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Joint Student Projects

To facilitate investigation of problems across disciplines, RICH promotes the development of research projects (e.g. thesis or internship) with joint, interfaculty supervision.

The development of a viable joint student project requires a few basic elements which we call the REDS, namely the research question, the expertise/methodology, the data, and the students. Our RICH network consists of researchers and students providing one or multiple of these elements, such that we are able to connect said individuals with each other to facilitate collaboration. However, we are always looking for more members to expand our network. See below for more information on how to get involved.


Students participating in these unique RICH projects will undertake research jointly supervised by an interfaculty collaboration. In addition to carrying out your own project, you will also work with the members of your team to serve as a bridge linking your respective disciplines via the common perspective of complexity. This interaction will provide ample opportunity for exposure to the broader context in which Complexity Science is being applied while simultaneously nurturing the growth of your professional network.

All RICH students and supervisors will have the opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with each other at regular workgroup meetings throughout the year, which are organized and attended by the faculties involved.

Are you a student who might be interested in participating in an interfaculty project?

Click here to see our current available projects.

Wondering what it's like to be a student in the RICH community?
Click here to read a few quotes from Marieke Glazenburg,

one of our former student members!

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Students Writing on Board

Completed RICH student projects

Click on the project's title to read it!

Marieke Glazenburg - Phase Transitions in Psychopathology (supervised by Dr. Luca Consoli & Dr. Alix McCollam)

Jolien Venhuizen - Multilayer Network Analysis with Psychological Data: Promises and Pitfalls (supervised by Dr. Fred Hasselman, Nina de Boer and Dr. Leon de Bruin)

...4 more projects are underway and will be uploaded soon...


As a RICH project supervisor, you will connect with other RICH members to form an interfaculty collaboration with the aim of supervising a joint research project of one or more students. You will co-supervise the student(s) to exchange expertise and to better understand the way complexity is used in other disciplines. These insights are intended to allow for new ways to approach long-standing problems.

A minimum of two supervisors from different faculties are required to start a RICH student project. A proposal will be approved according to the curriculum regulations of the faculty in which the students will finally graduate.

Are you a researcher and do you have a project in mind?

Send us a one-pager or proposal draft so we can help you get the ball rolling.

Click here to download a template you can fill out.

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Potential projects

Need inspiration? Below are some potential topics for RICH projects:

Abstract Lights
  • What are complexity methods?

As new concepts continue to emerge, the boundaries of the field of Complexity Science are quickly expanding, making the question of exactly what methodology lies under the umbrella of complexity methods a highly relevant question. From philosophical and theoretical standpoint, this is a valuable avenue of exploration. In this project, you will be guided by experts in philosophy of mind and cognition, philosophy of science and analytical metaphysics to critically investigate questions like: “What makes a method truly complexity-based?”, “What families of complexity methods exist and how they are related to one another?”, and importantly, “In what context are certain complexity methods suited to provide novel solutions to the big questions of our time?” During this project, you will gain experience in conceptual analysis and conceptual translation between different scientific disciplines.

  • Do you speak Complexity?

A fundamental step in realizing the maximal potential of Complexity Science in finding solutions to the big issues of today is coming to a common understanding of the vocabulary that is used in sometimes different ways in different fields. By building a ‘linguistic bridge’ for complexity terminology across multiple disciplines, we can facilitate the fluid exchange of methods and techniques to find answers to long-standing questions. In this project, you will work on the translation and harmonization of terms from different complexity methodologies used in different research fields. You will build from the fundamental definitions used in physics and extend these to another field. This project offers fluency in the language of complexity and the knowledge to apply the right concepts to the right big problem. Questions like, “What is emergence?”, “What is resilience?”, and “What is an order parameter and how can I identify it in my current problem?” will be explored from multiple perspectives.

  • Do ‘all roads lead to Rome’ in solving global challenges?

If we apply multiple methods in the toolbox of Complexity Science to the COVID-19 pandemic, will we arrive at the same conclusion? The expertise from multiple disciplines present within the RICH Network makes exploring questions like these possible. In this project, you can work as part of a multidisciplinary team of students investigating significant challenges such as the Corona crisis through the lens of Complexity Science. You could utilize methods like ‘group model building’ to map out the key factors for its persistence or computational modeling to simulate the outcomes of several viable scenarios.

  • The biggest health-related challenge in aging: Dementia

Dementia is one of the most formidable health problems in aging. Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are among the most invalidating and burdensome sequelae of dementia. They can be difficult to predict in onset and resolution as well as very treatment resistant. This interdisciplinary RICH project aims to study and model the dynamics of NPS as emergent patterns arising from multiscale interactions within a complex system. In this project, you could gain experience in modeling NPS using several exciting methods, including epidemiological trajectory modeling, systems dynamics modeling, and symptom network modeling using simulated and empirical data. One possible outcome would be to determine if and how dementia severity influences the strength of the symptom-symptom correlations and if other characteristics (e.g., informal caregiver interaction) act as resilience factors.

  • Stability landscapes of patient-reported outcomes

Are there certain self-reported ratings of health that are more likely than others? In this project, you will have the chance to explore patient-reported outcomes from a multidimensional stability landscape perspective. That is, when given the chance to rate their quality of life, life satisfaction, or other health dimensions, are there certain score combinations that patients tend gravitate towards while other combinations are rarer? You will explore this qualitatively, using ‘group model building’ or interviews and quantitatively from a computational modeling perspective, where different places where patients’ ratings of these dimensions cluster could be used to better understand the stability of an individual patient’s state. You will gain experience in creating conceptual models for visualizing clinically relevant issues.

... to be continued

We will be updating this list along the way and could use your help! Let us know about your ideas for topics so we can add them and inspire others.

Interested in RICH?

Feel free to contact us! We'll be happy to chat, meet,  and  collaborate,

Looking forward to being in contact with you!

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