Veni Awards 2014

A list of laureates together with a working title and a brief summary of the research project is given below. The researcher's gender is given after their name followed by the current place of work. The laureates are also listed per NWO division.


Sorted by NWO Division


Alphabetical list according to surnames of researcher

Educational inequality and language
Dr O. (Orhan) Agirdag (m), University of Amsterdam - AMCIS, Educational Sciences
Pupils whose first language is not Dutch perform worse at school than pupils whose native language is Dutch. But why is that the case? Do all categories of pupils whose first language is not Dutch perform worse than Dutch-speaking pupils? And is language inequality enhanced by the characteristics of schools and education systems? These questions are not only relevant from a scientific viewpoint. The outcomes can also be used by parents, teachers and policymakers.

Design of smart materials to realise nanorobots functioning inside the human body
Dr L. (Lorenzo) Albertazzi (m), Eindhoven University of Technology - Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
Researchers will create smart materials that 'self-assemble': are able to build themselves. This approach will be used to realise nano-robots that can function inside the human body. These devices will transport drugs into the body or attack viruses to cure a variety of diseases.

The writing on the rocks: Thamudic and Arabia’s linguistic past
Dr A.M. Al-Jallad (m), Leiden University - Linguistics
The Arab deserts are littered with thousands of scarcely understood ancient inscriptions known as the Thamudic inscriptions. This project is the first integral study of this corpus carried out within the digital humanities. Making these texts accessible will fundamentally change our understanding of the languages and the people of pre-Islamic Arabia.

Z/E-conversion of hexenal as modulator of insect physiology and plant-herbivore interactions
Dr S. (Silke) Allmann (f), University of Amsterdam - Plant physiology
Under stress plants emit the green aromatic substance Z-3-hexenal into the air. Caterpillars eating plants convert this substance into E-2-hexenal. I will investigate why caterpillars convert the substance and what the exact consequences of this are for the physiology and ecology of the plant and the caterpillar.

Improving our immune system for cancer therapy
Dr M. (Marleen) Ansems (f), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre - Tumour Immunology
Our immune system is vital for clearing up pathogens and cancer cells. The researchers will study whether the functioning of certain cells in our immune system can be improved so that better use of these can be made in cancer therapy.

The role of DNA repetitions in sickness and in health
Dr N.A. (Ahmad) Aziz (m), Leiden University Medical Center - Neurology
Long pieces of DNA repetitions are the causes of certain inherited neurological disorders characterised by cognitive, psychiatric and metabolic abnormalities. In this research it will be determined whether short pieces of DNA repetitions also play a role in the development of highly prevalent diseases such as dementia, depression and diabetes.

The autistic cerebellum
Dr A. (Aleksandra) Badura (f), Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences (NIN) - Neurosciences
Autism is a highly prevalent neurological disorder that is characterised by reduced cognitive and social skills. Damage to the cerebellum around birth is strongly correlated with the development of autism. We will investigate which role the cerebellum plays in cognitive functions and how abnormalities in this can contribute to the development of autism.

Do we live in healthy homes?
Dr A.M. (Ana María) Ballesteros-Gómez (f), VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies
Electronic equipment, furniture and building materials contain potentially toxic and sometimes unknown contaminants to which we are exposed every day. Chemists can develop faster and cheaper analysis methods to answer questions regarding the safety of our indoor environments.

Targeted nanotherapeutics: aiming at the resolution of liver fibrosis
Dr R. (Ruchi) Bansal (f), University of Twente - MIRA
Liver damage caused by excessive alcohol-intake or hepatitis viral infections, is a growing health problem with no medication. With this project, researchers aim to develop innovative nanomedicines for the treatment of liver diseases by targeting the crucial cell types in the liver without eliciting adverse effects.

Islands within islands: the effect of isolation on marine biodiversity
Dr L.E. (Leontine) Becking (f), Naturalis
Marine lakes offer a unique view of biodiversity in the sea. Since the time of Darwin, islands have played a key role within biology as natural laboratories of ecology and evolution. Research into marine lakes - inside out islands so to speak - can provide new insights into the processes that give rise to biodiversity in tropical seas.

Patterns of politicisation in 14 democracies
Dr C.F. (Caspar) van den Berg (m), Leiden University - Public Administration
Do policy and administration improve if civil servants are subject to strong political influence or does this instead happen if they are as neutral and impartial as possible? Why are civil servants in some countries and policy sectors more politicised than in others? This project will compare 14 countries in Europe, North America and East Asia and provide answers to these questions.

Great expectations: discourse markers of (counter)expectation in incremental sentence processing
Dr G. van Bergen (f), Utrecht University - Linguistics
‘Maria is actually a man.’ In this example the word actually indicates that the information in the rest of the sentence goes against the listener's expectation. In this project it will be investigated whether such expectation markers make the word-for-word processing of sentences easier. It will be measured to what extent listeners adjust their predictions about the rest of sentence as soon as they hear an expectation marker.

Contested letters from the Dutch East Indies: the transcultural appropriations of Kartini's writings since 1911
Dr P.A.L. Bijl (m), University of Amsterdam - Language and Literature
Although the Dutch letters from the Javanese woman Kartini (1879-1904) have been translated into eight languages they have nevertheless remained outside of the Dutch literary canon. This project will investigate how Kartini’s letters are used in the West and in Asia to express views about the role of women in the colonial and postcolonial period.

Understanding and influencing human choices
Dr A.V. (Arnoud) den Boer (m), University of Twente - Mathematics
Human choosing behaviour lies at the basis of many social and commercial decision problems. This research project will develop mathematical and statistical methods to describe this behaviour and to respond to it in an optimal manner.

