prof.dr. E. Giebels (Ellen)

Full Professor

About Me

I am a Dutch psychologist (PhD, University of Groningen 1999) interested in human reactions and social interactions in high-risk, high-stakes situations. Key topics are:

  • Conflict and negotiation
  • Crime and deception
  • Coping and resilience
  • Social context of risk


About two decades ago, I became passionate about the field of hostage negotiations leading to collaboration with hostage negotiation teams from all over the world. I worked for a year within the Belgian Federal Police (Behavioural Science Unit) and still teach in the national Dutch hostage negotiation course. In 2015, I was part of the research team that officially evaluated the Dutch governmental functioning following the MH17 disaster. In 2017-2018, I chaired an independent committee commissioned by the State Secretary (Ministry of Defence) investigating the social safety climate within the Military (Committee Giebels).


In 2012, I received the RUBIN theory-to-practice award, co-sponsored by the International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) and the Harvard University Program on Negotiation. In 2017, I was elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. In 2019, I initiated the development of an innovative theatre program about academic integrity and “working life” in academia named Mindlab.


As a vice-dean of research at the Faculty of Behavioral, Management, and Social Sciences (2014-2022), I co-initiated a program on more cross-disciplinary research cooperation including a strong connection with technology (Tech4People program), and founded the BMSlab.


Additional roles/appointments

2019-           Member task force NWA route NeurolabNL-theme safety and security

2018-           Scientific Advisory Board of U-Today

2017- 2022   Board member Kurt Lewin Institute (KLI)

2011-2020  Head of Department Psychology of Conflict, Risk & Safety

Ancillary Activities

  • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
    Raad van Toezicht
  • LOWI (on behalf of NWO)
    Raad van Advies
  • TNO Defensie & Veiligheid
    Lid Strategische Adviesraad


Hope, L., Anakwah, N., Antfolk, J., Brubacher, S. P., Flowe, H., Gabbert, F. , Giebels, E., Kanja, W., Korkman, J., Kyo, A., Naka, M., Otgaar, H., Powell, M. B., Selim, H., Skrifvars, J., Sorkpah, I. K., Sowatey, E. A., Steele, L. C., Stevens, L., ... Wells, S. (2022). Urgent issues and prospects at the intersection of culture, memory, and witness interviews: Exploring the challenges for research and practice. Legal and criminological psychology, 27(1), 1-31. https://doi.org/10.1111/lcrp.12202
van 't Klooster, J-W. , Giebels, E. , Slijkhuis, P. J. H. , Langener, S. , Nijen Es, L. , Beerlage-de Jong, N. , & van Gemert-Pijnen, L. (2020). Research on the road using the ExperiVan. In Supporting Health by Technology: Supporting Health by Technology International Conference 11-6-2020: Abstract book (pp. 44-44). University of Twente.
de Graaff, M. , Giebels, E., Meijer, D. J. W., & Verweij, D. E. M. (2019). Sensemaking in Military Critical Incidents: The Impact of Moral Intensity. Business & society, 58(4), 749-778. https://doi.org/10.1177/0007650316680996
Other Contributions

Other publications (selection)

UT Research Information System

Google Scholar Link


Ellen Giebels is involved in teaching for the courses and programmes listed below and is also supervision of Bachelor and Master Theses for these programmes.

