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Dr. Wander v. der Vaart

Wander v. der Vaart

Universitair hoofddocent wetenschapstheorie, methodologie en onderzoeksleer

Directeur Graduate School, UvH






wetenschappelijk personeel


Wander van der Vaart is Associate Professor Social Research Methodology at the University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Director of the university's Graduate School.

He has a background in quantitative and qualitative research methods, political science and psychology.  His main interests are in mixed-methods research, flexible survey designs, social and cognitive aspects of survey methodoloy, data collection, and specific approaches that are adequate for hard-to-study populations .

His research is embedded in the university’s research program ‘A meaningful life in a just and caring society’. Scientific publications appear both in methods oriented journals (e.g., on data collection) and in merely substantive journals (e.g.: on ageing, well-being)

Van der Vaart is Vice-President for Finance of RC33-ISA, the Research Committee on Logic and Methodology of the International Sociological Association.


Flexible (survey) interviewing methods and procedures in hard-to-reach populations. 
- with: Dr. Melissa Quetulio-Navarra, Presidential Commission of the Urban Poor (PCUP), Manila, Philippines (calendar tools and third-party help in surveys); Prof. dr. Giampietro Gobo, University of Milan, Dpt of Philosophy (merged qualitative/quantitative methods); and Claudy Weijers, University of Humanistic Studies (third-party help in interviews).

Using landmark events and event history approaches to enhance autobiographical memory in survey research.
- with: Prof. Dr. Robert F. Belli, University of Nebraska Lincoln; Dr. Tina Glasner, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht; Dr. Yfke Ongena, University of Groningen, Faculty of Arts, Chair Group Communication Studies

Methodological Issues in Surveying Older people: data collection and sampling.
- with: Dr. Emanuela Sala, University of Milano-Bicocca, Dpt of Sociology and Social Research; Prof. dr. Martin Weichbold, University of Salzburg, Dpt of Political Science and Sociology; Dr. Annette Scherpenzeel, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging; Jan-Lucas Schanze, Msc, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Mannheim; Dr. Tina Glasner, University of Humanistic Studies.


Hendrick, L.H, Opdenakker, M.C, and Van der Vaart, W. (2023). Students' academic engagement during COVID-19 times: A Mixed-Methods study into relatedness and loneliness during the pandemic. Frontiers in Psychology. 14:1221003. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1221003.

Van der Vaart, W., Machielse, A., & Klaassens, J. (2022d). Good practices on ‘social inclusion through meaningful ageing’: An analysis of six case studies in Europe. Brussels, SeeMe consortium: European report 3.
Machielse, A., Van der Vaart, W., & Klaassens, J. (2022b)Optimising caregiving competences and skills of professional, volunteer and informal caregivers. Brussels, SeeMe consortium: European report 2.

Gobo, G., Fielding, N. G., La Rocca, G., & Van der Vaart, W. (2022). Merged Methods: A Rationale for Full Integration. London, etc.: SAGE. (ISBN 978-1-5297-1774-7 / 978-1-5297-1773-0)

Machielse A., & Van der Vaart, W. (2020). Improving Social Quality in Housing Complexes for Older Adults: Professional Support as a Necessary Condition.  Journal of Aging and Environment. DOI: 10.1080/02763893.2019.1684414.

Simons, I., Van der Vaart, W., Vermeiren, R., Rigter, H., Breuk, R., Van Domburgh, L & Mulder, E. (2019). Parental participation in juvenile justice institutions: parents’ perspectives on facilitating and hindering factors. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 18 (2), 124-137. DOI: 10.1080/14999013.2018.1526231

Van der Vaart,  W. & Van Oudenaarden, R. M (2018). The Practice of Dealing with Existential Questions in Long-Term Elderly Care. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Health & Well-being, 13 (1): 1508197. DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2018.1508197.
Simons, I., Van der Vaart, W., Mulder, E., Rigter, H., Breuk, R., Van Domburgh,, L & Vermeiren, R. (2018). Parents’ perspectives on family-centered care in juvenile justice institutions. Juvenile and Family Court Journal, 69(3), 39-54. DOI: 10.1111/jfcj.12115. 

Quetulio-Navarra, M., Niehof, A., Van der Vaart, W., Van der Horst, H.M., & Moerbeek, H. (2018). History and Institutions in the Rebuilding of Social Capital After Forced Resettlement in the Philippines and Indonesia. The Journal of Development Studies, 54, 8, 1392-1405. Published online 2017.07.06. DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2017.1336540.

