Open Science Fund

The Open Science Fund helps teams integrate Open Science in their work.

The goal of this fund is to give Utrecht University and University Medical Centre Utrecht employees the opportunity to integrate open science principles in their work and experiment with open science attitudes. The fund's contribution allows a team to make elements of their work more open.These projects may entail risks. A chance of failure in experimenting with open science principles is considered acceptable.

Photo by Ivar Pel

Allocation of the Third round of the Open Science Fund 

Seven research projects will be granted funding in the third round of the Utrecht University Open Science Fund. The fund is aimed at making open science a reality at Utrecht and beyond and grantees can use the funding to initiate, expand or share their open science practices. We received a seventeen grant application between €10.000 en €15.000 euro in total. An independent panel of open science experts then determined whether the (anonymized) applications met the predetermined criteria. The total number of qualified applications exceeded the maximum of the fund, triggering a random lottery in which seven projects were allotted funding.

  Read more about the projects below: 

Research agenda setting in North-South transdisciplinary research collaborations 

Joyce Browne (UMC Utrecht) 

Community engagement and research agendas are key strategies to ensure priorities of various stakeholders are reflected. This project in the transdisciplinary UU/UMCU-led SPOT-study consortium aims to improve the quality of care for women with preeclampsia in pregnancy in Ghana. The research agenda setting will involve extensive community and stakeholder engagement. 

MICE ONLINE: A new service to solve missing data problems 

Stef van Buuren (UU, FSW) 

The MICE algorithm is widely used for solving missing data problems. MICE is implemented open-source R package ( This project aims to make the MICE functionality available through a restful API to accommodate a wider user group. Users can upload their incomplete data and retrieve their data with all missing data filled in by multiple imputation. 

SynthEval: An R package for evaluating and improving the quality of synthetic data sets 

Thom Volker, Erik-Jan van Kesteren and Gerko Vink – Methodology and Statistics (FSW, UU)  

Synthetic data rapidly gains popularity as intermediate step for researchers who are applying for access to real, but restricted, research data. Yet, generating synthetic data is a cumbersome process, that heavily relies on ad hoc and unsystematic measures of data utility. We will improve and standardize this process, by developing an easy-to-use software package SynthEval to systematically assess the quality of synthetic data.  

Visualization of Complex Opinion Spaces 

Tamara Mtsentlintze, Alex Telea, Evanthia Dimara, Isabel Floor (UU, Beta) 

Inge Sieben, Tim Reeskens, Quita Muis (Tilburg University) 

In political and social surveys, we often  observe an emergence of a dominant dimension that explains most of the variability of individual opinions on different issues, such as the “left-right” dimension in the political scene. The main goal of this project is to investigate whether presenting opinion spaces to the general public in ways that avoid specification of global alignment, and that attempt  to visualize multiple data dimensions at once, can contribute to increased tolerance towards other opinions. 

Searching for Europe 

Marij Swinkels, Alex Hoppe, Lisanne de Blok /  Dylan Ahern, Utrecht School of Governance 

What is the public’s perception of Europe? This is the central question in the theatrical production ‘Searching for Europe’ of De Kiesmannen. The show, that will run from late March to late May 2023 will serve as the opportunity to question thousands of visitors about their perceptions of Europe. Together with graduate students of the Utrecht School of Governance, an impact study and survey visitors will be conducted before and after the show. The findings will be published in a accessible popular science publication. 

The influence of Open Science practices on laypeople’s perception of the credibility of research findings 

Sheeling Neo, Marina Orifici, Maximilian Primbs (UU REBO, University of Cologne, Radboud Universiteit) 

What influence do the open science practices of ‘many-lab’ and ‘many-analyst’ – repetition of the same experiment or reproduction of analisys using the same data respectively – have on laypeople’s perceptions of the credibility of research findings? In this study participants will rate multiple studies with the type of Open Science practices used being manipulated between subjects, in order to ascertain the effect of these practices on the public trust in science. 

The MARBLES project; A Measurements Archive of Reactions to Bereavement form Longitudonal (European) STudies 

Paul Boelen (UU), Lonneke van Tuijl (UU, UMCG) Lonneke Lenferink (UTwente, UU)  

The death of a loved one is a common negative life event. There is growing evidence that in a significant minority of people, deaths of loved ones cause pervasive mental health problems but the relevant sources of this tipping point remail elusive. The MARBLES project is now entering the second phase in which the existing international database will be improved by specifying procedures, overcoming obstacles for harmonization of data and boosting the development and consortium use of the MARBLES archive amongst researchers.  

In addition to the projects receiving funding from the Open Science Fund,13 other projects are receiving funding from the FAIR Research IT Innovation Fund.

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