Meet the 2021 team

We thank all our speakers, participants, sponsors and partners over the years. NWO CHAINS is organised by NWO Domain Science in close cooperation with our partners KNCV and ChemistryNL.

Organising team NWO CHAINS 2021

Ralf Boland, Renée Calon, Vera Meester, Stephanie Holst, Hans Peter van der Lit, Laura Jansen and Martine Kors

Programme committee NWO CHAINS 2021

prof. Jan van Hest (chair) – TU/e
prof. Titia Sixma – NKI
dr. Stefania Grecea – UvA
prof. Shirin Faraji – RUG
dr. Kimberly Bonger – RU
dr. Nadia Grossiord – TU/e | SABIC
prof. Frank Hollmann – TUD
prof. Marc Koper – LEI
prof. Joost Reek – UvA
prof. Harry Bitter (representative KNCV) – WUR

Contact us

If you have any questions about NWO CHAINS 2021, please contact us by email.

Event agency

Marloes&Co communication & events
Linda Hartendorp
Telephone: +31 6 30625707

Payments are handled by Mollie ordered by:
Stichting Conferences & Events
CoC number: 858982997
VAT number: NL858982997B01

Cancellation of an online ticket: no restitution

Cancellation before 6 November: only administration costs of € 7,50 will be charged

Cancellation between 6 until 22 November: 50% refund

Cancellation after 22 November: no refund

No-shows or if you cancel your room after 22 November:: a fine of € 100 Euro extra will be charged

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and partners at NWO CHAINS are required to read the following code of conduct. Organisers will enforce this code throughout the event. We expect cooperation from all participants to help ensure a safe environment for everybody.

NWO CHAINS is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, Twitter and other online social media. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference without a refund at the discretion of the conference organisers.

NWO uses the personal data for various purposes described below:

  • registration of NWO CHAINS 2021 delegates and visitors
  • carrying out admission control for NWO CHAINS 2021
  • informing delegates and visitors about events they registered for and future editions of NWO CHAINS
  • activities pertaining to NWO CHAINS 2021

NWO has engaged other parties, to process personal data exclusively for NWO. NWO entered into a processing agreement with these partners.

Participants of NWO CHAINS 2021 may be filmed or photographed (for instance in the form of still images). These films, photographs and still images will be used for reporting purposes of the conference and/or future editions, and will be published on the NWO-website, social media channels and newsletters. NWO will not share scientific content without prior consent of the involved researcher(s).


Chemistry of Life

The research field Chemistry of Life studies and exploits the chemical principles and phenomena that underlie biological processes. The many disciplines within Chemistry of Life include (bio)organic and medicinal chemistry, analytical and macromolecular chemistry that relate to biological processes, bio- and cellular chemistry, structural and chemical biology, molecular biology, and biophysics.

Chemistry of Materials

Chemistry of Materials focuses on the broad and multidisciplinary field of materials and encompasses the complete lifespan of a wide range of materials. It brings together expertise from chemistry, physics, biology and engineering. It covers the design-synthesis-characterisation-performance cycle. There are many types of material, such as organic, inorganic and hybrid, made up of biomacromolecules, macromolecules, colloids, small molecules, and so on.

Chemical Conversion

The Chemical Conversion community brings together disparate fundamental disciplines and technological sectors. Chemical conversion is integral to all disciplines in the chemical sciences from fundamental, molecular-level chemistry to large-scale chemical process technology. Fields such as catalysis, process technology and synthesis play a key role.

Fundamentals and Methods of Chemistry

The focus of Fundamentals and Methods of Chemistry research is on the development of new techniques and on improving existing ones. Advances in models, computational tools and experimental techniques in the full range of the chemical sciences will enable us to study chemical reactions at ever smaller and shorter length and timescales, while at the same time opening up possibilities to study ever larger complex molecular systems.

Chemistry and Industry​

The key aspects of this track are networking, discussion and the possibility to learn from each other. These aspects will make this track interesting for both (fundamental) researchers and R&D divisions in the industry. We envision that this track helps to decipher what knowledge and needs exist among research groups and which companies are interested in this knowledge or can complement those needs.

This track is not linked to an NWO research community, but only used during NWO CHAINS to connect academia and industry.

Thank you!

We thank all our speakers, participants, sponsors and partners over the years. NWO CHAINS is organised by NWO Domain Science in close cooperation with our partners KNCV and ChemistryNL.

Chains 2020

Due to Covid-19 CHAINS 2020 had to be organised completely online. From Central Studios in Utrecht we provided a two day online programme with some speakers live in the studio setting and with over 250 online connections.