Biological pacemakers on the basis of gene therapy
Dr G.J.J. (Geert) Boink (m), AMC/University of Amsterdam - Cardiology
Thousands of pacemakers are implanted each year in the Netherlands. Despite the success of this treatment it has significant shortcomings. This project will search for a solution for the shortcomings by developing biological pacemakers based on a new type of gene therapy.

Deceiving stuff: histories, functions, techniques, and effects of material mimesis
Dr M.A.H. Bol (f), University of Amsterdam - Art and Architecture
In our everyday lives we are surrounded by deceptive materials: laminated floors that look like wood and a synthetic kitchen top that looks like marble. This project will investigate the function and impact of this practice of materials imitation within the history of art and science.

Do gooders and sustainable consumption
Dr J.W. (Jan Willem) Bolderdijk (m), University of Groningen - Economics and Business, Marketing
Although consumers consider it important to be moral, extreme moral behaviour (e.g. veganism) can come at a price - ‘do gooders’ are not popular. I will investigate what the relevance of this mechanism is for the marketing of sustainable food sources (e.g. cultured meat and soya butter).

Off to a bad start - Investigating the role of oxytocin and estradiol in the cycle of harsh parenting over generations
Dr P.A. (Peter) Bos (m), Utrecht University - Clinical psychology
People who have been brought up harshly often bring up their own children harshly. This might be due to an insensitivity of the brain for hormones vital for parental behaviour. Whether this is the case will be investigated in people for the first time.

Measuring without pricking
Dr N. (Nienke) Bosschaart (f), AMC/University of Amsterdam - Biomedical Engineering & Physics
Sick or premature babies sometimes have blood taken three times per day to determine their blood values. The aim of this research is to measure these blood values non-invasively (without pricking) using a new technique: low coherence spectroscopy.

Stop the gluttons, stop atherosclerosis
Dr J. (Jan) van den Bossche (m), AMC - Medical Biochemistry
Macrophage means ‘glutton’. Macrophages destroy pathogens but during atherosclerosis they consume too much fat. This results in a localised fat accumulation and inflammation in the vessel wall. In this research we will intervene in the energy metabolism of the macrophage to reduce atherosclerosis.

Networked landscapes: modelling supra-regional communities in the early 3rd millennium BC.
Dr Q.P.J. Bourgeois (m), Leiden University - Archaeology
This project will investigate landscape organisation in North-West Europe in the third millennium BC. The aim is to generate new perspectives on spatial organisation and the emergence of supra-regional groups and networks. This will be realised using techniques such as computer simulations and network analyses.

Quantum and classical data protection
Dr J. (Jop) Briët (m), New York University (US) - Computer Science / Mathematics
During the transmission and storage of digital information, data loss occurs as a consequence of noise. The aim of this research is to determine how this negative effect can be reduced by using new mathematical techniques, which come from fields such as quantum mechanics.

Using behavioural economics to understand gender differences in career choices
Dr T. (Thomas) Buser (m), University of Amsterdam - Markets and Organisations
Men are more willing to compete then women. I will explore the causes and consequences of this gender difference. Can it explain gender differences in academic and professional career choices? Are gender differences in the reaction to feedback an explanation? And are women more stressed out by competitive pressure than men?

Why is it difficult for elderly people to recover after a hospital admission?
Dr B.M. (Bianca) Buurman (f), AMC - Geriatrics
Elderly people who are admitted to hospital as an emergency case often leave the hospital in a poor condition and experience difficulties in recovering. In this study it will be investigated how this occurs, what the psychological impact of hospital admission is, and how patients can be successfully rehabilitated.

Towards a general methodology for catalyst design
Dr F. (Federico) Calle-Vallejo (m), Leiden University - Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Can we tailor catalysts at the atomic scale by means of high-school chemistry and geometry rules? By using large-scale computer simulations, this project aims to develop a general methodology for the design of tomorrow’s catalysts based on the number of valence electrons and coordination numbers, two simple yet powerful concepts.

Cognition in the sleeping cerebellum
Dr C.B. (Cathrin) Canto (f), Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences - Cerebellar Coordination & Cognition
The cerebellum is vital for memory formation of motor and cognitive learning processes. The researcher will unravel how cells in the cerebellum code information during learning processes and the role of sleep in this process.

Generating terahertz waves with microchips
Dr D. (Daniele) Cavallo (m), Delft University of Technology - Microelectronics
Terahertz waves are a unique type of electromagnetic waves, with great potential applications. At present, however, there is no practical way of generating them. This research aims to use the same microchips present in computers and cell phones to generate terahertz waves.

Vaccines against worm infections
Dr F. (Fabrizio) Chiodo (m), UL - Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Schistosomiasis is a very harmful worm infection. Existing medicines cannot prevent re-infections. I will work on the development of vaccines against this and similar diseases by very precisely covering gold spheres with pieces of the parasites so that the immune system can be taught in a very controlled manner how to destroy the worms.

Local activation of immune cells following intestinal damage
Dr F.H.J. (Ferry) Cornelissen (m), Erasmus MC - Haematology
Our intestines are continuously damaged by a wide range of external influences. Special cells in the immune system, innate lymphoid cells, are vital for this recovery. However, how these cells initiate recovery of the intestinal wall is unknown and this will be further investigated in this project.

