Charlotte Rietbergen wins Statistics Netherlands Award 2009

Charlotte Rietbergen, who has completed the research master’s programme Methodology and statistics for the behavioural and social sciences at Utrecht University, has received the Statistics Netherlands Award 2009. G. van der Veen, director-general of Statistics Netherlands, announced the winner of the award on the occasion of the opening of academic year 2009-2010 at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

The Statistics Netherlands Award is presented yearly to the student writing the best master’s thesis for the research master’s programme Methodology and statistics for the behavioural and social sciences.  Among other aspects, the theses are judged on their applicability, theoretical quality and readability. Charlotte Rietbergen’s thesis The Design of Cluster Randomized Crossover Trials rated highly on all these aspects, and she received the reward from G. van der Veen on Thursday 3 September.

Rietbergen’s study describes the efficiency of the use of a survey design in whcih complete groups of test subjects are assigned to various intervention conditions. In such a design, different or the same test subjects within these groups undergo the interventions concerned.   This makes it possible to assess the effect of the interventions within the groups or even within the test subjects in these groups. Any potential differences between the groups then no longer have an effect. Rietbergen’s thesis contains formulas to calculate the optimum number of groups and the optimum number of test subjects within the groups. In addition she describes what designs can be used in what situations, to realise the most efficient test design possible.

Graduate school and Statistics Netherlands

The research master’s programme Methodology and statistics for the behavioural and social sciences  is part of the Graduate School of Utrecht University and is taught by the Methods and Techniques Research Group of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. Graduates from this two-year programme are qualified to work as  researchers in social scientific methods and techniques, or as methodologists, at universities and research institutes. The programme consists of courses in advanced methodology and statistics, an internship, and research seminars. The students complete the programme with a thesis.

This specialist and highly rated master’s programme at Utrecht University is valued very highly by Statistics Netherlands. The statistical office rates the programme as very relevant, as statistics will be based more and more on secondary sources in the future. The demand for highly qualified methodologists will also increase in the coming years. The award is intended to underline the importance of the programme and to provide a tangible aspect to the collaboration with Utrecht University.  

For further information

Ronnie van Veen, press information offier of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, Utrecht University

T: +31 30 253 4027,

(Press Office Utrecht University +31 30 253 35 50)