Who's Rens?

Practicing science is a field of passion. With all the external incentives and publication pressure, however, it is almost understandable that scholars move towards unethical practices such as using fraudulent questionnaires and emphasizing only the positive (i.e. significant) findings. Through my work, I urge upon an emphasis on the personal, the ethical and the honest of practicing science.

I am affiliated with a number of organisations aiming to improve science and society as whole, such as The Young Academy and the The Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology. Also, I regularly devote time with my PhD students to discuss the fine boundaries of responsible research practices. All these activities I initiate with the aim to inspire young people to never renounce from improving research output and resulting political decisions.

Because of my belief in change when it is needed, I am described to be an open-minded, ambitious person, using my academic specialisations to encourage academics to level up. I am specialised in the inclusion of expert opinions into Bayesian Statistical models to bring practice and theory closer together. The accuracy of concepts tested in questionnaires is also a topic he is eager to study, and provide feedback and advice on. In terms of applying statistics, I am particularly interested in posttraumatic stress originating from extraordinary situations, such as fire hazards and wars.

Besides my academic life, I enjoy outdoor climbing and survival trips with my family to counterbalance the long hours in the office. Notably, I have a particular fascination and love for the black bears I've met in Alaska.

As a supervisor, Rens focuses on more than just short term success and results. He provides an environment to grow as a researcher and a person.

Duco Veen

PhD student
Rens is an energetic and inspiring researcher and teacher. He is always open to new ideas, introduces interesting issues in science and involves his students in his work.

Naomi Schalken

Student Assistant
I’ve come to know Rens as an enthusiastic and inspirational person, with a true passion for research. He’s very ambitious in trying to improve research practices within the whole field of social sciences and is persistent in promoting the discussion on research ethics among researchers. As he once claimed himself: “We should realize that there’s no golden standard for how to be mr./ms. Perfect in research. Start, however, with having open and transparent discussions."

Rianne van Dijk

PhD student
It is hard not to get affected by Rens’ enthusiasm. He turns problems into challenges and opportunities.

Duco Veen

PhD student
It’s not just Rens his passion for research that stands out: his positive personality and sincere interest in the people he works with is admirable. Although swamped with tons of work himself, he will always make time to give you advice and he is glad to help. Moreover, Rens is eager in promoting and supporting the general well-being of his scholars. To me, it is a privilege to know and work together with such an encouraging and considerate person.

Rianne van Dijk

PhD student
Rens is a highly enthusiastic and an ambitious person. His supervision style is characterized by providing adequate support, while also stimulating autonomy in his (PhD-)students. Rens shows sincere interest in someone’s professional, as well as personal development. Openness and transparency in research activities are emphasized by him.

Marthe Egberts

PhD Student
I think Rens is a person who will always try to figure out how he can make your day, career, or even life, better. Even if he has a lot going on in his own life, he will always take the time to listen to your problems and try to help you. I see him as a mentor and role model, not just because he is a great academic, but because he is a great human being.

Sonja D. Winter

PhD student / Junior Researcher

Time till my inaugural presentation

Recent Ramblings


Op 21 januari 2020 sprak ik mijn oratie uit getiteld ‘Machines vervangen Wetenschappers’. Op deze website kun je de allerlei filmpjes vinden: een samenvatting van de oratie (zelfs mijn kinderen zitten goed op te letten!), de volledige versie,