Henriette Tolstrup Holmegaard

Henriette Tolstrup Holmegaard

Associate Professor

Member of:

  • University Science Education

  • Equity in Science Education

Fields of interest

Twitter: @hholmegaard

Research focus

Henriette is an associated professor at the department of science education. She is leading the resaerchgroup Equity in Science Education with 11 members.  Her research centres on understanding different children and young people's choice processes, transitions and meeting with the cultural practices of different science and engineering disciplins. In particular she investigates the barriers that prevent some children and young people from seeing themselves within and being recognised as someone belonging within sciene and engineering. Here she has contributed to the conceptual field of science identities.

Together with Lene Møller Madsen she currently leads the project GATE. She is moreover the leader of the qualitaitive part of the national project SCOPE. Finally she contributes to the British project ASPIRES 3.



Supported by the Grundfos foundation, the GATE project investigates why a large proportion of the young women who have elected science study programmes in Danish gymnasium, refrain from continueing into higher education science and engineering. Internationally different science diciplins entails different gendered explusion macanisms. As such the mission of GATE is both to provide the knowledge base that enables a re-design og teaching practices in upper secondary school so that more young women in particular will stay within science and engineering, and to facilitate and implement a repertoire of new teaching practices to physics and chemestry teaching at upper secondary school level.

As such part of the project will develop, test, implement and evaluate a Gender Aware Teaching Approach for Equity in science teaching at upper secondary school. This will be developed in close contact with teachers with the goal to make concrete changes in the science teaching practices to support more students, and more women in particular in their aspiations and interests in the subjects.

Scope: Danish children and young people's science capital

The Villum Foundation and the Novo Nordisk Foundation support the SCOPE project, which for up to 10 years will investigate how children and young people's knowledge of, interest in and relationship to STEM develops over time. Focus will be on understanding how children's and young people's experiences and backgrounds play together with their opportunities to see themselves in STEM. We seek to understand why some children and young people develop and maintain a science interest while it disappears in others. The interest in STEM is important for opting for further STEM studies but also for children's education as citizens .

I am part of Scope as co-PI for the overall project led by VIVE, and as the leader of the qualitative part of the project which is done in close collaboration with KP and VIA.


Aspires 3: Science Capital

Professor Louise Archer and her group at UCL, have developed the concept of science capital in a British context through an impressive longitudinal study of children and young people's aspirations and interests in STEM. I participate as an external expert in Aspires 3, which follows the population into higher education. Read more here: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/departments-and-centres/departments/education-practice-and-society/aspires-research


Research in the higher STEM educations

In addition, Henriette has continuously studied students' choices, transitions to, within and from higher education programs. In particular she holds an interest in students' academic navigation, retention, and choice processes. 

Primary fields of research

University peadogogy in general and in particular science and engineering higher education programmes. I am interested in the students' and how they navigate when meeting content, lectures, teaching and learning cultures and rutines - in relation to the mechanisms of inckusion and exclusion embedded in the study programme. Gender is a particual interest.

My research also includes transition processes and the choices and negotiations that appears herein.

A particular research interest is the development and rethink of q ualitative methods.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Når ’altid’ er foranderligt: En longitudinal, kvalitativ, narrativ tilgang til unges overgange til og fra universitetet

    Holmegaard, Henriette Tolstrup, 2018, Ungeperspektiver. Tænkninger og tilgange i ungdomsforskningen.. Pless, M. & Sørensen, N. U. (eds.). 1 ed. Aalborg Universitetsforlag, Vol. 7. p. 13-39 26 p. (Ungdomsliv, Vol. 7).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

  2. Published

    Science students’ post-bachelor’s choice narratives in different disciplinary settings

    Madsen, Lene Møller & Holmegaard, Henriette Tolstrup, 2023, In: European Educational Research Journal. 22, 2, p. 216-235 20 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

ID: 11328782