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News from the works councils (October 2023)

Following the departure of Jan van der Boon, what are the next steps in the temporary governance of NWO-I? The Group Works Council of NWO-I (GOR NWO-I) provided unsolicited advice about this to Caroline Visser (Foundation Board). Amongst other things, the works council emphasised that the organisation will benefit from transparency and clarity and asked the board to pay careful attention to the increased work pressure. The Central Works Council of NWO (COR NWO) will discuss the upcoming months how the temporary governance will develop and what this means for the governance of NWO-I in the longer term.

Unsolicited advice from the GOR NWO-I about the temporary governance of NWO-I

NWO-I has a temporary new form of governance following the departure of Jan van der Boon (interim director of NWO-I and director of operations of the NWO-I Office ). In the newsletter of September, you could read how this temporary governance has been realised.

The GOR NWO-I has provided unsolicited advice about this to the Foundation Board. Caroline Visser responded in writing on behalf of the Foundation Board and the advice was discussed during an extra consultative meeting. A selection of the recommendations from the GOR NWO-I:

  • The GOR NWO-I advises to safeguard both effectiveness and decisiveness in the coming period by clearly elaborating the mandate in the temporary approach to the governance of NWO-I and in making transparent agreements that are determined in advance, recording who has the mandate and safeguarding the implementation of this in practice. According to the GOR NWO-I, transparency and clarity are both crucial aspects that the organisation very much needs at present.
  • The GOR NWO-l advises the Foundation Board to ensure that the responsibilities for operational subjects have a clear remit, mandate and 'backup' from the Foundation Board and the Directors Consultation so that they can properly carry out their task. In particular, this is important for operational subjects that involve major changes in the organisation or for which support still needs to be acquired, such as the domain Finance & Control.
  • The GOR-NWO-I advice involves paying careful attention to the increased work pressure of everyone involved, setting clear priorities and deploying them for governance, and ensuring that those involved receive sufficient support.
  • The GOR NWO-I advises to make it clear (also to employees) from the beginning of the temporary form of governing NWO-I what the objective and status of the project development operations are in light of the established vision about, and objectives for, the operation of NWO-I.

Would you like to know more about the involvement of the works council with this subject? Then please mail us or contact one of the GOR members. (LINK GOR members)

Governance NWO-I

In the coming period, further developments within the governance of NWO-I is on the agenda of each consultative meeting with Caroline Visser, the board representative. She has agreed to fully inform the COR NWO about the developments. It has been agreed that the board representative and the works council will share their observations with each other and openly discuss the pitfalls and successes that are part of the temporary way of working, which will last until at least 1 April 2024. The formal trajectory with the works councils (request for advice) will follow after this.

Committees COR NWO and GOR NWO-I

Both the COR NWO and GOR NWO-I have appointed a number of permanent committees. Each of these committees has its own discipline or area and frequently (both formally and informally) consults with the persons responsible for these areas and disciplines within our organisation. They also prepare the discussion in the consultative meeting about things that fall within their remit. They propose which recommendations the works councils can give in the case of requests for advice, and advise the COR NWO or GOR NWO-I about whether or not to approve proposals from the board representative (in the case of requests for approval).

The COR NWO has three permanent committees: Communication, Finances and HR/Implementation Regulations/Appraisal Interviews. The GOR NWO-I committees are Health & Safety, GDPR/Privacy, P&O, consultation with Works Council KNAW, and consultation with various knowledge institutions in the Contact Body Works Councils Research Institutes (Dutch acronym: Korri). The committees are currently made up of people who are all members of the COR NWO or GOR NWO. However, this is not a condition for membership. Therefore, if you are interested in one of these areas and would like to regularly contribute your ideas, then please send a mail to or

Confidental Infomation