About us


NOVA stands for ‘Nederlandse Onderzoekschool Voor Astronomie’, i.e., the ‘Netherlands Research School for Astronomy’. It is the alliance of the astronomical institutes of the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden, and Nijmegen. Astronomy is considered to be top-science in The Netherlands. NOVA was selected as top-research school in 1998 following an open national competition, and is as such receiving substantial funding by the Dutch Ministry of Education.

NOVA's mission

is to carry out frontline astronomical research in the Netherlands, to train young astronomers at the highest international levels, and to share our new discoveries with society.

NOVA: collaboration

The astronomical institutes at the universities of Amsterdam, Groningen, Leiden and Nijmegen together form NOVA. NOVA closely collaborates with the two other research institutes that are active in the field of astronomy in the Netherlands: The space research institute SRON and the radio astronomy institute ASTRON.

Collaboration and coordination of all partners in Dutch astronomy takes place within the Astronomy Council (RvdA) and the creation of decadal strategic plans and midterm updates by the RvdA.

NOVA astronomers rely heavily on the world-class facilities of the European Southern Observatory (ESO), most notably the VLT telescopes and the ALMA array. A large fraction of the instrument projects that NOVA participates in are targeted at these facilities, as well as the future Extremely Large Telescope.