Steering group

The ARCA steering group is closely involved in the design, content and performing of the research and regularly advices the main research team on its progress. The group consists of experienced researchers from the Amsterdam Academic community.

In alphabetic order, the steering group involves:

  • Prof. dr. Hanneke De Haes
  • prof. dr. Frans Oort
  • Dr. Gerben ter Riet
  • Prof. dr. Yvo Smulders
  • Prof. dr. Guy Widdershoven
  • Prof. dr. René van Woudenberg

Hanneke de Haes worked as a psychologist in oncology in Academic hospitals in Rotterdam, Leiden and Amsterdam. She graduated at Leiden University (1988) and became full professor and chair in the Department of Medical of Psychology in the University of Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre in 1995. Her research on quality of life, (cost-) effectiveness of medical interventions, medical decision making, and medical communication is presented in over 250 peer reviewed papers. She was chair of committee developing the first medical faculty research code in the Netherlands. She now serves as scientific integrity counsellor at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam.

Frans Oort is full professor of Methods and Statistics, director of the Research Institute of Child Development and Education, director of Research Priority Area Yield, and programme director of the Research Master Child Development and Education at the University of Amsterdam. His research focuses on statistical modelling, issues in measurement, and applications of statistics in psychological and educational research.

The focus of present research is “unbiased measurement” of psychological attributes in psychological and educational research. Many problems in psychometrics, such as item bias, test bias, response shift, culture bias, gender bias, response styles and tendencies, social desirability, etc., can be described as violations of “measurement invariance”. This enables a single general approach to these various problems, using SEM to test measurement invariance hypotheses.

Gerben ter Riet is a clinical epidemiologist with a keen interest in the intersection of research integrity and methodology. He is a principal investigator (PI) at the University Hospital of the University of Amsterdam (AMC-UvA). His main interests are transparent reporting and linguistic hedging, P-value bashing, reproducibility, publication bias in animal research, and better monitoring of research proposals on their path to publication. He co-authored the Dutch research programme on Fostering Responsible Research Practices. He also serves as a methodologist in the AMC medical ethics committee and is active as a methods and statistics consultant to the AMC departments of geriatrics and cardiology and the ACHIEVE centre for applied research at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Yvo Smulders is a general internist and director of the Internal Medicine residency program at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam. In addition, he is deputy chief editor of the Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde. His specific background is in Nephrology and Vascular Medicine. He has served on several guideline writing committees and has published many research papers, mainly in the field of vascular disease and diabetes mellitus. In addition, his interest and scientific output encompasses many more general subjects, including medical ethics, research culture, etc.

Guy Widdershoven is professor of Medical Philosophy and Ethics at VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam. He is senior researcher in the Amsterdam Public Health (APH) research institute. He is chair of the Amsterdam Center on Ageing (ACA),

His research focusses on hermeneutic ethics and moral case deliberation. This method for discussing moral dilemmas in pr ofessional practice is applied  in chronic care (elderly care, psychiatry, care for people with an intellectual disability, and care at the end-of-life. He supervised research projects on coercion in psychiatry, palliative care, quality of life, and clinical ethics support.

The method of moral case deliberation is also used for issues regarding research integrity, by fostering reflection of PhD students and senior researchers on dilemmas experienced in their research practice. This is disseminated on a European level, for instance through the recently acquired Horizon 2020 project EnTIRE (Mapping normative framework for EThics and Integrity of REsearch).

In the medical school, he teaches on medical philosophy and ethics. He coordinates the teaching of the Academic Core (research methods, applying research in medical practice, reflection on research). He also teaches in the master program Philosophy, Bioethics and Health. Together with Johan Legemaate, he recently edited a Dutch handbook on Ethics and Law in Healthcare (Boom, 2016).


René van Woudenberg is professor of philosophy, specializing in Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Science, at the VU Amsterdam. He was the leader of an interdisciplinary project on “Scientism”, which is, roughly, the claim that science is the exclusive way to obtain knowledge. The outcome of the project is that “Scientism” is untenable. Currently he is the leader of an interdisciplinary project on the “Epistemic Responsibilities of the University”, the central topics of which are (a) how universities can nourish epistemic virtues in their students and researchers, (b) what universities can do in order to prevent academic misconduct—and what these misconducts are, (c) what universities can do to enhance wisdom and a sense of moral responsibility in the their students and researchers, (d) the indispensable contribution of the humanities to the life of the university. This project is sponsored by the Templeton World Charity Organization.

Van Woudenberg has published books and papers on: the limits and possibilities of science; the relation between science and religious belief; the nature of the humanities; personal identity; skepticism; chance and design; the philosophy of Thomas Reid.