Niels Bovenschen wins 2019 Outstanding Teacher Award

Every year Utrecht University awards two teachers with prestigious prizes for outstanding teacher and teacher talent

Docentenprijzen 2019

Thursday Niels Bovenschen, teacher in Biomedical Sciences and head of the Pathology Research Laboratory, has won the 2019 Lecturer Award. Marij Swinkels, teacher in Public Governance and Management, receives this year’s Teacher Talent Award. The jury selected both winners for their involvement with students and how they inspire students to reach beyond their assumed possibilities.

Role model for academic students

Niels Bovenschen, associate professor in Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine divides his time between education and research. One of Niels' focal points is the interconnection between education and research. He challenges his students already in the bachelor phase to propose research and gives them the freedom and responsibility to carry their proposal out. His aim is to train students – at all levels – to become scientists. He advances and utilize their academic skills by giving them a taste of research. Thanks to his experience in academic research and the natural way he leads them around, make him a role model for his students.

Teacher Talent Marij Swinkels

Marij Swinkels specialized in public administration won the Teacher Talent Award. She has a clear philosophy regarding her role in academic education, she sees herself as a facilitator of both personal and professional development of her students. She applies the knowledge she acquires through her research by means of various empowering and creative teaching techniques. Concepts are explained by using the 30 Seconds game and she stimulates critical academic discussions. The jury was impressed by the picture painted by Marij's students.
She is also active outside her degree programme, for example as a co-initiator of InclUUsion: a programme that gives refugees access to the education of the Utrecht University. In 2016 she won the Social Impact Award of her faculty.

Outstanding Teacher Award and Teacher Talent Prize

Utrecht University awards since the 1990s outstanding teachers who engage, challenge and motivate their students with the Outstanding and Teacher Talent Award. The lecturers are nominated via the study associations and selected by a jury of experienced teachers and students. The official award ceremony will take place during the university’s anniversary celebrations on 26 March.