ExoFlow: learning to listen to whispering cells
Dr F.A.W. (Frank) Coumans (m), AMC/University of Amsterdam - Biomedical Engineering & Physics
Cells in our body can talk to each other via small ‘speech balloons’ in the blood. In this project a technique will be developed to distinguish ‘speech balloons’ from the 'background noise'. This will make it possible to read the 'speech balloon' so that serious diseases can be predicted at an earlier stage.

Network psychometrics: methods for exposing the architecture and dynamics of mood disorders
Dr A.O.J. (Angélique) Cramer (f), University of Amsterdam - Psychometrics
In the network approach a psychological disorder is a consequence of interactions between symptoms (gloomy and fretting). In this proposal methods to construct and analyse these networks will be further developed. Subsequently the networks of patients with mood disorders will be investigated: for example, can we predict when the patient will experience a relapse?

Towards a science of linguistic depiction
Dr M. Dingemanse (m), Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics - Linguistics
We do not just use language to describe things but also to depict things, for example by using signs or sound-symbolic words (ideophones). This project will investigate the linguistic processing of such depictions and by doing this will enrich linguistics, which up until now has mainly focused on the descriptive function of language.

Listening to the genes in your heart
Dr E. (Ellen) Dirkx (f), Maastricht University – Cardiology
Chronic heart failure is a disorder of the heart muscle that results in the loss of circulation in all organs. To develop new medicines, the researchers will study the communication between genes and adjust this where errors occur.

Playing billiards with molecules
Dr W. (Wenrui) Dong (m), Radboud University - Institute for Molecules and Materials
Researchers use advanced methods to very precisely fire hydroxyl radicals at oxygen atoms, as a result of which a chemical reaction is induced. The movement of the reaction products will be very accurately mapped with the help of laser beams so that the details of the chemical reaction can be revealed.

Exploiting your neighbour's cry for help - the role of herbivore induced plant volatiles in plant growth strategies
Dr J.C. (Bob) Douma (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Crop and Weed Ecology
If plants are attacked by insects, they produce volatile substances. Neighbouring plants can use this information to regulate their investment in defence or growth. With the help of 3D models evolutionary game theory and experiments, I will investigate which strategy is advantageous. These insights will help to make crop production more sustainable.

Detection methods for similarity structures in time-dependent data
Dr A. (Anne) Driemel (f), Eindhoven University of Technology - Computer Science
Detection methods for similarity structures are used to summarise and analyse the content of digital data. Although research in the past was mainly based on static data, the data can be time- dependent recordings of dynamic parameters. In this case the development over time must also be efficiently summarised.

Nanotherapy with postcode for atherosclerosis
Dr R. (Raphaël) Duivenvoorden (m), AMC - Vascular Medicine
Local vessel wall inflammation plays a key role in the development of atherosclerosis but at present it cannot be treated. The researcher will develop a nanotherapy with which powerful anti-inflammatory drugs can be specifically released at the location where the atherosclerosis is.

Time inconsistency and implications for investment, saving, and trading behaviour
Dr S. (Sebastian) Ebert (m), Tilburg University - Finance
I will investigate the impact of time inconsistency on individuals’ investment, saving, and trading behaviour. Applications lie in the design of institutions that mitigate time inconsistency when it comes to important investment decisions like retirement saving, in deriving guidelines for individual investor protection, and in regulating the retail banking sector.

Language in the courtroom
Dr A. (Anita) Eerland (f), Open University - Faculty of Psychology and Educational Studies
People process sentences such as ‘the perpetrator shot’ in a different way than ‘the perpetrator was shooting’. The researchers will study the effect of such subtle differences in language use on the processing of witness statements and on legal decision-making. It will also be investigated whether experts are less susceptible to such effects than laypeople.

Fighting global infectious diseases locally
Dr N.C. (Nora) Engel (f), Maastricht University - Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
The control of infectious diseases and drug resistance in developing countries requires diagnostic tests that can be used if there are no experts, fridges or means of transport. This research will study innovative processes in the diagnostics of tuberculosis and HIV in India to make tests effective in everyday practice.

A crystal ball for adrenoleukodystrophy
Dr M. (Marc) Engelen (m), AMC - Paediatric Neurology
Some patients with the metabolic disease adrenoleukodystrophy develop brain abnormalities. A major problem in the treatment is that physicians cannot predict which patients these are. The researchers will look for predictive factors (MRI and blood tests) to improve the treatment.

Soft Pharma: functionally soft material for controlling polymorphism
Dr H.B. (Burak) Eral (m), Utrecht University - Chemistry
The sustainable growth of the pharmaceutical industry is currently hindered by our insufficient knowledge of polymorphism. This increases the costs of vital drugs. The researchers will develop new 'soft' materials to solve this problem and to make pharmaceuticals more effective and affordable.

Asylum theory for a non-ideal world
Dr L.L. Ferracioli (f), University of Amsterdam - Philosophy
In this project I will investigate the following questions: who is a refugee, why do states have obligations towards refugees and how can we fairly distribute the burdens of protection between states? The aim of the research is to develop a theory that provides perspective for a more desirable and effective regulation for the protection of refugees.

Critical moments: How do events affect how we should judge the legitimacy of political authorities?
Dr T. Fossen (m), Leiden University - Philosophy
The researchers will develop a new perspective on a classical political-philosophical issue: what makes a government legitimate or illegitimate? In this perspective the significance of events plays a crucial role in the judgement about a government and about the appropriate attitude of citizens (obedience or resistance?).

Cognitive adaptation to harsh environments
Dr W.E. (Willem) Frankenhuis (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Developmental Psychology
People who grow up in a stressful environment on average score lower on standard measurements of mental functioning. There are indications that their cognitive capacities are equipped for other situations. This proposal presents studies that investigate this hypothesis. Knowledge about mental functioning in a stressful environment can provide starting points for education, interventions and career choice.

