Newsletter for NWO-I employees September 2020
Inside NWO-I
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Ton de Kok appointed new director of CWI

The board of NWO-I, the Institutes Organisation of NWO, appointed Prof. Ton de Kok as director of CWI. On 1 October 2020, De Kok will succeed Prof. Jos Baeten, who has led the institute since 2011 and will retire. “As the new director of the CWI, I hope to contribute to the positioning of mathematics and computer science as scientific disciplines that are crucial to understanding the world around us and making it a little more beautiful”, says Ton de Kok.

Ton de Kok
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Special leave for care responsibilities once again arranged in accordance with CAO


As of 1 September 2020, NWO-I has again begun granting leave for care responsibilities in accordance with the applicable CAO provisions. Now that schools and childcare have restarted safely again, there is no longer any reason to arrange special leave separately from the provisions in the CAO regulations. Managers or the P&O Department have asked employees to assess their personal situations and arrange any additional childcare or other help needed. If employees encounter particular problems in this regard, they can of course discuss the matter with their line manager or personnel adviser. These regulations will of course be re-examined should the extraordinary situation we experienced this spring reoccur in the Netherlands.

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Marco de Baar and Richard van de Sanden about DIFFER

Looking back and looking forwards

Last July, Marco de Baar (on the left photo) succeeded Richard van de Sanden (on the right photo) as director of NWO Institute DIFFER, the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research. NWO-I interviewed both directors. Van de Sanden looks back at ten years of directorship and tells us about his plans as scientific director of the new TU/e Institute EIRES (Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems). New director De Baar looks ahead and reveals how he wants to make DIFFER a leading national centre for green electrochemistry and plasma chemistry. ‘If we build this, then will you come and carry out measurements?’

Marco de Baar and Richard van de Sanden
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Additional paternity leave for the partner

With effect from 1 January 2019, the paternity leave when a partner gives birth had already been increased. Since 1 July 2020, additional paternity leave can be taken. The employee is entitled to five weeks of additional paternity leave if the spouse or relational partner gives birth. This additional leave should be used within six months after the birth of the child. During this unpaid additional leave, the employee can receive a benefit payment from the Netherlands Employees Insurance Agency (UWV).

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Results of survey on working from home during the corona crisis

NWO-I employees (at the institutes, the NWO-I office and the university workgroups/BUW) took part in a survey last July on working from home during the corona crisis. The results revealed that NWO-I employees gave an average score of 7.2 out of 10 for their happiness at work, which is comparable to a national benchmark. 57% of NWO-I employees rate working from home as ‘good’ to ‘very good’. Working from home was rated reasonably positively by 30%. The responses from the various NWO-I departments are broadly comparable to the picture at NWO-I as a whole. The results of the survey have prompted us to take a fresh look at working from home and elsewhere, even after corona.

Cover vragenlijst thuiswerkonderzoek
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Payment of union contribution & membership through AVOM


NWO-I employees who are members of a union have the option of having their union subscription deducted from their gross salary and the same amount paid out net. The basis for this are the NWO-I Tailor-made Terms of Employment (AVOM: Arbeidsvoorwaarden op Maat).

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Highlight AMOLF: future solar cells perform better under pressure

Perovskite, already a highly promising material for solar cells, can be made much more stable and therefore more efficient. Researchers at the NWO Institute AMOLF demonstrated this in an unexpected way: pressure appears to play an important role. Obviously, a solar cell cannot be subjected to pressure once it is in a solar panel, and so they looked for a different way of achieving the same effect. Chemistry produced the answer. It proved possible to compress the entire structure from the inside, which significantly improved the stability and therefore the efficiency of perovskites.

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News from the Central Works Council


The NWO Central Works Council (COR NWO) restarted after the summer holidays. The COR NWO has issued its advice on an amendment to the statutes and internal rules and regulations of NWO-I. It has also been involved in measures relating to the coronavirus. If you have any questions or if you would like to attend a meeting of the COR NWO, please contact us by email:

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About NWO-I

NWO-I, the Institutes Organisation of NWO, is an independent foundation belonging to NWO. The following nine institutes are part of NWO-I: AMOLF, ARCNL, ASTRON, CWI, DIFFER, Nikhef, NIOZ, NSCR and SRON. The 200-plus workgroups in which physics research takes place at Dutch universities and knowledge institutes are also part of NWO-I.


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