Thanks to Professor Grootenhuis, who has been active in child psychology since 1992, much new knowledge has been gained in the field of psychosocial and pediatric oncology. This knowledge has led to the introduction of interventions and support systems aimed at improving the quality of life of children with cancer and their families.
The knowledge and research findings are shared internationally through scientific publications and collaborations. Grootenhuis has more than 300 publications to her name and is one of the founders of the Pediatric Psycho-Oncology Committee of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP).
During the ceremony, Martha Grootenhuis received a certificate from the Rector of the University of Lucerne. She was also addressed during the laudatio: ‘I found the ceremony very special. It is an honor to receive this award and to be recognized in this way for my work. The words of the laudatio touched me. Especially that I am seen as a role model. I sincerely hope that this is the case and that young researchers will continue to be inspired to contribute to improving the quality of life of children with chronic diseases or cancer and their families.’
Over the course of her career, Martha Grootenhuis has mentored a total of 38 doctoral students. ‘For me, this honorary doctorate is also a tribute to all the PhD students I have worked with, not only in Utrecht, but also in Amsterdam. I have learned a lot from them, and it has been a special experience to be able to walk with them for a number of years. I would like to dedicate this honorary doctorate to all my doctoral students’, she says.
The University of Lucerne awarded the honorary doctorate as part of the new Faculty of Behavioral Sciences and Psychology. Fellow researcher Prof. Gisela Michel nominated Grootenhuis, and the doctorate was awarded by vote.