Graphene as biological sensor
Dr W. (Wangyang) Fu (m), Leiden University- Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Under physiological conditions, a graphene sensor cannot typically detect biological stimuli occurring at a distance of more than a nanometre from its surface. Graphene sensors have therefore been disregarded as potent biological sensors. This proposal promises to shed light on this distance-dependent sensing paradigm by proposing new radiofrequency approaches to deeply probe biological pathways.

Unravelling the functions of cerebellar nuclear circuits in sensorimotor processing
Dr Z. (Zhenyu) Gao (m), Erasmus MC - Neurosciences
The output of the cerebellum is formed by the cerebellar nucleus circuits and is important for the control of motor functions. I will study the connections of the nuclear circuits to gain a better picture of the mechanisms with which the brain controls the motor functions with considerable temporal precision.

Whispers of the Majorana particles
Dr A. (Attila) Geresdi (m), Delft University of Technology
Topological quantum computation based on Majorana particles offers an unmatched protection against losing quantum information through interaction with the environment. The researcher will build an on-chip radiation detector to catch the quantum noise (‘whispers’) emitted by these elusive particles and demonstrate the feasibility of topological quantum bits.

Numbering life. Metrics and measures in digital media
Dr C. Gerlitz (f), University of Amsterdam - Media Studies
The project will investigate the effects of the growing quantification of social and cultural life in social media platforms in the form of 'friends' or 'Likes' rankings of popularity or algorithmic metrics. It is claimed that such digital numbers not only measure social life but transform it and allow third parties to make social media activities economically valuable.

The challenge of evidence-based intellectual property law reform: legal pragmatism meets doctrinal legal reasoning
Dr S.J. (Stef) van Gompel (m), University of Amsterdam - Information Law
Legislative policy concerning intellectual property rights traditionally has a strong dogmatic perspective. This research will clarify how intellectual property rights can be better based on an empirically supported policy. It will make concrete suggestions for the development of an empirically supported policy in which the traditional legal-dogmatic legislative approach is united with a more legal-pragmatic approach.

Transactional relations between early adolescent antisocial behaviours, personality characteristics, and parenting behaviours
Dr A.D. (Amaranta) de Haan (f), Utrecht University - Orthopedagogy, Psychosocial problems
In this project it will be investigated how the antisocial behaviour of young people, their personality characteristics, and the child-raising behaviour of parents mutually influence each other within three time levels: second-to-second (micro-level), day-to-day (meso-level) and year-to-year (macro-level). In addition, the reciprocal effects of antisocial behaviour, personality and the child-raising behaviour between the three-time levels will be studied.

The anticipating brain
Dr S. (Saskia) Haegens (f), Radboud University Nijmegen- Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
In everyday life we are exposed to an enormous input of sensory information of which only a small part is relevant. How does the brain selectively pay attention to expected events? The researchers will measure the brainwaves in the human brain to discover which brain networks and mechanisms regulate our attention.

Immunodeficiency despite successful HIV treatment in Africa
Dr R.L. (Raph) Hamers (m), AMC - Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development
The immune system of HIV infected patients often does not recover sufficiently, in spite of HIV medication. What will be the long term health effects for millions of patients in Africa? This project will investigate how the activity and functioning of the immune system in HIV-treated patients is influenced by tuberculosis, hepatitis B and HIV inhibitors and what the consequences of this are for patient health. It will also investigate new ways of measuring and predicting immunoactivity.

Behaviour-aware search evaluation for information retrieval
Dr J. (Jiyin) He (f), CWI - Information Access
Accurate evaluation metrics are the basis for designing and developing effective search systems. Standard search evaluation metrics do not consider how users search in reality and therefore do not match user experience to reality. This project will devise an evaluation approach capable of capturing the variability of user search behaviours.

Poly-ubiquitin; a chain of events unravelled
Dr G.J. (Gerbrand) van der Heden-van Noort (m), Netherlands Cancer Institute- Chemical Biology
A wide range of processes in the cell are switched on and off through the confirmation of a chain of small proteins called ubiquitin. The composition of this string of proteins determines exactly what happens. This research will shed light on which polymers specifically cause signals.

Intestinal stem cells do not like stress
Dr J. (Jarom) Heijmans (m), University of Amsterdam - Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Research
Intestinal stem cells and intestinal tumours disappear as a result of protein stress. The researchers will investigate how this happens in healthy intestines and intestinal tumours with the aim of finding possibilities for treating intestinal tumours.

Fundamentals and kinetics of electrochemically active microorganisms on capacitive materials
Dr A. (Annemiek) ter Heijne (f), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Environmental Technology
Bacteria can release electrons from wastewater and store these in conductive grains. The researchers will study how the bacteria charge up these grains and which factors influence this process. The aim of this research is to purify wastewater and at the same time to generate and store as much electricity as possible for later use.

Functional study of long non-coding RNAs in intestinal stem cells using organoid and mouse model system
Dr I. (Inha) Heo (f), Hubrecht Institute
Last decade, lncRNA emerged as a novel regulator in multiple biological processes. Although thousands of lncRNAs have been identified, the physiological roles of most lncRNAs remain unknown. Here I will study the physiological role of lncRNAs in intestinal stem cells, one of the most well-studied adult stem cells.

