SER Thesis Award

The Social and Economic Council (SER) advises the Dutch government and Parliament on social and economic policy. In addition, the SER actively contributes to the development of talent on social and economic topics. That talent is essential for the future of the Netherlands. In this light, the SER has set up a thesis award that is awarded once every two years.

Who can participate?

This year students could compete for the SER Thesis Award if they had written a master’s thesis on a socioeconomic topic, or a topic related to one of the other areas in which the SER is active. The award is intended for (former) master’s students at Dutch universities who completed their thesis between March 2018 and March 2020. Foreign students at Dutch universities were eligible as well.

Win a cash prize of €2000

The winner of the SER Thesis Award will receive a cash prize of €2000. In addition, he or she is allowed to address the SER and will accompany Mariëtte Hamer, the president of the SER, for one day. The other two nominees will receive €500.

The winner of the SER Thesis Award 2020 is Sam Huberts (Public administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). His thesis is titled ‘Rekening houden met risico’ which translates as ‘Taking risk into account’. Sam researched how risks such as pension accrual affect self-employed and evaluated government policies in this area. He concluded that it is important to attenuate the differences in the way self-employed and employees are being treated with regards to risks such as pension accrual, in order to reduce vulnerability of self-employed.

The other two nominees in 2020 were:

  • Febe de Jong (Dutch law, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) who researched if platform workers operate in an insurance-liable relationship and if they could be covered by employee insurance schemes using a new so called fictitious employment, a provision which already existed for a long time according to Dutch law but was not actively used.
  • Koen Maassen (Business administration, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen) who researched in a specific organisation what the effect is of different activities to achieve gender quota to realize and substantially increase gender diversity.


The judges are:
• Mariëtte Hamer (SER president)
• Han Busker (chair FNV and vice-president SER)
• Hans de Boer (chair VNO-NCW and vice-president SER)

The president of the SER is also the chair of the judges. The judges will judge the entries based on originality, policy relevance, analytical level, and readability. 

Want to participate?

The registration period for the SER Thesis Award 2020 is closed.

Read the full regulations and procedures here

Previous winner

In 2018, Wouter Kuin won the SER Thesis Award with his thesis ‘Passion for sustainable fashion’. Would you like to know more about his experiences and advice for participants? Click here to watch a video in which he talks about his thesis, and some handy tips for submitting yours!


Do you have any questions about the SER Thesis Award 2020? Please contact Marianne Den Boef. T 06 44244817;