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About us

About US

Guidance and expertise at every step of the research process.

Established in 2018 by Dr. Suzan Doornwaard, Elephant Path – Research & Consulting is dedicated to empowering organizations and individuals in the pursuit of high-quality, reliable research on societal issues. Our mission is to provide guidance and expertise across the entire research process – whether it’s advising on a suitable research design, conducting thorough and rigorous data analyses, or providing professional research content for your project. Specializing in interdisciplinary social science research, we seamlessly integrate theoretical perspectives and empirical insights from various disciplines, employing a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods and different knowledge sources. This broad approach allows us to unravel the complexity and interconnected nature of today’s wicked problems.

Inspired by the remarkable qualities of elephants, our name “Elephant Path” symbolizes our commitment to exhibiting problem-solving skills, resourcefulness, and adaptability to new challenges. Much like these majestic creatures, we strive to leverage knowledge, experience, and tools to guide informed and goal-oriented decisions.

Experienced elephants navigate and coach their group towards their goal. While doing so, they carve the path for future generations.

"Where an elephant walks,
a path is created"

Burmese proverb


Suzan Doornwaard, PhD

As an interdisciplinary social scientist and research consultant, Suzan has successfully coordinated diverse research projects, spanning academic research, participatory and action-oriented studies, monitoring and evaluation efforts, and scientific consultancies. Her work is centered on unraveling the complex dynamics between individuals and the diverse social, cultural, and ecological contexts that shape their experiences.

Suzan pursued her academic journey at Utrecht University in The Netherlands, studying Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (BSc) and Development and Socialisation in Childhood and Adolescence (Research MSc). In 2015, she earned her Ph.D. for her multi-method research on the role of the Internet in adolescent sexual development, contributing to the first large-scale longitudinal study on adolescent sexual development in The Netherlands (Project STARS). For one of the studies in her dissertation, Suzan received the Publication Award from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). During her Ph.D., Suzan spent several months in the US as a visiting scholar at the Center on Media and Child Health (Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School).

Suzan currently serves on the board of Bring the Elephant Home, a research and conservation organization dedicated to promoting human-elephant coexistence through enhancing social-ecological resilience and fostering sustainable conservation action.



Research Experience


PhD, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Cultural Diversity & Youth

Utrecht University, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

MSc, Development Socialisation in Childhood and Adolescence

Utrecht University, Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Graduated cum laude

BSc, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, w. minors in Cultural Studies

Utrecht University, Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Graduated cum laude

PhD, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Cultural Diversity & Youth

Utrecht University, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Postgraduate courses and training

United Nations University - Intensive Core Courses on Sustainability Science; Wageningen University & Research - Food Environments for Healthy Sustainable Diets; Data Visualization and Information Design


Research Consultant

Elephant Path - Research & Consulting

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Youth in Changing Cultural Contexts

Utrecht University, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Cultural Diversity & Youth

Social Impact Consultant


Managing Editor

Journal of Social Intervention: Theory and Practice

Visiting scholar

Center on Media and Child Health, Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital

University lecturer / Thesis supervisor

Utrecht University, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Cultural Diversity & Youth


publication Award

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Best Student Presentation Award

Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

Research Article Award, Second Place

Utrecht University, Research Group Child and Adolescent Studies

Best Scientific Poster Award

Utrecht University, Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

25+ academic publications

See portfolio for a full list of publications per research area

Research Website
Working with Elephant Path - Research & Consulting was simply great! Building my website, I really felt Suzan listened closely to what I wanted and aligned herself well with the ideas I had. But she also came in with additional suggestions and ideas that I’d never thought of. Because of this, the website in the end looked super professional—better than I’d ever dreamt of.
Geertjan Overbeek
Director, Research Institute Child Development and Education, University of Amsterdam
Research visuals and presentation design
When I approached Suzan for visualizing my research ideas, I had a vague idea of what I wanted as an end result, but urgently needed someone to help me get there. Elephant Path - Research & Consulting literally carved out a road in a jungle of opportunities and I did not doubt my choice of working with Suzan for even a second along the way. I can recommend Suzan to anyone who needs someone who is very perceptive of a client’s goals and extremely powerful in developing and implementing a strategy to achieve this. I couldn’t have wished for a better support for my project!
Maria Schiller
Assistant Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Research website
It was a pleasure working with Suzan. She is skilled, creative and her knowledge of the research field came in very useful. Not only did Suzan design a beautiful website for our research project, but also helped translate the contents into lay-terms for parents and schools. Suzan is attentive to her clients’ wishes: she understood what I was looking for without much explanation. I highly recommend her services.
Brechtje de Mooij
Researcher, University of Amsterdam
Translating and proofreading
It was a pleasure working with Elephant Path - Research & Consulting. Suzan did an excellent job translating and proofreading my manuscript. Not only was her proofreading meticulous, but she also did a thorough check of the methods and data and made some critical suggestions on the content of the manuscript.
Regina van den Eijnden
Assistant Professor, Utrecht University
Quantitative advisor for ResultsinHealth
ResultsinHealth brought a dynamic, rigorous, and inquisitive posture to the project. These characteristics helped tremendously given the multiple partners and stakeholders that needed to be managed across the consortium. I was impressed with the team’s attention to detail, their critical analysis and ability to work under intense pressure given an everchanging field dynamic due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They helped us pull off an evaluation we genuinely did not know if we could deliver on once borders started closing and in-country restrictions were put in place.
Program Director
World Vision Canada
Research visuals and website design
Suzan helped me with a research grant proposal by visualizing the research design and research questions. After reading my proposal and only one short talk, she managed to make a clear and structured overview of my research plans and to create an appealing set of figures to accompany my grant proposal. Her sketches even helped me to get a clearer view of my own plan. She works quick and effective and was able to help me fine-tune the last details in the rush of meeting my deadline.
Rianne Kok
Assistant Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Research visuals and presentation design
So incredibly happy with all the help from Suzan for my ERC grant proposal. After reading an early draft proposal, Suzan created beautiful and clear visualisations of my main research interests and (rather complex) theoretical framework. This was very helpful not only in terms of conveying my ideas to others, but also for structuring my ideas for myself. Suzan then helped me create my presentation for the interview, which had the same clarity and helped me communicate my main message in a very effective way.
Samira van Bohemen
Assistant Professor, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Research website
I very much enjoyed and recommend working with Elephant Path - Research & Consulting. While Suzan was building the website for our research project, I experienced her as being very skilled and creative. On top of that, I feel that she was able to contribute more in-depth insights as well because of her background in Social Sciences. Suzan is enthusiastic, hard-working, and I am very impressed by the end product, our research website.
Maud Hensums
PhD Candidate, University of Amsterdam
In one word, I would describe Suzan's editorial talent as "brilliant." She and I worked on the structure and the content of my thesis at a point where I got stuck with so many pre-written materials that did not contribute to a well-structured storyline. With her experience in academic writing, Suzan immediately came up with several on-target ideas and helped me re-format my story into a coherent and fluent one while maintaining the relevance for the intended audience. I would be more than happy to collaborate with her again in the future!
Cagri Tekinay
PhD Candidate, TU Delft
Quantitative advisor
During my thesis research for the Bachelor Applied Psychology, Suzan advised me on the quantitative data analysis. She helped me select the proper statistical techniques, explained how to perform the analyses in SPSS, and helped me interpret and describe the results. Her feedback was really helpful!
Anouk Senz
Psychology Graduate, Saxion University of Applied Sciences