Last Friday the museum received a grant from the Utrecht University Fund.
Utrecht University Museum director, Monique Mourits, accepted the Utrecht University Fund's grant presented to her by its treasurer, Tanja Nagel LLM, at the fund's annual gathering on Friday 25 November 2016. The €100,000 grant will go towards redeveloping the Utrecht University Museum.
The grant, one of the highest ever awarded by the University Fund, was bequeathed to the fund in Mrs Anna Catharina Vercruijsse-Brouwers' MD last will and testament. The late Mrs Vercruijsse-Brouwers, a medicine graduate, had been a friend of the fund since the 1970s. She died on 18 September 2013 and had left a large part of her estate to seven charities, one of which was the Utrecht University Museum.
The Utrecht University Fund's board feels that it would be fitting to put this important bequest towards the museum's redevelopment plan.
The Netherlands' top research museum
Over the next few years the museum is set to develop itself into the Netherlands' top research museum. The museum is to become a science landscape centring around the stories of Utrecht University's past, present and future research projects.
Part of this landscape will be the Labs funded through Mrs Vercruijsse-Brouwers' bequest. The labs are places where visitors to the museum have the chance to encounter modern-day research and the researchers behind it. It will allow the visitor to contribute to science as a citizen scientist, with the scientist offered an opportunity to showcase his research.
Citizen science at the Fungal LAB
The museum is currently working on developing several different Lab pilot projects. The next Lab pilot project scheduled to open to the public in February will be the Fungal Lab. The Fungal Lab is an interactive presentation aimed at introducing visitors to the world of fungi and the research conducted into them. Together with the CBS Fungal Biodiversity Centre, a citizen science project is currently being developed that will allow the public to actually contribute to research by providing soil samples taken from their own back gardens.
The Fungal Lab will open to the public on 15 February 2017 at the Utrecht University Museum. Admittance will be free for UU students and UU and UMC staff as well as Friends of the Utrecht University Fund bearing an alumni card.