Modern day biomedical research depends on expensive equipment and techniques that can take years of practice to do well. Individual researchers need to use a wide range of techniques for their work. It is impossible for anyone to master them all or be given the money to buy all the equipment they are likely to need. The NKI has resolved this problem and used its funding in the most efficient way by creating dedicated centralized technology facilities that serve the whole Institute. All NKI scientists have direct access to these facilities. Most facilities have trained and dedicated operators that assist the researchers doing their experiments in one of the facilities. Periodic review of the facilities ensures that they maintain a high standard.
The basic organizational unit in the Netherlands Cancer Institute is the individual research group headed by a group leader. The group leader is responsible for the scientific activities of his/her group and for raising external funds to maintain the group. The research groups are organized into divisions, usually research groups on one floor form a division. The research group leaders within the clinic are also organized into scientific divisions according to the clinical departments of the cancer hospital. One of the group leaders is head of the division. He/she sees to the scientific quality within the division, promotes the collaboration between members of the division, sees to an efficient use of space, equipment and consumables and the general management of the division.