Athena Science Shop - projects with a societal impact

Athena Science ShopAthena Science Shop supports non-profit organisations in all countries over the world by implementing research projects with a potential societal impact within the four research themes of Athena:


Athena coordinates research projects for individuals, civil society organizations (CSO) and communities who aim to address real world problems or explore opportunities for a more sustainable future. In order to address the incoming questions, the research will be conducted by students supervised by Athena staff members.

In most cases the research includes active participation with the commissioner and various stakeholders, including communities. We offer projects for bachelor, master and research master students in the Netherlands as well as abroad. If you are an organization that would like to pose a research question, or you are a student interested in conducting your thesis or internship in this field, please contact our Science Shop coordinator on scienceshop.athena@vu.nl

The Athena Science Shop is supported by the InSPIRES project and the Living Knowledge Network. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No. 741677.

Student Projects: Master Year 1 (Posters)

Click the images to download the posters.

Digital Inclusion
Digital Inclusion

eHealth can have a positive impact on quality of healthcare, patient safety, the efficiency of care, cost-efficiency, and is associated with greater patient engagement. It uses ICT in health, combined with organizational change in healthcare systems. However, research shows that people with a low socioeconomic status, lower education, lower literacy and low health skills are more likely to have limited digital skills.
Download poster
Tsunami warning
Tsunami Warning: from baby-boom to wanted senior room

An explorative study from a multi-stakeholder perspective into public-private partnerships in the Dutch healthcare and real estate market.
Download poster

athena-poster-f-horst-jpg
High-value cost-conscious care carriers for medical residents in the Dutch health care system: a realist evaluation
“High-value cost-conscious care is about finding a balance between quality and costs. It is a fine balance in which quality is always most important.”
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2018 MPA posters

Student Projects: Master Year 2 (Internship reports)

Click the images to download the reports.

Positive deviance among stigmatized people
Positive Deviance among Stigmatized People Living with
HIV, Leprosy, Schizophrenia and Diabetes in Indonesia


Being sick and stigmatized by others are unpleasant
experiences to be had. Many people struggle with
health-related stigma, but some people succeed to
overcome such stigma in their everyday lives and
thrive. This article explains such positively deviant
strategies. Read more
Internship Hopman
Incorporation of health economic evaluations into vaccine
decision making in Canada


Despite the recommendation by the WHO that economic
evaluations should be incorporated into national immunization
decision-making, a standardized process for conducting and
using economic evaluations for vaccine decision-making is
lacking in Canada. Furthermore, there has been little research
into how to incorporate economic evaluations into
immunization decision-making and what barriers and
facilitators exist in Canadian context. Read more
Internship-Abortion-services-S-vd-Vliet-im
Barriers in access to abortion services in the United States

In 1973 abortion was legalized in the United States (US).
Nevertheless, the number of legal restrictions increased with
34% since 2011. Based on the legal restrictions, states can be
divided into hostile, middleground and supportive states. On
the other hand, legal restrictions are only some of the many
barriers that  women can face during their search for abortion
information and services. Read more



Internship-project-Britt-Reeker-1
The pros and cons of using selfservice kiosks in hospitals

This study aims to examine the pros and cons of the use of
self-service kiosks in hospitals in order for ChipSoft to improve
their services by analysing the opinions of different key actors
about the influence of the self-service kiosk on hospital
services and care processes. The central research question
is: “What is the influence of the self-service kiosk on hospital
services and care processes according to different key actors?”
Read more

Internship-Orthorexia-Nervosa-Emma-Douma-1
The pathway of orthorexia nervosa: from healthy eating to
unhealthy preoccupation with healthy eating


Although an increased interest in health is often considered
a positive development, this interest can sometimes develop
into a pathological preoccupation with a healthy lifestyle:
orthorexia nervosa (ON). Since Steven Bratman coined the
term orthorexia in 1997, significant research efforts have
been made to investigate the phenomenon. Currently, ON
is not officially classified as a psychiatric disorder, as there
is too little robust evidence to classify it as such. Read more
Internship-Valente-Martina-beeld
How can Healthy Eating turn into Obsession?

The purpose of this research is to investigate what
are the factors that lead young women (18-­‐35) to
be obsessed with healthy eating. The research question
is: “What are the factors contributing to the choice of
healthy eating and how they are involved in the
progression from healthy eating to the obsession,
in young women (18-­‐35)?” Read more
Internship-Jelle-Feddema-beeld
Addressing the unmet need in respiratory viruses Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) pose a significant
burden on health systems worldwide. Progress has
been booked in reducing RTI disease burden through
development of diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines,
though most efforts often fail to address the contribution
of non-influenza viruses. Read more

internship-napier-university-jpg
Student nurses’ attitudes to social justice and poverty:
an international evaluation
Research into the effect of pedagogical strategies for raising
nurses’ awareness of poverty and social justice, by assessing
and comparing attitudes of Scottish and American student
nurses before and after different teaching methods focusing
on health inequalities. Read more
internship-understanding-of-Cultural-Competence-jpg
The understanding of Cultural Competence, a study to
an ambiguous concept in its context
The increase of the development of technology, logistics and
communication has led to an tremendous increase of human
mobility worldwide. In the Netherlands, the diversification of
the population in terms of cultural backgrounds is increasing.
This phenomenon is demanding new approaches within the
health sector as the concept of adequate health care differs
among cultures. Read more

2018 MPA internship reports

An impression of the presentation of last years projects