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Prof. Patti Valkenburg, Prof. Annemarie Mol and Prof. André Nollkaemper of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) received an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

Prof. Patti Valkenburg, Prof. Annemarie Mol and Prof. André Nollkaemper of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) received an ERC Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC is an institute dedicated to funding pioneering research within the European Union. Valkenburg will receive a sum of 2.5 million Euro, while Mol and Nollkaemper will be awarded 1.8 and 2.1 million Euro, respectively.

The ERC Advanced Grant is a prestigious European research grant for individual researchers. The Grant is awarded as part of the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Union (FP 7), a grant programme for the 2007-2013 period. The ERC Advanced Grant is awarded to outstanding individual researchers conducting groundbreaking research. In addition to the research concept itself, the grant is also awarded on the basis of the researchers' track records and research environment.

The grant recipients:

The entertainisation of the young - Prof. Patti Valkenburg (Communication Science)

Patti Valkenburg will receive a 2.5 million Euro grant for her research proposal entitled ‘The entertainisation of the young'. Valkenburg suggests we have now reached a stage in which any information targeted at young people is expected to be fun, emotionally intensive and dynamic. This applies to education, health education, advertising and news. She will be assessing how this phenomenon affects children's cognitive skills, behaviour (including aggressive behaviour) and ADHD. She will also be working to establish which children are most sensitive to the positive and negative effects of entertainisation. Her assessment will take into account individual differences in terms of genetic disposition and the role of parents and peers.

The eating body in Western practice and theory - Prof. Annemarie Mol (Anthropology)

Annemarie Mol will receive a 1.8 million Euro grant for her study of the ‘eating body' in the Western world. We all know what ‘eating' is, but this project places our existing knowledge and assumptions between parentheses in order to gain a fresh perspective on the familiar. Take the concept of a ‘healthy diet': does this require sober moderation or is there some scope for pleasure and enjoyment? How do people adjust their sense of taste to the food they eat and vice versa? How do eaters relate to the others (both nearby and far) sharing their food? Mol hopes to find a new perspective on such issues by applying similar questions to everyday occurrences, enriching the language and methods of theory formulation used in the social sciences in the process.

Shared Responsibility in International Law – Prof. André Nollkaemper (Law)

André Nollkaemper will receive 2.1 million Euro for his study on shared responsibility in international law. Many of today's problems can only be addressed through cooperation between various nations, international organisations and other actors. Examples include the global economic crisis, multinational military operations and problems in the area of climate change. This inevitably leads to the question: who is responsible when something goes wrong? In practice, (examples include the aftermath of the Srebrenica massacre, as well as the climate problem and overfishing) the various actors often tend to hide behind one another: after all, no one party was solely responsible for causing the damage. Nollkaemper will attempt to identify the principles and procedures needed to ensure shared responsibility, whereby the various actors can be held accountable for their part in a wrongful act, even if they are not responsible for the full extent of the damages.

Knowledge Transfer Office

The three researchers received support from Dr Bea Krenn, senior advisor on European research funding at the UvA's Knowledge Transfer Office, who helped them apply for their grants. For advice on research grants, contact the UvA's Knowledge Transfer Office (see the link below).