Dr. Rob Heinsbroek (contactperson NWA)
What is your expertise and background?
I am a policy officer at the Dutch Reseach Council (NWO) and have worked on many programs in the field of brain functioning and behavior and applications of brain knowledge in social practice. This also fits well with my neurobiological background. In the development of the Dutch National Research Agenda (NWA), I have been able to contribute, together with colleagues, to the bundling of many questions in the field of brain functioning and behavior. That later became the NeuroLabNL route.
What do you like about NeurolabNL?
NWO has contacts for all routes. That is a nice construction for our NWO work. This way we know more about the routes internally and we can think more effectively and work on good deployment of routes. We as contact persons are not route tractors or supporters of figureheads, the routes are on their own. That is good and also provides room for assisting with contact between routes. I really enjoy being a contact person for NeuroLabNL. The scientific and social ambitions of the route fit in well with my other NWO tasks and I enjoy working together with the people in this field.
What are your ambitions for NeurolabNL – what do you hope to achieve in the next 3 years and the next 10 years?
The NeuroLabNL community has always been strong in quality, organization and ambitions. In my opinion, large and difficult projects are the need to better understand the fundamental functioning of the brain, in combination with the complexity of being able to do something practical with that concept. Brain knowledge for better education, more safety and health is a very strong and convincing prospect, but still has many hurdles to go, including ethical and social ones. Working on easily accessible contacts and connections between all research parties, policy and practice is of great value. NeuroLabNL plays a good role in this, which can certainly develop even further.
A nice fact about Rob
A few years ago I joined a drawing and painting group in my hometown of Alkmaar. A large sheet of paper, charcoal, brushes and paints for a few hours a week in the evening. A wonderful discovery to find out how fun and relaxing that is.