Working environment

Team meetings


  • We organize weekly team meetings. The goal of these meetings is to keep everyone up to date on research, university, lab and occasional personal matters; to get feedback on ongoing or planned research projects and to promote a sense of unity. Typically, one of the lab members will present an ongoing or planned research project (as a rule of thumb, we try to have everyone present once every semester). This can provide a useful learning opportunity to get (early) feedback on the project, especially for junior researchers. We purposefully try to keep the bar for presentations low, meaning it is okay to have multiple speakers giving shorter presentations, or to have more of a brainstorming session (rather than an ex cathedra talk of an hour and a half). Occasionally, we will invite researchers from outside the lab (though typically working in the same or related fields) to give a talk.
  • When no research is presented, we organize discussions about interesting papers or issues we encountered, demonstrations of useful tools (e.g., GitHub, R Markdown) or roundtable meetings to discuss how everyone is getting along both on the job and outside of it. We also have a yearly meeting without PI’s to discuss wellbeing at work, and think of suggestions how to improve this.



  • We highly value the wellbeing of our colleagues in the lab. The department has a dedicated wellbeing committee that convenes every year to discuss existing issues and implementations of an action plan to improve employee wellbeing in the department. The PI’s and multiple members of each lab are present at these meetings. Before the yearly meeting, the aforementioned lab-meeting on wellbeing is organized to get an idea of existing issues.
  • Furthermore, we organize yearly reflection meetings between each doctoral and postdoctoral researcher and their supervisor to discuss wellbeing, plans and ambitions. The university also offers a number of contacts for employees to flag issues or file complaints discretely. More generally, we try to foster an environment wherein employees feel safe to raise issues without repercussions.


Social activities


  • We try to organize occasional social activities with the lab to foster a healthy group dynamic. We have a yearly New Year’s dinner to which also the department’s administrative employees are invited, but will also occasionally go for drinks or dinner after work (e.g., to welcome visiting researchers or wave off those who leave). We also have a lab Whatsapp group (without PI’s) to allow for more informal communication between colleagues.
  • Finally, we organize a yearly, two-day retreat at the start of every academic year, to welcome new members to the team, discuss the research agenda’s for the coming year, and enjoy some time together with the lab.



  • The lab has two main means of communicating lab-related news: our website and Twitter account. Our website features some general information about the lab and its activities, a short (academic) bio for each lab member and a list of publications. Manuscripts that are in press are put on the website, whereas older papers are referred to via the University’s academic bibliography. On Twitter, we also share new publications and other interesting news about the lab (e.g., talks or symposia at conferences).

  • Finally, we also occasionally publish blogposts on the Psychology Today blog. The blog’s readers are mostly not in academia, so this offers a good opportunity to share our research (or other psychology-related topics) to the broader public, and for junior researchers to gain experience doing so.