All board members of VAWO work in the academic community. This means that VAWO understands what situations employees in academia encounter. As a trade union by and for people who work in the academic community, VAWO provides concrete ideas and solutions.

At the moment, the board consists of seven members who happily introduce themselves.



I am an associate professor in sociology of law at the Erasmus School of Law. Previously I’ve been working on the history of juridical power. Right now it’s ‘risk’, security and prevention,’ lifestyle risks’ and  ‘academic integrity’. I’ve been a VAWO-member for years. What first appealed to me, was that VAWO is a trade union of, for and by people who work in the academic world. We live in a hectic time, where too much pressure is put on people. Obviously, reducing the excessive workload is something I find very important. Furthermore I’d like to see an ‘ombudsperson’ at universities, someone who is independent and had possibilities to deal with problems individuals have regarding their work or work situation.



I am a professor in economic geography at the Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. My work is about the spatial spread of innovative practices, among companies, regions and alternative movements.

To me it’s important to provide a strong counterweight to excessive flexibilisation of contracts, and the increasing role of management and commercialisation. The fundamental position of the university as an institution of free and independent education and research is at stake and we can only do something about this if we work together, as a collective group of people.



I’m a assistant professor at the Open University. My interests lie in where the European social law meets the Dutch social law. For VAWO I am the secretary and member of the board of CMHF. My practical skills with law and justice comes in handy in both these positions. Individually an employee is no match for the employer. We need trade unions with a strong position at the negotiation table with employers. That way we can secure better labour conditions and good pensions. That’s what I’ve committed myself to.



Once graduated as a physicist, I’m very much interested in both science and business. I managed to combine those two in my job at the Technical University Eindhoven, where I work at the interface between industry and science. The processes that take place around 'innovation' are dynamic and always subject to renewal. Although often good, it can also cause tension. In those cases I prefer to anticipate possible scenario’s. Within VAWO and the TU/e you see that combining the enthusiasm and creativity of young talent with experienced people often leads to success.


I am an assistant professor in mathematics at the Technical University in Delft. Besides teaching I research critical phenomena of complex systems through probalistic models.

I am committed to equal chances, diversity and inclusion. To me it’s important that everyone feels safe and welcome at their place of work, regardless gender, origin and religion. Unfortunately there are still too many malpractices. That’s regrettable and a missed chance, because a diverse community leads to innovation and creativity.


I am an assistant professor at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam where I teach governance and political science. In addition I am also doing research into the history of the public administration and the administration of history.

Many of my new colleagues have to settle for temporary employment contracts. I can see they suffer from the pressure to perform and the necessity to look for another job. This obviously has consequences for the quality of research and education. Therefore, I’m committed to reducing temporary contracts and counteracting workload.

Van der meulen

I am a PhD candidate at the Centre for Language Studies at the Radboud University. My research is into the relation between grammatical language advice and language used in the twentieth-century in the Netherlands. I am also vice-chairman of the Dutch PhD Network and in that capacity a member of the board of VAWO. PhD candidates often get contracts that don’t have enough hours or run for a too short period of time. In those cases research is often being done in one’s own time. This has to change. So this coming year I want to make a case for fair contracts for PhD candidates in particular and university staff in general.