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Let Old Be Gold research kicks off

PhD student appointed thanks to supplementary gift from Emmaplein Foundation
21 August 2014

The University of Groningen and the University Medical Center Groningen will be able to appoint a PhD student this coming academic year who will work on the RUG400 research project ‘Let Old Be Gold’ for the next four years. The research was chosen by the general public, and everyone who wanted to give the University a birthday present could contribute towards realizing the research. Thanks to a gift from the Emmaplein Foundation, enough money has now been collected to actually start the project.

The ‘Let Old Be Gold’ research is about keeping healthy in a social sense, which is just as important as your medical health. We know that if you continue to participate in society, you will be happier, more active, fitter and healthier. But how exactly does this work? Why do some people keep active while others do not? How can we ensure that no-one withers away? The research will be conducted by the team of Prof. Ronald Stolk, scientific director of LifeLines and professor of clinical epidemiology.

Research team

Epidemiologist Nynke Smidt, who will supervise the PhD student, business professional Hans Wortmann and sociologist Nardi Steverink will combine forces in the research team to ensure as broad an approach as possible to the research. Thanks to the unique LifeLines research on over 165,000 northerners, they already have a great deal of information about health and remaining active.

400 days – 400 questions

The ‘Let Old Be Gold’ research is based on two questions submitted within the framework of the ‘400 days – 400 questions’ anniversary project. In September 2013, the general public could vote for one of three research proposals. Over 50% of the 8000 votes went to winning proposal ‘Let Old Be Gold’.

Monique van der Linden watched her mother get very lonely and thought, ‘When I get very old, I want my life to still be meaningful! Just like you see in other cultures!’ Karin van der Schee works in the care sector and has noticed that the work is being done more and more often by volunteers. She wonders what the roles of professionals and volunteers in the care sector will be in the future.

Ubbo Emmius Fund

If you would like to keep abreast of the ‘Let Old Be Gold’ research and other University crowd-funding projects, and maybe even make another donation, follow the Ubbo Emmius Fund at

More information

Contact: Els van den Berg, Coordinator RUG400,
Last modified:09 June 2023 2.52 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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