The Supervisory Board of VU Amsterdam has appointed Professor of Translational Neuroscience Jeroen Geurts as Rector Magnificus and member of the VU Amsterdam Executive Board. Geurts will assume his new position as of January 15, 2021.

Jeroen Geurts studied neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam and obtained his PhD at VU Amsterdam. He has been Professor of Translational Neuroscience at Amsterdam UMC since 2012. Geurts has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary for several years. In 2013, he became head of the Department of Anatomy & Neuroscience at Amsterdam UMC and since 2010 director of the Brein in Beeld Foundation (Brain in the Picture ed.), a foundation dedicated to translating science to society. Geurts has been a member of the Board of Directors of NWO and chairman of ZonMw since 2017, where he has been involved in the establishment of a unified consortium that advocates new forms of Recognition & Rewarding in science, for example.

Ron Teerlink, Chairman of the VU Amsterdam Supervisory Board, says about the appointment: "With the appointment of Jeroen Geurts, we recruited a top academic with management experience and a vision on education and science. He has experienced the added value of the interdisciplinary way of working and thinking, knows VU Amsterdam and operates in a network that is relevant for us. Enthusiastic and pleasantly energetic, Jeroen Geurts is a rector of a new generation, who can establish the rectorate in a connecting and decisive manner. He combines vision and ambition with an eye for the human dimension.”

Arjen Brussaard, director of the Amsterdam Neuroscience research institute is excited about the appointment of Geurts: “The fact that ‘our’ head of de Department of Anatomy & Neurosciences’ and a respected key opinion leader in Amsterdam UMC, now has been elected to become the next rector of VU Amsterdam is great news. In recent years he did a lot of community service as chair of ZonMw, and his experience as administrator is beyond any dispute. But maybe most striking is that he has been a great ambassador of the field of translational science thus far, which is important to remain open to the collaboration between all disciplines both in fundamental research as well as applied science. His appointment is good for Amsterdam, and it is a great next step for him. A wonderful match in fact.”

Geurts is also looking forward to his new role: "I am very enthusiastic about this unique new position. VU Amsterdam is such a wonderful university, with internationally recognized cross-disciplinary research and education, a unique, diverse student population and a constant focus on complex social issues and generating impact. Matters that already have my attention are the practical translation of the new Recognition & Rewards, as well as the developments of the team science and Open Science. But first and foremost, I’ll be making a big round to listen carefully to what is going on and to get to know everyone better. I’m looking forward to it!

Jeroen Geurts will join VU Amsterdam on January 15, 2022 and will start with an extensive introductory and familiarization period. Until that date, Mirjam van Praag will continue to fulfil the role of Rector Magnificus a.i.

The appointment was prepared by a broad selection advisory committee consisting of members of the Supervisory Board, the President of the Executive Board, representatives of the staff council (OR), the student council (USR), deans and directors of the service departments. The joint meeting (GV) has advised positively on the proposed appointment decision. Earlier, they also advised on the profile of the new rector.

Source: VU Amsterdam