For this module, you will choose a topic from your regular study that catches your interest and you will try to identify an unsolved problem related to it. The result will be a research proposal in the way a professor would set it up. You will have guidance of both the professor of your choice and the teachers of this module. The first one will give you specific information on the subject, while the others will tell and teach how to write such a proposal and how to do decent research work on your own. The meetings during this period are used to exchange ideas and to present your most recent findings. Moreover, with the aid of several case studies, you will learn the do’s and don’ts of research on your own area of interest and of science in general. Overall, this module serves not only to get you acquainted with your own area of research, but also to show you how to “create” new knowledge.

General information

This course will take place in the second and third quartile of your second year (takes 2 quartiles). It will be given by Kim Schildkamp, Cindy Poortman, Hajo Broersma and Janneke Alers.


Kim Schildkamp

Kim Schildkamp

Kim Schildkamp graduated in 2003 at the Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen and completed her research towards leadership in schools at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) in Toronto, Canada. She promoted in 2007 at the University of Twente on the topic of self-evaluation in primary education, and now works there as a lecturer at the research group Curriculum Design & Education Innovation.

Her research is focussed on the use of data (for example, data on exams, surveys, and reports of the inspection on education) by schools, for which she looked both towards the Netherlands and towards other countries. The latter was possible due to a Fulbright grant, which allowed her to work for a few months at the Louisiana State University, where she worked with the Louisiana Department of Education on research towards the use of performance feedback by schools.

Now, she focuses on supporting schools in the use of data. One of her research projects, for example, focuses on the functioning of so-called data teams in secondary education. In these data teams, teachers and members of the school management work together according to a pre-structured systematic plan to improve the use of different sources of data. Another, European, research project focuses on the same use of data in different countries, among which are England, Germany, Poland, and Lithuania (see also Moreover, she is a member of the board of the International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement (ICSEI) and is founder and chair of the ICSEI data use network (see She is author of a significant number of international publications and is much sought after as speaker on (inter)national conferences.






Cindy Poortman

Cindy Poortman graduated in 2001 at the University of Twente on a research towards guidelines for a teaching project on ‘Educational Design’, which she carried out at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique. After working for a year as scientific employee in education and research, she worked from 2002 to 2007 on her promotion research on the topic of apprenticeships in technical and vocational training for 16-18 year olds. Since the completion of her promotion, she worked as an adviser and researcher on projects for lower and higher education institutes, on the field of the shaping and guiding of the studying of students, and the communication between schools and businesses. Moreover, she was involved with different research projects at the University of Twente, such as a review study on the efficiency of combinations of learning and working, executed at the request of PROO-NWO. She also teaches education marketing, HRD-theory, and introduction to education and training science at the UT, worked as a guest lecturer at the Stoas Hogeschool, and did various workshops and presentations for employees of higher and lower secondary education institutes. Due to the growing need of schools in different sectors for yield-focussed working, her interest in this topic has grown lately, especially towards ‘yield-focussed working in data teams’ ( For this project, she works as a post-doc on the question of the effects of data teams with regard to the improvement of the school.





Hajo Broersma

Hajo Broersma

Hajo Broersma obtained his MSc and PhD degrees in 1984 and 1988 from the department of Applied Mathematics of the University of Twente. Since then he has been an assistant, associate and full professor at the UT until he moved to Durham University (UK) in 2004 to take up a professorship in theoretical computer science. There he has built up one of the strongest European research groups in algorithmic and structural graph theory and computational complexity. He returned to the UT in 2010 as a professor in programmable nanosystems, from a joint initiative supported by the UT research institutes CTIT and MESA+. In 2012 he obtained a large European grant of 2.9M€ to work on a challenging project concerning evolvable nanostructures within the `future and emerging technologies' program, with a multidisciplinary team from the UT and universities in Durham, York, Lugano and Trondheim. Hajo published over 150 scientific papers in internationally refereed journals, is an editorial board member of six international journals, and participated in program committees of thirteen international conferences. He holds visiting professorships at three universities in China.




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Janneke Alers

Dr. Janneke Alers studied Biology at Utrecht University with majors in Experimental Embryology and Immunopathology. She obtained her PhD degree in Medicine at the Department of Pathology of the Erasmus University Rotterdam in Cancer Cytogenetics in 1997. She continued working at the Erasmus MC as a postdoc in translational cancer research. In 2001 she accepted a position at the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding) as senior policy maker and secretary of the Dutch Cancer Society Signaling Committee on Cancer (SCK). She conducted, amongst others, a Delphi study on imaging techniques for cancer patients in the Netherlands. From 2006 onwards, she worked as senior research coordinator and secretary of the Scientific Counsel of the Dutch Cancer Society for which she was responsible for the processing of grant applications for scientific research, training and education. In 2008 she became program manager of the Biomedical Engineering program at Twente University and coordinator of the minor Medical Sports Physiology. She combined her coordinating tasks with developing and teaching courses related to academic skills and introduction to medicine . She was involved in the design of new TOM modules in the BMT Bachelor curriculum. Within the BME program she was a strong advocate of the honours program.
In 2011 she became full time lecturer in Cell Biology related courses and practicals in the Bachelor programs of Biomedical Engineering, Technical Medicine and Health Sciences. Currently she is coordinator of BMT modules 2, 5 and 11 and is embedded as full time lecturer at the Developmental BioEngineering group of the MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine.





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