Understanding vocational healthcare students' skills of research and inquiry

Research and inquiry skills (RIS) are essential for vocational healthcare students’ performance, yet unexplored is how to understand RIS for students in upper secondary vocational education (MBO, ISCED3&4).


This PhD-research

  • defines vocational healthcare ISCED3&4-students’ RIS in the research literature and vocational practice
  • explores educators’ interventions to enhance students’ RIS


The project aims for four scientific articles to be published. Furthermore, there will be presentations at scientific and practice-based conferences.


15 November 2021 - 14 November 2026


The project starts with a scoping review concerning RIS that gives input to an interview study amongst vocational professionals and educators. Vocational educators’ interventions to enhance students’ RIS will be explored in a multiple case study and a vignette study.

HU researchers involved in the research

PhD student: Erica Wijnands-Pot
Responsible supervisor: prof. dr. Elly de Bruijn
Supervisor: dr. Annoesjka Boersma


"Attention for knowledge development concerning research and inquiry skills in vocational education is crucial, especially for healthcare."

Committee doctoral grant for teachers


Erica is awarded with a doctoral grant for teachers (Dutch Research Council, NWO).

Related research groups

Collaboration with knowledge partners

In this PhD project, we collaborate with Open University and mboRijnland.