Maarten van der Smagt is Professor of Psychological Literacy in Higher Education at the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of Utrecht University. This new chair focusses on scholarly approaches to curriculum design and educational innovation, in order to strengthen the relationship between psychological research, societal application and innovation within higher education. As Director of Psychology Education, Maarten is responsible for its psychology bachelor programme as well as its five 1-year professional (a.k.a. academic) master programmes.
Maarten’s research covers a broad range of topics within the domain of cognitive psychology, neuroscience and vision science, with focus on unravelling the mechanisms underlying uni- and multi-modal perception and its influence on higher cognitive processes, in healthy but also clinical populations. He recently forayed into the realm of educational research, with emphasis on new ways to acquire specific psychological skills and attitudes (i.e., using gamification and simulation and/or community-service-learning aspects) and whether the ability to acquire these skills can be predicted from demonstratable previously acquired attributes.
Maarten has always had a strong interest teaching and learning and has taught courses in several programmes ranging from the bachelor (e.g. University College Utrecht, Artificial Intelligence and Psychology) to PhD levels (e.g. Helmholtz Research School) and held several managerial positions in these programmes. He served as education coordinator for the Experimental Psychology division, as first year coordinator of the psychology bachelor programme, as co-director of the Artificial Intelligence Master programme and as coordinator of the Helmholtz Research School PhD programme.
Maarten was Teaching Fellow of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Utrecht University from 2015-2017 and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Academic Teaching of Utrecht University from 2017-2020, after which he became Priciple Fellow.