Grant gives teachers space and time for PhD research

Hand schrijft op schoolbord

Twenty-three laureates have received a Doctoral Grant for Teachers. Annually, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science makes 9 million euros available for the PhD positions. With the grant, the teachers receive the opportunity to further develop themselves and to strengthen the link between universities and schools. In this twentieth funding round, 4.6 million euros has been awarded.

The grants reflect the science-wide character of the Doctoral Grants for Teachers. For example, Gerbrich de Jong (NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences) is researching the use of forms of address in Friesland. Another great example is the research of Maaike Radix (Herman Broerenstichting). She is investigating how teachers can give effective feedback to pupils with Special Educational Needs. The applicants of the research projects awarded funding will spend the next five years doing research that will eventually lead to a PhD graduation.

Awarded projects

Bots of Trust: An interdisciplinary discourse
R. (Rhied) Al-Othmani, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht – Utrecht University
This PhD project focuses on automated Conversational Agents (e.g. chatbots and voice assistants) and their role in user services in the public domain. Automated forms of communication have become increasingly common in interactions between organisations and their target groups. This raises questions of relationship-building, trust, forms of service use and data ethics. The interdisciplinary study critically examines how citizens’ interactions with Conversational Agents shape trust in public organisations. By connecting insights from different disciplines (media and communication studies, human-computer-interaction research and marketing) and experimental research, this study contributes to the scientific understanding of automated communication technology in daily life.

Incorporating supply-chain actor perspectives in optimising valorization decisions in agri-food supply chains
E. (Emmanuel) Anom, Aeres Group – Wageningen University & Research
Several valorisation options for agricultural waste and side streams are being explored for the design of sustainable closed-loop supply chain systems. These studies, handled on a case-specific basis, require decision support tools to evaluate optimal valorisation pathways and the influence of individual actor objectives on the design of the sustainable supply chain networks (SSCN). SSCNs need to consider alternative value and supply chain configurations that provide benefits for all participating stakeholders. This could lead to insights that identify tradeoffs and phrase managerial and policy recommendations to eliminate inefficiencies of current supply chains.

Effective strength training of frail elderly people still living at home: tools for the physiotherapist
M. (Mohammed) Benali, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences – VU Amsterdam 
As society ages, the prevalence of physical limitations is increasing. For frail elderly adults, these limitations mean they require assistance in their daily activities. An important cause of physical limitations is sarcopenia. Strength training is known to help prevent and treat sarcopenia. However, it is unknown which training load is most effective for frail elderly adults. Also, the role of proteins and individual characteristics (such as gender, age, or frailty status) in determining the ideal training load is unclear. With this study, we want to provide physiotherapists with tools for the treatment of frail older adults.

The pathway to a biopsychosocial approach in primary care physiotherapy
J. (Han) van Dijk, University of Applied Sciences Utrecht – Maastricht University
A large portion of the Dutch population suffers the consequences of chronic pain on a daily basis. Many of them visit a physiotherapist with these complaints. Scientific insights on how to best treat this group of patients are not well utilized in primary care. In this research, I aim to develop, apply and evaluate an implementation strategy. The goal of this strategy is to change the working method of physiotherapists to treat patients with chronic pain according to the current scientific insights.

Challenged or exhausted? How front-line paramedics deal with increasingly complex requests for assistance
J. (Jeroen) van Egmond, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences – Utrecht University
In order to meet increasingly complex care needs, healthcare professionals are expected to work in a fundamentally different way. This study examines how allied healthcare professionals translate these complex care needs into their treatment approach and how that is influenced by their views on appropriate care and professionalism. It also examines how possible differences between the desired care and the care actually provided affect the enthusiasm of these professionals. Finally, these insights will be translated into a programme for further training and support.

Teaching for Purpose: encouraging purpose development in adolescents through an integrated approach in secondary classroom settings.
R.M. (Ruth) Frans, Wolfert van Borselen Scholengroep – Erasmus University Rotterdam
There is growing recognition that schools need to prepare students for an actively contributing role in society. To reach this goal, schools frequently use add-on programmes that focus on social-emotional development. The effectiveness of these programmes in secondary schools is still limited, however, possibly due to the detachment from day-to-day teaching practices. Recent research in educational and developmental science underlines the importance of adolescents' sense of purpose (i.e. having a meaningful, beyond-the-self goal). The overall goal of this multi-method project is to develop and test a novel, integrated method: Teaching for Purpose, leading to a new purpose-driven approach in education.

Voice to the patient. Qualitative inquiry to enhance meaningful engagement of people living with non-communicable diseases in sub-Saharan Africa to influence health policy making.
A. (Tineke) de Groot, Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences – VU Amsterdam
Collective patient engagement is increasingly considered an important strategy for improving health policymaking and thereby the quality of care for people living with non-communicable diseases. Research on engagement practices merely focuses on high-income countries. It is unclear how collective patient engagement in low- and middle-income countries is experienced and how this could be best operationalised and implemented, in order to influence health policymaking. By conducting participatory and transdisciplinary research in the sub-Saharan Africa context, the proposed study seeks to address this gap and help to increase meaningful engagement of people living with non-communicable diseases.

