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Sarah de Rijcke new dean Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Prof. Sarah de Rijcke will succeed Paul Wouters as dean of Leiden University's Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FSW) from 1 January 2024. Paul Wouters will retire at the beginning of January.

Sarah de Rijcke

Sarah de Rijcke is a psychologist and science researcher who obtained her PhD with honours from the University of Groningen in 2010. She is professor and scientific director at the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS), an FSW institute that studies the dynamics of science and its relationships with societal developments. De Rijcke specialises in evaluation studies and science policy. Her research addresses the question of how scientific quality is established and what role science plays - and should play - in the world.

Recognition and Reward

De Rijcke also uses her knowledge to help improve the science system. At Leiden University, for example, she is one of the substantive leaders of the Recognition and Reward steering committee, Academia in Motion. This group ultimately aims to achieve a better balance in careers and quality assessment of university employees, and focuses on aspects such as teaching, collaboration, team performance and the accessibility of research (Open Science). Outside the university, De Rijcke is a member of the Dutch Unesco committee (with the For Women in Science programme in her portfolio) and co-founder of the international Research on Research Institute (RoRI), one of the world's largest partnerships for transdisciplinary science research.

New generation

The FSW Faculty Board welcomes the appointment: 'Sarah is an excellent example of the new generation of scientists and leaders. They will shape the move towards modern open science and academic education. The faculty's vision and strategy focuses in particular on a healthy working environment and the connection and cooperation between the institutes, with the university and society. This mission is in very capable hands with Sarah,' said vice-dean Kristiaan van der Heijden.

Connecting leader

The Executive Board is looking forward to working with De Rijcke. Rector Hester Bijl: 'We are very happy with this appointment. Sarah is a very experienced scientist with a lot of substantive knowledge and expertise, and she knows the faculty and the university well. She has led the CWTS very successfully as Scientific Director. She is also active as an international expert in our Academia in Motion steering group, which, among other things, is working on the transition to an open knowledge community. As a connecting leader, she has a strong focus on collaboration. That is exactly what we are looking for in a dean.'

Healthy working environment

Sarah de Rijcke on her appointment: 'I am very much looking forward to starting work next year as the new dean of FSW. I will work towards a people-oriented faculty where critical thinking, reflective learning, reducing workload and an open dialogue about quality are central. I also want to help break down barriers between faculties and disciplines so that we can work together on the scientific and societal challenges of today and the future.'

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