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Prof Carolien Rieffe
Prof Carolien Rieffe profile picture
  • Honorary Professor
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education

Carolien Rieffe received her MSc Degree with Honours in Psychological Methodology from the University of Amsterdam, which included an exchange program on scholarship to Hofstra University (New York, USA); she earned her PhD from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in 1998 and worked there as an Assistant Professor. She had a tenured position at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK, as Assistant Professor (2001-2004), until she started at Leiden University in 2004 as an Associate Professor. From 2010-2020 the Dutch Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Child (NSDSK, Amsterdam) installed an endowed chair for Carolien at Leiden University, where she then became Professor by Special Appointment in Social and Emotional Development. Since 2015, Carolien has served as Honorary Professor at UCL, University of London, UK. She serves as Full Professor at the Human Media Interaction group (Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science, EEMCS) at Twente University since September 2020.

Carolien is Primary Investigator of the Focus on Emotions research lab, chair of the Honours College advisory board at Leiden University, member of the LCDS (Leiden Center for Data Science), and member of several committees at the national level, including the Female Autism Network of the Netherlands and the expert group of Musea Bekennnen Kleur (Dutch musea on inclusive programming). She also works or has worked in longstanding close collaborations with professional organizations that include NSDSK, Kentalis, ENT-LUMC (Leiden University Medical Center), Center for Autism, INTER-PSY, the Anne Frank Foundation, and many academic institutions abroad. Carolien has been awarded several grants (NWO (VIDI laureate), ZonMw) and prizes: the Most Influential Research Paper in 25 years in Kind and Adolescent; Best Teacher award; and Award for Smartest City Project in the Netherlands.

Research Summary

For more information about her research: 

Read her blog on autism and bullying: 

In this news item, she discusses social motivation and prosocial behavior in autistic children and adolescents:

In this blog, Carolien Rieffe, Dr. Sarah Giest, and Legal Advisor Pim Deul reflect on school inclusion and the 2014 Dutch Appropriate Education Act for autistic pupils:

For the projects related to BOLD Cities:

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