The Elephant Path
guidance and expertise in every step of the research process
The Elephant Path is a research & consulting agency that supports organizations and individuals in conducting high-quality, reliable research on societal issues. Our mission is to deliver customized solutions to research problems – whether it’s advising on a suitable research design, conducting thorough and rigorous data analyses, or providing professional research content. The Elephant Path specializes in interdisciplinary social science research: we integrate theoretical perspectives and empirical insights from diverse disciplines to gain a better understanding of complex societal issues.
The Elephant Path was founded in 2018 by Dr. Suzan Doornwaard. The name “The Elephant Path” was chosen because elephants possess skills and qualities that have much in common with the characteristics of high-quality research. Elephants have impressive problem-solving skills and are remarkably resourceful. They are able to adjust their behavior to new challenges, using insight to find solutions to problems and tools to reach their goals. Moreover, elephants have a compelling memory: throughout their lives, they accumulate and retain knowledge and experiences, and they use this information to make efficient and goal-oriented decisions. The most experienced elephants navigate and coach the group towards their goal. While doing so, they create the paths for the next generations to follow.
"Where an elephant walks,
a path is created"
founder the elephant path
As an interdisciplinary social scientist and research consultant, Suzan worked on a variety of multidisciplinary research projects, in diverse settings and for diverse clients. Most of her academic work focused on youth and the changing social and cultural contexts in which they develop, addressing issues as social media use, youth culture, sexual development, substance use, and problem behavior. In her research projects, Suzan utilizes and combines diverse quantitative and qualitative methodologies (e.g., longitudinal surveys, online focus groups, experimental designs, systematic content analyses) to study complex social processes.
Suzan studied Interdisciplinary Social Sciences (BSc) and Development and Socialisation in Childhood and Adolescence (Research MSc) at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. In 2015, she obtained her PhD for her multi-method research on the role of the Internet in adolescent sexual development, which was part of 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 PhD, 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).
In addition to her academic research experience, Suzan worked as a social impact consultant and was managing editor for an academic journal.