Financial incentive for interdisciplinary research at WUR

Published on
June 21, 2019

From managing plastic flows in Asia to supporting coffee farmers in Latin America: below are several examples of projects that WUR finances through the Interdisciplinary Research and Education Fund (INREF). During the current round, eight preliminary research proposals were selected, which could then be developed into full project proposals.


Preparing full proposals for research projects is a major effort that requires an extensive time investment. INREF focuses on interdisciplinary collaboration and offers researchers from Wageningen University the opportunity to receive a modest remuneration – known as seed money – to fund the collaborative expansion of their research idea into a full project proposal intended for funding bodies such as the NWO or the EU.

The following projects were approved in the current round:

  • Making the invisible visible for the biodiversity SDGs – recognizing what indigenous peoples and local communities value in indicators for decision-making and accountability (Sylvia Karlsson)
  • Governing plastic flows in Asia, PLASTIC-ASIA (Judith van Leeuwen)
  • Practices, policies and politics of urban irrigation in Africa and Asia (Gert Jan Veldwisch)
  • Land remediation in the Caribbean: exploring the potential of climate smart agriculture in policy and practice (Martine van der Ploeg)
  • Peace-making, land restitution and social reconstruction in Colombia: building up resilience and reconciliation by reconnecting with the land (Pieter de Vries)
  • Structuring markets for sustainable food systems: exploring transitional power of public procurement (Jessica Duncan)
  • Disruptive forces and (un)sustainable pathways of transformation: investigating multiple drivers of change and the socio-ecological consequences of coffee growing landscape in Latin America (Vivian Valencia)
  • Enhancing crop insurance design in South-Asian agriculture through bio-physical crop modelling, remote sensing and machine learning (Miranda Meuwissen)


INREF is the development-oriented interdisciplinary research and education fund of Wageningen University. INREF activities focus on collaboration – between disciplines, between regions, between institutes and between funding bodies. Collaboration is essential to tackle the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and to strengthen national and international research & education for development.

INREF also finances complete research programmes independently. For more information on this aspect go to INREF projects. New rounds for seed money or full proposals are announced via the Wageningen Research Schools.