Please, be welcome at the website of the Minerva Scholarship Fund (MSF) foundation.

The MSF is an ANBI* that aims to provide scholarships to students of Leiden University for study and research projects within various academic disciplines. MSF supports outstanding and exclusive scientific projects outside of the Netherlands. In addition, MSF has an open nature. This means that not only members of the Leiden Student Association Minerva [Leidse Studenten Vereniging Minerva] (LSVM) but all students of Leiden University may apply for a scholarship. MSF thus contributes to the self-development of students in Leiden. MSF is an initiative of LSVM and is fully supported by Leiden University.  

An application for a scholarship can be submitted twice a year: deadlines are 15 April and 15 November.

* ANBI stands for Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling [Public Benefit Organisation] by virtue of Section 6.33, letter B, Income Tax Act 2001.

Allocation Committee

Prof. Dr. P.C.W. Hogendoorn – Chairman


Prof. Dr. Hogendoorn studied Medicine at Leiden University and in in March 1999, he was appointed a Pathology professor. In addition, as Dean of the LUMC, he is in the Executive Board of the LUMC. Furthermore, Prof. Dr. Hogendoorn holds guest lectures at the Free University of Brussels and at the University of Oxford. Furthermore, he is the president of the Dutch Commission on Bone Tumours, a member of the Supervisory Committee of the healthcare organisation Pieter van Foreest, of Rijksmuseum Boerhaave, the Royal Dutch Academy of the Sciences and of the University of the Arts, The Hague.


Prof.Dr. C.W.J. Beenakker

Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Prof. Dr. Beenakker completed his studies with distinction in Physics and has been a professor for Theoretical Physics at Leiden University since 1992. He is one of the youngest professors ever appointed in Leiden and is also the first Professor in the theory of Mesoscopic Physics in the Netherlands. Prof. Dr. Beenakker is specialised in the quantum world. He studies the behaviour of the particles and thinks of ways how to develop new technologies. He is currently thinking about ways to build a quantum computer in a laboratory. Internationally, Prof. Dr. Beenakker belongs to the absolute top. 

Prof. Dr. I. Sluiter


Prof. Dr. Sluiter is a Greek language and literature professor at Leiden University. She conducts researches of ideas of ancient times about language, public debates and the use of speech. She also conducts researches of the connection between the classic and the modern world. Furthermore, she’s a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the Royal Dutch Society of Sciences and of the Academia Europaea. She received just recently an honorary doctorate from Bristol University.

mr. T. Bender


Prof. Mr. Bender is associated with the tax law division of Leiden University as an International Tax Law Professor. In addition, she used to work for Loyens & Loeff and PWC as a tax consultant. Furthermore, she was associated with the University of Connecticut as a Visiting Professor and as a Martin-Flynn Global Law Professor. Furthermore, she still has several additional functions, including being a member of the Supervisory Committee of the Dutch Cancer Society, a member of the Supervisory Board Monuta Holding NV and of Monuta Insurances NV as well as a board member of the Luchtmans Foundation.

Prof. Dr. A.J.W. van der Does

Social Sciences

Prof. Dr. van der Does is the president of Clinical Psychology of the Psychology Institute of Leiden University. In addition, he is a scientific adviser of PsyQ, the Psychological Trauma division. He is also a member of the Council for Civil-Military Care and Research as the President of the Programme Advise Commission for Research. Ultimately, Prof. Dr. van der Does is a member of the Scientific Integrity Commission of Leiden University. 

Prof. Dr. A.K. Yesilkagit

Governance and Global Affairs

Prof. Dr. Yesilkagit is an International Governance Professor at the Institute of Public Administration. 

He is driven by his wish to understand how political administrative systems function. His work consists of conducting research and of teaching how politicians, civil servants and public institutions influence the outcome of policy and social events, and thus, the lives of individual citizens and groups. In addition, Prof. Dr. Yesilkagit is a member of the Scientific Integrity Commission of Leiden University. He also takes part in the platform Democracy and Science and he’s a board member of the research committee “Structure and Organization of Government” of the International Political Science Association.