Elucidating the immune signalling regulatory network in Arabidopsis thaliana with digital genomic footprinting
Dr R.J. (Richard) Hickman (m), Utrecht University - Phytopathology
Plants are exposed to a variety of different pests and pathogens. To formulate an effective immune response, plants must decide which defences are appropriate to ensure survival. This research will investigate the molecular decision-making process that underlies plant immunity.

The effects of pregnancy on the human brain
Dr E.A. (Elseline) Hoekzema (f), VU University Amsterdam Medical Center
Pregnancy is accompanied by extreme hormonal changes. In animals we know that this initiates a neural reorganisation. However we do not know what happens in the human brain during pregnancy. In this project I want to investigate what the effects of pregnancy are on brain structure and brain activity in humans.

Re-patterning water control: Vegetable agro-export chains, water rights and rural livelihoods in the Bajío, Mexico
Dr J.D. (Jaime) Hoogesteger van Dijk (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre, Environmental Sciences
This research will study how large-scale vegetable production in the Bajío in central Mexico for consumers in Europe and North America is changing access to water for irrigation and the related lives of rural communities. It will also chart initiatives that are trying to bring about honest societal contribution locally within these production chains.

Einstein’s frame-dragging effect around galactic black holes
Dr A.R. (Adam) Ingram (m), University of Amsterdam - Astronomy
In Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the space surrounding a spinning black hole is twisted up like water spiralling down a sink. Astronomers will study this effect using observations of gas falling into black holes in our galaxy.

Focus on the locus
Dr H.I.L. (Heidi) Jacobs (f), Maastricht University - Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
The locus coeruleus - a small area in the brainstem - appears to be a switching centre for the memory. With more detailed and new brain scans and brain stimulations the researchers will unravel how the communication between this area and other areas of the brain changes in elderly people and in patients with dementia.

Computer, look before you leap
Dr B.M.P. (Bart) Jansen (m), University of Bergen (NO) - Computer Science
Many computer calculations can be sped up by adding a pre-processing step in which the input is simplified. The standard model for problem simplification is limited and does not take parallel processing power into account. I will investigate innovative simplification procedures that do utilise this possibility.

Neural mechanisms of pain-avoidance learning in healthy and chronic-pain populations
Dr M. (Marieke) Jepma (f), Leiden University - Cognitive Psychology
Learning to avoid behaviour that leads to pain is crucial. The researchers will map the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie this learning process. They will also investigate if, and if yes how, this learning process is disrupted in patients with chronic pain.

The ‘others’ amongst ‘us’: Western societies, ‘otherness’ and the law
Dr M. (Moritz) Jesse (m), Leiden University - European Law
How should Western societies deal with increasing diversity as a result of migration and how should laws be made that work better in this new reality? In this project it will be investigated how prejudices have led to legislation that has enhanced instead of reducing the differences between the minority and the majority and how this can be prevented in the future.

Improving whooping cough vaccine
Dr I. (Ilse) Jongerius (f), University Medical Center Utrecht - Medical microbiology
The number of whooping cough cases has increased dramatically in recent years because the vaccine is effective for less long. Researchers will try to improve the whooping cough vaccine by means of innovative research.

Socratic educations: the ancient reception of the Alcibiades Maior
Dr L.A. Joosse (m), Utrecht University - Philosophy
What is good education? This project will investigate Greco-Roman thought about this question through the interpretative history of the Platonic dialogue Alcibiades. In this Socrates, the exemplary philosopher, teaches Alcibiades, the brilliant traitor. The text therefore offers later readers an inspiring example as well as a challenge: what if things go wrong?

Listen to your mother! Elucidating the role of speaker familiarity in initial word learning
Dr C.M.M. Junge (f), University of Amsterdam - Linguistics
In this research proposal it will be examined whether a trusted voice helps babies to learn words. If that is the case then is this because babies listen more attentively or more easily to this voice, or both? It will also be investigated whether a known voice influences the learning of words by babies with an increased risk of autism.

A role for content and mental causation in empirical psychology
Dr A. Kalis (f), Utrecht University - Philosophy
Many mental states have content: our convictions, desires, intentions 'are all about something'. Empirical psychology, however, scarcely offers space for the notion of content. This project will develop a philosophical analysis that shows how mental content can and should play a role in in empirical psychological research.

Yoga, Bingo and prayer in urban renewal areas
Dr L.J. van de Kamp (f), Tilburg University - Art and Architecture
How the interaction between different groups of people influences urban redevelopment will be investigated by means of anthropological fieldwork in Amsterdam-Noord. I will analyse the dynamics between established and new residents, entrepreneurs, artists, welfare workers, religious groups, housing corporations and government in how they deal with industrial heritage, collective rituals and media and communication technologies.

Learning form the past: the influence of humans via land use on the global carbon cycle
Dr C.G.M. (Kees) Klein Goldewijk (m), Utrecht University - Faculty of Geosciences
Climate models contain parameters for current land use. However these must also be better calibrated with historical land use data because the feedbacks with the climate system can change over time. This proposal will lead to a new global dataset for historical land use that is unique because for the first time it will be supplemented with knowledge from history and archaeology.

The principles of peroxisome formation: organelle origin and morphogenesis
Dr K. (Kèvin) Knoops (m), University of Groningen - Molecular Cell Biology
Peroxisomes are essential cell organelles for metabolism. An important new formation process for peroxisomes is now being dissected in detail with the help of advanced microscopic and biochemical techniques. These new concepts about peroxisome formation could make an important contribution to medical research.

Explosive transmission and community forming on networks
Dr J. (Julia) Komjáthy (f), Eindhoven University of Technology - Mathematics
Processes on networks describe a number of important phenomena, for example the dissemination of information in a society. This research proposes to very precisely mathematically analyse two important characteristics, namely extremely well-connected nodes and the formation of community structures.

