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Willemijn Schäfer, PhD
Senior researcher Organisation and Quality of Care


As postdoc researcher, I am engaged in positioning Nivel as a partner in internationalresearch and in research exchange. The exchange of organizational models of care can contribute to the improvement of quality and safety of patient care. I am involved in international health services research projects from conceptualization to dissemination. Key focus is to generate reliable and useful research results and useful partnerships between scientific researchers, healthcare providers and patients.



After she completed her Master’s Degree in Health Economics, Policy and Law, Willemijn worked as a researcher and PhD candidate at Nivel between 2008 and 2016. In 2016, she obtained her PhD at the University of Utrecht. Her PhD thesis focused on the range of services provided by General Practitioners (GPs) and the experiences of their patients in 34 countries. For this thesis, she received the CaRe Dissertation Award. Between 2016 and 2021, she resided in the United States where she became Assistant Professor at the Department of Surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago. Her research at Northwestern University focused on, among other things, the implementation and effectiveness of quality improvement projects around acute pain management and opioid prescriptions.
2010- 2016 PhD Graduate School of Geosciences, University of Utrecht (the Netherlands)
2006-2008 Master (MSc) Health Economics, Policy and Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands)
2003-2007 Bachelor (BSc) Health Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands)