Winners university prizes announced

Erasmus University Rotterdam has announced the winners of this year’s University prizes. They are Dr Veerle Bergink (Research Prize), Dr Mijke Slot (Education Prize), Elina Vessonen (Professor G.W.J. Bruins Prize), José Nederhand (Professor H.W. Lambers Prize), Arend van Haaften (Rotterdam Thesis Award) and Diana Hoek and Job van Maurik (Top Support Awards). The prizes will be presented during the Opening of the Academic Year on Monday, 31 August 2015. 

Every year, Erasmus University presents a number of awards to researchers, students and members of staff in acknowledgement of exceptional achievements during the Opening of the Academic Year.

This year’s Research Prize, which was established for a promising postdoctoral researcher who has put in an outstanding performance in the field of research, will be presented to Dr Veerle Bergink (Erasmus MC). Her research focuses on women suffering from a postpartum psychosis and depression. The jury was particularly enthusiastic about the fact that Bergink not only works on the above mentioned research (for which she has been awarded a Rubicon grant and an EUR Fellowship) but is also involved in clinical research.

The Education Prize, which is intended for researchers who have made a particularly positive contribution to education at Erasmus University, will be presented to academic lecturer and researcher Dr Mijke Slot (Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication). According to the jury, Slot has an ability to really connect with students as a teacher, as well as being an enthusiastic lecturer who is actively involved in new innovations in education, including the first MOOCs organised by Erasmus University.

The Professor G.W.J. Bruins Prize for a research master student who excels in terms of academic performance and research qualities will be presented to Elina Vessonen (Faculty of Philosophy). The jury was very impressed by the strong drive mentioned in her nomination. The jury believes that the subject of Vessonen’s master thesis – concepts in science – is both challenging and forms an interesting point of reflection in both methodological and interdisciplinary terms.

The Professor H.W. Lambers Award for outstanding students with two master degrees will be presented to Public Administration specialist José Nederhand (Faculty of Social Sciences). The jury was impressed by Nederhand’s scientific expertise and the large number of publications of which she is the principal or co-author that have come out of this expertise. In addition, her participation in two Erasmus Honours Programmes is highly appreciated.

The winner of this year’s Rotterdam Thesis Award – for the thesis most valuable for the city of Rotterdam – is Sociology student Arend van Haaften. The jury believes that the subject of Van Haaften’s thesis (civil society as a social incubator) is very relevant to the extremely diverse city of Rotterdam. The author has formulated solid conclusions that have a concrete practical value for policy-makers. In addition, the jury appreciated Van Haaften’s actual research and his thesis’s structure and accessible writing style.

Top Support Awards
In addition, two individual Top Support Awards will be presented to members of the support staff who have distinguished themselves through an exceptionally positive contribution to the University’s operational management. The first award will be presented to Diana Hoek, Senior Event Manager in the University’s Marketing and Communication department. Hoek is “the driving force behind the organisation of corporate events, which are consistently of an exceptionally high quality”. The other Top Support Award will be presented to Job van Maurik, Executive Director of Erasmus University College (EUC), Faculty of Social Sciences, in recognition of his outstanding work in the development, structuring and technical support of EUC.

This year’s guest speaker during the opening of Erasmus University’s Academic Year will be Professor Beatrice de Graaf, Chair of the Dutch Science Agenda (Nationale Wetenschapsagenda).

For more information or to register for the event, please visit

More information

Press Office Erasmus University Rotterdam, T (010) 4081216 or E

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