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Personal profile

Research interests

Thijs van den Broek is assistant professor at the Socio-Medical Sciences research group of the Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management (ESHPM). His research focuses on wellbeing, health and (informal and formal) care use, in particular of older people and migrants. His work is situated at the intersection of demography, sociology and public health. As a scholar, he aims to contribute to diminishing health inequalities by doing rigorous research that provides insights that policymakers and practitioners can build on to develop equitable policies and interventions.

He holds a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship for a project on health and wellbeing of Turkish migrants in Europe. Previously, he received research funding from the Economic Social Research Council (ESRC, UK) and Erasmus Trustfonds. In 2021, he was awarded the Frans Rutten Research Prize for most promising early career researcher at ESHPM. His work has been published in leading journals, such as Journals of Gerontology, Series: B; Social Science & Medicine; Population, Space and Place; and Ageing & Society.

Academically, Thijs is a bit of a late bloomer. Rather than focusing on studying while in his 20s, he played underground stages all over Europe with several indie bands, recorded a duet with the legendary Kimya Dawson, and scored a minor radio hit in Norway. In his early 30s, he signed up for the evening MSc programme in Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He finished the programme with Cum Laude honours, and for his Master thesis he won the Joep Munnichs Prize from the Netherlands Society for Gerontology.

Following his PhD in Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam, he worked as a postdoc at the London School of Economics. He also had stints as a visiting researcher at the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) in The Hague and the German Centre for Gerontology (DZA) in Berlin. He serves as associate editor for the journal Demographic Research, and as management committee member in the COST Action TraFaDy, an international research network on transnational families with 130+ members from 29 countries. The societal impact of his work is illustrated by contributions to advisory reports commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (SER), and by coverage of his research in mainstream media (Volkskrant, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, LSE IQ podcast, BNR Radio).

Thijs has served as advisory board member for the Erasmus Data Service Centre and as member of ESHPM's Faculty Council and Programme Committee. Currently, he is a member of ESHPM's Research Ethic Review Committee. He also coordinates the elective minor course Public Health, and supervises master's theses.

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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