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Andrea Evers’ role in the new Executive Board of Psychology

The new Executive Board of the Institute of Psychology became effective on 1 February 2022. Scientific director Andrea Evers tells us where she gets her energy from: ‘What makes me feel good is having a productive and relaxed atmosphere within our institute, where the attention is focused largely on the people themselves.’

Scientific director Andrea Evers
Scientific director Andrea Evers

‘Together, together, together.’  That is how Andrea Evers likes things to be. She aims to work on the future of the institute in a lively, open organisation together with colleagues in the institute, so that it is a community that everyone wants to be part of. ‘Working together, looking to the future, thinking in terms of solutions: these all give me energy. And I see a lot of people around me who also want these same things.’ 

Open culture

‘We are extremely proud of our teaching and research, as well as the many services that support these activities.  I see around me a positive atmosphere where colleagues want to work together. We need to encourage that willingness, which means that communication in the institute is very important, on such topics as Team Science, Open Science, inclusiveness, recognition and rewards and social safety.  We also want to focus attention on current developments, as we did with the recent Q&A session on academic integrity, for example. How can we show clearly what isn’t yet going as well as we’d like and how can we best engage in the conversation on these issues with an open mind? This is directly related to social safety and an open culture where we feel able to raise difficult issues with one another. It is clear to me that this is the path people want to take, especially our younger colleagues.’

Healthy together

Health psychologist Andrea Evers understands better than most people how important it is to stay healthy in times of corona. ‘The first corona summer, I went running every morning; it was my fittest summer ever.  I’ve always done a lot of sports; I used to dance, and now I jog or do High Impact group sessions in the gym. I don’t manage that every day any more.  Four or five times a week is ideal, and twice a week is the minimum, but even that’s not always achievable.’ Evers has had more flexibility with her time since her mother, who was suffering from dementia, passed away last year.

Passionate about modern dance

‘I used to love going with my mother and sister to dance performances by Pina Bausch,’ says Evers, visibly savouring the recollection. ‘Then you know you’re experiencing the same feelings together. The bond with my mother was very special, and that’s something I’m very grateful for. I am aware how special that is; I also feel very blessed with the rest of my family. When you’re young, you think all that’s very normal; it’s only later that you realise just how important it is.’ 

Combining roles

‘When she started her first job as professor in the Radboud Medical Centre, someone commented to her that she must now be intending to specialise more. ‘Definitely not,’ she replied. ‘I’ve got this far because I do so many different things. That was the last time I heard that remark,’ she laughs.  ‘My whole life I have worked to build a broad interdisciplinary profile and have combined my roles in research, healthcare, education or management. It’s that balance that’s so important. When I’ve got through some boring administrative work, I really enjoy throwing myself into my research, providing a therapy session or giving a lecture about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. That variation is what I find so inspiring and it gives me energy. I’m definitely in favour of combining tasks because it always exposes you to new challenges and it means you can continue to develop.’

Stronger together

Evers mentioned pressure of work as an important issue on her management agenda. She believes we have to ask ourselves what we will carry on doing and what we won’t. ‘These kinds of “scrapping sessions” are good for smoothing the rough edges. Everyone works extra hours far too often in this current unhealthy system. Pressure of work is a many-headed monster. Together, we have to find solutions to reduce the pressure of work at all levels.’ 

‘With a philosophy of shared responsibility, we in the board are able to speak out and disagree with one another and to enter into dialogue together. And the same can also apply for the different units and all the committees. What do we actually know about the Psychology Research Ethics Committee (CEP), the Master’s Programme Committee (MOC)? We have an Institute Council as well as a Faculty Council and a University Council. We hold Q&A sessions on these too, because the formal channels and informal contacts all make us stronger together.’ 

Each month we hear the story of a board member: this is what my job is in the board, and these are my personal interests. 
Executive Board of the Institute of Psychology 


On Monday 21 February there will be another Q&A session where the members of the Institute Council will introduce themselves and talk about their work.

The succession of the Executive Board of Psychology became effective on 1 February 2022. The members of the board, including managerial suppport, will be:  

  • Andrea Evers as Scientific Director
  • Serge Rombouts as Vice Scientific Director
  • Pascal Haazebroek as Director of Studies
  • Lotte van Dillen as Director of Research 
  • Paula van den Bergh as Director of Operational Management
  • Kirsten Buitelaar as student member
  • Corry Donner as Board Secretary 
  • Atie Breugem as Secretary
  • Marjolein van Reisen as Institute Manager a.i. Finance
  • Wim Mertens as Institute Manager a.i. Finance
  • Caroline de Ruijter as Institute Manager a.i. HR

Shared responsibility

The new Executive Board is intent on working towards a transparent organisation. But how do you go about that? With this objective in mind, the interim board of the Institute of Psychology, headed by Andrea Evers (SD) and helped by participants in working groups, has devised a new structure for the board, which in the near future will also be reflected in the boards of the six units. This new structure will allow board members to identify logical vertical work connections with the units, where colleagues with similar roles will in turn find it easier to seek one another out for horizontal cooperation. This new structure will make it easier to achieve the starting principle: shared responsibility. Collaboration with all the committees and the faculty is a key feature of this new structure.

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