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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Rubicon Grant to UvA researchers Amanda Burson, Gilles de Hollander and Eftychia Stamkou. The grant will allow them to conduct research at a foreign research institute.

The recipients

Amanda Burson (Ecology): Phytoplankton in the melting Arctic

The speed of Greenland ice-sheet melt is increasing due to climate change. Meltwater enters the fjords and thus changes the environment of the phytoplankton that are present. Burson’s research will aim to understand the impact of the increased meltwater on the composition of the phytoplankton at the base of the food chain.

Burson will conduct her research for a period of 24 months at the University of Nottingham’s School of Geography (UK)

Gilles de Hollander (Psychology): When the brain takes no risks

De Hollander’s research will aim to gain a better understanding as to why people are not good at estimating risks. An existing computer model of how people represent risks will be assessed using functional MRI data. That could make it possible to observe individual differences in risk behaviour in images of the brain.

De Hollander will conduct his research for a period of 24 months at the University of Zurich’s Social and Neural Systems Research Lab. 

Eftychia Stamkou (Psychology): Culture Influences Who Reaches the Top

People gain status by controlling and intimidating others (“dominant” types) or by sharing expertise and helping others (“prestigious” types). Eftychia Stamkou will investigate whether culture influences the preference for certain types of leaders by looking into the behaviours people associate with status.

Stamkou will carry out her research for a period of 18 months at University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

About Rubicon Grants

With a Rubicon grant researchers can conduct research for a period up to 24 months at a foreign research institute. The size of the grant depends on the destination chosen and the length of stay. NWO is able to fund around 60 young researchers through Rubicon every year (for a total sum of 7 million euros, spread over three rounds).