Tag Archives: PhD thesis

Acknowledgements from my PhD thesis

The Acknowledgements are in the printed version of the thesis and the in electronic version (link to PDF) but I felt like they should also be publicly available:


When I designed the cover for this thesis, I felt a bit strange putting only my name on it. I’m the one getting all the credit but there’s no way I could have finished my PhD without the help of a large number of people. This section is meant to acknowledge some of them. I am immensely grateful to all of you. My life in the last four years was amazing because I always had something interesting to do and was always surrounded by loving, supportive, and incredibly fun people. Thank you all.

First and foremost, I would like to thank my family. You have always supported me and encouraged me to pursue my interests. You contributed nothing to the content of this thesis. Yet, your contribution was the most important because you did all the difficult groundwork that made me the kind of person that’d tackle a project like this. There was never a doubt in my mind that you’d have my back no matter what. I couldn’t have done it without that peace of mind.

Most directly responsible for the completion of this thesis are my supervisors. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the complexity of both work and my life shortly after I started my PhD. I am grateful to Richard and Candice for your patience and guidance. I couldn’t have hoped for better role models and mentors and was sad to see you leave Groningen. Rob was the perfect promotor, always having an open ear, giving me advice, and keeping me on track. Hedderik saw me most and had the biggest influence on me; thank you for always making time, counsel me through the endless obstacle course that is academia, and guiding me towards becoming a more independent researcher. A PhD project is a team effort and I can’t thank you all enough for playing on my team.

The psychology faculty has always been a pleasant place to work. Thanks to my various office mates – Tanja, Tam, Mariska, Rasa, Edyta, Sabine, and the two Michaels – and colleagues – both at Psychometrics and Statistics and at Experimental Psychology –, spending time at work was only as stressful as I made it for myself. I appreciate that doors, ears, and minds were open and the flat hierarchy that made everyone easy to approach.

I also want to thank all the students. Lecturing, being an academic mentor, and grading reports always made me feel a bit awkward because I still see myself as a student. These interactions taught me a lot about myself. The best part was to see students turn into colleagues. Friederike, Sarah, and Charlotte: This thesis would have been at least a chapter shorter if it weren’t for you. You set a very high bar for any future collaborators, thank you.

A big thank you should also go to the “Minnaars en Minnaressen”. Aafke, Ana, Anne Marthe, Aytaç, Berry, Catia, Daniel, Darya, Elliot, Felicity, Jolien, Julia, Kim, Lowie, Luzia, Maja, Marloes, Nadine, Nico, Rob, Russell, Susie, Tassos, Tineke, Tomas, and Wisnu. Thanks for the drinks after work and the countless other social events over the last couple of years. A special thanks to the inner circle – Aafke, Darya, Kim, and Rob – and a very special thanks to Nico and Berry: living with you was amazing. Also on this list should be George and Garrett, who I didn’t see nearly enough. Having you in my life made me a better person. Thanks for calling me out on my shit and the never-ending support. I love you guys.

There were also some people outside of academia that I want to thank. Adam, Arun, Brenda, and Harmen (and everyone else at Squadraat) for countless hours of squash. I always had a blast and knew I’d get a good workout in if you guys were on court. Thanks for letting me win occasionally. I’d also like to thank my friends in Germany for making the effort to stay in touch and all the good times and trips that were a necessary break from my normal PhD life: Franze, Max, Tobi, Katchi, Lutz, Tobi, Caro, Lena, Catharina, and Basti and everyone else that was around occasionally.

The last four years were the best years of my life. I am sad to see them come to an end and incredibly excited for the future. A future in which I hope to cross paths with all of you again.

PhD defense is approaching

This is really the final stage of my PhD. The contract has been over for a couple of months now but I’ve still been busy with a surprising number of administrative things surrounding the thesis and the defense. Today, two weeks before the defense on the 20th of April, I finally have the printed version of the thesis in my hands. A whole stack of books that contain the labor of the last four years of my life. Pretty surreal.

thesis cover photo wide

The PDF of the thesis is available on the Open Science Framework.

If you want to join for the public defense, you’re welcome to attend on April 20th, 2017 @ 16:00 in the Academy building in Groningen.