New PhD researcher: Renske van Lonkhuijzen

Published on
June 29, 2020

Hi everyone! I’m Renske – you may remember me from when I introduced myself back in February. Back then, I proudly announced I started working on the ‘The Overall Evaluation of Healthy Futures nearby’-project. This project aims to reduce inequalities in health by promoting the health and wellbeing of disadvantaged families in the Netherlands. While working on this project I learned new skills; primarily Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA). QCA is a relatively young research methodology that bridges qualitative and quantitative data analysis. Now, six months later, that project is close to being finalized.

Over the last months, a global crisis occurred. This has influenced working life tremendously. Suddenly, we (not only Health and Society, but WUR in its entirety) had to work from home. It was a very unusual, hectic and worrying period for everyone. Though it was especially during this pandemic that I realized how happy I am to be working at Health and Society. I was wonderful to see everyone look after each other and creating the necessary space for those who needed it to get used to this unusual situation. The support I’ve experienced during this time from the chairgroup was truly comforting and I am convinced this has helped me get through the crisis.

It was therefore a true blessing that it was during this time that a PhD position at the chairgroups Health and Society and Human Nutrition & Health became available and that it covered a subject close to my heart. I applied for the position, held my first interview over Skype, and.. you guessed it – I got the position! Starting first of July, I will work on the project that aims to improve the dietary intake of low socioeconomic status (SES) pregnant women. Currently, an integral strategy is being developed that empowers low SES pregnant women to have a healthier dietary intake. My main activities will include implementing and evaluating this integral strategy jointly with all stakeholders, including pregnant women and their partners. That means I will be collaborating with, among others, midwives, dieticians, consultation centers and pregnant and lactating women. As someone passionate about both research and (improving) women’s health I am very excited to be working on this project.

On a personal note; I still like to lift weights in my spare time – which I can luckily still do in my newly created homegym. My other pandemic-proof hobbies are listening to podcasts (Dutch recommendations: ‘Dipsaus’ and ‘DAMN, HONEY’), going on walks, and puzzling. I am very grateful to stay a part of the HSO-team, to develop myself further as a researcher and to contribute to the health of women!

Click here to read more about Renske her project