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The Amsterdam Law and Behavior Institute (A-LAB) is a network organization that encourages and supports interdisciplinary research by researchers from the VU-based NWO Institute Netherlands Study Center for Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and the VU Faculties of Law (RCH), Social Sciences (FSW), School of Business and Economics (SBE) and Behavioral and Physical Sciences (FGB).

An important tool for interdisciplinary research are A-LAB-funded (and co-funded) PhD projects in which the PhD students are embedded in interdisciplinary research teams consisting of researchers from NSCR and one or more of the participating faculties. Currently, 13 of these PhD projects are underway involving approximately 30 researchers.

A-LAB supports interdisciplinary research collaborations between researchers at NSCR and participating faculty by awarding smaller grants (usually a few thousand euros) that are used to get initiatives off the ground. Since 2018, about 30 of these applications have been honored for collaborations involving about 50 researchers.

A-LAB organizes meetings to bring together researchers from the various partners. After a lengthy postponement due to the corona pandemic, meetings on Restorative Justice and on Action Research are scheduled for this year.

Sustainable partnerships

As part of its mission, A-LAB hosts the interdisciplinary collaborative initiatives Peace and Conflicts Studies Centre (PACS) and Amsterdam Behavioral Lab (ABEL) in an organizational capacity.

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A-LAB promotes interdisciplinary research by connecting researchers from the different partners, by providing methodological support (including the ELS help desk at RCH), by helping with dissemination (including the use of Open Access repositories and an Open Access book series), and by providing services by a data manager, Thomas Hoogenboom (see above), and by a grants advisor, Marco Last. Marco informs researchers about grant types, comments on draft versions of their applications, and organizes practice interviews. He can also provide input on (preparing narrative) CVs and career planning (how to best prepare for which grant format?). Marco can be reached via E: m.c.last@vu.nl and can be found physically at the NSCR on Wednesdays.

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Management Team

The daily organization and coordination of A-LAB is in the hands of the Management Team consisting of Arno Akkermans (Director A-LAB, RCH), Nieke Elbers (NSCR & RCH), Ronald van Steden (FSW) and Joris van Wijk (RCH) and supported by Anniek van der Schuijt (RCH, Secretary) and Machiel van der Werff (RCH, Webmaster).


The A-LAB board includes the deans of participating faculty and the director of the NSCR. Currently, the board consists of: Hemme Battjes (RCH, chair), Beate Volker (NSCR), Gregor Halff (FSW), Arjen van Witteloostuijn (SBE) and Maurits van Tulder (FGB).