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Our team

Researchers from five different discplines work together in this interdisciplinary initiative.

Academic staff

  • Lenneke Alink Professor of Forensic Family Studies, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    I am a Developmental Psychologist with a PhD in Education and Child Studies. My research focuses on children and families where growing up safely is not self-evident. I am interested in underlying processes that explain parent- and child behavior in these circumstances. 

  • Jolien van Breen Assistant professor

    I am a Social Psychologist, I obtained my PhD from the University of Groningen in 2017. My expertise is in the field of empowerment and resilience amongst those who experience prejudice or discrimination. I joined the Social Resilience and Security programme in September 2020.

  • Ellen de Bruijn Professor of Neurocognitive Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    I study the cognitive and neural mechanisms of action-control processes that are necessary to interact successfully with the environment and with other humans. I investigate modulations of these processes in healthy volunteers and in clinical populations from a social neurocognitive perspective. I make use of various approaches and methods, such as behavioural experiments, EEG, and fMRI techniques, as well as psychopharmacological manipulations.

  • Anna van Duijvenvoorde Associate Professor in Developmental and Educational Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    I am trained in both cognitive neuroscience and developmental psychology. In my work I study how brain development relates to adolescent’s decision-making and learning. My motto is that science is better together.

  • Anne-Laura van Harmelen Professor Brain, Safety and Resilience

    My research aims to understand how we can increase resilience in young people with a history of adverse early experiences. My work helps to inform prevention and intervention strategies aimed at reducing mental health and behavioural problems in at-risk young people. By understanding and improving social resilience, my research aims to increase social safety. 

  • Maikel Kuijpers Assistant Professor in European Prehistory, Faculty of Archaeology

    I hold a PhD in archaeology and anthropology from Cambridge University. I specialize in the Bronze Age – my work concerns the formulation of knowledge over time, cognitive archaeology, craftsmanship, and skill. What is knowledge, how is it produced, and why is it valuable?

  • Marieke Liem Professor of Security and Interventions, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs

    My research focuses on interpersonal violence. I study this type of transgressive behaviour from a background in forensic psychology and criminology. I believe the interdisciplinary programme gives us a unique opportunity to structurally bring together interdisciplinary insights to answer questions regarding violence and interventions.

  • Caroline de Ruijter Project Manager

    I have been employed by Leiden University for over 10 years. My strong suit is connecting and motivating people. I look for the challenges especially in strengthening the university not only internally but also with external partners. I also focus on strategy development of programs and institutes, and valorization of projects.

  • Jan Sleutels University Lecturer in Political Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities

    In my research I concentrate on problems of mental content in contemporary philosophy of mind and in epistemology. Which factors are responsible for determining the contents of our thoughts, perceptions, desires, and other mental states? It may be argued that the human mind is subject to substantial change: the model of mind that applies to earlier stages of technological development may be substantially different from current models of mind.

  • Henk van Steenbergen Assistant Professor in Cognitive Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    In my Affect, Motivation & Action lab, we use a multi-method approach to investigate the fascinating relationship between emotion and cognition in humans. My most recent work investigates the role of the endogenous opioid system beyond pain relief. In particular, I study how our body’s own opioids modulate cognition, and how they mediate positive experiences and resilience.

  • Jeroen ten Voorde Associate Professor in Criminal Law and Criminology, Faculty of Law

    My expertise lies in the domain of substantive criminal law, criminal law theory and philosophy of law. My research concentrates on the question to what extent there exists space in (substantive) criminal law to allow for cultural differences.

PhD candidates

  • Maximilian König PhD candidate

    I am a PhD candidate in the Brain, Safety and Resilience programme, where I study the social and neurobiological risk and resilience mechanisms through which adverse early-life experiences impact individuals’ psychosocial functioning. Previously, I worked at New York University and the University of Oxford. I completed my MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London and my BSc in Psychology at Goethe University Frankfurt.

  • Selin Topel PhD candidate

    I obtained my BA in psychology from Koç University in Istanbul, Turkey. I graduated from the Research Master’s program in Developmental Psychology at Leiden University in 2020. I conducted research at the Cognitive Developmental & Affective Physiology Lab at Leiden University and the Developmental Electrophysiology Lab at Yale Child Study Center, where I investigated electrophysiological responses to social evaluative feedback in relation to social anxiety.

    My PhD project Resilience to Stress and Uncertainty, supervised by Prof. Ellen de Bruijn (clinical), Dr. Anna van Duijvenvoorde (developmental), and Dr. Henk van Steenbergen (cognitive), will focus on the relationship between resilience, uncertainty, and cognitive flexibility as part of the interdisciplinary Social Resilience and Security Programme.

  • Sara Perlstein PhD candidate

    Sara Perlstein is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs under the research groups 'Crisis Governance' and 'Physical Violence and Public Order'. Her research focuses on risk perception in relation to pandemics and terrorism, respectively.

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