From anxiety to self-efficacy: ‘Daring spaces’ learning environments for living labs
M.J. (Mirthe) van den Hee, Inholland University of Applied Sciences Diemen – Wageningen University & Research
Living labs are relatively new learning environments in which students work independently on real-life, wicked problems. Students struggle to shift to a more autonomous mindset while engaging with highly ambiguous and complex cases. The resulting anxiety negatively impacts their confidence and learning in the lab. This research aims to explore how the sociological notion of 'daring spaces' - a safe and challenging environment for all participants - can be developed within the living lab as a practical, educational framework. The ambition is to explore how daring spaces can create an appropriate learning environment for students to develop their self-efficacy.

'Can madam help me?' Forms of address in Friesland
G.A. (Gerbrich) de Jong, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences – Radboud University Nijmegen
In Frisian, you can address someone with 'jo' (Dutch 'u') or 'do' (Dutch 'jij'), but also in the third person, as in the title of this project. Some Frisians also use this form when speaking Dutch. This project investigates when these forms of address are used, by whom and to whom, where they come from, and also what effect they have on the addressee. Knowledge about this will contribute to mutual understanding and intercultural communication in the bilingual province of Friesland.

Poppin’ pills is all we know; performative pedagogy and resistance in secondary vocational education
J. (Jacob) Koolstra, ROC van Amsterdam – Erasmus University Rotterdam
This research studies the role resistance plays in the personal development of students in secondary vocational education in the Netherlands (mbo). By making a connection between educational practices and recent insights into philosophy, it investigates the possibility of incorporating the resistance of students in the learning process to create unique and creative 'selves'. This gives students in vocational education the opportunity to make a distinctive contribution to their own personal development and to the development of society.

Dialogue in Sustainable Human Resource Management: An interpretative investigation into the application of dialogue in the development of a sustainable employment relationship and sustainable work.
J.W.A. (Jan Willem) Nuis, Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences – Nyenrode Business University
Increasingly, dialogue is referred to as an important practice that enables to organize work more sustainably. However, dialogue has not yet been clearly defined in the literature and practice of Sustainable HRM, although oftentimes much is expected of its outcomes. In this research project, dialogue is further elaborated in the context of sustainable work. In collaboration with managers, employees and HR professionals, it is examined what dialogue means to them, how they can and do use it in their daily practice and how this can be supported. A working method will be developed for this together with practitioners and HRM students.

Don’t let go, just hold on differently – interaction and collaboration in family-centred transition care for people with severe multiple disabilities turning 18
I. (Ilse) Ooms, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences – Erasmus University Rotterdam
Due to increasing medical possibilities, more children with profound intellectual and multiple disabilities (PIMD) are reaching the age of 18 years. Legal and organizational aspects of healthcare then change. Transition in care is particularly complex for this patient group due to complex medical problems, reliance on others for interaction and collaboration with healthcare professionals, and the lack of a coordinating adult care practitioner, such as a pediatrician. Family-oriented transitional care can improve the quality of life of young people with PIMD and their families. Hardly any research has been conducted that reveals bottlenecks for interaction and cooperation in family-oriented transitional care.

The effects of an intermedial literature didactic on conscious literary reading skills and media literacy
E.A.M.P. (Eline) Peeters, Stichting Spinoza Lyceum – Tilburg University
Students today need to be able to navigate a complex media culture. Reading literature is exceptionally suited to teaching students deep reading, critical thinking and reasoning. Literature education can therefore help to improve students’ media literacy and literacy in general. Through this project, based on Educational Design Research, a new literature didactics for upper secondary education (havo/vwo) students will be developed that teaches students how to deep read and educates them to become critical media users. It will examine to what extent this intermedial literature didactics can help to strengthen their conscious literary literacy and media literacy.

Providing effective feedback to students with Special Educational Needs
M. (Maaike) Radix, Herman Broerenstichting – VU Amsterdam
In educational research, feedback is considered an effective means to support student’s learning and development. However, not much is known about providing feedback to students with Special Educational Needs (SEN). This PhD project aims to develop and test a feedback model for teachers working with students with SEN. First, a systematic review will be conducted of studies on effective feedback styles for teachers with SEN-students. Second, we propose a feedback model for teachers working with SEN-students. Lastly, this model will be tested in an intervention study in primary and special education.

Research into family therapy for relational trauma after sexual sibling abuse
A.P. (Aletta) Simons, Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences – Tilburg University
Sibling Sexual Abuse (SSA) is a common form of sexual abuse in families. Consequences are often severe, long-lasting, and in multiple life areas for both the victim and the young perpetrator. After a disclosure, the individual psycho-trauma symptoms of the victim and the young perpetrator are addressed. However, the abuse impacts the entire family and can lead to relational family trauma that requires treatment. This PhD research wants to increase insight into the relational trauma after sexual sibling abuse and the content and outcomes of family treatment.

