I am currently employed as a postdoc at the University of Twente to conduct research on the professional identity development of STEM students during their school-work transitions.

I completed my PhD at Cardiff University (UK) in 2015 under supervision of Tony Manstead. In my PhD I investigated how students’ socio-economic background affects their higher education choices and their social and academic adjustment at university. From 2015 to 2018 I worked as a Research Fellow at Sussex University (UK) to conduct a RCT at 29 secondary schools to examine the impact of a self-affirmation intervention on exam grades in pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds.


  • Psychology

    • Socioeconomic Status
    • Peers
    • Wellbeing
    • Quality
    • Quality of Life
    • Workplace
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance

    • Benefits
    • Knowledge


I am a social psychologist, who investigates how identity and identity change processes mediate the relationships between societal and educational contexts to well-being outcomes. In my research projects I focus on social identity and identity change in adolescents and young adults in education transitions. In addition, I examine how identity processes contribute to achievement gaps between social groups.


‘People like me don’t do well at school’: The roles of identity compatibility and school context in explaining the socioeconomic attainment gapBritish journal of educational psychology, 92(3), 1178-1195. Easterbrook, M. J., Nieuwenhuis, M., Fox, K. J., Harris, P. R. & Banerjee, R.https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12494A conceptual replication study of a self-affirmation intervention to improve the academic achievement of low-income pupils in EnglandEducational research and evaluation, 27(1-2), 83-116. See, B. H., Morris, R., Gorard, S., Siddiqui, N., Easterbrook, M. J., Nieuwenhuis, M., Fox, K., Harris, P. R. & Banerjee, R.https://doi.org/10.1080/13803611.2021.2022317
Self-affirmation reduces the socioeconomic attainment gap in schools in EnglandBritish journal of educational psychology, 90(2), 517-536. Hadden, I. R., Easterbrook, M. J., Nieuwenhuis, M., Fox, K. J. & Dolan, P.https://doi.org/10.1111/bjep.12291How to stimulate collaboration and performance of highly diverse student teams in engineering education?In Engaging, Engineering, Education: Book of Abstracts, SEFI 48th Annual Conference University of Twente (online) (pp. 1442-1443). University of Twente. Endedijk, M., Nieuwenhuis, M., van Veelen, R., van Rees, M., Maas, B., van Hattum-Janssen, N. & Aarntzen, L.Shaping Talent, A needs analysis into students’ talent identification and development at the University of Twente. Nieuwenhuis, M. & Endedijk, M.

Other contributions


  • Nieuwenhuis, M., Manstead, A.S.R. & Easterbrook, M.J. (under review). Accounting for unequal access to higher education: The role of social identity factors.
  • Galvin, J., Nieuwenhuis, M., Phillips, B., Thain, L. & Kokkori, C. (2015). Students' perceptions of tuition fees: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. British Journal of Education, Society & Behavioural Science, 10(2), 1-15. doi:10.9734/BJESBS/2015/18981
  • Nieuwenhuis, M., Knight, C., Postmes, T. & Haslam, S. A. (2014). The relative benefits of green versus lean office space: Three field experiments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 20(3), 199-214. doi: 10.1037/xap0000024 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264395358_The_Relative_Benefits_of_

Book Chapters

  • Easterbrook, M.J., Hadden, I. & Nieuwenhuis, M. (under review). Sociocultural factors and psychological processes underlying educational inequalities between social classes. In: J. Jetten, & K. Peters (Eds.) The Social Psychology of Inequality.
  • Nieuwenhuis, M., Postmes, T., & Bosveld, W. (2011). Afwijzing door ingroep en outgroep: De invloed van buurteffecten op identificatie en welbevinden In: B. Derks, R-J. Renes, K. Ruys, N. van der Ven, & M. Vliek (Eds.) Jaarboek sociale psychologie 2010 (pp. 265-274). Groningen: ASPO pers.

External research reports

  • Nieuwenhuis, M., & Postmes, T. (2012). De gezonde plant ingezet: Een onderzoek naar de invloed van planten op de werkvloer. Groningen: s.n.
  • Nieuwenhuis, M., & Postmes, T. (2011). Grensoverschrijdend gedrag onder Groningse studenten: Een onderzoek naar omvang, trends en verklarende factoren  Groningen: Instituut voor Sociale Weerbaarheid (ISW). https://www.rug.nl/about-us/news-and-events/news/archief2011/rapport-grensoverschrijdend-gedrag.pdf

Research profiles

Courses academic year 2023/2024

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 2022/2023

Current projects

Bridge the Gap! Fostering te transition of stem students to the technical labour market

There is a strong shortage of highly educated STEM (Science, Technology, Maths, Engineering) talent in the technical labour market, caused by a 'gap' in STEM students' transition from technical study programs to the workplace. This project takes a professional identity approach to understand career exploration and choices among STEM students during their transition from study to work. Professionals who are able to formulate a clear answer to this question, have a strong sense of their professional identity. A strong professional identity is important, because it helps to boost self-confidence as a professional, it contributes to stable career choices and more optimal work performance . As part of this project and instrument called the Career Compass has been developed. The Career Compass provides insights in the professional identity of technical students and professionals. The project has three main goals: 1) To provide insight in crucial phases and critical events in the development of the professional identity and its impact on making career choices, 2) to establish the context factors in educational and technical environments that influence professional identity development, related to career choices among different types of professionals, and 3) to design and test tools and interventions to support students and. young professionals to develop self-knowledge and self-confidence in their professional profile.


University of Twente

Cubicus (building no. 41), room C139
De Zul 10
7522 NJ Enschede

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