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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded nineteen young scientists, who have recently obtained a doctorate, a Veni grant for research at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Academic Medical Center (AMC-UvA).

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded nineteen young scientists, who have recently obtained a doctorate, a Veni grant for research at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Academic Medical Center (AMC-UvA). Each researcher will receive 250,000 euros, with which he or she can do three years of research.

In total, 161 researchers received Veni grants in this grants round. A total of 982 researchers submitted a research proposal to the NOW this year. The 161 winners were selected for their exceptional and original talent for conducting scientific research.

The Veni grant is one of the three types of grant from the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme. The other two grants are: the Vidi subsidy (for experienced postdoctoral researchers) and Vici subsidy (for experienced researchers).

The awards

  • Dr Hajo Boomgaarden (Communication Science): Populist media - populist audience? Populism seems more important in politics, but what is the role of the media? In this research, Boomgaarden will examine if and how new media report in a populist way during election campaigns, and determine its effects on political preferences and voting behavior.
  • Dr Jeroen den Dunnen (Medicine): Antibodies set immune responses in motion
    Antibodies created by our bodies set specific immune responses in motion, but are also important in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and SLE. In this research Den Dunnen will attempt to unravel the underlying mechanisms for this, with the intention of eventually improving vaccines and finding new rheumatoid arthritis and SLE drugs.
  • Dr Maartje van Gelder (History): Behind the scenes of the early modern diplomacy
    Diplomacy took place, to some extent, behind the scenes in the early modern period. What was the importance of this informal, often covert, dimension? In this research, Van Gelder will use, among other things, reports from the Venetian intelligence to answer this question.
  • Dr Jasper de Goeij (Biology): The coral reef, a truly sustainable society
    Darwin was puzzled by this question: how can the most productive ecosystem in the world, the coral reef, grow and flourish in the water desert that is the tropical ocean? Sponges may play the key role in the recycling of food on the reef.
  • Dr Eelke Heemskerk (Political Science): Decisions in the boardroom
    Important decisions are taken at the top levels of organisations. In this research, Heemskerk will examine the extent to which managers rely on what they think their colleagues would do during the decision-making process. Appreciation from colleagues is, perhaps, a more important motive than the organisation's interests.
  • Dr Saskia Hekker (Astronomy): The Sun in its twilight days
    Stars are born and evolve. The sun is an adult star, but will change dramatically in a few billion years and become an old star. The purpose of Hekker's research is to identify the internal structure of old stars.
  • Dr Joppe Hovius (Medicine): (S)tick game
    The causative agent of Lyme disease (Borrelia) is transmitted by ticks. In this research, Hovius will analyse how the tick suppresses the immune response of its host, how Borrelia takes advantage of this to cause an infection, and whether an anti-tick vaccine can prevent Lyme disease.
  • Dr Sarah de Lange (Political Science): New parties in government: flop or success?
    The number of political parties with no government experience joining Western European cabinets has increased sharply in recent decades. Many commentators criticise this trend and claim that these parties are likely to perform poorly. In this research, De Lange will investigate the veracity of this claim.
  • Dr Matthijs van der Meer (Life Sciences): Deliberation in the brain
    For important decisions, we consider the consequences of different choices. Brain activity in the hippocampus reflects this deliberation during the decision-making process. By measuring and influencing this activity ‘live', Van der Meer's research will test how these patterns of activity influence the subsequent choice.
  • Dr Tom van der Meer (Political Science): Living together in a multicultural society
    Our society is becoming more diverse. In this research, Van der Meer will examine the consequences for social cohesion - the trust between citizens and the contacts that bind them. Is ethnic diversity (in neighborhoods and associations) indeed harmful, or is it actually an impulse?
  • Dr Ralph van Oort (Medicine): A better heart begins at cell level
    In a failing heart, muscle cells change structurally so that they can only contract poorly. Van Oort wants to use a new technique to counteract this structural change of muscle cells in order to improve heart function.
  • Dr. Fiona Parrott (Medical Anthropology): Men, fatherhood and HIV
    Unprotected sex can lead to both conception and HIV infection. In rural Africa, a better understanding of the relationship between fertility and HIV risk is essential in the fight against HIV. Most research in this area focuses on women. Parrott will study the desire to have children and responses to HIV in men.
  • Dr Balázs Pozsgai (Theoretical Physics): Thermal correlations in one dimensional quantum systems
    Pozsgai focuses his research on the interplay between thermal effects and quantum fluctuations in strongly interacting one-dimensional many-body systems. Research methods include theoretical approaches and numerical simulations, with the aim, in particular, being to provide a phenomenology for experiments with ultracold gases.
  • Dr Elske Salemink (Developmental Psychology): Triple A: anxiety, alcohol and automatic processes
    Anxious people drink alcohol to reduce their anxiety. Besides rational considerations, automatic action tendencies also play a role in this. Salemink examines the influence of these automatic processes and how these processes can be changed in anxious problem drinkers.
  • Dr Katrin Schulz (Philosophy): How do we understand conditional sentences?
    Conditional sentences play an important role in science and everyday life. But how do we grasp the meaning of such a sentence? In this project, Schulz investigates how the meaning of these sentences depends on the words with which the sentence is constructed.
  • Dr Rachel Spronk (Anthropology): Love in Africa
    If the media and science are to be believed, Africa is a loveless continent. Information and knowledge about sexuality is dominated by violence, AIDS and other miseries. In Spronk's research, the main focus is the development of intimacy between husband and wife since the colonial period. Based on family histories - three generations of the same family - the development in Nigeria of arranged marriage to the current practice of love marriage will be investigated.
  • Dr Marit Westerterp (Medicine) Cholesterol pump in the vascular wall
    Endothelial cells form the barrier between the vascular wall and the bloodstream. They protect the vascular wall against infection stimulate wound healing. Cholesterol balance is essential for this. Westerterp will investigate how a protein that pumps cholesterol from endothelial cells affects infection and wound healing
  • Dr. Jeroen van den Wijngaard (Medicine): Wrong vessels in the heart
    When heart function is hampered by high blood pressure or a heart attack, extra vessels can grow. Van den Wijngaard looks at how these vessels may protect the heart or in the long run actually be part of decreased functioning.
  • Dr. Yarbay Tuba Duman (Linguistics): Language Errors: Bilingualism or language disorder?
    Bilingual children make language errors. Some suffer from a language disorder, while others do not. Do bilingual children make mistakes because they are bilingual or because of a language disorder? In this project, Yarbay Duman aims to figure out how to distinguish bewteen these two possibilities.