Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
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Rob van Lier new Vice Dean Faculty of Social Sciences

Date of news: 17 November 2022

From the 1st of February 2023 Rob van Lier, currently Director of the research Master Cognitive Neuroscience will be the new Vice Dean for the Faculty of Social Science. He will remain PI at the Donders Institute but will give up his role as the Director for the research Master Cognitive Neuroscience to become Vice Dean. Since 2018 van Lier has been Director of the the research Master.

Director Research Master Cognitive Neuroscience

Van Lier greatly enjoyed his job as Director of the Master programme: ‘Together with a great group of people, such as the programme coordinator and management assistent, the teachers in the programme, the members of the degree programme committee, and the exam committee, we run the programme and further develop it from year to year’. Van Lier adds ‘Please do not forget to mention our students and our study organisation Dondrite in this ongoing process as they are always doing a great job’.

Students of this two-year interfaculty Master programme first learn about the fundamentals of cognitive neuroscience  before they do an internship, often within the Donders Institute. These internships may even result in a journal publication. With about 70 students per year, it is not a very large programme. We select the best students from all over the country, Europe and the world and we are very proud of the quality of our Master programme.’

As Director van Lier is always focused on improving and adapting the programme: ‘Recently we focused on wellbeing, which is an issue among employees but among students as well. Certainly during and after Corona times. We appointed a student coach who students can turn to with al kinds of issues that play a role within a student’s  life. The coach listens and gives advice or refers, when necessary, to a study advisor the or a psychologists. We see that this works very well in practice. To further adapt the programme to the current time we have given students more freedom of choice with regard to the courses they can choose and we emphasize the development of certain skills.’

Vice Dean Faculty of Social Sciences

As Vice Dean it will be part of his role to advise on all kinds of policy aspects of the Faculty of Social Sciences. A good example is the ‘Recognition and appreciation’ report which is currently being discussed to determine how this could be implemented within the faculty.

Van Lier wants to contribute to making everyone feel at home, to distribute career opportunities fairly for education and research: ‘As a Vice Dean you can help to think about those issues. But it is also about appointing people and distributing finances among the faculty and its very wide range of disciplines. I will be here for the whole faculty and I really want to get to know it well, especially the institutes and programmes that appear to be a bit further away from my home expertise at the moment. It will surely be a busy period with a lot of reading and updating my knowledge about what’s going on within the faculty. But, until February I am still the Director of the Master programme.’

Van Lier always enjoyed being Director of the research master programme: ‘It is a very nice position and I would like to wish the one that I am passing the baton, a lot of success and fun with this beautiful task.’