Femke Nijboer is an assistant professor in the Biomedical Signals and Systems (BSS) group at the University of Twente (Enschede, the Netherlands).  In May 2008 she obtained a PhD in Neuroscience (magna cum laude) at the International Max Planck Research School for Neural and Behavioral Sciences. She has conducted extensive and widely cited clinical work with brain-computer interfaces for patients with neuromuscular disorders (and locked-in patients) at the Institute for Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology of the University of Tübingen. She the winner of the Tursky Award (2006) for Excellence in pre-doctoral research. In 2011 she was awarded with an NWO-Veni grant to develop novel technology assessment tools to investigate ethical, legal and societal issues of research and development of neurotechnologies and to bring together stakeholders from various disciplines. In 2015 she was awarded with the l’Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award for a 5-month fellowship at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (Sept 2016 – Jan 2017). Nijboer currently investigates smart coaching strategies for e-health and telemedicine.  
Her work is a cross-over of human-computer interaction, neuroengineering, e-health, telemedicine and ethics.


  • Elderly
  • Loneliness
  • Malnutrition
  • Happy Eating
  • Accessibility
  • Inclusion
  • Resilience
  • Empowerment
  • Art as a research tool in science
  • Co-creation, codesign
  • Codesign at distance due to Covid-19


Involving Older Adults during COVID-19 Restrictions in Developing an Ecosystem Supporting Active Aging: Overview of Alternative Elicitation Methods and Common Requirements from Five European CountriesFrontiers in psychology, 13, Article 818706, 1-14. Mooses, K., Camacho, M., Cavallo, F., Burnard, M. D., Dantas, C., D'Onofrio, G., Fernandes, A., Fiorini, L., Gama, A., Penandres Gomez, A., Gonzales, L., Guardado, D., Iqbal, T., Sanchez Melero, M., Melero Muñoz, F. J., Moreno Muro, F. J., Nijboer, F., Ortet, S., Rovini, E., … Taveter, K.https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.818706Best Practices and Lessons Learned for Action Research in eHealth Design and Implementation: Literature ReviewJournal of medical internet research, 24(1), Article e31795. Oberschmidt, K., Grünloh, C., Nijboer, F. & van Velsen, L.https://doi.org/10.2196/preprints.31795

Research profiles


Current projects


Maintaining Optimal Cognitive function In Ageing

The MOCIA research programme aims at being able to signal an increased risk of cognitive decline and to improve prevention by developing a personalised lifestyle intervention. MOCIA stands for ‘Maintaining Optimal Cognitive function In Ageing’. As part of a global initiative, we will be testing a multi-domain lifestyle intervention in Dutch older adults. We will additionally focus on individual differences, predictive factors, biological mechanisms, behavioural change, and e-Health technology. During the seven-year programme (2020-2027), our MOCIA research will result in a predictive, preventive, personalised and participatory multidomain lifestyle intervention for older adults at risk of cognitive decline. One of the MOCIA outcomes consists of a personalised eHealth intervention module that, with the help of feedback on validated predictive measures, can help older adults at home to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle for optimal cognitive health. The project is funded by the NWO crossover programme, which has the aim to strengthen the Dutch knowledge and innovation system with public-private partnerships. The MOCIA public-private partnership consists of various academic institutions and societal and industrial partners.


Pilots for active and healthy aging

PHArA-ON’s overall objective is to make smart and active living for Europe’s ageing population a reality by creating a set of integrated, highly customizable and interoperable open platforms with advanced services, devices, and tools including IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, cloud/edge computing, smart wearables, big data, and intelligent analytics. Data privacy, cybersecurity, interoperability and openness will be key design principles to pursue through the requirements generated by PHArA-ON experts. PHArA-ON will be built upon mature existing state-of-the-art open platforms and technologies/tools provided by the partners, which will be customised and will implement cloud technologies, AI techniques and traditional algorithms for big data intelligent analytics. A user-centric approach will be followed.

Assistant professor, columnist and public speaker

  • Brain-Computer interfaces
  • Brainhacking
  • Locked-in syndrome
  • e-Health
  • Neurotechnology
  • Ethics

In the press

  • 2018 Nieuwe technologieën geven mensen met locked-insyndroom weer hoop. Trouw. 
  • 2018 Paul (47) is volledig verlamd, maar niet zielig: 'Je moet er het beste van maken'. RTL Nieuws.
  • 2017 Computer Idee. Helemaal Zen. 
  • 2017 BNR Radio. Interview. 
  • 2016 De Volkskrant. Opiniestuk: Een spraakcomputer lost niet alle problemen op.
  • 2016 Newsletter Leiden University. De Honours Academy is een proeftuin.
  • 2016 Radio. NOS Met het oog op morgen. 
  • 2016 Mare Online. Krijgers op de Catwalk. 2016 Newsletter Leiden University. Een geluid van mensen met locked-in syndroom. 
  • 2015 Mare Online. Liever geen robot look.
  • 2015 ANP. Vrouwen in top wetenschap nog steeds schaars. 
  • 2015 Brabant Dagblad. Topvrouwen slaan de gong. 2015 AD Haagse Courant. Delfste luidt beursgang van de AEX
  • 2015 Trouw. Van Halem en Nijboer
  • 2015 Leidsch Dagblad. Beurs voor topvrouwen
  • 2015  Radio. BNR Gezond. Brain-computer interfaces is meer dan een spelletje. 
  • 2015 Volkskrant. Volledig verlamd en toch gelukkig
  • 2012 VPRO Labyrint. De magie van het brein 
  • 2012  VPRO Labyrint. Napraat sessie
  • 2011 Enschede FM. Interview naar aanleiding van de Veni toekenning.
  • 2010 Tubantia. Grijpen met je hersenen
  • 2007 Wie Handschuhe voll Sand – Leben mit der Krankheit ALS. Film by Reinhild Dettmer-Finke.  


University of Twente

Horst - Zuidhorst (building no. 28)
De Horst 2
7522 LW Enschede

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