short, the Lorentz Center is committed to stimulate diversity in all aspects. Application procedures are aimed at rapid evaluation, with a go/no-go decision within three months and your workshop taking place within sixteen months after the submission deadline. Proposals for workshops are peer-reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Boards. Currently, the advisory boards are astronomy, chemistry, informatics, life and medical sciences, mathematics, physics, the highly interdisciplinary computational sciences, and the NIAS-Lorentz board covering the social sciences and humanities.

The development of our workshop concept in the social sciences and humanities is supported by the NIAS-Lorentz Program, with the dedicated scientific advisory board mentioned above. In 2015 support from Leiden University allowed us to fully embrace the social sciences and humanities. With this expansion, it is our ambition that our workshop program will cover the full academic spectrum. The partnership with NIAS, the Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, was initiated in 2006. The NIAS-Lorentz program explicitly also encourages initiatives that bridge the natural and technical sciences with the social sciences and humanities. We already have a significant track record of successful interactions and we expect that the need for and significance of such meetings is growing.

Surrounded by excellence

The Lorentz Center is situated in the faculty of Science of Leiden University – the oldest university in the Netherlands. The two workshop venues are in the Oort and Snellius buildings, which also host the Leiden Institute of Physics, the Leiden Observatory (astronomy), the Mathematical Institute and the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science. The biology, chemistry and pharmacology departments are located in adjacent buildings. Leiden University also includes the faculties of archeology, humanities, law, social and behavioral sciences, and the Leiden University Medical Center which are all within 10 minutes by bicycle. The faculty of governance and global affairs in the Hague is 10 minutes by train. The other Dutch universities and research institutes can easily be reached by public transport; the universities in Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam and Utrecht are within one hour by train. Schiphol International Airport is reached by train in 20 minutes.


The Lorentz Center receives structural financial support by Leiden University, and by the Dutch research councils Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO, Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter FOM, and Technology Foundation STW. The Lorentz Center also is granted funding for specific workshops by the Lorentz Fund, Netherlands eScience Center, Centre Européen de Calcul Atomique et Moléculaire CECAM and the Royal Netherlands Academy of Science KNAW.