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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded two promising foreign researchers Rubicon grants with which they can conduct research at the University of Amsterdam.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded two promising foreign researchers Rubicon grants with which they can conduct research at the University of Amsterdam. A total of 28 young, promising researchers received funding from the Rubicon programme. Rubicon offers researchers who have recently obtained their doctorates the chance to gain experience at a top research institution outside the Netherlands (maximum of two years). The NWO also brings talent from abroad to the Netherlands via the Rubicon programme. This allows the NWO to stimulate international mobility of scientific talent.

The researchers honoured

Dr. C. Donkin (Cognitive Science): A deeper search for brain data.
Images of brain activity tell us about areas in the brain that are essential for different behaviour. It is, however, difficult to connect this activity to cognitive processes. Chris Donkin, from the Australian University of Newcastle, wants to facilitate these connections by combining data obtained from brain scans with formal theories of behaviour. Donkin will conduct his research at the Cognitive Science Centre.

Mr. A.M. Shultz (Chemistry): embedding photocatalysts for artificial photosynthesis.
The growing world population and its growing energy needs require the use of sunlight as a source of renewable energy. Artificial photosynthesis, where sunlight is used to convert water into high-energy hydrogen is a very attractive approach. Abraham Shultz will study the embedding of existing and new catalysts into well-defined, crystalline materials and their immobilisation on electrode surfaces. This will lead to new applications for scalable photocatalysis, whereby sunlight can be converted into chemical energy. Shultz, from Northwestern University in the US, will conduct his research at Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences.

Rubicon

The name of the grant comes from the Rubicon river. Julius Caesar crossed the river before he began his series of victories that led to the famous "Veni, vidi, vici ' speech. Rubicon is a good stepping stone to a Veni grant which is part of the NWO Innovational Research Incentives Scheme. The level of funding depends on the chosen destination. Dutch institutions that accommodate a foreign researcher for one year, receive 55,000 euros. The recipients can use their funding from the Rubicon programme to conduct research for up to 24 months.