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The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has awarded Academy Professorships to University of Amsterdam (UvA) professors Michiel van der Klis and Joep Leerssen. The professors will each receive the sum of one million euros.

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) has awarded Academy Professorships to University of Amsterdam (UvA) professors Michiel van der Klis and Joep Leerssen. The professors will each receive the sum of one million euros, which will allow them to concentrate entirely on innovative research and training young researchers. The appointment is for a period of five years. During this period, Academy Professors are exempted from all administrative and managerial duties by their university. In total, the KNAW selected four professors this year. The two other new Academy Professors are Liesbeth de Vries and Eric Bergshoeff, both of the University of Groningen.

Michiel van der Klis

Michiel van der Klis (1953), professor of Astronomy at the Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute, was awarded an Academy Professorship for his revolutionary research into X-ray binaries (pairs of stars that orbit each other and emit X-ray radiation). The international review committee noted that van der Klis is a world leader in the field of X-rays of compact objects and has established an intriguing link between black holes and neutron stars, the two most extreme objects in the universe. With his research group van der Klis also discovered the first X-ray star that rotates four hundred times per second on its axis.

See link below for more information about the research at the Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute.

Joep Leerssen

Joep Leerssen (1955), professor of European studies, in particular modern European literature, has made a unique contribution to the research field of European studies. He examines ideas about national identity and pays special attention to literary source material. Leerssen is an inspiring leader, according to the review committee, and plays a central role within a very productive research field. With the publication of his book National Thought in Europe (Amsterdam University Press, 2006), he has established an international reputation.

See link below for more information about his current research.

Both van der Klis and Leerssen previously received the prestigious Spinoza prize from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO): van der Klis in 2004 and Leerssen in 2008.

The UvA has also been well represented in previous selections of academics for Academy Professorships: Prof. Harry B├╝ller, professor of Vascular Medicine (in 2008), Prof. Bob ten Cate, professor of Experimental Preventive Dentistry (in 2007), Prof. Paul Emmelkamp, professor of Clinical Psychology (in 2006), Prof. Maurice Sabelis, professor of Population Biology (in 2006), and Prof. Mieke Bal, professor of Theory of Literature and Women's Studies (in 2005).

See link below for more information.