Prizes awarded during opening of the academic year

The Edmond Hustinx prize for science, presented annually during the opening of the academic year to a promising young UM researcher, was awarded to Bart van Grinsven, assistant professor on the Maastricht Science Programme. The UM Student Award, for students who make an outstanding social or cultural contribution alongside their studies, went to Matthijs Bosveld and Sjim Romme. Their initiative ‘The person behind the patient’ aims to foster empathy among healthcare providers.

Edmond Hustinx Prize

This year’s Edmond Hustinx prize for science was awarded to a researcher from the Faculty of Humanities and Sciences. Bart van Grinsven impressed the jury with his combination of high-quality academic research and entrepreneurial drive to commercialise knowledge in collaboration with the Limburg business sector. The prize consists of a €15,000 research grant.

Van Grinsven has been an assistant professor on the Maastricht Science Programme since 2014. His research focuses on smart devices, specialising in the development of new (bio) sensor systems for applications such as blood analysis. In recent years he has established various partnerships between UM students and Limburg companies, leading, among other things, to first prize in the NWO Top Sector Chemistry Student Competition. He has made a significant contribution to bridging the gap between the sciences and the region of South Limburg, a key spearhead of both UM and the Province of Limburg. In addition, he has been involved in no fewer than eight patent applications, three of them in the past year.

UM Student Award

Matthijs Bosveld (Medicine) and Sjim Romme (Health Sciences) were selected from among 19 nominees for the UM Student Award. They were both touched by issue of a lack of empathy shown by healthcare providers- something often attested to by patients. To address this, they set up the project ‘The person behind the patient’ (Mens achter de Patiënt,). The project brings patients with disabilities or chronical illnesses and students together in pairs. These get-togethers revolve not around the patient’s illness, but around the person who has the illness: the person behind the patient. Bosveld and Romme have worked hard to integrate the initiative into the curricula of their respective study programmes, where, according to the jury, it serves as an important eye-opener. The prize consists of an artwork, a cash prize of €1000 and a photo of the winners in the UM Student Hall of Fame.

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