Peter J. Vermij, MSc. (*1962),
Founder, director, Bird’s Eye Communications.

Peter Vermij


Consulting: 2009-today | 2006-2009

Journalism: 2004-2006 | 1999-2004 | 1990-1999 | 1993-1998 | 1985-1990

Teaching: 2008 | 1993-1999 | 1990-1999 | 1998 | 1993-1995

Books: Fresh Blood | Perfectie op Bestelling

Awards: Van Walree award | WUR Press Award | Teyler Initiatiefprijs

Education: 1996 | 1980-1989


2009 – today

Strategic communications advisor at Bird’s Eye Communications (Amsterdam); Bird’s Eye Communications is a small consultancy firm founded and owned by me. Projects include all sorts of communication services such as building (web) communication and media strategies, crisis communication and -preparation, media training and funding proposals. Clients come from industry, government and civil society, sometimes brought together in multi-stakeholder groups. The portfolio includes some joint ventures with other consultancies.

International accounts include(d):

Dutch accounts include(d):

2006 – 2009

Strategic Senior Consultant at Schuttelaar & Partners.
Schuttelaar & Partners is a consultancy firm headquartered in The Hague (Netherlands). At the firm, I handled international and life science/biotechnology accounts and helped the firm build a branch office in Brussels. Projects included all sorts of communication services including devising (web) communication and media strategies, crisis communication and crisis preparation, media training and proposal-funding. In Brussels I convened regular expert briefings on EU policy related to genetic modification. Clients came from industry, government and civil society. Accounts included:


2004 – 2006

Science writer (freelance), based in Amsterdam and Paris, reporting for clients such as Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Bioentrepreneur, and Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. Also, science writing for Dutch newspapers and magazines such as NRC Handelsblad, Intermediair, Binnenlands Bestuur and Advocatenblad. See this archive for some of the stories from this time.

1999 – 2004

United States correspondent (freelance), based in Washington DC, reporting on science, history, economy, law etc., for Dutch dailies (NRC Handelsblad, Het Parool, Staatscourant), weeklies (Intermediair) and trade magazines (Historisch Nieuwsblad, Advocatenblad). See this archive for some of the stories from this time.

1990 – 1999

Editor/Reporter (full-time) at Het Parool, Amsterdam’s primary daily newspaper.
Responsibilities included: chairing the paper’s editorial advisory board, reporting on (higher) education policy at national government and parliament level; science reporting; coordinating and editing sections and supplements on science and higher education; initiating and creating the newspaper’s very first website and hiring and managing its editorial team; co-initiating, coordinating and presenting public debates and a national student thesis competition. Member of the works council.

1993 – 1998

Host/Editor of award-winning tv-shows and documentaries for Dutch public television, such as:

  • Het Souterrain (‘The Basement’), three talkshows on future biomedical dilemmas arising from current research;
  • Een Rondje DNA (‘A Round Of DNA’), thirteen mini-documentaries on DNA technology and its consequences;
  • Gif Om Op Te Vreten (‘Feeding On Poison’), documentary on the use of genetically engineered micro-organisms to clean up chemical pollutants;
  • Voor Een Breed Publiek (‘For A Large Audience’), documentary on scientists who go out to tell the world about their work.

1985 – 1990

Ad interim Editor-in-chief/Editor/Reporter at UK (weekly newspaper of University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands). Responsibilities included: science writing & editing; implementing editorial computer system and desktop publishing; supervising a restyling; chairing editorial staff.



Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences (UIPS), research division of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands (freelance). Subject: media handling for (young) scientists.

1993 – 1999

Faculty of Communication and Journalism, Utrecht Polytechnic, Utrecht, The Netherlands (freelance). Subject: health-science writing.

1990 – 1999

Foundation for science journalism and communication, Utrecht, The Netherlands (freelance). Subject: science writing.

1993 – 1995

Moderator of panel discussions on reproductive technology and bioethics; lectures on state of affairs in biotechnology.



Fresh Blood — Celebrating 25 years of the European Hematology Association; 108 pp. in English, publ. EHA, The Hague, ISBN 978-90-823759-0-9. The captivating story of the founding and growth of the European Hematology Association.


Perfectie Op Bestelling — Genetische Manipulatie In Het Dagelijks Leven (‘Perfection Made To Order — Genetic Engineering In Daily Life’.); 152 pp. in Dutch, publ. Aramith Uitgevers, ISBN 90-6834-108-1. On the state of affairs in biotechnology and what that holds in store for ordinary people’s lives.



Van Walree-award from the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences) for documentary series Een Rondje DNA and Het Souterrain. Granted to producer Jan Vink (Science Productions).


Press award from Wageningen University (The Netherlands); for selected articles on agriculture, science and the environment.


Teyler Initiatief-award from Teylers Museum Haarlem (The Netherlands); for tv documentaries Gif Om Op Te Vreten and Een Rondje DNA. Granted to producer Jan Vink (Science Productions).



New media & internet publishing: 3-week crash course with excursions covering best practice examples in Houston TX, Phoenix AZ, San Francisco CA, and San Jose CA, with additional excursions to New York Times and Chicago Tribune. Organized by the Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

1980 – 1989

BSc., MSc. (Biology, highest honors) at University of Groningen (The Netherlands) with:

  • De Oorzaak Van Homoseksualiteit; Achtergronden Van De ‘Affaire-Swaab’ (‘Causes of Homosexuality; Background To The ‘Swaab Affair’), colloquium and thesis on research into proposed etiologies of homosexuality;
  • Een Onpraktisch Vak (‘An Impractical Profession’), thesis on how the Dutch mammalian paleontology field began to flourish thanks to Franco’s Spain;
  • Behavioral research on circadian pacemaker in diurnal chipmunks. Published in: J. Biological Rhythms 14 (4) pp. 320-329;
  • Teaching credentials (‘first grade’, valid for high schools, colleges and polytechnics).


  • Dutch (native),
  • English (near-native),
  • German (independent).