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Ilse Oosterlaken

All-rounder in academia

Research websites | Science communication | Academic support

Research websites
Science communication
Academic Support

About Me

Generalist with many colors

What color is your parachute?“, one of the most well-known self-help career books asks its readers. The message of this type of books: this is how you find your true passion and dream job. But some of us don’t have one true calling, says Emilie Wapnick in her TED talk, they are ‘multipotentialites’ / renaissance people. In other words, generalist that have many interests and talents and do not want to specialise in just one thing. I immediately recognized myself in her story! Perhaps nothing illustrates this better than the fact that I have never been able to chose a favorite color. Hence the colors in my living room that formed the inspiration for this site.


Dit ben ik!!!

‘Dit ben ik!!!’, dacht ik toen ik dit praatje voor het eerst bekeek. Het was een bevrijdende ervaring. Het hielp me mijn niet meer bij me passende ambitie voor een onderzoeksloopbaan eindelijk los te laten, omdat ik me realiseerde dat er niets één nieuwe passie of ambitie voor in de plaats hoefte te komen.

Why work with me?

I’m a pro-active thinker and doer with an eye for quality and a reputation for ‘getting things done’. Somebody who loves learning and does so with ease. I enjoy using my broad experience and skills set in the role of ‘spider in the web’ during the start-up phase of new academic collaborations.  However, you can also employ my all-round services for shorter assignments and (part-time) projects ranging from several days to months.


Questions? Happy to answer them!

Academic background

My interdisciplinary background enables me to quickly connect to a wide range of research groups; At Eindhoven University of Technology I have earned a bachelor/master degree in technology & society, with  architecture & urban planning as my technical major and  technology & development studies as my master-level specialization. After that, I have gained a bachelor degree in philosophy as a part-time student at Utrecht University, with a minor in journalism. Finally, I have gained my doctoral degree cum laude at Delft University of Technology, in the area of philosophy of technology.

Areas of experience

In the past 20 years I have gained experience in (research) projects in various areas and on various topics, such as: industrial design, engineering ethics, value sensitive design, real estate management, complex urban area development, responsible innovation, quality of life, the millennium development goals, inclusive biobased value chains, wind energy, responsible robotics, ethics in economics and the morality of markets.

My many roles

Not only have I been working in research and education, I have also gained ample of experience in all kinds of adjacent academic and administrative processes, such as: organizing large international conferences, establishing a new graduate school, launching a new bachelor program and university college, managing an academic journal, applying for research grants and quality care in education.

Eternal student

As ‘multipotentialite’ I enjoy nothing more than learning about new topics and developing  new skills. Professional skills that I have in particular focused on in the last few years are design (graphic design, infographics, UI/UX design) and web development  (WordPress, HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, SEO). At ‘Sites for Scholars‘ you can find more details on that part of my business. Privately I have been trying to learn Japanese (I have managed to pass the JLPT N5 exam), and I dabble in water color, graphic techniques like linocut and other creative expressions.

Coordinator start-up phase Dutch Research School of Philosophy


Ilse has worked for me as assistant director of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) […] She is quite exceptional in her way of combining a very independent and pro-active attitude with a perfect intuition of the moment when, either because more input is needed, or for reasons of transparency, the time has come to discuss things with others, or to inform other parties.

Han van Ruler
Professor in Philosophy & Intellectual History
Faculty of Philosophy
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Coordinator start-up phase JS Mill College & PPE Bachelor


Ilse has been indispensable for the organization around and the implementation of the new bachelor program Philosophy, Politics & Economics, because of her excellent organizational skills, her eye for detail, and her extensive and broad substantive knowledge. On top of that, she is also very pleasant to work with.”

Barbara Vis
Professor in Political Decision Making
Faculty of Social Sciences
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam