I did my Bachelor study at the University of Maastricht, where I followed the Arts and Culture bachelor program. This program examines the complex interactions between science, culture, politics and the arts in Western society in a broad range of settings and therefore has a strong interdisciplinary focus (drawing from Science & Technology Studies, cultural studies, media studies and philosophy).
After finishing my Bachelor, I followed the newly developed research master CAST (Cultures of Arts, Science and Technology), also at Maastricht University. The research master trains young academics to do research into three important domains of modern culture and their interrelations: the arts, science and technology.
The master is based on the master-apprentice model, in which students work closely together with leading and highly experienced senior researchers. Teaching of research methods is integrated in doing hands-on research, and the key theoretical approaches of the field are taught on the basis of empirical work that students are actively engaged in. The master enabled me to gain much experience into conducting qualitative research in various empirical settings and domains.
In 2006 I followed an internship of four months at the Rathenau Institute, where I investigated user experiences with early Ambient Intelligence-applications in a variety of domains. The internship resulted in the publication of the report De Gebruiker Centraal? Onderzoek naar gebruikerservaringen met ambient intelligence, which was published by the Rathenau.
I started working at the Institute of Health Policy and Management in 2008, where I was involved in the project Academic Collaborative Centers for Public Health. This project was finished at the beginning of 2011 and I’ve successfully defended my PhD on March 1st 2013.
Fields of Interest & Projects
My PhD research focused on how researchers, policy makers and professionals are coordinating their activities within the structural collaborative format of the Academic Collaborative Centers for Public Health (ACCs). The ACCs are long-term collaborations between Public Health Services, university departments and other relevant organizations. Their aim is twofold: on the one hand, enabling better research uptake and use of evidence-based methods in public health policy and practice organizations, on the other hand provide the incentives for health research to be increasingly targeted at local problems as experienced by policy makers and professionals.
In my PhD research I empirically analyzed these structural partnerships in several ways: by focusing on their general development as well as an in-depth investigation of particular collaborative projects. Theoretically, I use several concepts to understand these processes, such as the notions of ‘boundary organizations’ (Guston, 1999), ‘front stage and back stage settings’(Goffman, 1990), ‘hybrid management’ (Miller, 2001), ‘Mode 2 science’ (Gibbons et al, 1994) and ‘communities of practice’ (Wenger, 1998).
Currently I am working on a post-doc project entitled 'Exploring healthcare professionals’ understanding of the experiences and practical challenges of chronically ill patients through the Imitation Game'.
R.L.E. Wehrens, M.P.M. Bekker & R.A. Bal (2010). The construction of evidence-based local health policy through partnerships: Research infrastructure, process and context in the Rotterdam 'Healthy in the City' programme. Journal of Public Health Policy, 31 (4), 447-460.
R.L.E. Wehrens, M.P.M. Bekker, C. van Egmond, K. Putters & R.A. Bal (2008). De Academische Werkplaats als grensorganisatie. De coördinatie van onderzoek, praktijk en beleid in de Academische Werkplaatsen. TSG, 86 (6), 1-8.
L.E. Oldenhof & R.L.E. Wehrens (2020). ‘Who is ‘in’ and who is ‘out’? Participation of older persons in health research and the interplay between capital, habitus and field. In L. Reynolds & S. Sariola (Eds.), The ethics and politics of community engagement in global health research. Abingdon and New York: Routledge
R.L.E. Wehrens (2017). Co-productie. In Van Lente H, Swierstra T, Wyatt S& R Zeiss (Ed.), Knowing your way in STS. Wegwijs in STS (pp. 141-145). Maastricht: Maastrich University Science, Technology & Society Studies
R.L.E. Wehrens, M.P.M. Bekker & R.A. Bal (2014). Op het scherp van de snede: Academische werkplaatsen en balanceerwerk tussen samenwerking en verantwoording. In M Jansen, K Burhenne & M Middelweerd (Eds.), Hoge hakken in de klei. Verankering van de Academische Werkplaatsen Publieke Gezondheid in een ondernemende GGD. GGD Zuid Limburg
R.L.E. Wehrens, M.P.M. Bekker & R.A. Bal (2011). Academische werkplaatsen in ontwikkeling: ontwikkelstadia, knelpunten en opbrengsten van vijf jaar samenwerking. In M. Jansen & K. Burhenne (Eds.), Hoge hakken. lange tenen. Successen en valkuilen voor de Academische Werkplaatsen Publieke Gezondheid in Nederland. Geleen: GGD Zuid Limburg
R.L.E. Wehrens, L.E. Oldenhof, L. Verweij, A. Francke & R.A. Bal (2017). Experimenteel sturen in netwerken: een evaluatie van proces en structuur van het Nationaal Programma Ouderenzorg. (Extern rapport). : ESHPM
R.L.E. Wehrens (2016). ‘Twisting the Lion’s Tail’: Intervention and the Experimental Mode of Knowledge Production in Sociology [Bespreking van het boek Situated Intervention: Sociological Experiments in Health Care]. Sociology. The Journal of the British Sociological Association. doi: 10.1177/0038038516661265