About us

During the period 1945-1960, 'The Utrecht School' was established at Utrecht University (UU) - an interfaculty collaboration between scientists in medicine, criminal law, psychology, pedagogy, criminology, and biology (Langeveld, Baan, Buytendijk, Kempe, Hudig, Van Lennep, Pompe, Rümke, Van den Berg), who shared beliefs about how phenomena, people, and the world should be understood.

In 2017, The New Utrechts School was founded by UMC Utrecht, Utrecht University and the University of the Arts Utrecht. In this interfaculty and interinstitutional platform, education, research and public dialogues come together to prepare the new generation of professionals in the interdisciplinary field of health for the changes of the 21st century.


Stefan van Geelen 

Dr Stefan van Geelen

Stefan studied philosophy at Utrecht University and obtained his doctorate at UMC Utrecht at the department of medical psychology, Children’s Division. At the moment, he is the program manager of one of the seven accelerators in the UMC Utrecht strategy 2020-2025 Connecting Worlds, namely The New Utrecht School, which wants to give (future) professionals in healthcare the best possible baggage to solve the social and scientific problems of tomorrow. In the broadest sense, his research focuses on the applied philosophy of medicine.

Annet van Royen-Kerkhof

Dr Annet van Royen-Kerkhof

Annet van Royen is a paediatrician-immunologist/-rheumatologist at Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital. Her research focusses upon gaining new insights into, and the improvement of, the diagnosis and treatment of rare auto-immune diseases in children. She is also the current program director of medicine at the UU. 

Project coordinators

Foto van Stefan Gaillard
Stefan Gaillard

Stefan Gaillard

Stefan Gaillard studied chemistry, history, psychology and philosophy at UU. He is co-founder of the student initiative Journal of Trial and Error, a scientific journal that focuses on discussing and learning from mistakes in academia. At The New Utrecht School he is looking at how patients, researchers and healthcare workers can better deal with uncertainty.


Tessa van Charldorp
Tessa van Charldorp

Dr Tessa van Charldorp

Tessa van Charldorp studied communication at Boston University in the United States and linguistics at the VU in Amsterdam. She obtained her doctorate in the field of language and communication. Her research concerns conversations, for example those between friends gathered around a table, between a suspect and a police officer, or between a doctor and a patient (Dutch link). She translates her insights into practice in the form of advice, lectures, and courses, amongst others for medical professionals and patients.

Megan Milota

Dr Megan Milota

Megan Milota studied international law in her home country, the United States, subsequently studying English literature at the University of Antwerp. There, as an FWO aspirant, she defended her PhD on American religious literature and reader-response. Within UMC, Megan works at the Julius Centre for the innovation of education, focussing on the integration of the arts in the medical curriculum. An important source of inspiration for her didactic vision and ongoing research is the Narrative Medicine Program of Columbia University in New York, in which she participated in 2016.

Nirav Christophe

Drs Nirav Christophe

Nirav Christophe is lector Performative Creative Processes (Performatieve Maakprocessen) at the HKU University of the Arts Utrecht. He specialised in artistical research, in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary creative processes, and in the co-creation between artistic and non-artistic domains. Nirav is a playwright and teaches the art of writing. Recently, he authored Tienduizend idioten; Poëtica, schrijfproces en pedagogie van het hybride theaterschrijven vanuit Bakhtin’s ‘Meerstemmigheid' (Ten Thousand Idiots: Poetics, the writing process and the pedagogy behind the hybrid playwriting of Bakhtin's 'Polyphony').

Roos de Jonge

Roos de Jonge

Roos de Jonge studied Medical Biology at the UvA and obtained her doctorate conducting research on genetic profiles of the peripheral nervous system. As a carer for her daughter, who has a congenital heart condition, Roos became involved with patient participation via Stichting Kind & Ziekenhuis (Child and Hospital Foundation). As an advisor on patient participation in education, she deploys her personal experiences in order to represent a more patient-orientated perspective in education. 

Annemieke Maas
Annemieke Maas 

Annemieke Maas

Annemieke Maas studied medicine at Utrecht University and works as a physician in pediatric oncology at the Princess Máxima Center. In February 2017, she participated in the Onderzoekstutorial: Hoe is het om patient te zijn? (Research Tutorial: What Is It Like to Be a Patient?). This tutorial has provided her with important insights into the importance of self-experience and the perception of patients, which she has taken along in her role as a physician. Enthusiastic and convinced that this tutorial has made her a better doctor, Annemieke has become involved as one of the co-organisers of the New Utrecht School. She also plans to conduct research related to the New Utrecht School.

Collaborating Students

Merel Dekker

Merel Dekker

Merel Dekker was an honours bachelor student Medicine at Utrecht University. She is the 2021-2022 student assessor of the Executive Board of the university. For The New Utrecht School, Merel is engaged with the research project 'Learning through lived experience: An educational tool to improve health professionals'. Through this project, Merel hopes to enrich the patient perspective of future healthcare professionals.

Foto van Suzanne Willemsen

Suzanne Willemsen

Suzanne Willemsen studies Interior Architecture at the HKU in Utrecht. Suzanne has a passion for buildings with a story and hopes to play a role as an interior architect in making outdated locations and buildings future-proof. For her studies she is currently working on a design assignment related to the former Pieter Baan Center on the Gansstraat in Utrecht. Through her design, Suzanne wants to establish a link with the building's past by allowing The New Utrecht School to play an important role in it.

External Advisor

Gaston Franssen

Dr Gaston Franssen

Gaston Franssen, together with Stefan van Geelen and Annet van Royen, founded The New Utrecht School in 2017. He is currently affiliated with The New Utrecht School as an external advisor. Gaston is full professor of Dutch Literary Studies and Intermediality at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests include authorship, celebrity, narrativity, intermediality, and health humanities.

Recommendation Committee

  • Prof. Berent Prakken, professor Child Rheumatology, director of the Education Center and vice dean of Education at UMC Utrecht. 
  • Prof. Ted Sanders, professor of Dutch Language at the Department of Languages, Literature and Communication; vice dean of Graduate education, Humanities, Utrecht University.