Unusual Collaborations

In accordance with the motto of the alliance challenging future generations young promising researchers are taking the lead in the cooperation between the four organisations. Representatives of the Young Academies have joined forces, advocating out-of-the-box thinking and creating opportunities for unusual collaboration. This leads to unexpected connections across the boundaries of disciplines, driven by social challenges and the curiosity of researchers.

Solutions that have an impact
The researchers focus on climate change and pollution, inclusion and diversity, health, food and sustainability. They look for solutions that have a large and lasting impact on society.

Approach: Centre for Unusual Collaborations
The specially established Centre for Unusual Collaborations (CUCo) stimulates and facilitates unusual collaborations between young academics within the alliance. This is done by removing as many barriers as possible for researchers. Stimulating high-risk, high-gain research therefore is an essential aspect of the centre. This high-risk, high-gain mentality is underscored by learning from successes as well as failures, and sharing these with each other.


To stimulate unusual collaborations CUCo has set up two grants: the Spark Grant and Unusual Collaborations Grant. The grants are designed to enable long-lasting interdisciplinary science collaborations and scholarships that aim for societal impact. Therefore, participation of at least three alliance partners is required for a proposal.

Young Academies

The Young Academies of the four institutions offer a platform to young academics and stimulate their ability to contribute to the big social issues in a unique way. They facilitate the exchange and development of ideas among young academics in the Netherlands and abroad.

Roadmap 2024 – 2027

The strategic focus for the upcoming four years is described in the Roadmap Unusual Collaborations 2024 – 2027 (pdf).

>To the team of Unusual Collaborations