On March 10th 2024:

The MSF is delighted to present the Minerva Scholars of the autumn round in 2023:

Lana Broer, medical student, will complete population-level summary measures of four non-inferiority studies with a time-to-event outcome, resulting in a comparison of success rates in published studies using digitization of Kaplan-Meier plots. She will investigate this at UCL London.

Koen Wijsman, medical student, will conduct research into the predictive value of an automatically calculated and CT-based body composition for survival in patients with duotal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. He will investigate this at the Mayo Clinic Jacksonville.

Tessa Goedhart, student of biopharmaceutical sciences, will conduct research into chorioretinal degeneration and chronic kidney diseases. She will research this at The Queen’s Medical Research Institute.

Benjamin Sluijter, physics student, will conduct research into fundamental physics using machine learning. He will research this at UC Berkeley.

Ieke van Dam, student of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, will conduct research in the form of fieldwork into the way in which the history of colonialism and the land reform process determines the way in which community members relate to their communal ownership of land. She will investigate this in Namibia.

Björn Keyser, Media Technology student, will investigate why magnetism does not make sense by relearning human magnetoreception using sensory substitution. He will research this at the California Institute of Technology.

Marlotte Roldaan, student of Encyclopedia and Philosophy, will conduct research for her master’s thesis, which focuses on the politicization of the American Supreme Court and its significance for the trias politica, independent judiciary and the legal security of American citizens. She will research this at the University of California in the College of the Law.

Esther Fütterer and Tim Möschl, both Governance of Sustainability students, will conduct research into the coexistence of people and nature and the effect of the invasive butterfly flower family Prosopis on this. They will investigate this in Kenya.

Nali Al-Khaledi, a Law student, will study subjects related to the Australian legal system. He will do this at the University of Sydney.

Evenlien Anker, an African Studies student, will research the primary data on morbidity and mortality released by the Ghanaian Ministry of Health. She will investigate this at the Internship University of Winneba.

On January 11th 2024:

This year, the Minerva Scholarship Fund Committee has once again organized the Medical Specialists Dinner. Doctors came into contact with medical students to talk about (and career opportunities in) the medical world. Arjan Lankester, Marie-Jeanne Vrancken Peeters, Patrick Vriens and Elaine van Ee were present as speakers. The Minerva Scholarship Fund would like to thank all attendees – and in particular the speakers – for the very successful evening. Check out this link for some photos that gave an impression of the evening.

On June 8th 2023:

We are proud to announce the Minerva Scholars of the first round of 2023:

Jobke Plaisier, a student biopharmaceutical sciences, will research medicinal targets of induced
pluripotent stem cells at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Michon Leenders, a student of Japanese Studies, will conduct interviews with women of half-Japanese descent in Tokyo and Osaka in order to describe their identity and to make their voices heard.

Hannah Schenk, student of biomedical sciences, will conduct research into the protective role of Hofbauer cells in pregnancy infections
at the University of Cambridge.

Marouane El Boujadayni, chemistry student, will be synthesizing cholesterol esters to investigate γδ t-cells and their role in obesity-related immune dysfunction at Harvard University Lynch Lab.

Lotte Dekker, a tax law student, will immerse herself in subjects about fair applications of corporate law at the University of Oxford.

Daniel Buwalda, a law & society student, will record generational differences
of the appreciation of restorative justice in the aftermath of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Sophie Höfer, a student of liberal arts and sciences, will research the 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and his views on humanity at the Hong Kierkegaard Library in Minnesota.

Eva Vollaers, a public administration student, will study at the Institut d’études politiques in Paris
to learn how to use French perspectives in solving governance issues.

Zeinab Bazzi, a student of constitutional and administrative Law, will Study at the University of Oxford how social security law in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands can involve its citizens more thoroughly.

