Like most websites, the website of the University of Humanistic Studies uses cookies. Dutch regulations require websites to ask for approval the first time the site is visited. More information

End of Life, Bereavement & Informal Care - Place for one or two external PhD students


Prof Anne Goossensen

ChairInformal Care & Care Ethics
Supervisors Prof. dr. Anne Goossensen

Field of Research:  Compassion, Care Ethics & Informal Care

Here, prospective PhD students are welcome, with an interest in existential themes, such as death, dying and grief. In addition to a phenomenological exploration of how people cope with these experiences, the focus is on engagement and support within communities. How can citizens, loved ones and volunteers be of value? What conceptualisation of their contribution helps in this regard? And how can 'compassionate communities' or 'communities with a heart' add value?

Central topics for PhD projects will focus on volunteering, compassionate communities, palliative care settings, new developments in care for people with grief through bereavement. 

More specifically: informal care, listening, being there, presence, existential loneliness, rituals, bereavement, dignity.

Research designs are often qualitative: phenomenological or ethnographic, using methods as in depth interviewing, shadowing, touch point methodology, appreciative inquiry or analysis of ego documents. 

Research projects can be executed in different care sectors, such as: palliative care, bereavement care, mental health care, elderly care or hospital care.

Examples of research questions

- What is the role of symbolization in processes of grief after bereavement?

- How to evaluate and improve compassion in a compassionate community project? 

- How can listening intelligence be assessed and improved within a palliative care setting?

- What is the value of dignity therapy for individuals that experience grief after bereavement?

- What are elements of ritualization in the work of celebrants that foster transition in bereaved people?

Place for:

One or two external PhD students

Contact and information

Supervised by professor Anne Goossensen.