Imaging healing with sound
Dr K. (Klazina) Kooiman (f), Erasmus MC - Biomedical Technology
Minuscule gas bubbles have the potential to detect cardiovascular diseases and cancer and to cure these. This project will examine how gas bubbles attach to diseased cells thereby making these visible on echographic images and how these bubbles could be used to locally administer high doses of medication.

Learning at the right speed
Dr W.M. (Wouter) Koolen (m), CWI - Computer Science
Learning computer systems that gradually become better in their task are a widely used technology. In current systems the learning rate must be manually adjusted to the difficulty of the task to be learnt. The researchers will design new programs that can also learn the correct learning rate.

Late starters in criminality
Dr M.V. (Vere) van Koppen (f), VU University Amsterdam- Criminal Law and Criminology
Science and policy have always focused on young criminals. However, most criminals probably become involved in criminality as adults. The study will establish how many adult starters there actually are, who they are, and what can explain their criminal careers. We can use this knowledge to develop better interventions for this group.

Back to the typewriters? - Rethinking informational self-determination in the era of mass state surveillance
Dr E. (Eleni) Kosta (f), Tilburg University - Law, Technology and Society
This project will investigate how the legislator can protect the personal details of individuals now that it has become clear that governments grant themselves large-scale access to the data of companies such as Facebook and Google. Alternatives will be proposed for informational self-determination so that the data processes of companies will become more transparent and clearer and the citizen will be better protected.

Planning, places, prices and politics: the economics of spatial planning policy
Dr H.R.A. (Hans) Koster (m), VU University Amsterdam - Spatial Economics
We will analyse the economic reasons for applying spatial planning. By making use of theoretical models and unique microdata we can, for example, analyse the influence of height restrictions, heritage protection, and social housing on the urban economy.

Neighbourhood differences in anxiety for crime
Dr W. (Willem) de Koster (m), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Sociology
In neighbourhoods with more ethnic minorities, local nationals are more afraid of crime, just like in neighbourhoods that are more untidy and where people have less contact with each other. But why is this the case? Insights from criminology and sociology will be combined and tested to gain a better understanding of this.

Eutrophication and the iron cycle
Dr P. (Peter) Kraal (m), Utrecht University - Geochemistry
Iron is an important nutrient for microorganisms that also regulates the availability of other nutrients in rivers, lakes and the sea. This study will investigate how, under the influence of eutrophication, changes to the chemical conditions in this type of systems influence the properties and burial of iron minerals.

Role of pupil-synchronisation in trust
Dr M.E. (Mariska) Kret (f), University of Amsterdam - Labour and Organisational Psychology
In deciding whether or not to trust an unknown person, we use our intuition. A person's pupil size is an important signal and is picked up by observers whose pupils automatically synchronise. This research will focus on the relationship between pupil synchronisation and trust, and the neurohormonal processes that modulate this relationship.

Entwined senses in autism
Dr T.M. (Tessa) van Leeuwen (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
People with autism see the world differently and in the case of synesthesia the senses are connected. Synesthesia is more prevalent among people with autism. Is there a common cause of the changed perception in autism and synesthesia? The researchers will compare the brain activity of people with autism and people with synesthesia.

Improved modelling of the current and future polar snow cover
Dr J.T.M. (Jan) Lenaerts (m), Utrecht University - Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU)
Global warming is causing rapid changes in the polar areas on earth, especially in the processes in polar snow. In this project I will use a global climate model to simulate these current and future changes and the consequences of these for the climate and the rest of our planet.

Divided by memory: coping with religious diversity in post-civil war France, 1598-1685
Dr D.C. van der Linden (m), University Of Groningen - History
After a religious conflict people always still remember their opponent's crimes. That makes reconciliation difficult. This project will investigate how the conflicting memories of the French religious wars (1562–1598) continued to divide Catholics and Protestants and undermined religious tolerance.

Compensatory consumption: costs and remedies
Dr M. (Monika) Lisjak (f), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Marketing management
This proposal examines how consumers use consumption to deal with challenges and setbacks in life. Specifically, the proposal aims to examine the costs of engaging in such compensatory behaviour. In addition, this proposal aims to identify remedies that could help consumers reduce overconsumption and increase well-being.

How a hungry immune system can be influenced
Dr J. (Jorg) van Loosdregt (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Paediatric Immunology
Autophagy is a process that is switched on if there are insufficient nutrients and it is important for various cellular functions. The research will study how autophagy affects the immune system. Autophagy-manipulation could help to control autoimmune diseases such as (juvenile) rheumatism.

Learning to breathe - Unravelling the respiratory chain of the nitrite-oxidising bacterium Nitrospira moscoviensis
Dr S. (Sebastian) Lücker (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Ecological Microbiology
Learning to breathe. Nitrite‐oxidising bacteria are everywhere in the environment and crucial for cleaning our wastewater. How they gain energy for growth, however, is not yet known. The aim of this project is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of their metabolism and learn how these important bacteria live and conserve energy.

Well-ordered ontologies in the human sciences
Dr D.L. Ludwig (m), VU University Amsterdam - Philosophy
The research project is concerned with controversial scientific concepts such as ‘mental disorder’, ‘intelligence’, and ‘race’. Scientists can classify humans in a variety of ways and the project will develop an account that balances scientific and ethical considerations in the development of scientific classifications of humans.