Janneke Doppenberg, a student of tax law and notarial law, will reflect on the law, where it falls short and can be improved at the University of Oxford.

Marcello Pepe, a student of international psychology, will research the spinal cord response to temperature to better understand the nociceptive component of chronic pain at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig.

Arian Memarpouri, a student of cognitive neuroscience, will investigate the effects of deep brain stimulation on cognitive load in visuomotor tasks in Parkinson’s patients at the Charité Universitätsmedizin in Berlin.

We wish all the new Minerva Scholars the best of luck abroad!

On March 24th 2023:

On March the 17th, the MSF organized a “vriendenborrel” for the second year in a row to keep in touch with its network of scholars, donors, (former) board members and other stakeholders.

During this evening, in addition to a pleasant and informal exchange of experiences about our fund, those present could also listen to presentations by two of our Minerva Scholars.

Franka Wigman told about her internship at the NATO headquarters in Brussels that took place during the beginning of the Russian invasion and Sharina Hamm took us into the world of the psychological research of happiness and decision-making at the prestigious Yale University!

Finally, ideas were exchanged about the fund and its direction with those present through a moderated discussion.

We look back on a pleasant evening and we would like to thank the guests for their input and continued support and the speakers for their fascinating stories. We are already looking forward to the next edition!

On January 19th 2023:

On January 12th, the Minerva Scholarship Fund held a medical specialist dinner. During this evening, doctors, medical students and other relations of our fund were able to converse about various medical topics. There were also presentations by three enthusiastic speakers:

Professor Dr. Meta Roestenberg kicked off the evening by speaking with great passion about the experiences within her translational research group and experimental studies on how natural and vaccine-induced immunity against infectious diseases originate. Doctor Bram den Dekker told how his MSF grant brought him to Oxford to research the OrganOx, a pump that can ‘keep alive’ the liver outside of a body. Finally, Professor Dr. Johanneke Portielje spoke with great enthusiasm about her career as a geriatric oncologist and her view on contributing to scientific research.

The Minerva Scholarship thanks all attendees for an interesting and enjoyable evening!

On December 19:

It is our pleasure to introduce the ten Minerva Scholars of the last round of 2022:

Ana Jocelyn Roeper, a student of mathematics and education, will teach mathematics at the International School of Curacao.

Bente Jansen, a law student, will follow subject at the university of British Columbia about the functioning of legal systems.

Berber Verhalle, a biology student, will restore seagrass at Gili Air in Indonesia.

Daan Jiskoot, a student of biopharmaceutical sciences, will research the accuracy of protein-ligand binding affinities by using an absolute free energie approach at the University of California, Irvine.

Debra van Asten, a student of biopharmaceutical sciences, will develop a pharmacokinetic model of de anticoagulant ticagrelor for elder patients at the University Hospital of Lausanne.

Jeroen van Ravenhorst, a student of linguistics, will research how humans speak to cattle in Hamar, Ethiopia.

Maurits Hogenhuis, a law student, will provide development aid in South Africa at local schools and non-profit organisations and study at Stellenbosch University.

Sahar Ansari: a student of Middle Eastern Studies, will research political ideas in the Egyptian poetry of the Nahda period.

Sharina Hamm, a student of clinical- and health psychology, will research negative attention bias and self confidence as risk factor at Yale University.

Tijn van Stekelenburg, a medical student, will intern for his clinical rotation in tropical medicine at Nkhoma Mission Hospital in Malawi.

We wish all our new scholars an exciting and instructive time abroad!

On May 31:

This month, professor Ineke Sluiter stepped down as chairwoman of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW). Dating back to the nineteenth century, this institute is both a fellowship of scientists of different disciplines, an advisory body to the Dutch government of science and a coordinating institute of scientific organisations.

