Dr. Rifka Weehuizen
Affiliated researcher

Research group(s):
5. Innovation Systems Indicators and Policy

Rifka Weehuizen is an affiliated researcher at UNU-MERIT. She has an MA in History (University of Groningen) and a PhD in Economics (University of Maastricht). Her research focuses on the psychological dimension of economic processes; mental capital and wellbeing, and how these are related to economic development and growth, including aspects such as the micro-dynamics of productivity; and the psychological pathways in the relation between social capital and economic performance. In addition, she does research in the area of science and innovation policy.

She has worked at the Netherlands Ministry for Education and Science (1996-1998), the Center for Technology Trends (STT) (1998-2000), UNU-MERIT (2000-2006), and the Netherlands Advisory Council for Science and Technology Policy (AWT) (2006-2009). She has been visiting scholar at the Center for Health and Community (CHC) of UC San Francisco and at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. From 2009 until 2012 she was science officer for the social sciences and humanities at the European Science Foundation in Strasbourg. As of June 2012 she is managing director of the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study (USIAS).





  • Ethics, Business and Society, Faculty of Business and Economics, Maastricht University (coordinator, lecturer, in 2004/2005 and 2005/2006)
  • Philosophy of Science II, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Maastricht (coordinator, lecturer, in 2004/2005 and 2005/2006)
  • Institutions, Culture and Welfare, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Maastricht (coordinator, lecturer, in 2003)
  • Historical Perspectives on scientific and technological change, European Inter-University Association on Society, Science and Technology (ESST) (lecturer, in 2003)

Research interests:

  • Mental capital
  • Spill-over and contagion of psychological states within social networks
  • Well-being (experienced utility)
  • Psychology as tool for policy-making
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Science and innovation policy 


Selected publications by Rifka Weehuizen