The quality of political debate and political confidence
Dr S.M. (Sofie) Marien (f), University of Amsterdam - Political Science
Within the scientific community and the Dutch population concerns are being expressed about the increasing vulgarisation in society. In this project it will be determined if the quality of political debates in the media is deteriorating, as is often suggested, and what the consequences of this are for political trust.

Knowledge in an uncertain world
Dr K.J. (Kimberley) Mathot (f), Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research - Marine Ecology
Animals need knowledge to constantly adapt their behaviour to their surroundings. This project will focus on how and why individuals differ in the manner in which they invest in acquiring knowledge and the consequences of such differences on foraging and migratory behaviour.

New research design for lifestyle research
Dr A.M. (Anne) May (f), University Medical Center Utrecht - Julius Centrum
The effectiveness of physical exercise is measured in randomised studies. Being assigned to a control group by lot can be disappointing: patients do not want to participate or still go and exercise. This proposal describes a new study design that can also be applied to other interventions that cannot be blinded.

Dry soils: a driving force of droughts and heat waves?
Dr D.G.M. (Diego) Miralles (m), VU University Amsterdam - Earth Sciences
Global warming is expected to intensify heat waves and make droughts more persistent. In addition, the drier soils may trigger a critical feedback that will further amplify dry and warm conditions. This project will use observations to investigate this climate feedback, and evaluate its representation in the climate models we use for predictions.

Mechanics, aerodynamics and energetics of mosquito flight
Dr F.T. (Florian) Muijres (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Experimental Zoology
How do malaria mosquitoes fly? Mosquitoes are particularly dangerous because they spread serious diseases such as malaria. The spread is very effective because mosquitoes suck blood and fly. However little is known about their flight performances. I therefore propose studying the flight performances of mosquitoes using an experimental and model-based approach.

Connecting citizens: the fused identities of Nusaybin, Turkey and Qamishle, Syria
Dr T. (Tsolin) Nalbantian (f), Leiden University - Leiden University Institute for Area Studies
The project seeks to explore the shared connections between Syrian and Turkish citizens beyond their ethnic, religious, and national differences. This corrects both media and historical depictions that assume essential differences between them, thereby justifying the current violence in the region.

The best regenerative cell for cartilage
Dr R. (Roberto) Narcisi, (m), Erasmus MC - Orthopaedics
Damaged cartilage does not recover automatically and causes joint pain and problems with movement. By identifying the ideal regenerative cells that can be reproduced often and can make the cartilage stable, I want to ensure that cartilage defects can be restored using cell therapy.

How do you reduce brain teasers to box-ticking exercises?
Dr J. (Jesper) Nederlof (m), Maastricht University - Computer Science
A natural strategy for solving a complex task is to transform it into a simpler task (for example packing a suitcase by trying out all the layouts). The research will study this strategy for complex planning problems that must be solved by computers.

Determining the direction of cell division
Dr M. (Micha) Nethe (m), Netherlands Cancer Institute - Oncology
Dividing cells that divide in the ‘wrong’ direction can disrupt the functioning of an organ. Researchers will analyse how the mammary gland removes cells that have divided wrongly and to what extent these cells contribute to the development of breast cancer.

Hide and leak. Secrecy and openness in overseas companies in the Dutch Golden Age
Dr D.H. van Netten (f), University of Amsterdam - History
Secrets create power, anxiety and desires. How were secrecy and openness dealt with in the Dutch East Indies Company and Dutch West Indies Company? This project will investigate the seventeenth century practice of hiding and revealing information by seafarers, merchants, scientists and administrators. What happened to spies, traitors and whistle-blowers?

Glass transition and crystallisation of active colloidal swimmers
Dr R. (Ran) Ni (m), University of Amsterdam
Unlike passive matter, active matter is capable of converting biological or chemical energy to drive motion, which produces a variety of strikingly new phenomena. The researcher will study the dynamic phase transition in systems of active matter by using computer simulations, focusing on glass transition and crystallisation.

Working towards safer task-designs: interactions between performance pressure and fatigue in task execution
Dr A. (Arne) Nieuwenhuys (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Labour and Organisational Psychology
The rise of a 24-hour consumer society imposes high requirements on employees as a result of which work pressure and tiredness are increasing. Looking for a healthy balance between productivity and safety, this project will investigate how work pressure and tiredness can enhance or counteract each other and influence different aspects of human actions during work.

The secrets of ionic wind
Dr S. (Sander) Nijdam (m), Eindhoven University of Technology - Plasma Physics
Gas can be set in motion by electricity. This is called ionic wind and can be used in aircraft wings or for the cooling of electronics. The researchers will investigate the principles of this so that applications can be realised.

Receptor proteins as a starting point for new medicines against brain tumours
Dr S. (Saskia) Nijmeijer (f), VU University Amsterdam - Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Glioblastoma is an untreatable brain tumour in which two receptor proteins are expressed at an elevated level. I will investigate how the biochemical function of these receptor proteins contributes to glioblastoma. When we subsequently understand and can influence the function of these receptor proteins then we will have a starting point for new medicines.

Quantum optics of spins in semiconductor waveguides
Dr D.O.S. (Danny) O’Shea (m), University of Groningen
A quantum mechanical memory can be used to store optical pulses in a communication network in order to eliminate the possibility of eavesdropping. By using new materials and exploiting new control techniques this research will design and explore a semiconductor-based quantum memory with a robust device-on-a-chip approach.

Developing novel latent variable techniques that open up a treasure trove of register data for social science
Dr D.L. (Daniel) Oberski (m), Tilburg University - Methodology and Statistics
Big data from government administrations offers an enormous potential for the social sciences. However there are indications that register data often contains errors, whereas the size of these measurement errors and the consequences of these for statistical analyses are not yet known. I will therefore develop statistical methods to estimate register errors and to make corrections.

