Faculty-led Research Clinics

Undergraduate research clinics form an important part of the LUC curriculum. Over the course of 16 weeks, small groups of students work together under the supervision of a faculty member in order to support original, ongoing research.

If you are a Leiden University student or staff member, or a potential community partner, and you'd like to suggest a research clinic idea, please email Dr. Ann Marie Wilson at a.m.wilson@luc.leidenuniv.nl.

Spring 2017


Faculty Lead: Dr. Lucie Zicha
Student Researchers: Jurre Honkoop

This project aims to understand literacy rates in the Hague neighborhood Bezuidenhout West (located adjacent to the Centraal station). The project combines quantitative questionnaire design to understand the degree to which illiteracy is an issue at an individual level with qualitative historical and policy analysis about the macro-level sources of illiteracy. The project offers a unique opportunity to learn skills in data collection where traditional questionnaire techniques are less effective (population may include people who cannot read or write). The results of the project, including specific policy recommendations, will be presented to the representatives of the Bezuidenhout West municipality and to the Stichting Lezen en Schrijven in the Hague.


Neighborhood Engagement in Duindorp

Faculty Lead: Rob Ruts (Haaagse Hogeschool), Dr. Ann Marie Wilson (LUC)
Student Researchers: Lisanne Brouwer (LUC), Sten Polman (Haagse Hogeschool)

This research clinic will investigate patterns of civic belonging and exclusion in the Duindorp neighborhood of The Hague -- a small enclave that has been described by some as a “witte problemwijk” or “white problem-district.” We will collaborate with students and professors at The Hague University of Applied Sciences in a project that will support the community development work of policymakers in the Municipality of The Hague. What is the history of this neighborhood? How and why has it come to be seen as a “problem”? How might we identify and map the relationships among various local institutions and community members? What are the possibilities for developing the area’s creative, entrepreneurial, and civic potential? Together with our partners, the participants in this clinic will devise a research agenda that will directly support policymaking at the local level.


SERVICE CLINIC: teaching children with special needs

Faculty Lead: Dr. Ann Marie Wilson
Student Researchers: Jiao Harmsen, Aurelien Sacotte, Nadine van der Voorde, Madelaine Alber

This “service clinic” will combine weekly work at a local secondary school with research into an education policy or pedagogy issue that will determined in collaboration with the school. In this way, the clinic will support both pupils and teachers. Participants will work as teachers’ assistants at the College St. Paul, a VMBO school serving students with special needs (leerwegondersteunend onderwijs). They will submit weekly reflections about their classroom experiences, and will also read the reflections of their fellow tutors. At the same time, each student will carry out independent research, meeting as a group with Dr. Wilson every other week in order to discuss their progress. This clinic is particularly aimed at alumni of the Community Project, but is open to any student with an interest in teaching practice and education research.


Diverstity in ACTION

Faculty Lead: Dr. Aminata Cairo (Leiden Diversity Office)
Student Researchers: Emma Bassetti, Noah Zaborszky, Amparo de Castro, Aoife Lawrence, Helena Hasler, Keagan Beamer, Bibi Berenschot

“Diversity” is a hot item topic that is regularly addressed and discussed from the classroom to the boardroom. In terms of policy, diversity has generally been approached as a problem issue, whereas now it is hailed as a target goal of excellence. Needless to say there is still a lot of confusion about what diversity entails, its value, and how to truly engage it. This clinic gives students the opportunity to engage in two diversity related projects that are aimed at enriching the larger community:

In the Personal Story Project students will help collect stories of inclusion and exclusion from members of the Leiden University community. Students will learn interviewing techniques, will collectively decide on a plan of action, and will engage in written, audio, and video data collection. Students will assist in designing a plan for how these stories can be of best use for improving understanding of diversity at Leiden University. Students will also be required to keep a diary of their experiences executing the project.

In the Transgender Children’s Literature Project students will assist in the production of a reader’s theater production of stories written for children from the transgender community. They will work closely with the Leiden International Arts and Theater Foundation, who will create the theater production. In addition they will assist in researching and organizing the fundraising component of the publication of the children’s stories. Students will also be required to keep a diary of their experiences executing the project.

Spring 2016

Microplastics Research: From Local to Global Perspectives

Faculty Lead: Dr. Thijs Bosker
Student Researchers: Lucia Guaita, Froukje Lots and Lone Mokkenstorm

The microplastics story goes on… and LUC is now taking it a step further! This research clinic will give us more insights into distributions and concentrations of microplastics in coastal sediments on the regional, national and global scale.

Last February, samples were taken along the Dutch North Sea coastline during a 2-day road trip. The sand has been treated and researched in the LUC Science Lab over the semester and the results will teach us more about distribution patterns within The Netherlands. Moreover, this clinic includes a global aspect: LUC students and staff have brought back over 40 samples from holiday destinations over the past academic year, which will be researched as soon as possible. Sample locations vary from Svalbard to South Africa and their number is still growing. The last part of the research will take place overseas. The Caribbean Netherlands Science Institute on St. Eustatius will host three LUC Students this summer who will quantify concentrations on beaches (and possibly sea water) in insular coastal systems.

Would you like to contribute to the global project, of would you like to have more information on this clinic? Visit the LUC Microplastics blog, or email Dr. Thijs Bosker at t.bosker@luc.leidenuniv.nl


Food Security and Health in Bezuidenhout-West

Faculty Lead: Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong
Student Researchers: Koen Scholten and Brechje Oonk

 Bezuidenhout West

Bezuidenhout West

Local environmental factors can influence food access and affordability of healthy foods. Given the current epidemic of obesity and related diseases, it is important to clarify to what extent these so called ‘food-environment’ can play a role in local health programs. For that reason, two students from the major Global Public Health have started a pilot to explore to what extent food affordability and accessibility is associated with dietary behavior and health outcomes in the Bezuidenhout-West neighborhood of The Hague. They will perform interviews with residents of Bezuidenhout-West and will map the local food environment of the area.

Would you like to know more about this project? Please contact Dr. Jessica Kiefte-de Jong at j.c.kiefte@luc.leidenuniv.nl.

Fall 2015

Slavery and museum practice in Comparative Perspective

Faculty Lead: Dr. Ann Marie Wilson
Community Client: Valika Smeulders, Pasado Presente
Student Researchers: Ashley Chin and Rosie Underwood

How have museums worked to incorporate the histories of colonialism and slavery in their collections and public presentations?  How have they involved local communities in developing their exhibits?  And how have museum-goers responded? In this research clinic, students investigated the recent practices of four museums, two in the United Kingdom and two in the Netherlands, with a particular eye toward the effects of national memorial events in 2007 and 2013, respectively. This work was carried out in service to Pasado Presente, a local organisation that offers tours, research, and consulting focused on presenting the history and legacy of colonialism and slavery, in order to build equality in the present. For more information, contact Dr. Ann Marie Wilson at a.m.wilson@luc.leidenuniv.nl.