The Wageningen Institute for Environment and Climate Research (WIMEK) is one of the six Graduate Schools at Wageningen University. WIMEK aims at developing an integrated understanding of environmental change and its impact on people, society and nature.

WIMEK was founded in 1993 to coordinate the research activities and PhD education of the Wageningen University chair groups involved in this research field.


WIMEK aims to develop an integrated understanding of environmental change and its impact on the quality of life and sustainability and offers solutions for environmental improvement, by:

  1. Conducting innovative scientific research.
  2. Offering PhD training and education.
  3. Dissemination of emerging insights and recent research results.

Grand Challenges

WIMEK research focuses on three Grand Challenges of nowaday's world:

  1. Climate action: Towards fair and effective solutions for climate change mitigation and adaptation
  2. Managing our future biosphere: Developing strategies for the sustainable use of soil, water, atmosphere, biodiversity, ecosystems and landscapes
  3. Advancing circular systems: Inclusive innovation towards closed water, nutrient, and material flows

Graduate school

Currently, about 350 PhD candidates have been enrolled in WIMEK, of whom about 70 percent come from outside the Netherlands.

We aim to support PhD candidates in their personal and scientific development by offering them:

  • a challenging scientific research environment,
  • a national and international scientific network of environmental researchers,
  • an advanced training and education programme.

Co-founder and member of SENSE network

To reach these goals WIMEK has also strongly supported the development of an inter-university network of environmental research groups at national level. This has resulted in the establishment of the Dutch Research School of the Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE) in 1994.

Now, environmental research groups from eight Dutch universities and IHE Delft collaborate in SENSE. WIMEK is the largest participating institute. Together with IVM-VU, WIMEK is responsible for the daily management of SENSE.