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Since 2009, I have been teacher, coordinator and examiner of BSc courses (i.e. Preventie, Gedrag en Gezondheid, AUC Lifestyle and Health, BSc internships), a pre-master course (‘Preventie en Volksgezondheid), and Msc courses (‘Health Promotion and Disease Prevention’, ‘Prevention and Policy’). 

As a member of the MSc curriculum committee and as chair of the MSc Education Committee I aim to further design a future proof and ‘studyable’ Master program. 



Sleep has an immediate and long-term impact on cognitive, mental and physical health. Despite its impact, the Dutch population is sleeping too little and often of poor quality. In our research we aim to unravel the complexity of sleep health, its strong and interrelated connection with performance pressure and screen use, and develop interventions promoting sleep health in several key-populations across all age groups.
Central to my work is the systems approach, whereby we take the complexity of sleep health into account. To understand and change the system I work with great pleasure and dedication on connecting practice, policy and science in which we work closely with municipalities, GGDs, and health professionals. I am an expert in the systematic development of interventions by applying the Behaviour Change Wheel or Intervention Mapping protocol and I train professionals and students in this area. To develop and implement sustainable interventions, the participation of relevant actors is central in our work, including methods for participatory system dynamics and co-creation with actors.
Examples of our research projects are:
* Always Connected: Mental wellbeing in young adults in a digital world
* Thriving Teens: promoting mental wellbeing in young teens applying a systems approach.
* Charge Your Brainzzz 2.0: promoting sleep health in teens applying a systems approach.
* Charge Your Brainzzz: evaluating a school education program promoting sleep health in adolescents.
* Measuring Sleep Health in schoolchildren
* Integral Sleep Approach: Promoting sleep health in schoolchildren

In the next years I plan to further expand my research line on sleep health and further explore its strong and interrelated connection with performance pressure and screen use, to understand the system that shape these health outcomes, and to co-create ready-to-use intervention strategies and systems adaptations to improve current and future population health. 

I lead several large projects and manage a team of several PhD students. My leadership style is described as connecting, inspiring and motivating. I have an eye for different interests and I empower people to speak up. I do however not only take care of my own PhD students, but strive to improve the mental wellbeing of all PhD students- in general a vulnerable group in science. As member of the PhD taskforce, we have developed a roadmap to change our faculty's academic system benefiting the mental wellbeing in PhD students. This transition has such a positive impact that we as APH PhD education committee, of which I am chair of, are currently initiating a similar transition in the APH research institute.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

Academic qualification

Health Psychology, PhD, The Active plus project: changing physical activity behavior in older adults , Open Universiteit

1 Feb 20051 Feb 2009

Award Date: 26 Mar 2010

User created Keywords

  • Sleep health
  • performance pressure
  • mental wellbeing
  • behavioral change
  • media use
  • determinants
  • physical actvity
  • weight loss maintenance
  • relapse prevention
  • Stress
  • systems approach
  • intervention development


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