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Personal profile

Research interests

Rutger Engels is professor in Developmental Psychopathology, at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

He received his MA in Psychology at the University of Groningen, his PhD at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Maastricht and did a post-doc at Utrecht University. In 2001, at the age of 32, he was appointed as a full professor in Nijmegen. From 2014-2018, he was CEO of the Trimbos Institute, the national institute for mental health and addictions, and distinguished professor in Developmental Psychopathology at Utrecht University in the period 2016-2018. From 2018-2021 he was rector magnificus of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

His fundamental and applied research focuses on early stages of substance use, depression and anxiety in children, adolescents and young adults. His research is funded by Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), ZONMW, Dutch Cancer Society, Dutch Asthma Foundation, EU, and two NWO career awards. He publishes extensively in the top-ranking journals in Addiction and Psychology disciplines, and has an excellent track record of successfully coordinating research projects and mentoring PhD students. In 2010, the health council of NWO awarded his team with a large grant for a center of excellence, which is a multi-disciplinary collaboration between institutions and university to improve prevention and care for anxiety and depression in youth. In 2011, he received the Huibregtsenprijs, the annual national award, by NWO and Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) for outstanding research with evident societal impact. In 2012, he won the Radboud Science Award for top research of the university. He is passionate about taking science to the frontline where it matters most, and developing state-of-the-art prevention programs that will have a far-reaching, international impact on policy and practice.



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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