Help individuals, families, and societies to better cope with life challenges related to illness and health, by promoting rigorous science, precise interventions, and close collaborations.

Herman Schaalma PhD Award

The Herman Schaalma award will be awarded to the applicant whose PhD is considered the best in terms of originality, significance, and rigour, as judged by a committee chaired by the EHPS President-Elect. EHPS members may nominate themselves, or other EHPS members. The committee will make one award per year.

The deadline for applications is 31st October.

Who Was Herman Schaalma

Professor Herman Schaalma

Professor Herman Schaalma died suddenly of a heart attack on 25 July 2009.  Herman was a social psychologist and health scientist working at the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience of Maastricht University in the field of planned development, implementation and evaluation of theory- and evidence-based health promotion programs, with a focus on HIV/Aids. His research focused on applying (social) psychology in understanding and changing health behaviors. His recent research interests included risk perception and communication; stigma; adherence; culture, psychology and health education; and web-based health education.

Criteria for the Herman Schaalma PhD Award

EHPS members who have obtained their PhD in a topic relevant to health psychology in the calendar year immediately preceding the year in which the call is made are eligible to apply.
Applicants must have been an active EHPS member for one year when submitting the application.
An active EHPS member will have paid the EHPS membership fee for the past year when submitting the application.

Application materials (please submit)

Summary of the PhD thesis (max 1000 words)

A list of any submitted/ published papers based on the PhD (incl. conference presentations)

Brief CV (max 1 A4 page)

A 500 word summary highlighting how the research in the thesis contributes to the field highlighting the originality, significance and rigour of the work

Proof of PhD award (with date)

Photograph of applicant (jpeg file)

Complete a Herman Schaalma Application form


The award winner will be announced at the EHPS conference. The successful applicant will be invited to attend the EHPS conference free of charge and be given the opportunity to give an oral presentation about their work during the conference.

Herman Schaalma Award Winners

Herman Schaalma Awards 2023


Dr. Jane Murphy

Herman Schaalma Awards 2022


Marita Hennessy

Marita is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Pregnancy Loss Research Group, INFANT Centre at University College Cork and an Adjunct Lecturer with the MSc Public Health Programme at the School of Medicine, University of Limerick. She completed her PhD in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway in 2020, under the supervision of Dr Caroline Heary and Professor Molly Byrne (Health Behaviour Change Research Group), through the Health Research Board SPHeRE (Structured Population and Health-services Research Education) Programme. For her doctoral studies, she examined behavioural interventions delivered by health professionals during the first 1,000 days to promote ‘healthy’ growth and associated behaviours, with particular emphasis on how such interventions can be optimised and integrated into routine care. During this time, she was also a member of the: Health Service Executive’s Healthy Weight for Children Working Group, Association for the Study of Obesity on the island of Ireland Committee, Irish Heart Foundation Nutrition Council, and QUESTS (Qualitative Research In Trials) Centre at NUI Galway. She has served as Track Co-Chair (Health, Families and Children) for EHPS Conferences 2019-2021 and peer reviewer for Psychology & Health. Marita’s research interests include maternal and child health, men’s health, the commercial determinants of health, health behaviour change, and dissemination and implementation science. She is a passionate public health and social justice advocate.

Herman Schaalma Awards 2021


Dr. Jacob Keech

Dr Jacob Keech received his PhD from Griffith University in 2019. His dissertation research aimed to advance theory, measurement, and intervention in the area of stress mindset. This included the development of a new measure of stress mindset, and the conceptualisation and testing of a model that outlines mechanisms through which stress mindset influences stress-related outcomes. The research program concluded with the development and testing a novel intervention to change stress mindset. Dr Keech is currently a Lecturer in Psychology in the School of Health and Behavioural Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. Prior to taking up this role, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University. Dr Keech’s research has been published in leading journals in the field including Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Emotion, and Drug and Alcohol Review. Dr Keech is also a Section Editor of the journal Stress & Health, and an Editorial Board Member of the journal Psychology & Health. Dr Keech is an active proponent of health psychology, teaching health psychology at the undergraduate level, and serving on the Queensland Executive Committee of the Australian Psychological Society College of Health Psychologists since 2014.

