scientist with heart and soul

Scientist with Heart and Soul is a 6 month intensive for personal and professional development for bright and soulful academics (Postdoc, Lecturer, Assistant / Associate / Full Professor) with unlimited personal guidance from dr. Claartje van Sijl, with which you

  • get your motivation or balance back
  • clearly have in mind why you are doing this academic thing again
  • create a work flow that does not exhaust you and that gives you solid results
  • feel confident and supported in leading and doing your work

Unique in this program is its small scale, which ensures maximum personal attention:

  • You get personal help that fits who you are (no standard advice that forces you into a model that just is not you)
  • In 5 to 7 coaching sessions of 60-90 minutes, or in one half-day kick-off session plus 3 follow-up sessions of 60 minutes.
  • Personal coaching is available on short term online via phone or video call. Also, you can book walk-and-talk sessions to discuss your challenges and opportunities face-to-face
  • Unlimited e-coaching via email (or whatsapp if you prefer)
  • Because of the personal character of this program a limited number of spots is available. Contact me for availability.

N.B. You can do this coaching program entirely individually, but if you are interested in joining a small group of like-minded peers to speed your development along you can let me know and I will facilitate that.

With Scientist with Heart and Soul you discover

how to create, lead, and feel aligned with your research and career

so you can confidently forge your own path to success

even if you have limited time, money, and academic impact

Your core results you’ll get from the program include

  • what is the big picture of your life and career: decide direction with confidence,
    e.g. how to combine life plans (children, partner, aging parents, etc.) with (temporary / international) research job
  • how to creatively work in a smart and sustainable way towards your dream
  • how to improve and safeguard your mental wellbeing (avoid / defeat anxiety, perfectionism, loneliness, uncertainty, etc.)
  • how to gain and maintain confidence to do meaningful work from your heart
  • identify what you need to perform at top level and how to organize it
  • how to identify and quiet down your inner critic and stop unhelpful habits
  • courage to overcome your obstacles and actually implement your new strategies even if they are uncommon in your field / work environment
  • accountability and inspiration from your personal coach and/or an uplifting peer group

Remember when you just started your academic career?

You were set to become an expert on the topic you love.
You had all the time to explore, create, contribute to Science, Knowledge, Truth, Society.
You were excited to connect with inspiring, bright people just as motivated as you.
After your PhD you would quickly move up the academic ladder to continue and expand your research. Not at once, of course. You knew it would take time. You knew you had to learn and work hard, grab your chances. But after a year or two, or three, or four the world would look different…

And… where are you now?

You are not the first academic to

  • regularly feel stuck, stressed, lost
  • struggle with high workloads & performance pressure
  • feel like you are being lived
  • feel like you are kept dangling and worry about long lasting career uncertainty

Don’t let these obstacles keep hindering the growth of your career or have a strong negative impact on your wellbeing! Sooner or later you have to do something about them. The good news is, you can transform these obstacles into a new superpower. Doing so under the guidance of an expert coach immensely speeds up the process.

“That’s easier said than done” I can hear you think.


It is possible to feel confident in your expertise in a highly critical environment
It is possible to create a healthy balance in your responsibilities including research
It is possible to be an academic and have enough time for family and friends
It is possible to create your own path to success doing work that you love

Yes, of course you need to invest to make that happen

Frankly, I do not believe in quick fixes. As much as you need time and funding for your next experiment, paper, conference, so you also need time and funding for the next step in your career, professional development, and personal growth.
Likewise the context in which you do this — your lab, research group, support team — determines a lot of the success and impact you will have. This program offers you just that helpful context and guidance to really speed up your development.

Will the results be worth it?

Consider this:

  • stress and burnout are the number one health issue for academics
  • feelings of isolation and loniness are widespread and feed directly into the misbelief that you are inadequate
  • just shutting up and working harder is not getting you out of the vicious circle of the impostor syndrome
  • perfectionism is actually preventing you from delivering the best you are capable of

If you keep being lived and playing small chances are that you will leave academia feeling like a failure, rather than step up to your potential and become an academic leader. Can you justify that to science, society, yourself?

Is this you?

Scientist with Heart and Soul is developed for smart academics who

  • want to flourish,
  • are ready to take responsibility to use all of their talents and to sustain a healthy level of wellbeing
  • are convinced that it is possible to do and feel better in their research, life, and career but do not know how
  • too often spend weekends and evenings on tasks that otherwise are not done on time or at all
  • excel in their specialism, but are still searching for ways to feel more aligned with their work, for a healthy workflow and a sustainable career, without having to work even harder and without having to compromise their integrity and sense of quality.
  • find that the average job orientation workshop, job application training or professional development program does not do the trick
  • need a safe space to reflect and experiment
  • want to find like-minded people who also struggle, who are also willing to participate authentically and show up vulnerable, who also want to grow and be accountable together

“Scientist with Heart and Soul” gives you the opportunity & techniques to

—> reflect on and shine your creative and brilliant mind,
—> stay connected to your heart’s wisdom,
—> experience peace of mind while you excel at doing work you love
—> learn faster,
—> feel supported and confident in doing science with heart and soul

In short, you will learn how to flourish as an academic.

What others are saying about Claartje’s coaching:

I needed to order my thoughts about my research career, especially after I obtained my NWO Vidi grant. Claartje has a calm personality and communicates in an open and non-directive way. Her concrete tips were very helpful.Femke

Hi Claartje, I want to update you regarding my life. Since we last spoke a year ago, so many things have happened. When I decided to quit I moved back to my home country. I am now on a fast track for my art degree. I’m enjoying it so much! It gives me a lifestyle very close to what I want: I have full control over my schedule, I have time for me, my dogs, my husband, I have control over the inputs and outcomes. I couldn’t ask for more.

Now I have been given the opportunity to finish my project after all. Even though I had a very hard time in the lab, I am doing it. I am much stronger now. I feel it will bring the last bit of closure I need to wrap this chapter of my life. I’m almost done, but not all of it is dependent on me (as usual in science).

I can’t thank you enough. Not only have you given me the tools to deal with such a conflictual person as my supervisor, but ultimately you have given me the handles to take a stand regarding my life. I keep referring to your support as the main factor making me strong enough to quit. It was, still, the best decision that I could have taken.

scientist with heart and soul

Claartje helped me through a big transitional time in my academic career. After our introduction session, she helped me realize the big picture, that I needed to think about my career more broadly than simply as a topic of study. At first this made me question my career choices even more, but as time went on I was able to see things in a more comprehensive way. I left the counseling with a much better understanding of my own interests, what I need to do to be happy with my work, and how to do it in a more effective manner.

Your investment

Because Scientist with Heart and Soul is an intensive and personal coaching program, I want to make sure there is a good fit between you, me, the program and (optionally) other participants. Therefore, you can only enrol in the Scientist with Heart and Soul program via an orientation call with me personally. This call is free of charge. I will be absolutely honest about whether the program fits your needs, because I want to create an inspiring, energetic synergy and that is impossible if there is only a half way fit.

Because of the highly personal character of this program, a limited number of spots is available. Contact me for availability.

I want to join! Can you schedule my orientation call?

I look forward to talking to you!


P.S. You get this coaching on your own level. This makes Scientist with Heart and Soul valuable not just for postdocs, but also for more experienced academics.

scientist with heart and soul