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Nine young, pioneering UvA scientists have been awarded a Vidi grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Each researcher will receive a grant of up to €800,000.

Nine young, pioneering UvA scientists have been awarded a Vidi grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Each researcher will receive a grant of up to €800,000, allowing them to develop their own line of research and set up an individual research group over a period of five years. This allocation round will see the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research award a total of 89 grants.

The grant recipients

  • Dr Tom Beckers (Psychology): The diverse faces of fear

Fear is an extremely useful emotion, but can easily spiral out of control to the point where it becomes a paralysing disorder. In this study Beckers will examine how normal levels of fear transform into psychopathology, why our actions do not always reflect our thoughts and feelings, and whether the treatment of fear could have counterproductive effects in some.

  • Dr Mike Cohen (Psychology): How brain regions ‘talk' to one another in order to learn from mistakes

We all make mistakes. Though we generally learn from our errors, there are exceptions. Some people learn quickly, others act impulsively and tend to repeat their mistakes. Cohen is examining how different brain regions 'talk to one another' by synchronising their electrical signals in order to learn from mistakes. He is also working to establish whether these signals are less synchronised in impulsive individuals.

  • Dr Marieke de Goede (European Studies): European security culture

There is a widely held assumption that Europe's role in the world is influenced by a typically European perspective on security issues. However, the actual effects of this supposed security culture remain unclear. This research project will see De Goede examine the historical development and present-day significance of the European security culture.

  • Dr Gerben van Kleef (Social Psychology): Emotion = influence

People often use their emotions to influence others. But is this strategy actually effective? Van Kleef will be examining which emotions are effective under which circumstances, and how expressing them can help us to influence others.

  • Dr Jochen Peter (Communication Studies): Sex in the media and young people

The past few years have seen a great deal of debate on the sexualisation of young people through the media. As of yet, little scientific data has been gathered on this subject. Peter will be assessing whether the media influence young people's views and sexual behaviour.

  • Dr Marten Postma (Computational Science): Computer models of embryogenesis

Embryogenesis is the process by which embryos are formed and developed. This process is a complex interplay between genetic regulation and a sequence of mutations. Postma will be studying embryogenesis using computer models based on detailed experimental data.

  • Dr Joanita Vroom (Archaeology): Fragments of daily life

Recent archaeological finds in the eastern Mediterranean offer a surprising new perspective on life in the Byzantine and Ottoman ages. For the very first time, archaeological digs reveal fascinating details on consumption behaviour and the relationships between the Eastern and Western world after the fall of the Roman Empire.

  • Dr Anna Watts (Astronomy): Starquakes on neutron stars

Neutron stars have the strongest magnetic fields in the universe, powerful enough to cause starquakes. Watts uses seismic observations and theoretical calculations to study the nature of ultra-dense matter and the extraordinary physics of extreme magnetism.

  • Dr Noam Zelcer (Medical biochemistry): IDOLising cholesterol

Our bodies need cholesterol, but too much can be bad for our health. Special mechanisms in our cells ensure that cholesterol levels remain within acceptable limits. Zelcer will be studying IDOL, a protein that has been proven to play a key role in this process.

About the Vidi grant

The Vidi grant is intended for outstanding researchers who have conducted successful research projects for several years after having obtained their doctorate. The grant recipients are among the top 10 to 20 percent of their discipline. The Vidi grant is one of three types of grants made available as part of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme. The two other grants are the Veni grant (for researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate) and the Vici grant (for highly experienced researchers).

See the link below for more details and a full overview of grant recipients.