Pim van Heijst was appointed as a senior researcher at the HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht in 2004. He is affiliated with the Research group Participation and Urban Development and is responsible for the line of research “Maatschappelijke impact van duurzame gemeenschappen” (“Social impact of sustainable communities”). Specific focus areas include “Burgers in de wijk” (“Citizens in the Neighborhood”), “Participatie van Jongeren” (“Youth Participation”) and “Participatieve vormen van Praktijkgericht onderzoek” (“Participative Forms of Practice-Based Research”).
After completing a study in Social Geography and Information Science, Pim worked on the theme of education at the Dutch embassy in Zimbabwe. Pim later became the programme director at Hellen Keller International in Indonesia, and was responsible for research programmes dealing with health, population participation and community development. Training local employees was an important part of his job. After returning to the Netherlands, he became the director of a training consultancy bureau.
A guiding principle in his work is helping people to become involved in finding solutions to their own problems and the way in which professionals can offer support in this process. This is also reflected in his doctoral research into the involvement of professionals with young people and their financial situation at ROCs (Regional Training Centres), and the way in which practice-based research from a social constructivist perspective might be able to contribute to this.
Fields of expertise
- Money and debt