Simons, I., Mulder, E., Rigter, H., Breuk, R., Van der Vaart, W., & Vermeiren, R. (2016). Family-centered care in juvenile justice institutions: a mixed-methods study protocol. Journal of Medical Internet Research, JMIR Research Protocols, 5 (3), e:177. Published 12.09.16.  DOI: 10.2196/resprot.5938.  

Quetulio-Navarra, M., Van der Vaart, W. & Niehof, A. (2015). Can ‘Third-Party Help’ Improve Data Quality in Research Interviews? A Natural Experiment in a Hard to Study Population. Field Methods, 27(4), 426-440. 

Glasner, T.J., Van der Vaart, W. & Dijkstra, W. (2015). Calendar Instruments in Retrospective Web Surveys. Field Methods, 27(3), 265-283. 

Van der Vaart, W, Glasner, T. and Belli, R. F. (2014). Tailoring data collection methods to hard-to-examine populations: the use of life events as recall aids in survey research. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanity Studies, 6 (1), 116-128 . 

Quetulio-Navarra, M., Niehof, A., Van der Horst, H.M., & Van der Vaart, W. (2014). Short-term Risk Experience of Involuntary Resettled Households in the Philippines and Indonesia. Habitat International, 41 (1), 165-175. 

Quetulio-Navarra, M., Niehof, A., &. Van der Vaart, W. (2013). Social Capital in Involuntary Displacement and Resettlement. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanity Studies,  5 (2), 139-154 . ISSN: 1309-8063.

Glasner, T.J., Van der Vaart, W. & Belli, R.F. (2012). The use of landmark events as memory aids: Implications for international surveys. Bulletin de Méthodologie Sociologique, 115 (3-4), 45-52.

Van der Vaart, W. & Glasner, T. (2011). Personal Landmarks as Recall Aids in Survey Interviews. Field Methods, 23 (1), 37-56.

Van der Vaart, W, Glasner, T. & Belli, R. F. (2010). The Use of Landmark Events in EHC-Interviews to Enhance Recall Accuracy. In JSM Proceedings, Statistical Computing Section. Alexandria, VA: American Statistical Association, pp. 6280-6293 

Van der Vaart, W. (2009). Enhancing Long-Term Memory for Attitudes in Survey Research: Can a Cue-List Help? A Field Experiment on Aided Recall. Journal of Official Statistics, 25, (3), 363-378.

Glasner, T.J., & Van der Vaart, W. (2009). Applications of Calendar Instruments in Social Surveys. A Review. Quality and Quantity, 43 (3), 333-349.

 Van der Vaart, W., & Glasner, T.J. (2007). Applying a Timeline as a Recall Aid in a Telephone Survey: A Record Check Study. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21 (2), 217-238. 

Van der Vaart, W., Ongena, Y.P., Hoogendoorn, A.W., & W. Dijkstra (2006). Do Interviewer Voice Characteristics Influence Cooperation Rates in Telephone Interviews? International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 18 (4), 488 – 499.

Van der Vaart, W. (2004). The Time-line as a Device to Enhance Recall in Standardized Research Interviews: A Split Ballot Study. Journal of Official Statistics, 20 (2), 301-317.

Research Portal University of Humanistic Studies


  • Examinator en docent "Methoden van Onderzoek naar Burgerschap en Kwaliteit van Samenleven" (MO-BKS)
  • Examinator en docent "Praktijkgericht Mixed-Methods Onderzoek" (M3-ONDZ3)
  • Coördinator en docent "Survey Research and Mixed Methods", Graduate School, yr 2-4
  • Docent "Social Research Methodology and the Research Proposal", Graduate School, yr 1
  • Begeleiding promotieonderzoek
  • Begeleiding afstudeeronderzoek

Lidmaatschappen en functies

  • Vice-president for Finance of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee on Logic and Methodology (ISA-RC33)
  • Member editorial board of peer-reviewed journal “Survey Methods", Mannheim / Lausanne . 
  • Referee for peer reviewed scientific journals: Family Planning Studies, Survey Methods, Field Methods, Public Opinion Quarterly, Applied Cognitive Psychology, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, Journal of Official Statistics, Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.