A sustainable career perspective on the school-to-work transition of emerging adults with autism spectrum disorder
L. (Lars) Veerhoff, Fontys University of Applied Sciences – Radboud University Nijmegen
Individuals with autism struggle to transition from education to work and shape their careers. The transition from education to work is an important junction. This PhD project will investigate how young adults with autism go through this school-to-work transition towards a sustainable career as not much is known about it. Career sustainability is determined by long-term happiness, health and productivity, which are affected by both individual and contextual factors. The research aims to gain insight into the important underlying mechanisms and preconditions to improve support at school and work.

Higher vocational education teachers in work experience placements: connecting education and practice
E.C.A. (Liesbeth) Verkuyl, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences – University of Amsterdam 
Teachers in higher vocational education are increasingly involved in supervising students in learning environments at the school-work interface. This differs from guiding students within the ‘confines’ of the educational institution. This PhD research aims to gain insight into how teachers can successfully develop their role to guide students in these learning environments and connect education and practice.

Why are young men in the Netherlands committing suicide? An examination of causes during the life course and the challenges of modern society, especially during the COVID-19 era
W.E. (Eline) Verschoor, University of Applied Sciences Windesheim – University of Groningen
During the pandemic, the suicide rate among young men peaked in the Netherlands. Indeed, since 2013, the suicide rate among young adults has been gradually increasing. This study aims to better understand suicide among young men in order to develop a suicide prevention strategy. Through interviews with parents and friends of deceased young men (and a control group), I investigate how developments in the peer group, demands of modern society and personal challenges influenced the suicides of young men during the pandemic. Theoretical contributions consist of updating the explanatory power of Durkheim’s anomic suicide, egoistic suicide and the Interpersonal Theory of Suicide (Joiner).

Applying Change Laboratory to transform school systems
A.H.L. (Adriaan) Walpot, De Werkplaats Kindergemeenschap – Utrecht University
This study investigates criteria for the beneficial transformation of routines in school systems. In Change Laboratory intervention sessions, stakeholders (students, teachers, parents and school management) collaborate with the researcher to identify and solve obstacles to their objectives. The importance of this study is its contribution to knowledge on educational change; change which is proven difficult to accomplish. Usually, educational change research focuses on one perspective (e.g. teacher or organisation). This study aims to combine multiple perspectives. By scaling up and analysing different contexts, it offers both micro-level insights into change processes in teachers’ classrooms, and micro-meso-level explanations for change.

Internationalisation and Corporate Social Responsibility: Zooming in on emerging-markets multinationals
Y. (Yigi) Wang, HAN University of Applied Sciences – University of Amsterdam
Fast economic development sees more emerging-market multinationals (EM-MNEs) expanding overseas, yet they face very different stakeholder expectations in developed countries. This puts pressure on EM-MNEs to develop and implement context-specific corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions and policies during internationalisation given home-host country differences. Despite large societal, managerial and academic interests in the CSR performance of EM-MNEs abroad, research has been lacking. This project explores the CSR performance of EM-MNEs in response to host-country pressures and home-host country differences during internationalisation. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, it contributes to international business and management literatures and yields practical (teaching) insights.

Multilingual language didactics: recognising every student! A study on promoting language awareness and target language development through the implementation of multilingual language didactics in Dutch and modern foreign languages
I.M.H. (Irma) Westheim, OSG Hugo de Groot – University of Amsterdam
Although plurilingualism is a reality in the Netherlands, secondary education underutilizes additional linguistic knowledge and skills of students. Even language teachers who know the benefits of multilingual pedagogies wonder how to use these in their lessons. This study aims to expose language teachers to the advantages of multilingual pedagogies by Lesson Study and professionalization and to stimulate the language awareness and (foreign) language learning of students (ages 14 to 16) in the third and fourth grades of their pre-university (vwo) and senior general secondary (havo) programmes in the Dutch school system.

Physical activity in the transition period from primary to secondary school (10-15 years); understanding influencing factors and effective interventions
L.A.J. (Lieke) Wolfs, The Hague University of Applied Sciences – Leiden University Medical Center
Many adolescents are physically inactive and do not meet the physical activity guidelines. This can result in a range of negative health effects ear. If this trend continues, the lives of current generation of young people will be five years shorter than that of their parents. Some of these adolescents still met the physical activity guidelines during primary education. This PhD research investigates which factors can explain the decline in physical activity between the ages of 10 and 15 years, and what effective interventions can stop this decline and promote an active lifestyle.

Working with a systems-based approach in clinical youth psychiatry
B. (Bertine) Zech, University of Applied Sciences Leiden – Leiden University
Adolescents admitted in in-patient psychiatry not only experience severe individual psychiatric problems but also face challenges in family functioning. Although families are heavily involved in therapy, professionals are challenged to apply an effective family-focused approach. This action-based research project has trained treatment teams. Data has been collected from professionals, parents and adolescents regarding professionals’ perceived competence, cooperation between the team and families, and satisfaction. This PhD research focuses on profound analyses of this data to provide scientific knowledge and guidance for application of an effective family-focused approach.