Prof. Sarah Dury


Sarah Dury started as a tenure track assistant professor in Adult Educational Sciences in October 2020 after being a postdoc research fellow at the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).  Sarah promoted in March 2015 in the Belgian Ageing Studies research group, with a PhD-dissertation titled "Volunteering in later life: A focus on context” (promotor Dominique Verté). Her research focuses on participation, social inclusion and compassionate communities.  


She is involved in several local, national and European research projects. Sarah is coordinator of the Compassionate Communities Expertise Center at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. She is co-promotor of the project CIVISANO (2019-2021), which focuses on developing healthy communities through participatory research and capacity building of communities with Sciensano. She is also co-promotor of the CIVEX project (European More Years Better Lives) on Exclusion of Civic engagement of a diverse older population: Characteristics, experiences and policy implications (2021-2024). In addition, she coordinates the Erasmus+ project SEE ME (Social inclusion through Meaningful ageing) on how to improve the quality of care and social inclusion for older adults. She is partner of an H2020 project (2019-2023) and supervises six PhD students.


Sarah teaches a course on 'Social design, co-creation and innovation'. She is board member of SamenToujours.


  • Dury, S., Brosens, D., Pan, H., Principi, A., Smetcoren, A.-S., Perek-Bialas, J., De Donder, L. (2022). Helping behavior of older adults during the early COVID-19 lockdown in Belgium. Research on Aging. 
  • Vanderstichelen, D., Dury, S., De Gieter, S., Van Droogenbroeck, F., De Moortel, D., Van Hove, L., Rodeyns, J., Aernouts, N., Bakelants, H., Cohen, J., Chambaere, K., Spruyt, B., Zohar, G., Deliens, L., De Donder, L. (2021). Researching compassionate communities from an interdisciplinary perspective: the case of the Compassionate Communities Centre of Expertise (COCO). The Gerontologist. 
  • Switsers, L., Dury, S., Dierckx, E., De Donder, L. (2021). Exploring recent adverse and positive life events: A qualitative study among lonely older adults. Ageing International. 
  • Dury, S., Stas, L., Switsers, L., Duppen, D., Domenech Abella, J., Dierckx, E., De Donder, L., Consortium D-SCOPE. (2021). Gender-relateed differences in the relationship between social and activity participation and health and subjective well-being in later life. Social Science & Medicine. 
  • Dury, S., De Donder, L., De Witte, N., Buffel, T., Jacquet, W., & Verté, D. (2015). To Volunteer or Not: The Influence of Individual Characteristics, Resources, and Social Factors on the Likelihood of Volunteering by Older Adults. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 44(6), 1107-1128.


For a full overview: Pure Databank



  • Volunteering, civic engagement, social participation 
  • Social networks, loneliness, social inclusion 
  • Compassionate Communities