Plenary speakers:

Craig Crews (Yale, US), Patricia Dankers (TU/e), Sjaak Neefjes (LUMC), Jan van Hest (TU/e), Caroline Ross (MIT, US)

Keynotes speakers:

Laura Kiessling (MIT, US), Kitty Niemeijer (TU/e), Stefan Kaskel (TU Dresden, DE), Ron Heeren (UM), Martin Jinek (UZH, CH), Daniela Kraft (LEI), Regina Palkovits (RWTH Aachen, DE), Célia Fonseca Guerra (VU)

Watch the NWO CHAINS 2020 after-movie

NWO CHAINS 2020 masterclasses

Around 100 PhD students participated in the Masterclasses of NWO CHAINS 2020.

Five exciting topics by five inspiring coaches were offered:

Publishing: Tips for Manuscript Writing and Successful Submissions: Dr. Jonathan Faiz (Wiley/Chemistry Europe) opened the Editor’s black box by explaining how manuscripts are processed from submission to publication, discussed ethical aspects of publishing and gave the participants useful tips on how to prepare a successful publication. Did you miss his Masterclass? You can check some online material here.

Networking & Pitching: Juliëtte Boughouf (THRIVE Institute) shared her insights on networking and pitching, two important soft skills for career development. The participants could put their learnings into practice during the Masterclass, but of course also during CHAINS. Curious to learn more? Check out her presentation here.
Getting Hired Best Practice : Craig Jackson (ESS Recruit) shared his insights as an recruiter on how to get hired: where to find a job, what skills employers look for, the role of social media for your job hunt, interview types and tips and more. Interested in his tips? Check out the main best practices here.
Career planning: your next step! Marion Miezenbeek ( took the participants onto a journey of self-reflection and discussed next steps in their careers. What is important for you in a job and what do you have to offer another employer or supervisor? Check out her advice/take-away here.
Expand Your Online Presence through LinkedIn. Karlijn de Wit (Noscura) taught the participants about the ins and outs of Linkedin and how they can best make use of it to expand their online presence and network. Find out more with the 5 takeaways by Noscura here.

Chains 2019

Over 1600 participants joined NWO CHAINS 2019 on 10 and 11 December in the NH conference Center De Koningshof in Veldhoven.

Plenary speakers (in alphabetical order):
Frances Arnold (Caltech, USA) Lee Cronin (University of Glasgow, UK), Craig Hawker (University of California Santa Barbara, USA), Ilja Voets (Eindhoven University of Technology, NL) and Marcel Wubbolts (Corbion, NL)

Keynote speakers (in alphabetical order):
Ali Alavi (Cambridge/MPI), Alexander Böker (IAP), Ineke Braakman (University of Utrecht), Marjolein Dijkstra (University of Utrecht), Sophia Haussener (EPHL), Marc Koper (Leiden University), Robert Tampé (Goethe University), Helma Wennemers (ETH)

Take a look at the photos.

Watch the masterclasses of the KNCV and People in Science here:

The content displayed is the intellectual property of the KNCV and People in Science. You may not reuse, republish, or reprint the content without our written consent.

Chains 2018

On 3, 4 and 5 December 2018 more than 1500 scientists gathered in the NH Conference Center De Koningshof in Veldhoven to attend the 6th edition of NWO CHAINS. We look back at an inspiring and successful NWO CHAINS 2018, where communities in chemistry connected.

Plenary speakers (in alphabetical order):
Bert Weckhuysen (Utrecht University), Jason Chin (MRC-LMB, University of Cambridge), Paula Hammond (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Pascal Jonkheijm (University of Twente; KNCV Gold Medal Lecture), Pieternel Levelt (KNMI, Delft University of Technology), and Kevin Plaxco (Univ. California Santa Barbara).

Keynote speakers (in alphabetical order):
Anna Akhmanova (Utrecht University), Kenichiro Itami (Nagoya University), Mark Johnson (Yale University), Cristina Nevado (University of Zürich), Kevin Verstrepen (Leuven University, Flanders Institute for Biotechnology), and Tanja Weil (Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research).

Chains 2017

We are proud to look back on a successful 5th edition of the NWO CHAINS chemistry congress on 5, 6 and 7 December 2017 in the NH Conference Center De Koningshof in Veldhoven.

Plenary speakers (in alphabetical order):
Zhenan Bao (Stanford), Jacqueline Barton (Caltech; Knaw Van ’T Hoff), Ben Feringa (University Of Groningen), Nathalie Katsonis (University Of Twente; Kncv Gold Medal Lecture), Ferdi Schüth (Max-Planck-Institut Für Kohlenforschung), and Feng Zhang (MIT)

Keynote speakers (in alphabetical order):
Dick Broer (University Of Groningen), Albert Heck (Utrecht University), Freek Kapteijn (Delft University Of Technology), Michel Orrit (Leiden University), Alexander Van Oudenaarden (Hubrecht Institute), and Ana Pombo (Humboldt University Of Berlin)