Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

SENSE has a number of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), which meet regularly via Zoom and in person throughout the Netherlands. Meetings are open to all SENSE members. Guests are welcome to attend one or two meetings before deciding whether they would like to join SENSE.

If you would like to attend one of our SIG meetings, keep an eye on the Events calendar or the SIG events page, or please email our SIG and Social Events Coordinator at events@sense-online.nl. Currently active SIGs are:

Other SIGs that existed in the past include the Copywriting SIG, Eastern SIG (Zwolle), SIG Far North (Groningen), and FINLEGSIG (finance/legal).


SENSE Ed discusses topics relevant to teachers and educators. SENSE Ed usually meets in Utrecht (usually a short walk from Utrecht Central Station). 

Here are some of SENSE Ed's most recent meetings:

  • Teaching writing to Chinese Students
    Working with Chinese authors poses special challenges on many levels. David Barick shared his experience as an academic writing teacher.
  • Business English today
    Sue Soltis examed a number of topics related to this field. Sue is a business English trainer and course developer at Taalcentrum-VU.
  • What makes writing support a success?
    John Harbord explored the paths that can lead to the institutional centrality or marginalization of writing, and how to make student acquisition of writing skills successful. John is an academic writing advisor at Maastricht University.
  • Back to the classroom...?
    For months during the pandemic, teachers were pretty much glued to their Zoom screens, but as the pandemic began to subside, David Barick discussed returning to real-time instruction again.
  • Kicking off the new school year
    Stephen Johnston (convenor of the Training SIG) spoke about mistakes to avoid when using Zoom. Tom Wigham demonstrate how to provide effective feedback to students during a virtual class. Tom teaches courses on academic writing and debate skills at the University of Groningen.


SenseMed's members work in the fields of medicine, biomedical research, and related subjects. Most of SenseMed's activities are online, and SenseMed is lucky to count scientists, teachers of scientific writing, psychologists, nurses, and biologists among its ranks. 

Here are some of SenseMed's most recent meetings:

  • A full dose of SenseMed
    In this all-day in-person event, SENSE members Daphne Lees, Curtis Barrett and Sally Hill gave a guided tour through three aspects of medical English: medical translation, medical editing, and medical writing.
  • Keeping up with the latest trends in the (bio)medical sciences
    When editors and translators of medical and biomedical texts encounter unfamiliar terms, the challenge is identifying whether a term is either just "bad English" or is actually a new term that's worked its way into the field.
  • Editing medical/biomedical texts: proofreading or heavy lifting?
    Various issues were discussed, including whether to approach the job differently if the client is a PhD/medical student or the supervisor/professor, clients’ expectations, and the purpose of various texts (e.g. a publication, dissertation, grant proposal, commercial application).

Starters SIG

The Starters SIG is a community of newcomers to SENSE and to the English-language industry as a whole. The Starters SIG is "for starters by starters", and as such, the SIG's activities are restricted to SENSE members who have joined SENSE in the past 5 years. Most in-person events will be held around the Amsterdam area. The Starters SIG aims to:

  • Share experiences
  • Offer tips, advice and feedback
  • Bring together professional networks
  • Amplify each other's voices

Here are some of the Starters SIG's most recent meetings:

Tech SIG

Tech SIG is the place to discuss computers, software and everything else you never dared to ask about the tools you use everyday for your job. Tech SIG holds short lunchtime meetings online.

Here are some of SENSE Ed's most recent meetings:

Training SIG

As language professionals, we’re experts at working with words. But sometimes we’re asked to do something a little different – like running a workshop to help others work with words too. This is called training…and it’s far different than teaching. Now, we’ve all been to workshops. Some of them are amazing. Many of them are boring. What’s the difference? A trainer who knows the topic – and just as importantly – a trainer who knows how to engage participants and get them excited about the session.

The Training SIG is SENSE's newest SIG. They've only had one meeting so far, but topics for this SIG include:

  • What is the difference between training and teaching?
  • What makes a good workshop session?
  • What are the current and future trends in training?
  • What do individuals, businesses, educational organizations and business networking groups want out of workshops?


UniSIG enables editors and translators who work with academic and university texts (such as research articles, grant applications, dissertations, course books) to network and share experiences. Online meetings allow speakers and members from far afield to contribute, and there are also occasional in-person events.

Here are some of UniSIG's most recent meetings:

Southern SIG – Limburg and Noord-Brabant

The Southern SIG offers events by and for SENSE members in the provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant, but we extend our ‘southern hospitality’ to all SENSE members, wherever they are located. The Southern SIG organizes social get-togethers without a formal agenda every two to three months. In-person events take place in cities like in Maastricht, Weert and/or Eindhoven.

Here are some of UniSIG's most recent meetings:

Utrecht SIG

The Utrecht SIG meets every two months, on the second Wednesday of odd-numbered months, either via Zoom or at various venues close to Utrecht Centraal Station. We concentrate on translation but by the second half of the evening usually discuss other professional (and other) issues.

Here are some of Utrecht SIG's most recent meetings:

  • How do we translate?
    Do you write a very rough first draft? Or are you a 'first-time-right' translator? This meeting was inspired by Daniel Hahn's keynote talk at an ITI conference in Brighton, UK.
  • Let's talk about simplified English
    SENSE member Jenny Zonneveld discussed two recent projects that needed simple English – one a translation, the other a ‘heavy’ edit.
  • Social + Book swap
    An evening at Fort bij Rijnauwen in Bunnik, with a book swap and pancakes.
  • The four tendencies
    Visiting speaker Anne-Sophie De Clercq talked about Gretchen Rubin's book "The four tendencies" on how to understand yourself, your colleagues and your clients better.
  • Does this text need sprucing up?
    Attendees evaluated whether a Dutch text needed more than just translating to make it work for the client.

Zuid-Holland SIG – Den Haag

The Zuid-Holland SIG is a social SIG. They usually meet at members' private residences, generally in Den Haag.

Here are some of Utrecht SIG's most recent meetings: