Peter van der Heijden has a chair in statistics for the behavioural and social sciences. Since 2011 he is part of the department of Methodology and Statistics. He chairs the Ethical Review Board and the Committee for Policy on Integrity of the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. From 2012 he is also professor of Social Statistics at the University of Southampton. He chairs the Advisory Council on Methodology and Quality of Statistics Netherlands. From 2019 he is member of the Executive board member of European Statistical Advisory Committee of the European Commission (ESAC).
He is the Counselor on Scientific Integrity of the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.
Starting 2017 he is the leader of the Utrecht University focus area Applied Data Science. Starting 2020 he represents Utrecht University in the Working group AI for Health in the Alliance of Utrecht University, the University Medical Center Utrecht, University of Wageningen and Technical University Eindhoven. Starting 2021 he is part of the Steering Committee of the UU Taskforce Data Science and AI.
His research concerns linkage of registers, population size estimation, randomized response, estimating fraud, and models for the analysis of categorical data. For a variety of Dutch ministries he has carried out contract research in these areas.