On 2 April at Maastricht University, Hannah van den Ende will defend her thesis titled ‘Don’t forget that you're a doctor: Jewish doctors in the Netherlands in 1940-1945’. She studied the experiences of 534 Dutch-Jewish doctors who had to work under extreme conditions during WWII, which also caused them to struggle with many ethical dilemmas. “During peacetime, making a healthy person sick was out of the question, but in times of war it seemed absolutely justified.”

One step closer to an anti-stress pill

In Mind
Tuesday, 27 January 2015 11:07

If PhD candidate Dennis Hernaus had been in a PET scanner in recent weeks, it would have probably become apparent that the dopamine levels in his brain had reached unprecedented heights. The neurotransmitter dopamine is best known for its role in the experience of happiness. “Completing my dissertation, working towards my defence on 22 January and the Kootstra Talent Fellowship I received in December were all important reward experiences,” he laughs. For about ten years, the fact that dopamine also plays a role in the experience of stress has been part of the scientific understanding on which his dissertation builds. In the future, he hopes to contribute to the development of medication for stress-related psychological problems.

It is not justified and is even misleading to suggest that repatriation programmes for rejected asylum seekers contribute to development in the country of origin. This is the core of the research that Marieke van Houte did for her thesis, entitled Moving Back or Moving Forward? Return migration after conflict. On 20 November, she will receive her PhD from Maastricht University.

Imagine the following situation. You have agreed to cook dinner for your mother-in-law, who has been acting rather strangely lately. “Wasn't she ignoring me the last time we visited her?”, you grumble to yourself while preparing the chilli sauce. Her behaviour has been bothering you for weeks now. The water boils. Chopping the peppers, you realise she’s been mean to the kids too. “She doesn't answer their phone calls. And she didn’t even show up at Billy’s birthday party.” You chop and chop, and while your heart beats faster, more and more peppers slip into the bowl. You're angry – and she’s going to taste it. The proof is in the sauce.

Excusable evil

In Society
Wednesday, 28 May 2014 13:22
"Imagine if I not only talked about my research, but also smashed everything in this room to bits", Maartje Krabbe announced at the start of her PhD defence. "In court, I’d tell the judge I couldn’t help it because I’d been under extreme stress. Should I be punished?" As an opener, it certainly woke up the audience – and Krabbe, after ten years of research, can at last call herself a doctor.

Contrary to the common claim, a surgical robot does not work faster and more accurately than a pair of human hands. This is the essence of new research by Jeroen Heemskerk (41), a surgeon at the Laurentius Hospital in Roermond. On 16 May, Heemskerk will defend his PhD research on robot-assisted laparoscopic surgery at Maastricht University (UM). “The use of robots can lower the quality of healthcare and certainly makes it more expensive. And that while we’re seeing cutbacks from all sides.”

Migrants and women underground

In Culture
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:06

PhD thesis on shortage of miners in Liège coal industry

In the late 1960s, 70% of miners in Liège came from abroad. “That was twice the proportion in the Belgian Limburg mines and almost five times more than in Dutch Limburg”, says Leen Roels. She recently obtained her PhD at Maastricht University for her research on the structural shortage of miners in the Liège coal industry. Her thesis addresses not just the use of migrant workers, but also the participation of women in the Liège mines. Until now, little was known about this either. “From an emancipation perspective, the prohibition on women working underground was actually a step backwards.”

A Place Called Home (video)

In Money
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 10:51
PhD dissertation Katja Sillen

This dissertation describes the cognitive process of identification with place brands and its effects on behaviour. More and more places are engaging in branding efforts in order to attract prospectiveresidents but struggle when it comes to the application of product and services marketingtools to the context of place branding and the role of residents in the branding process.

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