The Societal Impact Awards spotlight research being carried out at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam that has an impact on society. The Junior Societal Impact Award is for a PhD candidate who has completed a PhD dissertation at VU University Amsterdam within the last year which could have a potentially significant impact on society. The Senior Societal Impact Award is presented to a researcher at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam who has had a longer career and spent several years working on research with a significant societal impact. The awards are presented by the Rector at the annual Dies Natalis celebration.
Victor van der Geest received Junior Societal Impact Award in 2011. Victor graduated with the highest distinction on his dissertation ‘Working their Way into Adulthood’. He investigated a group of 270 (male) juveniles, their family backgrounds, problems and criminal and work career after their treatment in juvenile treatment facilities. His research has a considerable societal impact as it demonstrates that working has a positive influence on young men with a criminal past.