Scientific center for care and welfare.



Interaction between science, practitioners, and care demand


Mission and objective

Tranzo is the scientific center for care and welfare of the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences of Tilburg University. The mission of Tranzo is to build a bridge between science and practice in the area of care and welfare. The objective is to promote an evidence-based approach by working in co-creation with practitioners to develop and exchange knowledge.

The evidence-based approach: Three sources of knowledge

For us, the evidence-based approach involves three types of knowledge sources: scientific knowledge, the expertise of the professionals (i.e., caregivers and policy officers), and the knowledge and expertise of the ‘demand side’ (i.e., citizens, clients). The interaction between researchers, professionals, and the demand side is therefore of crucial importance.

Tranzo advisory body

The advisory body advise Tranzo on the basic ideas of the policy and the organization regarding research and reach of the department. The intention of the advises is to strengthen the position of Tranzo within the university and the health field.

Prof. dr. H. F. L. Garretsen, Chairman of Tranzo

How we work: The Academic Collaborative Centers

In cooperation with organizations in the field of care and welfare, Tranzo has set up various Academic Collaborative Centers: long-term collaborations between Tranzo, Tilburg University, care and other organizations. Within an Academic Collaborative Center, work is carried out to develop scientific knowledge and to initiate innovation in care and other services offered in the relevant sector. The cooperation is based on a long-term research program, jointly established by the University and the care and welfare organizations involved. Science practitioners, professionals who work partly in the field and partly within the University, play a central role in the Academic Collaborative Centers: they bridge the gap between science and practice.

The Academic Collaborative Center configuration that characterizes Tranzo has become a model of good practice for Tilburg University as a whole. Three important principles are at the basis of Tranzo’s working method:

  • complete equality between the University and the collaboration partners.

  • personal contacts at various levels within the organizations concerned.

  • ‘win-win’: all parties involved must invest in and benefit from the cooperation. Usually, cooperation takes place “in kind”. The above-mentioned science practitioners are a case in point. The care institution where the science practitioner works pays the salary and Tranzo provides the scientific supervision, accommodation, ICT, library facilities, etc. 


Academic Collaborative Centers: Collaborating partners and program leaders

  • Academic Collaborative Center Geestdrift (Mental Health Care)
    In the Academic Collaborative Center on Mental Health, Tranzo works together with a variety of institutions in the field of mental health on long-term research and knowledge exchange.
    Main collaborating partners: mental health care institutions GGz Eindhoven en de Kempen and GGz Breburg. The Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction) participates on a project basis.

    The main research areas are: 1) the evaluation and outcome of research in mental health care and 2) strategy, organization, and information management in mental health care. Main themes are rehabilitation and societal participation of people with mental disorders; stigma; collaborative care; medically unexplained physical symptoms; quality of life; and technological and other innovation in mental health services.  

    Coördinators: Dr. Evelien Brouwers, Dr. Margot Joosen.
    Program leaders: Prof. Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen, Prof. Jaap van Weeghel, Prof. Inge Bongers, Prof. Christina van der Feltz, Prof. Hedwig van Bakel

  • Academic Collaborative Center Public Health Brabant
    Research supporting an evidence-informed public health policy and practice is executed in structural collaboration with local and national public health partners.
    Central themes are: 1) fostering evidence-based policy and monitoring at a local level, 2) fostering evidence-based care in local public health, and 3) encouraging the development of local expertise.

    Main collaborating partners: the three Municipal Health Services (GGDen) in Brabant (advising and serving 67 municipalities in public health policy) and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

    Coördinators: Prof. Ien van de Goor and Dr. Mariëlle Cloïn.
    Program leader: Prof. Hans van Oers.

  • Academic Collaborative Center for the Elderly
    Central theme: to generate innovative scientific knowledge on current developments in chronic care for the elderly. Based on understanding older adults, the aim is to innovate long-term elderly care and stimulate person-centered care.

Main collaborating partners: ten organizations in elderly care and health insurer CZ. 

