I am an Assistant Professor at Erasmus University College, the international honour’s college of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Here I coordinate and teach courses on research design and quantitative/ qualitative methods. Combining the disciplines of public health and medical sociology, I do research on a) how social environments influence people’s health behaviours (e.g. physical activity) and b) how this knowledge can be used to design preventive interventions.

During my PhD (completed in 2014) I worked at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of Erasmus Medical Center and at the Department of Organization Sciences of the  VU University Amsterdam. Wedged in between a medical and a social science faculty, I looked at how women’s chances of a healthy pregnancy were influenced by the neighbourhood in which they live as well as their social network, and how the organisation of prenatal health care could be improved.

research interests

  • Ecological/multilevel research
  • Health promotion
  • Translation of science to policy; valorisation
  • Behavioral economics for health promotion
  • Impact and process evaluation (example of project)
  • Prenatal health

current research projects

  • ‘Increasing coordination performance between medical professions through organisational practices: a randomised trial’ (abstract)
  • Designing multilevel interventions to improve health behaviors
  • Using nudges to prevent depression

papers & co 

Posthumus, Anke G., Schölmerich, Vera LN et al. “The Association of Ethnic Minority Density with Late Entry into Antenatal Care in the Netherlands.” PloS one 10.4 (2015). (open access version)

Schölmerich, V.L.N. (2014, November 18). Born into Inequality. Erasmus University Rotterdam. (PhD thesis, download here)

Schölmerich VLN, Posthumus AG, Ghorashi H, Waelput AJM, Groenewegen P, Denktaş S. (2014) Improving interprofessional coordination in Dutch midwifery and obstetrics: a qualitative study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2014, 14:145 (open access version)

Schölmerich VLN, Erdem Ö, Borsboom G, Ghorashi H, Groenewegen P, Steegers EAP, Kawachi I, Denktas S. (2014) The Association of Neighborhood Social Capital and Ethnic (Minority) Density with Pregnancy Outcomes in the Netherlands. PLoS ONE 9(5): e95873. (open access version)

Peters IA, Schölmerich VLN, Veen van DW, Steegers EAP, Denktaş S. (2014) Recruitment of non-Western ethnic minority participants for reproductive health peer education. Journal for Multicultural Education. In Press.

Posthumus AG, Schölmerich VLN, Waelput AJ, Vos AA, De Jong-Potjer LC, Bakker R, Bonsel GJ, Groenewegen P, Steegers EAP, Denktaş S (2013). Bridging Between Professionals in Perinatal Care: Towards Shared Care in The Netherlands. Maternal and child health journal. (abstract and link to open access version)

Denktaş S, Jong-Potjer LC, Waelput AJM, Temel S, Voorst van SF, Vos AA, Schölmerich VLN, Bonsel GJ, Kooy van der J, Quispel C, Poeran VJJ, Peters IA, Vujkovic M, Bakker R, Steegers EAP (2012). Preconception Care: A Review of the Evidence, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. (pdf)