During her presidency she devoted herself, among other things, to gender equality in the scientific world, defending threatened scientists (in light of the pandemic) and initiating a broader conversation on the state of diversity and inclusion within the Dutch scientific circle. She herself is a professor of Greek literature at the Faculty of Humanities at Leiden University.

Within the Minerva Scholarship Fund, Professor Sluiter is a member of the Allocation Committee. 

Professor Sluiter while still be involved with the KNAW as a  lifelong member; an appointment that dates back to 2012. She is not the only professor of the Allocation Committee that is part of the KNAW: Pancras Hogendoorn and Carlo Beenakker are also counted as members the members of this high-quality scientific institute.

On May 2:

We would like to introduce to you the recipients of the Minerva Scholarships of the first round of 2022:

Alice van den Broek, a medical student, will conduct research at Harvard Medical School into tumor antigens in eye melanomas for the use of immunotherapy. This field aims to utilise the immune system to intercept tumours.

Elaine van Ee, a medical student, will participate in a research project at Harvard Medical School at Massachusetts General Hospital on the prediction of complications in multiple trauma.

Fleur Anna Walravens, a law student, will study to obtain a ‘Diploma of Legal Studies’ at the University of Oxford. This enables her to understand complex international discussions about legislation.

Grégory von Boetticher, Liberal Arts & Sciences student, will study for the duration of a semester at the National University of Singapore as an exchange student. He will study the legislation of artificial intelligence, a technique with an ever growing impact on society that must be properly regulated.

Isaac Eaton, linguistics student, will participate in the project ‘Linguistics in Malawi Experience’ at the University of Malawi. This allows him to document local languages and dialects for the coming generations.

Julia Maasland, Liberal Arts & Sciences student, will take courses on international development and public health at Tulane University in New Orleans as an exchange student. This will prepare her for a career as a policy officer in the field of health equality and poverty.

Ishara Ibrahim, student of Vitality and Aging, will do her research internship for her master’s thesis in Munich to research the locus of control in the elderly. This research is important for gaining an understanding of their approach to health and illness and ultimately for improving their health in general.

Loran Hempenius, a law student, will attend  Merton College, Oxford University. To obtain an education which spans multiple legal disciplines. His time at Oxford will chiefly be spend on courses concerned with human rights and how these are processed into civil law.

Maureen van der Haar, a medical student, will attend the Medical University of Graz for the duration of a semester. Her courses will range from diving medicine to parasitology and global health. Her time in Austria will help her personal and academic development as a doctor.

Noa van de Klundert, a history student, will travel to King’s College London. Here she will attend courses which are an extension of her study in the Netherlands. This university is renowned in this field.

Sam van Ooijen, a biopharmaceutical science student, will travel to Harvard University to investigate the metabolic response of aneuploid yeast cells at the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Results of this research can eventually be transferred from yeast cells to human cells.

Sharina Hamm, a clinical- and health psychology student, will head to Yale University’s Rutledge Lab to investigate the link between happiness and decision-making via smartphone apps.

Zelda Geels, a Business Law student, will leave for Israel to follow courses at Tel Aviv University from the Business Law program there and to participate in the “Hebrew Ulpan” (a school to learn Hebrew). At Tel Aviv University she will study the relationship between climate change, science and the law.

We hope that all new Minerva Scholars will have a terrific experience abroad!

On March 13, 2022:

On March 11, the MSF organized a gathering for its Scholars, board members and everyone else who makes the fund possible: its first physical event since the lockdown!

It was an evening where, in addition to a drink where experiences were exchanged about the MSF, projects abroad and studying in general, there was also a panel discussion about the importance of the fund and its future.

A delegation from Leiden University also joined in, consisting of Rector Magnificus Hester Bijl, Vice-Chairman of the Executive Board Martijn Ridderbos and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Leiden University Ab van der Touw.

We received many enthusiastic reactions from those present and are already looking forward to the next edition!


15 November 2023 – Deadline second application round of 2023

15 April 2024 – Deadline first application round of 2024