Affiliated Study Programmes



Courses Academic Year  2022/2023

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2021/2022


PhD project supervision

  • Jedidjah Schaaij - Intelligence led policing with a database of crisis negotiation incidents. Co-supervisor: dr. Miriam Oostinga (UT). Project in cooperation with police negotiation practitioners, the Police Academy and the UK police (Lou Provart Msc). Defense expected in 2026/2027.
  • Michalis Georgiou- TORN- Towards resilient negotiating with ransomware criminals. Co-supervisors: dr. Miriam Oostinga (UT) & dr. Remco Spithoven (Saxion University of applied sciences). This project is part of the research program of the Centre for Security and Digitization.https://www.cvdnederland.nl/. Defense expected in 2026/2027.
  • Henrike Fitchen -Enabling strategic adaptability in negotiation  - A reflective method to improve skill-based learning. Co-supervisors: dr. Niels Pulles, dr. Bas Kollofel (both UT) and dr. Aldis Sigurdardottir (University of Reykjavik). Defense expected in 2025/2026.
  • Bas Boing - Discussing the elephant in the room: police officers and ethnic profiling debate. Co-supervisor: dr. Peter de Vries (UT). Defense expected 2024.
  • Peter Slijkhuis - discrepancies between subjective and objective methods in deception research. Co-supervisor: dr. Marielle Stel and dr. Steven Watson (both UT). Defense expected in 2024.
  • Florian Bonensteffen - Developing a tool for online victim-offender mediation. Co-supervisors:  prof.dr. Sven Zebel (UT/VU) and prof. dr. Marielle Stoelinga (UT). Defense expected in 2023.
  • Marian van Dijk - Early triage by Internet in societal conflicts. Defense expected in 2023. Co-supervisor: prof.dr. Sven Zebel (UT/VU).
  • Anja Jansen - Eyes in the skies: exploring the effects of social presence cues on undesired and prosocial behavior. Successfully defended on 29 January 2021. Co-supervisor: dr. Thomas van Rompay (UT) and prof.dr. Marianne Junger (UT).
  • Wendy Scheurs Crossing lines together- how and why citizens participate in the police domain. Co-supervisor: prof. dr. Jose Kerstholt (UT/TNO) and dr. Peter de Vries (UT). Successfully defended on 1 November 2019.
  • Marije Bakker Turning crisis into opportunity. Co-supervisors:  dr. Marco van Bommel (UT) and prof. dr. Jose Kerstholt (UT/TNO). Successfully defended on 5 April 2018.
  • Miriam Oostinga - Breaking the ice. Error management in law enforcement interactions. Co-supervisor: prof.dr. Paul J. Taylor (University of Lancaster and UT). Successfully defended on 29 March 2018.
  • Milou Kievik - The time of telling tales. The determinants of effective risk communication. Successfully defended on 16 November 2017. Co-supervisor: dr. Jan Gutteling (UT).
  • Moritz Romer - None of my business? Leaders as third parties in employee' conflict. Succesfully defended on 5 July 2017 (KU Leuven). Co-supervisors: dr. Sonja Rispens (Eindhoven University of Technology) and prof. dr. Martin Euwema (KULeuven).
  • Femke Hilverda - Making sense of food risk information: The case of organic food.Succesfully defended on 28 February 2017. Co-supervisor: dr. Margot Kuttschreuter (UT).
  • Miriam de Graaff - Moral Forces: interpreting ethical challenges in military operations.Succesfully defended on 12 January 2017. Co-supervisor: prof.dr. Desiree Verweij (Netherlands Defense Academy).
  • Sabine Ströfer - Deceptive intent: Physiological reactions in different interpersonal contexts. Successfully defended on 18 February 2016. Co-supervisors: dr. Elze Ufkes and dr. Matthijs Noordzij (both UT).
  • Kim van Erp- When Worlds Collide: The Role of Justice, Conflict and Personality for Expatriate Couples’ Adjustment. Successfully defended on 20 January 2011. Co-supervisors: prof.dr. Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee and dr. Marijtje van Duijn (both University of Groningen).
  • Elze Ufkes - Neighbor-to-neighbor conflicts in multicultural neighborhoods.Successfully defended on 6 January 2011. Co-supervisors: prof.dr. Sabine Otten and prof.dr. Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee (both University of Groningen).
  • Karlijn Beune - Talking heads. Interviewing suspects from a cultural perspective. Successfully defended on 1 October 2009 (distinction: cum laude).

In the press

The media has paid attention to my scientific work, which appeared in e.g.: Research Digest, New Scientist, NRC Handelsblad, Volkskrant, Trouw, Nederlands Dagblad, Dagblad van het Noorden, Gelderse Courant, Algemeen Dagblad, ADR magazine, Recherchemagazine, Intermediair, www.peterrdevries.nl7Days, Kuwait Times, Le Devoir, penoactueel, Forum voor conflictmanagement, Nationale zorggids, MT management team, Tijdschrift conflicthantering, Tubantia, Libelle, BN De Stem, De Stentor, Dagblad van het Noorden.

Following the publication of our report on the social safety climate in the Military, I was interviewed by the NOS NEWS, RTLNews, Hart van Nederland (TV) and NPO and BNR (Radio).



Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus (building no. 41), room C243B
De Zul 10
7522NJ  Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Cubicus  C243B
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

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