MaRBLe uncensored: An experience report of the MaRBLe adventure


  • Eline Verrijt–Otten



Marble: Maastricht Research-Based Learning, program for excellence. It sounds interesting, intriguing and challenging. Well, it really is all of that and more. Overall it is lots of fun! In the present article I will provide you with an overview of what Marble is. I will describe the different steps of the program, from ups to (occasional) downs. Furthermore, I will briefly explain my Marble study and results. When I first heard of Marble I did not quite know what it entailed. It did, however, sound tempting enough for me to find out more about it. Marble offers highly motivated and excellent students with research affinity the chance to improve their skills during an intensive research program. In a nutshell, you set up a study under supervision of an expert in the field, exchange and discuss ideas with fellow students, learn in depth about research skills and develop these skills yourself. If you want to apply, there are some requirements you should take into consideration. First, you need a grade point average of 7.0 and you have to write a letter of motivation. Please do not be discouraged if your GPA is slightly under 7.0. Strong motivation can squeeze you in anyway. I believe motivation and enthusiasm might be equally, if not more important than GPA. However, I am not the one deciding whether you may enroll. Secondly, you should be interested in research. If you are planning a career in research, or maybe strive for a PhD, Marble would be a great opportunity to develop and elaborate your research skills. Considering my ignorance when it comes to statistics I thought I would never be admitted when I applied. Our Marble coordinator Arie van der Lugt's enthusiasm was contagious, though, and eventually I went home with an overload of motivation and self-esteem. Arie appeared to be an excellent captain of the Marble ship; committed and inspiring with a bunch of humour. Now that I was officially admitted, the next step was to think of a topic and to contact a supervisor.


Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). (1994). Arlington, VA US: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.

Ferrer-García, M., & Gutiérrez-Maldonado, J. (2008). Body image assessment software: Psychometric data. Behavior Research Methods, 40, 394-407.

Glunz, S. (2012). Does restrained eating influence eyewitness performance? Unpublished Master’s thesis, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands.

Herman, C. P., Polivy, J., Pliner, P., Threlkeld, J., & Munic, D. (1978). Distractibility in dieters and nondieters: An alternative view of 'externality'. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 36, 536-548.

Mussap, A. J., McCabe, M. P., & Ricciardelli, L. A. (2008). Implications of accuracy, sensitivity, and variability of body size estimations to disordered eating. Body Image, 5, 80-90.

Otten, E. (2010). Does restrained eating affect eyewitnesses' description? Unpublished Bachelor’s thesis, Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Schneider, N., Frieler, K., Pfeiffer, E., Lehmkuhl, U., & Salbach-Andrae, H. (2009). Comparison of body size estimation in adolescents with different types of eating disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 17, 468-475.

Touyz, S. W. (1984). Body shape perception and its disturbance in anorexia nervosa. British Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 167-171.