“There’s no shortage of care available in the Netherlands for people with acquired brain injury, but in practice it doesn’t always reach the right patient at the right time”, says Professor Caroline van Heugten. “Especially patients who are affected less in a directly visible way and more at the level of cognitive, emotional and social functioning.” Van Heugten is one of the founders of the Limburg Brain Injury Center.

It began in 2015 in Shirati, a village in northwestern Tanzania. Medical student Victoria von Salmuth was interning at the local hospital, where a young mother had given birth to premature triplets. But the little babies weren’t growing: the mother wasn’t producing enough breastmilk because she had nothing to eat herself. Von Salmuth went out and bought fruit for her, and that was the start of the Shirati Food Programme. The goal is to provide one hot meal a day for women and children in the maternity ward. Now, two and a half years later, the newly graduated doctor recently returned to Shirati to see how the project is going.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018 08:25

Sustainability on economists’ radar

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Sustainability has become firmly ensconced in the world of economists. These days, no calculation is made without accounting for environmental effects, corporate responsibility and the long term. “The realisation has grown rapidly”, says Rob Bauer, team leader of Sustainable Development and professor of Finance at the Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (SBE). “Which is great, because economists can and must play an important role in keeping this planet liveable.”

Friday, 09 March 2018 11:10

The hybrid researcher

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Research that transcends individual disciplines is highly regarded in academia, yet known to be incredibly challenging. Matthijs Cluitmans demonstrates that it is not only possible, but also of great added value. He obtained a joint PhD in 2016 from the Department of Data Science and Knowledge Engineering (DKE) and the School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM). Before that, he studied both disciplines in Maastricht, and he now works for both institutes as well as at Philips Research. “As a mathematician it’s not something I’m supposed to say, but in this case one plus one really does equal three.”

Friday, 03 November 2017 09:14

The musical, athletic psychologist

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One thing is clear after our in-depth interview: if it wasn’t academia, she could easily have had a successful career in music or sport. Fun and substance are the two words she uses most – the guiding principles behind all her choices. She’s never been into career planning. This year Anita Jansen, professor of Experimental Clinical Psychology and dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, was made a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).

Thursday, 06 July 2017 12:54

The Garden of Eden is in Maastricht

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The study association of the master's programme in Sustainability, Science and Policy, ASAP, has kept a community garden for about four years in Maastricht on the Mergelweg. Under the inspiring leadership of Colin Laviolette, around eight students maintain the garden. And successfully, as the first potato, zucchini and tomato shoots are carefully coming out of the ground. He is proud of that. “When we took over the garden from the previous class of students, it was a big jungle. Now, everything is relatively organised again.”

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:42

Like father, like son

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As a little boy, for Wiebe Bijker there was hardly anything better than playing in his father's lab—not a lab with microscopes but with outdoor models of coasts and harbours, such as the Haringvliet (1:400 scale), where he strutted around in his boots. Like his father, later in his career he got the most pleasure from the combination of theoretical research and ‘hands-on’ work. And he also found his own outdoor ‘lab’: India.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 12:19

Golden combination of commerce and science

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The success of the master’s programme in Health Food Innovation Management was one of the critical factors in whether or not to establish a Maastricht University campus in Venlo. The graduation of the sixth class puts an end to any possible doubt. “We’re sticking around; we’ve proven that we have a right to exist”, says associate professor and programme coordinator Freddy Troost.

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 12:45

Hemker’s brains

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“I remember a sign in your room that says, ‘Science is difficult, people are impossible’.” “That’s right,” chuckles Coen Hemker, “a gift from my professor in Oxford.” Anecdotes and memories tumble over one another in the discussion about the PhD training of Marja van Dieijen, professor of Clinical Chemistry and president of MUMC +. In January 1981, she earned her PhD under professor emeritus of Biochemistry, Coen Hemker, who at 82 is still knee-deep in science.

Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:45

A good story about pensions ... yes, really!

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‘My pension? Hmmm... I’ll look at it by that time.’ ‘Let’s worry about that when we get there.’ Particularly people who have a while to go until retirement, tend to stick their heads in the sand when it comes to their financial future. Somewhere in their mind they might have a voice telling them that this is not wise, but that voice is skilfully silenced. Lisa Brüggen, researcher at Maastricht University School of Business and Economics, is looking for ways to strengthen that voice. Her research question is: How can you make Dutch people aware of their pension situation and encourage them to secure their future income?

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 09:17

More power to Brussels

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The signing of the Maastricht Treaty marked the first step towards the establishment of the European Union (EU) as we know it today. Now, 25 years later, it is time to take stock. Has the EU lived up to expectations? Is it up to the task of addressing the problems of our time – the euro crisis, the refugee crisis, Brexit and rising anti-European populism, with Trump as just the latest variation on this theme? Has the ideal of an integrated Europe become obsolete? We asked a number of Maastricht professors for their views. If it were up to Luc Soete, professor of International Economic Relations, Brussels should be given more power.

Friday, 17 March 2017 12:02

Our failing memory

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A memory that does not seem to coincide with reality is innocent enough in everyday life. Indeed, we all experience blind spots in our memory every day that we fill in with what probably happened. But in court, it is important to get the facts straight. That is why Dr Henry Otgaar of Maastricht University examines how memories are formed, influenced and can even be completely made up.

A new institute is aiming to enhance the participation of people with occupational disabilities in the labour market. The Inclusive Labour Organisation Expertise Centre (CIAO), launched by Maastricht University in September 2016, will make insights from research available to companies, governments and social organisations. “Many people have trouble finding a job independently. We want to help as many as possible into work”, says Fred Zijlstra, UM professor of Labour and Organisational Psychology and director of CIAO. “Nobody in our society deserves to be sidelined.”

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