About our research

Nivel, Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research, is the national institute for health services research in the Netherlands. Nivel is an independent organisation which carries out high quality research with a demonstrable impact upon society. More about what we do and why we do it the way we do, you will find here.

Nivel is active - as the video shows - in the health services research, a multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that examines how social factors, financing systems, organisational structures and processes, health technologies and personal behaviours affect healthcare, not only the quality and costs of health care but ultimately also our health and well-being in general.

HuisartsenpostNivel Institute
More information about Nivel as research institute, about the organisation structure and about our history you wil find at About Nivel.

Over ons onderzoekOur research: mission and values
Nivel's mission is to carry out high quality research which has a demonstrable impact upon society.


Praktijkgericht en wetenschappelijkValue 'Scientific quality and societal relevance'
Nivel's expertise is available for several involved areas of expetise and parties:

  • scientific research organisations
  • governmental bodies: the Dutch and foreign ministries, the European Union
  • organisations representing health care professionals, health care consumers and health care insurance companies

Good to know
In 2016 an independent international review committee has rated, very highly, the scientific quality and societal relevance of Nivel's research together with the viability of the organisation as a whole (Assessment Report).
In 2014 we received once again the full ISO-9001 accreditation.

Our view on societal relevance
Our reseach is based on the following basic ideas about social relevance:

  • Conducting health services research is not a linear but a continuous process of development and interaction between both the societal and the research domains. Health services research is driven by policy issues and practical problems in the health care sector. New issues and problems need to be translated into research questions, and the research has to be sensitive to the problems of the health care sector.
  • This translation is facilitated by researchers consulting with policymakers and other stakeholders in order to achieve the most valid study design (co-creation). Stakeholders determine whether the research design developed will give timely answers to their questions or problems (suitability). Researchers determine whether the stakeholders' needs are feasible.
  • The research conclusions, its interpretation of results and its meaning for daily practice may then lead to a new policy or an adjustment of existing policy. New questions and/or problems automatically arise after implementation and can then be translated into further research.

Our view on scientific quality research
We secure high quality on scientific basis applying the following principles:

  • The continuous process of development and interaction only works when its underlying research products are of the highest quality. Therefore, Nivel's research has to be performed and assessed according to the prevailing scientific standards. High standards of scientific research is a relevant value in its own right, but academic reputation is also important because it fosters society's acceptance and use of the results of our research and this in turn affects the recruitment and retention of talented researchers.
  • Because of the high scientific quality of Nivel's research, policymakers can reliably base their decisions on our results. Nivel's ability to integrate our health services research, with its relevance to society, from different perspectives makes it a unique partner in the policymaking process and a contributor to improving policy and practice in health care.

Nivel conducts health service research in the broadest sense

Just a few examples:

  • Evaluation studies of the efficacy of innovations in health care, policy measures and health law
  • Scenario studies to predict developments in the need for health care or the supply of health care
  • International comparative studies regarding health care systems
  • Answering specific questions by using Nivel's knowledge base, e.g. evidence on the effectiveness of policy measures
  • Studies into treatment adherence
  • Studies into antimicrobial resistance
  • Studies into prescription behaviour of GPs

ResultatenValue ‘Applied and applicable'
Nivel's main focus is on health services research: a multidisciplinary field focusing on the delivery, quality, costs and access to care from the perspective of various stakeholders. Central to our approach is the interaction between patients and care professionals and organisations. We study this interaction and its outcomes in relation to governance structures, whilst also investigating characteristics of patients, care professionals and organisations.

Nivel's research is characterized as applied and applicable research:

  • Applied research: our research draws on theories and methods from several disciplines, including epidemiology, medical sociology, psychology, human geography, health economics, medicine, nursing and physiotherapy.
  • Applicable research: our research focuses on issues that are relevant to the actors in health care and policy. Its potential use in policy-making processes is continuously borne in mind. Nivel's research aims to contribute to evidence-informed policy.

Statutory obligation to publish the results of all its activities
Nivel's activities include the collation and publication of existing knowledge and evidence in scientific, professional and policy journals, reports, bibliographies, reviews, summaries and fact sheets. Nivel has a statutory obligation to publish the results of all its activities.

WereldbolNational and international cooperation
Nivel is the only institute in the European region that is active in primary health care research.
Nivel participates in the Dutch primary care research school CaRe, with the universities in Maastricht, Amsterdam (VU) and Nijmegen. CaRe is accredited by Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Nivel participates in the academic research network on oversight in health care, with the Health Care Inspectorate and the Universities of Nijmegen, Rotterdam and Amsterdam (VU).

SamenwerkenWhat can Nivel do for you?
If you would like to explore the options of cooperation with Nivel, please feel free to contact us:

  • Contact our project leader International Projects Inge van Houdt, PhD: [E] i.vanhoudt@nivel.nl, [T]+31 30 272 9727
  • Or contact one of our program coordinators:
Programme Programme Coordinator
Professions in Health Care and Manpower Planning Prof. R.S. (Ronald) Batenburg, PhD
Care Demand of the Chronically Ill and Disabled H. (Hennie) Boeije, PhD
Patient Centered Care D. (Dolf) de Boer, PhD
Pharmaceutical Care Prof. L. (Liset) van Dijk, PhD
Disasters and Environmental Hazards Prof. M. (Michel) Dückers, PhD
Communication in Health Care Prof. A.M. (Sandra) van Dulmen, PhD
Nursing Care & Older Persons Prof. A.L. (Anneke) Francke, PhD
Impact of Legislation and Oversight in Health Care Prof. R.D. (Roland) Friele, PhD
Quality and Organisation of Hospital- and Long Term Care L. (Lilian) van Tuyl, PhD
Health Care System and Governance Prof. J.D. (Judith) de Jong, PhD
General Practice Medical Care J.C. (Joke) Korevaar, PhD
Netherlands Primary Care Information Network Prof. R.A. (Robert) Verheij, PhD

We are looking forward to get in touch with you.


<p>Kenniscentrum Nivel. About our research.&nbsp;</p> . About our research. From: www.nivel.nl [Last update 20-February-2021; consulted on 28-February-2021]. URL: https://www.nivel.nl/en/about-our-research