Student Experiences of the Law Group

Below you will find feedback of our students about their experiences doing an thesis, an internship or a PhD-study at our group:

Doing the specialisation Food Law & Regulatory Affairs

My name is Tessa Canoy. Currently I’m doing the specialisation Food Law & Regulatory Affairs from the Master Food Safety. I developed a particular interest in analysing the impact of food innovations on law and governance. When deciding on a MSc thesis topic, I reflected on several courses that I had followed during my Bachelor Food Technology. One of those courses was ‘Nutrigenomics’ which I had attended during my exchange period at ETH Zurich. This course inspired me to dedicate my MSc thesis to the emerging science of personalized nutrition. As I realized that personalized nutrition raises important legal and ethical issues, I involved members of both the Law Group and the Philosophy group to supervise my thesis. My master thesis has been a great intellectual challenge, opening a new world on the interaction between data protection, biomedical ethics and food law. The supervision by the LAW and CPT groups has been very valuable and supported me in discovering this new field. I was also offered the unique opportunity to attend the 8th Law and Economics Conference in Luzern. Here I could share my preliminary research results with other scholars and gain valuable insights on the application of data protection regulation. The integration between law and ethics has been very valuable to me and I am happy to have had the possibility to combine this in one thesis.

Job opportunity via a food law thesis

My name is Isabel Rodrigues and I just graduated in the Master Food Safety (2008). Food Law is one of the subjects of this Master and it immediately caught my interest. I found it so fascinating that I decided to make my thesis and internship in Food Law at the Law and Governance Group.

My thesis was about the Novel Foods Regulation which is being reviewed at the moment. Because of this thesis I got the opportunity to make an internship at the European Parliament, to collaborate in the writing of the draft report of the Novel Foods.

During my internship I got a job at a national industry association as a policy officer Food Law. In this function I have to analyse legislation, find its bottlenecks and make position papers that deal with them. Also I coordinate and stimulate consensual approaches between the members of the association and represent their interests towards its European delegation as well as towards national and European Institutions (lobbying).

I specialised in Food Law because I like it a lot but I also realise now that what I learned is comparable with the knowledge that food legislation professionals gathered during years of experience. This gives us an advantage and therefore the possibility to start at regulatory affairs positions within the food industry or at other jobs which require this knowledge.

Doing a Master thesis at the Law and Governance Group

Stefan de Pooter holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration. He is currently doing the Master study program International Development Studies (MID), with a specialization Communication, Technology and Policy (CTP). During his studies he did various courses with Law and Governance. Stefan: ‘the courses of the Law and Governance Group were very interesting, and governance has my special interest.’

    The topic of his Master thesis is “roundtables for soy and palm oil”. Stefan: ‘the emergence of roundtables is interesting. These are private initiatives that address sustainability issues in the food supply chain and affect many people. But little is known about how they address this issue and how they will develop.’

    Stefan is supervised by the Law and Governance Group. Stefan: ‘meetings with my supervisor are very constructive. They help me write my thesis in a proper way. The chair group also offers me a work place with a computer.’

Doing a PhD at the Law and Governance Group

Anna Szajkowska holds a Master degree in Law and Administration from Warsaw University, Poland. The topic of the her Master thesis was: 'the precautionary principle in food safety law'. During her studies she had already spent four months at Wageningen University. The educational level, international environment and the friendly atmosphere made her decide to do her PhD in Wageningen as well.

    Anna: ‘I wanted to continue my research on food law. There are few places in Europe where food law is an independent specialization, and Wageningen is one of them.’

    The topic of my research is 'the principle of risk analysis in EU food law'. This principle means that food law measures must be science-based. It has become the core concept of the new approach to food safety law in the EU, and is acquiring a central position in international trade agreements. My research aims at defining this concept.

    Why the Law and Governance Group? Anna: ‘it is a highly motivating, supportive and very pleasant environment. The challenging interdisciplinary research approach and international experience create excellent conditions for my career development.’