"Funding the Future" projects

In Utrecht University's anniversary year 2011, the Utrecht University Fund supplemented the Utrecht Excellence Scholarships (UES) by raising money from alumni for three interesting university projects that were not eligible for University funding but still considered to be valuable. The response to this initiative was extremely positive and the result exceeded expectations, prompting the Utrecht University Fund to establish an annual "Funding the Future" alumni donation campaign. Now, alumni are invited on an annual basis to contribute financially to four University projects, always including the UES.

Here is a list of projects for which funds have been raised since 2011:


Funding sustainability

In 2017, it was exactly 100 years ago that the first female professor was appointed at Utrecht University. Johanna Westerdijk was a botanist with vision: the moulds she cherished so much are now being deployed for a sustainable future. Thanks to the support by hundreds of alumni Westerdijk's research can be continued and her work can be permanently displayed at the University Museum. Raised donations: € 15.000.

Funding the bee population

Bees form an important link in our food supply. All the more reason for the Biology Department to offer a practical bee-keeping course. The course used to be available only to a small number of students. Thanks to donations, a bee stable could be constructed in the Utrecht Botanic Gardens, so more students, pupils and visitors can immerse themselves in the fascinating and important life of the honeybee. Raised donations: € 10.000.

Fund academic heritage

The depot of Utrecht University Library houses a big collection of old maps. These scientifically relevant maps from the 16th century to the 19th century are a treasure trove of information for current education and research. Thanks to alumni donations, this beatiful collection can be fully digitized, so students and other interested people can easily use and admire these maps online. Raised donations: € 15.000.


Remember your student days

Back in 1945, Utrecht University had 5.000 students. Over the past 70 years this number has gone up to 30.000. In addition to the volume of the student body a lot has changed over time, some things however have stayed surprisingly similar. The city and university are still very recognizable for those who studied in Utrecht in the past. Alumni donations have contributed to the development of an illustrated overview on postwar student life in Utrecht, depicting both changes and similarities.

Raised donations: €15.000,-

Trigger children’s curiosity

Thanks to alumni donations Utrecht University Museum was able to establish a research and science programme at several locations in Utrecht. Each year, at least 1000 children use their own curiosity as a starting point to get to work with science. The mobile education programme is an example of the museum’s  education program: real objects, practical learning and always linked to real science using the didactics of research-based learning.

Raised donations: €15.000,-

Looking at birds differently

A unique birds-observatory was built in the Botanic Gardens at Utrecht Science Park De Uithof, where students and interested parties have the opportunity to study birds from a very close distance. A small building with a plate-glass window in the garden that attracts 90.000 visitors each year. The Botanic Gardens is open daily from 1 March till December 1.

Raised donations € 13.000,-


Gaming for a sustainable world

Stimulate energy-conscious behavior for a sustainable world by gaming. Research developed by Jan Dirk Fijnheer and students from the Utrecht department of computing science.

Raised donations: €12.000,-

Exposing the history of the Janskerkhof

During a restauration of Janskerkhof 3A, a university building in the centre of Utrecht, medieval crypts were found. The cellars were reconstructed and conserved and are now open to the public at the faculty of Law, Economics and Governance.

Raised donations: € 16.000


Reviving the beauty of mathematics

Restauration of ancient mathematic 3-D models to exhibit to younger generations. This project was recommended by Frits Beukers, under the management of Wilke Schram.

Raised donations: €10.000,-

Give students the chance of a lifetime

Your contribution will help to bring seven more of the best international students to Utrecht to study.


Amount donated €12,000

Research by Nienke Endenburg into how the welfare of domestic animals and their elderly owners who live together in a care institute can be improved for the benefit of both.

Amount donated €20,000

Utrecht students, led by Leonard Rutgers, worked on an excavation authorised by the Vatican into the origins of contemporary society. Location: the monastery of Pope Gregory the Great in the Via Appia.

Amount donated €24,700

Research by Tim Boekhout van Solinge in the Amazon region into illegal tree-felling and related crimes and unlawful expropriation of agricultural land intended for soya.


Amount donated €18,500

Digitisation of the Utrecht Psalter.

Amount donated €14,828

Development of a Mindset Game for students with an autistic spectrum disorder.

Amount donated €20,000

Development of a polypill for the prevention of pre-eclampsia and hypertension in African mothers, by researcher Joyce Brown.


Amount donated €17,000

Online collection for the Utrecht University Museum: an interactive website for the University Museum's special collections.

Amount donated €10,000

Thesis series: ‘The best of the best’: publication and presentation of the best theses that are of relevance to wider society.

Amount donated €22,811

Bèta Excellent research traineeship: an inspirational research traineeship for the best school student in science.



The writing of a biography of Johanna Westerdijk, the Netherlands' first female professor.


The Golden Age Game.


From biomass to energy.