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Dr Niki Vermeulen

Lecturer in History and Sociology of Science

Science Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS), School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Old Surgeons Hall, High School Yards, Edinburgh UK EH1 1LZ

Niki Vermeulen specialises in science and innovation policy and the organisation of research, with an emphasis on scientific collaboration in the life sciences. She holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Maastricht University, The Netherlands, was a Marie Curie research fellow in the Science and Technology Studies Unit at the University of York, lecturer/researcher in the Department of the Social Studies of Science, University of Vienna, Austria, and research fellow in the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine of the University of Manchester. She co-founded a network of young researchers that has been granted the European COST action ‘Bio-objects and their Boundaries: Governing Matters at the Intersection of Society, Politics, and Science’ and is co-chairing one of the working groups. Niki has been a visiting scholar at the Centre for Society and Life Sciences of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and the University of Madison-Wisconsin, USA. Next to her academic positions, she has been working for Technopolis Group, the Executive Board of Maastricht University, the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), and the Scientific Council of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington DC, USA.

Research interests

I study the ways in which science is practised and organised, specialising in scientific collaboration in biology with an emphasis on taxonomy/ecology and (post-)genomics research, especially systems biology. As a Wellcome research fellow I am investigating the emergence of systems biology as a new field, shedding light on the recent history of the biosciences, and the ways in which different disciplines become reconfigured. I investigate the entanglement of epistemic and social transformations in science, analysing new ways of doing research as well as the political and institutional structures in which the research is performed. Special attention is given to different local and national patterns of emergence and the shaping of international collaboration, as well as applications of research. My research into scientific collaboration is embedded in broader knowledge of developments in science and innovation policy. Research subjects in this area include the knowledge society; changing roles of universities; innovative clusters; the integration of ICT in research; projectification of science; evaluation of research; and careers of (young) researchers. Next to my academic work I have experience as a policy advisor and consultant in the field of research and innovation policy, trying to bridge the gap between research and policymaking and improving conditions for research.

Recent external appointments

2016 - : Member, Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) Young Academy of Scotland (YAS)

Publications prior to 2014

Vermeulen, N., Parker, J.N. & B. Penders (2013). ‘Understanding life together: A brief history of collaboration in biology’. Endeavour, 37 (3), 162-171.

Vermeulen, N. (2013). ‘The Census of Marine Life; marine biology as big science’. PLOS 1, 8(1): e54284.

Swierstra, T, Vermeulen, N., Braeckman, J. & R. van Driel (2013). ‘Re-thinking the life sciences’. EMBO reports, 14, 310 - 314.

Vermeulen, N. (2013). 'Reflections on scientific collaboration'. In Popovic‡, L., Vidakovic‡, M.,& D. Kostic (Eds.). Resources of Danubian Region: The possibility of cooperation and utilization. Belgrade: Humboldt-Club Serbien.

Tamminen, S. & N. Vermeulen (2012). ‘Bio-objects and generative relations’. Croatian Medical Journal, 53(2), 198-200.

Vermeulen, N., Tamminen, S. & A. Webster (Eds). (2012). Bio-objects: Life in the 21st Century. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Vermeulen, N. (2012). ‘Growing a cell in silico; On how the creation of a bio-object transforms the organisation of science’. In Vermeulen, N., S. Tamminen & A. Webster (Eds.). Bio-objects: Life in the 21st Century. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Wheeler, et al. (2012). ‘Mapping the biosphere: exploring species to understand the origin, organization and sustainability of biodiversity’. Systematics and Biodiversity, 10(1), 1-20.

Ohler, F., Radauer, A., Vermeulen, N., Ionita, M., Rotaru, F., Toncu, A. C., Pislaru, D. & M. Horvat (2012). Mid-Term Evaluation of the National Strategy and the National RD&I Plan in Romania 2007-2013. Vienna: Technopolis/Bucharest: FM Management Consultancy/GEA Strategy & Consultancy.

Arnold, E., Good, B., Ohler, F., Tiefenthaler, B. & N. Vermeulen (2011). Institutional Funding and Research Evaluation in the Czech Republic and abroad. Brighton/Vienna: Technopolis.

Parker, J. N., Vermeulen, N. & B. Penders. (2011). ‘Admin Burden is Part of the Job’. Nature, 476 (7358).

Felt, U., Vermeulen, N, Tempelmaier, B & K. Perkovits (2011). Ökologie im Wandel. Epistemische und institutionelle Transformation der Ökologie in Österreich. Wien: Institut für Wissenschaftsforschung.

Moodie, L.H., Reeve, J.C., Vermeulen, N. & M. R. Elkins. (2011). ‘Inspiratory muscle training to facilitate weaning from mechanical ventilation: protocol for a systematic review’, BMC Research Notes, 11(4), 283.

Vermeulen, N., Parker, J.N., & B. Penders (2010). ‘Big, Small or Mezzo?: Lessons from Science Studies for the ongoing debate about ‘Big’ versus ‘Little’ Science’. EMBO reports, 11, 420-423.

Parker, J. N., Vermeulen, N. & B. Penders (Eds). (2010). Collaboration in the New Life Sciences. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Vermeulen, N & B. Penders (2010). ‘Collecting collaboration. Understanding life together’. In Parker, J., N. Vermeulen & B. Penders (Eds.). Collaboration in the New Life Sciences. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Zuijdam, F., Boekholt, P., Deuten, J., Meijer, I., & N. Vermeulen (2010). The role and added value of large-scale research facilities. Amsterdam: Technopolis.

Arnold, E., Boekholt, P., Good, B., Radauer, A., Stroyan, J., Tiefenthaler, B. & N. Vermeulen (2010). Evaluation of Austrian support structures for FP 7 & Eureka and impact analyses of EU research initiatives on the Austrian research and innovation system. Vienna: Technopolis.

Penders, B., N. Vermeulen & J. N. Parker (2010). ‘To make progress we must remember and learn from the past’. Nature, 463 (7278), 157.

Vermeulen, N. (2009). Supersizing science; On building large-scale research projects in biology. Maastricht: Maastricht University Press.

Vermeulen, N. (2008). ‘Supersizing science: building large-scale research projects in biology’. In Global research seminar: Sharing Research Agendas on Knowledge Systems, Final Proceedings. Paris: UNESCO, pp. 76-77.

Vermeulen, N. & B. Penders (2007). ‘Big Science.’ In: Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. Cutler J. Cleveland. Washington, D.C.: Environmental Information Coalition, National Council for Science and the Environment.

Vermeulen, N. & R. Kleinenberg (2004). ‘Life Sciences in de VS: stimuleren, reguleren, discussiëren’. Published online on 28-5-2004 at the TWA website of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Vermeulen, N. (2003). ‘Biotechnologie clusters in de Verenigde Staten’. TWAnieuws, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, 41 (6), 5-7.

Vermeulen, N. & R. Kleinenberg (2003). ‘Life Sciences in de Verenigde Staten’. TWAnieuws, Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, 41 (4), 8.

Wilde, R. de, Vermeulen, N. & M. Reithler (2003). Bezeten van Genen; Een essay over de innovatieoorlog rondom genetisch gemodificeerd voesel. [Possesed by Genes. An essay on the innovation war around genetically modified food]. Background study Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy, vol. 117. The Hague: Sdu Publishers.

Current research