Sailing for Impact

from € 10.000 (10%)

Sailing for Impact is a project for a novel approach to the master thesis research. In collaboration with partners from corporate as well as R&D, the students will sail across Europe to collect data and deliver relevant projects. Interdiscipinary conduction of research is a key feature. Inspired by sailors that preceded us we let the unknown guide us. We will go wherever the wind takes us and let it guide us to new, unexpected (scientific) insights: knowing as you go.

Get on board! We need your support to achieve this mission that Sailing for Impact set on.



Please contact us!


We are always open to answering any questions or to listen to your suggestions.

The students are continuously looking for partners or contributors to enrich (the impact of) their research.



We see ourselves as an community of inquiry - a group of individuals involved in a collective process of research into the European Green Deal post-Corona. Our team is a good mix of knowledge and passion, with a shared goal: striving to create impact towards a more sustainable future and simultaneously revolutionizing higher education. We harbour various perspectives: From initiators, teachers, social entrepreneurs and filmmakers to students with backgrounds in natural sciences, international law and media technologies to environmental sciences, economics and education. Coming from different universities (Utrecht University, University of the Arts Utrecht, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Eindhoven University of Technology and Wageningen University), we will engage in a co-creation process, setting the stage for innovative research for future generations and at the same time, addressing the most burning questions of our times.
Curious about specific research topics? Below we selected some examples:

• A primary energy factor for renewable energy sources. Master thesis. Relates to the Sustainable Development Goal #7 – Affordable and Clean Energy.
• Community-based and bio-inspired solutions for environmental challenges. Master thesis. Relates to the Sustainable Development Goal # 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities.
• Food supply chains in fisheries. Master thesis. Relates to the Sustainable Development Goal # 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production.
• Projected human population and environmental conditions. Master thesis. Relates to the Sustainable Development Goal #15 – Life on Land.
• Climate Refugees and international climate justice. Master thesis. Relates to the Sustainable Development Goal # 16 - Peace, Justice and strong Institutions.

Additionally, a group of two HKU students and one university student are very passionate about spreading the 'bigger story' and share that with the world. They will be shooting a documentary during the process of the SFI project:

• The connectedness between people and nature. Documentary. Relates to the Sustainable Development Goal # 13 - Climate Action.


The Sailing for Impact (SFI) project falls under the newly found knowledge alliance of Utrecht University, Wageningen University & Research, Eindhoven University of Technology and University Medical Centre Utrecht. The students and teachers share a passion for educational innovation and impactful research. These passions translate into some core concepts that SFI aims to tackle:

• A master thesis can be useful and impactful. There is value in working with master students for organizations and professionals. Encouraging this will result in research products that have impact, rather than ending up shelved to never be read again, as so many theses do.
• Research and creativity are closely related. Unexpected research outcomes and impact can be increased by allowing creativity and adaptation throughout the process: knowing as you go. This is opposed to the rigid framework which most research projects are expected adopt before being granted a ‘go’.
• A stimulating and flexible environment as described in the previous concept will be achieved through setting out on an actual sailing expedition on the tallship Regina Maris to conduct data collection. Being subjected to nature and conditions beyond one’s control will force students to gain new insights on their role and place in the world. That in turn will increase the quality and relevance of their research.
• Interdisciplinary teamwork will increase the quality of the research project. It allows students to step out of their comfort zone and confidently take on a research topic that connects relevant ideas from multiple research fields.
• In order to achieve more than a grade with a master research project, ‘creating impact’ should be a constant mindset when designing the research method and analysing the data.

Because owe share these values and have a passion for engaging in this new way of doing research, we believe Sailing for Impact will have sustainable impact in the field of:

• Educational innovation
• International cooperation
• Sustainable innovation and development