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New SSH laboratories in Sylvius Building

On the second floor of the Sylvius Laboratory, new labs are being built for researchers of the Faculties of Social and Behavioural Sciences and Humanities. After a successful tender construction has recently started.

Research in the fields of Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) is conducted in many ways. Well-known are the questionnaires, observations and specific tests, but experimental research in laboratories is also increasingly taking place.

Because more and more research is being conducted in labs, suitable spaces have been set up in the buildings of the Faculties of Social and Behavioural Sciences and Humanities during the past years. But the demand for suitable lab space is increasing. That is why a place within current University buildings has been sought where more SSH labs could be realised. That place has been found on the second floor of the Sylvius Building.

Much-needed research spaces

There is a dire need for new, state of the art lab spaces within the SSH domain, according to Henk van Steenbergen. He is chair of the sounding board for researchers of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences and representative of the researchers in the project team. ‘At the Pieter de la Court Building and the Level Building, we are currently conducting limited research with virtual reality, physiological measurements, navigation and music. The labs at the Sylvius Building will provide us the much-needed space to continue and expand this.’

Cross-pollination between faculties

It is definitely the intention for cross-pollination to happen between social scientists and humanities scholars at the new SSH labs. Lisa Cheng, Academic Director of the Centre for Linguistics: ‘I am convinced that the realisation of the SSH labs will be a milestone for both our Faculties, allowing us to jointly develop further meaningful and impactful research.’

A large project

The renovation of the second floor of the Sylvius building is of course being led by a project team. Research technician Maureen Meekel of the Support for Research, Laboratories and Education (SOLO) Department is part of that team. ‘This is an exciting and challenging project and a valuable experience,’ she says. ‘As the bridge between researchers and builders, I witness the entire process, from idea to result. I am looking forward to expanding our current research support with both new research methods and new SSH domains after completion.’

The labs are expected to be brought into use in the second half of 2023.

Photos: Suédy Mauricio
Text: Emma Knapper

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