The Calicocat Research Institute

It is important to make the voice of young people heard more clearly when discussing social issues! That is why the Calicocat Research Institute creates the conditions for a group of passionate young people to make their voice heard in a professional manner on various social themes. The institute uses the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a quantitative and qualitative framework for a sustainable future. The research committee contributes to practical and fundamental research by providing answers to local, regional and (inter) national issues.

The Calicocat Research Institute is the research institute of the organization ‘Calicocat’. Calicocat is an organization that stands for connecting public and private policy areas. We embrace diversity, we look for coherence and we bring issues up for discussion. In addition, we encourage co-creation in public-private combinations, in which the resident is central.



Board research commitee 

Stefan Hageman


Stefan Hageman is a Masters Student of Middle-Eastern Studies. He is aiming to specialize in the politics of and political Shi’a Islam in the current MENA region, having researched Iranian domestic and foreign politics as well as religious political ideologies in Iraq the Gulf region. He has also followed courses in International Relations, in Journalism and on archaeology, migration and gender policies. While living in Egypt for half a year, he has become interested in the effects European policies have on local Middle-Eastern communities. Having chaired the Middle-Eastern Studies study association for a year and having followed the Honours Leadership programme have sparked an interest in local and international politics and leadership, and in working in an international, interdisciplinary environment. Interests Stefan hopes to put to good use as chair of the Calicocat Research Institute!

Mehran Abdollahi


Born in Iran, Mehran received his first bachelor in Industrial Engineering, specialized in system analysis and optimization of efficiency from the Azad Islamic University. Being passionate about art and culture, and in a life-altering shift, in 2018 he travelled to the Netherlands to begin his second bachelor in Arts, Culture, and Media at the University of Groningen: Mehran served as student representative in the faculty council. During the course of this job his goals regarded raising awareness about the benefits of inclusivity and importance of diversity. Working as Student Assistant and Student Assessor gave him research experience. The combination of his engineering skills to that of the cultural analysis has enabled Mehran to look at issues from different points of view. His main field of research has focused on culture and education where he has investigated identity politics, forms of representation, racial criticism, and so on.

Jana Heitkemper


Jana Heitkemper is a young student from Germany. While studying International Business and Languages, she noticed a lack of awareness on social and environmental problems within business academia, which led her to change to a new program at the University of Groningen: BSc Global Responsibility and Leadership. Within this Bachelor, Jana is majoring in Environmental Sustainability, and is especially interested in how to accelerate societal transitions, such as the energy transition. During her study years, she developed a passion for programming, and is now following Computer Science courses in a minor program. For her ambition in the degree programme as well as her extracurricular social involvement, Jana was awarded the GUF 100 award in 2020 (awarded to the most excellent student from each faculty.) In her free time, she likes to be active outside - be it cycling, longlining, or longboarding.

Romy Dekker

Lobbyist (ad-interim)

Romy Dekker is currently obtaining a Bachelor in European Languages and Cultures at the University of Groningen. Within this study, she is majoring in linguistics and the German language. During her program, Romy also attended a summer school at the Humboldt Universität Berlin and completed courses in German literature and linguistics at the Universität zu Köln. Besides her study, Romy has worked within secondary education and as a student-assistent at the Universiteit Groningen and has been active within (student)politics and associations. The experience that she gained here is valuable as the lobbyist (ad-interim) of the Calicocat Research Institute.

Zarina Buckert


Zarina Buckert is currently obtaining a Bachelor in Global Responsibility and Leadership at the University of Groningen. Within this study, she is majoring in Responsible Humanities with courses in the field of psychology and global health. During her program, Zarina attended a pre-master’s course in Anthropology and Development Studies in order to broaden her horizon. While being interested in many interdisciplinary topics, Zarina focusses on social issues such as improving the quality of education. Besides her study, Zarina works as an energy consultant for one of the biggest energy providers in the Netherlands. The experience that she gained here is valuable as the spokesperson of the Calicocat Research Institute. Her goal is to simplify academic research in order to make it accessible for everyone, and to open a public debate.

About calicocat

Calicocat bases its activities on three pillars:Everybody counts, New Economy & Research and Dialogue & Debate. Based on Everybody Counts, we work towards a society where there is space for everyone within society, regardless of cultural background, political conviction, gender identity, socio-economic background, and/or orientation. We are thus working on a so-called “inclusive society”. Concretely, we offer a Masterclass Inclusive Government Policy to provinces and municipalities in the Netherlands on this subject. Based on the New Economy & Research pillar, we are working on the economy of the future. We do this by conducting research that is practically applicable and connected to democracy and political governance. Specifically, we offer a masterclass on public-private partnerships to enterprises. Based on Dialogue & Debate, we work on conducting and deepening discussions that are not held or are held insufficiently within society. With the help of organized debates and opinion articles, we feed discussions and inform people about political processes, policy development and decision-making.


"Making the voice of the younger generations heard more clearly."
Romy Dekker

Calicocat stands for connecting public and private policy areas. We embrace diversity, look for coherence and discuss issues. We use the UN SDGs as a starting point. We facilitate debates, develop masterclasses and deliver publications. We work on issues such as economic development and inclusivity.

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