The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Vidi grant to fourteen researchers from the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Academic Medical Center (AMC-UvA). Each scientist receives up to 800,000 euros to develop their own line of research and set up their own research group. The NOW awarded a total of 88 Vidi grants in this round (556 researchers submitted an application). The UvA was awarded the most grants of all universities.
The Vidi grant is part of the NWO's Innovational Research Incentives Scheme. The grant is aimed at outstanding researchers who have conducted successful research for a number of years after having obtained their PhD. The Vidi winners have demonstrated that they can both come up with and successfully and independently develop innovative ideas. The scientists are among the best ten to twenty percent in their respective fields of study. The Vidi grant will enable them to conduct research for five years.
- Dr Diederik van de Beek (Neurology): Bacterial meningitis as brainteaser
Bacterial meningitis is a fatal disease caused by bacteria. Hereditary characteristics determine if you get the disease and whether or not you die, but how this works is a mystery. In this nationwide research, Van de Beek delves deep into the hereditary material of humans and bacteria in an attempt to solve this challenging puzzle.
- Dr Maurice Bun (Quantitative Economics): Panel data and causality
Economic policy evaluations are often based on non-experimental data. This makes the statistical analysis of policy effects more difficult, as policy changes are especially influenced by target variables. Bun uses the versatility of panel data to map out the causal relationship between policy and policy impact.
- Dr Claudio Castelnovo (Theoretical Physics) Quantum Matter: new forms of magnetism and quantum information
The research of Castelnovo focuses on materials in which opposing forces give rise to unusual forms of magnetism and new quantum mechanical phenomena. It also explores the possibility of using such materials for storing and processing quantum information.
- Dr Marc Davidson (Philosophy): Global biodiversity policies
In this research. Davidson wants to develop policies to counter the decline of global biodiversity. Which economic instruments can be used? How can we measure results? Who is to bear the costs of protection
- Dr David Dubbeldam (Chemistry): Design of nanoporous materials with the computer
Metal-organic frameworks are porous materials that can be designed on a drawing board before they are actually made in a laboratory. Computer simulation can efficiently analyse and optimise the design for the storage and separation of gases.
- Dr Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Philosophy): The roots of deduction
In a deductive argument the conclusion follows out of necessity from the premises without the interference of external information. But what do we do when we use deductive reasoning? In this research, Dutilh Novaes examines the philosophical, psychological and historical aspects of deduction in their context.
- Dr. Margriet van Eikema Hommes (Art History & Conservation and Restoration): Behind the scenes of painted rooms
In earlier centuries, many paintings were created for a specific location. These historic interiors are an important source. They tell us about the ideas of the clients and the visual translation of these by artists. In this project, Van Eikema Hommes explores the original appearance, visual consistency and historical context of this cultural legacy for the first time.
- Dr. Hilde Geurts (Psychology): Aging in autism
People that age often become slower and find it more difficult to do several things at once. People with autism already experience this when they are young. What happens when people with autism age?
- Dr Jochen Heinloth (Mathematics), Parameter Spaces in the Langlands Programme
Parameter spaces for geometric objects always have an especially fine structure in the most symmetrical objects. In this research, Heinloth investigates this fine structure to find new clues for the Langlands conjecture that postulates a mysterious connection between arithmetic and analytic properties.
- Dr. Roger Sanders (Medical Microbiology): Working on vaccines
The interaction between vaccines and the immune system has many unknown aspects. Sanders plans to map out the interactions between vaccines and the immune system, so that better vaccines can be designed to optimally stimulate the immune system.
- Dr. Eric Schranz (Biology): Plant genome archeology
The vast majority of flowering plants have duplicated genomes. This process has contributed to the diversity of plants that can be seen today. In this research Schranz focuses on identifying the evolutionary processes and patterns involved in genome duplications which took place millions of years ago.
- Dr. Heleen Slagter (Psychology): Brain Mechanisms Underlying cognitive plasticity
Contrary to long-held beliefs, the adult brain is still capable of reorganisation and renewal. In this research, Slagter will check how training specific cognitive skills changes brain function and how this could improve cognitive functions.
- Dr. Olav Velthuis (Sociology): The globalisation of the art market
The recent economic rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China also has cultural implications. Chinese art is sold internationally for millions of dollars. In this research Velthuis examines how contemporary art is sold in the BRIC countries and how it differs from the art market in the west.
- Dr. Jarrett Zigon (Anthropology): HIV, human rights and identity
Human rights are used as motivation for the provision of services to people with HIV / AIDS worldwide. In this project, Zigon examines the consequences of the use of such rights on the identities of clients and staff of hiv/aids prevention and care centres.