Coördinators: Prof. Katrien Luijkx and Dr. Leonieke van Boekel
Program leader: Prof. Katrien Luijkx

  • Academic Collaborative Center on Addiction
    Central themes:  evidence-based research towards addiction care and alcohol and drug policy.
    Main collaborative partners: Novadic-Kentron, IrisZorg

    Coordinator: Dr. Margot Joosen
    Program leaders: Prof. Henk Garretsen and Prof. Hendrik Roozen

  • Quality of health care providers and systems
    Central theme: how to bend the (local) provision of health care towards patients’ needs and demands, in order to reduce waste and improve outcomes, both in terms of patients’ experiences and in clinical effectiveness and safety.

    Collaborating partners are two national knowledge centers: the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) and the Dutch Healthcare Quality Institute. Additional partners are Jeroen Bosch hospital in Den Bosch, health insurer Menzis, general practitioner groups, and other hospitals on an ad hoc basis.

    Coördinators: Dr. Bert Meijboom (Tranzo + TiSEM) and Dr. Leonieke van Boekel
    Program leaders: Prof. Dinny de Bakker, Prof. Diana Delnoij, Prof. Roland Friele, Prof. Esther de Vries

  • Academic Collaborative Center Living with an Intellectual Disability
    The central theme is to stimulate, conduct, and implement practice-based research, with the aim to empower persons with an intellectual disability and the professionals and other people who support them.

    Main collaborating partners: 10 care organizations for people with an intellectual disability and the Dutch association for people with intellectual disabilities (LFB).

    Coordinators: Dr. Wietske van Oorsouw and Dr. Jolanda Habraken
    Program leader: Prof. Petri Embregts
  • Academic Collaborative Center for Work and Health
    Central themes are the capability model and sustainable employment; sickness absence and occupational rehabilitation of people with mental health problems; guideline use by occupational health professionals; and stigma in the workplace.
Main collaborating partners: Ascender, Dow Benelux, Netherlands School of Public and Occupational Health, HumanCapitalCare.
Coördinators: Dr. Evelien Brouwers, Dr. Margot Joosen.
Program leader: Prof. Jac van der Klink
  • Academic Collaborative Center Social Work
    Central themes: empowerment, evidence-based practice and policy, professionalization, and participative social work research.

    Main collaborating partners: Stichting Sociaal Werk, NIM Maatschappelijk Werk Nijmegen, HAN University of Applied Sciences, MOGroep (sector organization for social work).

    Coordinator: Prof. Tine van Regenmortel
    Program leaders: Prof. Rene Schalk and Prof. Tine van Regenmortel
  • Academic Collaborative Center for Youth
    Main theme: the transformation of the youth care system. Three perspectives are crucial: that of the child and his/her family, of the professional, and of the social context in which the professional acts.

    Main collaborative partners: Youth Care Office (Bureau Jeugdzorg), Youth Healthcare JGZ, municipalities, Youth Mental Health Care (jeugd-GGZ), jeugd-licht verstandelijke beperking, knowledge institutions, childcare organizations, universities of applied sciences, and client representatives

    Coordinator: Dr. Jolanda Mathijssen
    Program leader: Prof. Chijs van Nieuwenhuizen

In addition to Academic Collaborative Centers, Tranzo invests in knowledge networks: partnerships that develop and exchange knowledge across the Academic Collaborative Centers.

  • Interlink Health Economy
    Main themes: determinants of health care use; the costs of ageing; patient logistics; and the quality of health care and of products within health care.
    Main collaborating partners: National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM

    Coordinator: Dr. Bert Meijboom (Tranzo + TiSEM), Dr. Leonieke van Boekel
    Program leaders: Prof. Johan Polder, Prof. Caroline Baan

  • Interlink Prevention Assured
    Main theme: research on efficiency and cost-effectiveness of prevention, at an individual and group level, and aspects of its effective implementation in health care.
    Main collaborating partner: Health insurer CZ.

    Coordinator: Dr. Leonieke van Boekel
    Program leader: Prof. Ien van de Goor.

  • Interlink Innovating Health Services
    Enhancing the implementation and upscaling of innovative services and products, with an emphasis on connecting technological and social innovation.
    Main collaborating partners: Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TISEM), Tilburg Law School (TLS), TIAS School for Business and Society
Coordinator: Dr. Leonieke van Boekel
Program leader: Prof. Inge Bongers

Contact Tranzo

Mailing address

Tilburg University
Tranzo, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg

Visiting address

Warandelaan 2
5037AB Tilburg, The Netherlands
Tiasbuilding, 3rd level, room 315


+31 (0)13 466 2969



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