10 Dec Exploring the Science Park campus

Our research neighbours: a great benefit for UvA science students

Wouldn’t you love being surrounded by prominent science research? To be part of that research with your own study projects and internships, to take classes from renowned real-world scientists, and to just revel in the feeling of full-on scienceness? Amsterdam Science Park (ASP) is here for you!

The research institutes of Amsterdam Science Park
ASP currently contains 13 cutting-edge research institutes, which are ready and waiting for you. 8 of them are part of our faculty, and 5 are just a stone’s throw away:

  • Nikhef (subatomic physics)
  • CWI (mathematics and computer science)
  • AMOLF (nanophotonics, physics of biomolecular systems, and photovoltaics)
  • SRON (space)
  • ARCNL (nanolithography).

With these top institutes already at ASP, and Amsterdam’s decision to invest heavily in the ASP, you’ll likely see even more institutes – your potential study partners! – arrive next door in the future.

Nikhef – the biggest impact of the smallest elements
Nikhef is one of the biggest institutions in the industry of being the smallest. They’re experts in all things subatomic and the related laws of physics. Scientists, engineers and students work together at the most ground-breaking and fundamental types of research, and you can be a part of that. In collaboration with the University of Amsterdam Nikhef provides single courses, a bachelor and a master for those interested in the small matter.

Not yet impressed? Look at some of their accomplishments:

  • Participated in experiments with CERN in Switzerland to find quarks
  • Was part of the team that found the famous Higgs-boson
  • Is actively working on explaining how anti-matter works


CWI – the math behind the bits and bytes
The Centre for Math and Informatics, shortened to CWI, is the Dutch National research institute for mathematics and computer science. A lot of UvA alumni worked here for years and you can join them! A team of multi-cultural scientists is waiting for you and other international students to help create some of the coolest applications of science.

The experience in amazing projects is at the CWI, have a look at them:

  • Developed the Python programming language, which is used anywhere from Google to NASA
  • Registered one of first country domains (‘.nl’)
  • Cracked the widely used MD5 internet security system
  • Improved the everlasting problem with the Dutch train schedules


AMOLF – bringing matter to life
The ASP specialises in small things and AMOLF is a part of that. About 140 scientists and students try to initiate and lead fundamental research in the area of nanophotonics and biophysics. Are you interested in either light on a very small scale or creating new materials for both the use in food or biomedical applications? AMOLF might be the place for you to look for an internship or PhD-position.

Some of your predecessors accomplished this at AMOLF:

  • Rich history with being world leader in atomic and molecular physics
  • Europe’s first in demonstrating uranium isotope separation
  • Creation of a spectrometry technique for the preservation of paintings


SRON – To infinity and beyond
Buzz Lightyear might have spoken (American) English in the Toy Story movies, as a Faculty of Science student you’re not that far away from being a space explorer. The Netherlands Institute for Space Research specialises in astrophysics and planetary exploration. Its mission is to play a leading role in creating the instruments needed for the ESA and NASA satellites. When its full relocation from Utrecht to Watergraafsmeer, Amsterdam is completed, you’ll only be a rock throw away.

Space Exploration at SRON has already accomplished a lot:

  • Launching the first-ever space-based observatory for infrared wavelengths in the sky
  • Planning to study neutron stars and black holes with the ESA
  • Mapping the variations in Earth’s gravity and mantle


ARCNL – chipbuilding at its finest
The Advanced Research Centre for Nanolithography is a collaboration of various institutions in Amsterdam, including the AMOLF and UvA. ASML, a Dutch chip builder and world leader in this branch, is also involved. A significant part of the research is devoted on ultraviolet light and its use in nanochips. Even though you think your newest laptop is small and handy, ARCNL thinks there is still a lot of work to do. Because who wouldn’t want to have chips so small you can digest them?

Here’s what you might find in your internship at ARCNL:

  • Creation of ultrathin films for the use in nanolithopgraphy
  • Producing plasma through the absorption of infrared light by metals
  • Researching new materials by studying fundamental mechanisms in short wavelength UV light.

Which institute (or discipline) would you like to see arrive next at ASP? And why would it be a good addition? Let me know in the comment section!

WTF thomas

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WTF thomas

WTF thomas

Information Science and Intelligence Studies, Football Fanatic, Tech-junk, Zoetermeer, Daily commuter.
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