Research projects

POLDER projects mobilise the knowledge and expertise needed to explore new avenues of intervention together with direct stakeholders (co-creation). Through POLDER, policymakers from all administrative levels can get access to a wide variety of researchers. Below are some examples of our applied research projects.

School choice dynamics and segregation

This research collaboration between the University of Amsterdam, the University of Groningen, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education, and the City of Amsterdam aims to unravel the dynamics of school choice and resulting patterns of segregation and inequality in primary schools by assuming a multi-dimensional approach to segregation.

Contact: Michael Lees and Willem Boterman

Modelling electric vehicle charging behaviour 

Together with the cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, researchers from the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences study the behaviour of electric vehicle charging in order to determine the best rollout strategy for public charging infrastructure.

Contact: Michael Lees

Tackling criminal networks 

The Dutch police and an interdisciplinary research team of the University of Amsterdam found a more effective way to destabilise cannabis networks: removing specialised players rather than the most high-profile and seemingly influential criminals.

Contact: Rick Quax

Resilience of industry clusters

An interdisciplinary research consortium was formed to analyse the complexity and resilience of regional industry clusters in the context of climate policy. Partners in this project are the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), and Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Contact: Peter Sloot 

Behavioural contact networks

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam and TU Delft work together with companies in Smart Distance Lab (financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) to test and analyse which interventions are most effective to improve social distancing. The final aim is to develop methodology that helps to monitor and improve the safety of locations and public events.

Contact: Denny Borsboom


This research project focuses on combatting crimes that undermine the rule of law in a smart and comprehensive manner, in a financial public-private partnership and through artificial intelligence with a focus on human trafficking, money laundering and corruption. New (financial) data sources are explored to detect crimes, analyse patterns, discern networks and model interventions. The COMCRIM consortium includes 4 banks and 9 public sector organisations.

Contact: Jill Coster van Voorhout

Pacing up the Energy Transition

Researchers from various disciplines of the UvA Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) work on integrative decision-support methods that help to unravel complex societal challenges, taking the energy transition as a case study. In close collaboration with the Future of Energy network, they work on exploring interventions that could accelerate the energy transition. 

Contact: Willem Bouten