Herman Schaalma Awards 2020


Dr. Hannah Durand

Dr. Hannah Durand received her PhD from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 2019. Her doctoral thesis, supervised by Dr Gerry Molloy and Professor Andrew Murphy, constitutes the first body of research examining medication adherence in apparent treatment-resistant hypertension from a behavioural science perspective. This work, guided by the Common-Sense Model of Self-Regulation, utilised multiple methods, including systematic review and meta-analysis, and quantitative and qualitative approaches, to explore medication adherence behaviour for hypertensive patients with apparent treatment-resistance in primary care in Ireland. As an emerging scholar, Dr. Durand’s contribution to the fields of health psychology and behavioural medicine has been recognised through numerous peer-reviewed publications, and paper presentations and symposia at international scientific meetings, including at the EHPS conference every year since 2014. She has received several prestigious awards for her work on chronic illness self-management, including the Pain Research Medal of the Irish Pain Society, a Chapter of the European Pain Federation EFIC, and the Early Career Award of the International Society of Behavioural Medicine.

Herman Schaalma Awards 2019


Dr. Jan Keller

Jan Keller received his PhD from Freie Universität Berlin in 2018. His dissertation research, “Planning with a partner? Individual and dyadic planning in three health behaviour contexts”, has contributed to the field of health psychology by highlighting how the involvement of a planning partner (i.e., dyadic planning) can be a valuable resource in health behaviour change. As an emerging scholar, his contribution to the field has been recognized through numerous publications, presentations at EHPS conferences since 2013, and chaired conference symposia. In 2016, Jan Keller was Visiting Scholar to Columbia University in the City of New York to deepen his training in social relationships and health, which was supported by the CREATE Tandem Grant and reported in an EHP article. He is currently on the Scientific Committee for the 2019 EHPS conference, and chairs the track on Social Support, Caregiving, and Health. Showing his tremendous and continuous commitment to the EHPS, Jan Keller has served on the EHPS e-courses (2015-2017), CREATE (2013-2016), and SYNERGY (since 2016) executive committees since 2013, helping to organize scientific meetings for the health psychology community.

Herman Schaalma Awards 2018

The Netherlands

Dr. Gill ten Hoor

Gill ten Hoor was awarded his PhD from Maastricht University in 2017 – Thesis: “Focus on Strength – Design, Development, Production, Implementation, and Evaluation of an Overweight Prevention Program”, a series of studies funded by The Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw). Gill ten Hoor combined biological knowledge with psychological insights in an innovative interdisciplinary approach, providing a practical intervention to the serious issue of obesity and obesity prevention. Currently, he is working as post-doc researcher at the dept. of Work & Social Psychology of Maastricht University, and as adjunct instructor at the dept. of Health Promotion & Behavioral Sciences at The University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston. In his commitment to, and belief in the EHPS, he is the Dutch National Delegate of the EHPS, one of the initiators of Practical Health Psychology, and executive editor for Health Psychology Bulletin.

Herman Schaalma Awards 2017

The Netherlands

Dr. Jorinde Spook

Dr. Spook was awarded her PhD from the University of Maastricht in 2016 – Thesis: “Keeping it real: Understanding and changing health behavior in daily life”. Dr. Spook’s PhD research contributed significantly to the field of health psychology. Dr. Spook has had multiple papers published in the international Journal of Medical Internet Research and Games for Health Journal. Over the past five years, she has presented her work at each EHPS Conference, and at the EHPS Conferences in 2012, 2013 and 2014, she received the award for outstanding poster presentation. Being awarded with this prize for multiple times shows a significant contribution to EHPS. Dr. Spook was Chair of CREATE in 2015 and is now secretary to Synergy showing her on-going commitment and belief in the EHPS.