Microprobe for more accurate measurements in the brain
Dr M. (Mathieu) Odijk (m), University of Twente - BIOS
Existing techniques to follow neurotransmitters in the brain are relatively slow and large. A new microprobe is needed to follow these molecules down to the nearest second prior to a migraine attack. Using this microprobe it will also be possible to far more accurately investigate the role of acetylcholine in cognitive processes.

The role of gesture during the acquisition of a sign language as a second language
Dr G. Ortega (m), Radboud University / Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics - Linguistics
This project will investigate how experience with gesture helps speakers of Dutch to learn Sign Language of the Netherlands. This project will study if learners produce their own gestures for signs that are similar in form and will investigate how the brain processes signs and gestures in a different way.

Symbol or substance? Towards a systematic application of criminalisation criteria in EU law
J.W. (Jannemieke) Ouwerkerk (f), Tilburg University - Criminal law
The European Union can require Member States to make certain behaviours criminal offences in the national law. This project will investigate on which grounds (so-called ‘criteria for penalisation’) the European Union can make this requirement. An instrument will also be developed to make the systematic application of these criteria easier and realisable.

The art of teaching: Greek didactic epic from the Hellenistic to the Imperial period
Dr F. Overduin (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Language and Culture
Didactic poetry in ancient Greek from the first century AD is largely ignored by classicists. How should this technical knowledge in Homeric verse be valued? This research will take these long poems in which art and knowledge are combined, and instead of considering these from an academic perspective will consider them from the perspective of the literary epic tradition.

The infinite atomic laser
Dr B.P. (Benjamin) Pasquiou (m), University of Amsterdam
Atoms are not just particles but also waves. Therefore, just as with light, an atomic laser can be built. Recent discoveries by the researchers have taken away the biggest obstacles for building this continuous atomic laser. The researchers will build this laser and use it to make very precise measurements.

Bridging the gap between the pore and macro scales: the missing link in modelling solute transport through the unsaturated zone
Dr A. (Amir) Raoof (m), Utrecht University - Hydrogeology
Soil contamination due to agricultural and industrial use forms a serious problem for the environment, our drinking water supplies and health that must be understood and counteracted for a sustainable future. This project will provide essential information and make it possible to make a satisfactory prediction about the transport of pollutants in the soil.

What a great idea! Understanding and improving the selection of creative ideas
Dr S.M. (Simone) Ritter (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Social en Cultural Psychology
For innovations it is vitally important to select the most creative ideas from a collection of ideas. Genuinely innovative ideas are often erroneously rejected. This project will investigate the cognitive processes underlying the incorrect assessment of ideas and how the selection of creative ideas can be improved.

In the skin of malaria parasites
Dr M. (Meta) Roestenberg (f), Leiden University Medical Center - Parasitology
Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a serious infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. In this project it will be investigated how these parasites develop in the skin and influence immune cells so that an effective malaria vaccine that is practical to administer can be developed.

Advertising-resilient children
Dr E. (Esther) Rozendaal (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Communication Science
Nowadays children grow up in a world full of advertisements. They see advertisements on TV, on the Internet and even on their mobile phones. That leads to materialism, unhealthy eating behaviour, and parent-child conflicts. This project will investigate how an innovative educational intervention can make children more resilient to the effects of advertisements.

A new growth medium for mini-organs
Dr L.N. (Norman) Sachs (m), Hubrecht Institute
Recently, researchers discovered how to grow mini-organs. So far, they were only able to grow the organs in a medium made of mouse tumor proteins. This complicates the transplanting process. The goal is to to determine the relevant parts of the main growth medium protein and to develop a synthetic growth medium. 

Learning the senses: perception verbs in child-adult interaction in two cultures
Dr L. San Roque (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Linguistics
While our physiology for perception is the same, the way languages encode perception seems astonishingly diverse. How deep do these differences go? I will study child-adult conversation to discover how, why and when we learn to use perception verbs (e.g., see, taste) and whether this is the same in different cultures.

Fortress Europe as a mobile space? Intra-EU mobility of African migrants
Dr J. (Joris) Schapendonk (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Social Geography
With an innovative study design, specialised in the following of migrants, this research will provide a systematic insight into how, how many and why African migrants travel across the internal borders of the EU. Using mobility instead of domicile as a basic premise the project will result in new starting points to understand the integration process of migrants.

ADHD and addicted
Dr A.F.A. (Arnt) Schellekens (m), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
One-third of children with ADHD develop addiction problems. In these children the treatment of ADHD works less well and they find it very difficult to break with their addiction. By studying brain functions and genetic factors these addiction problems can be better treated and prevented in the future.

The gambling brain
Dr G.T. (Guillaume) Sescousse (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Just like drug addiction, addiction to gambling has dramatic consequences. Yet far less is known about the factors in the brain that underlie excessive gambling. Through the clever combination of brain scans and a smartphone app the researchers will now be able to map how the brain activity of gamblers is linked to their daily gambling behaviour.

You are what you track: practising autonomy, solidarity and authenticity in an age of personalised healthcare
Dr T. Sharon (f), Maastricht University - Philosophy
Personalised healthcare is seen as a solution for the crisis in healthcare. But little is known about the effect it will have on people's everyday lives. This research will examine how a key technology – self-tracking medical devices – changes people's values and how they view themselves.

Resonating rhythms in the baby brain - on individual differences in language acquisition
Dr T.M. Snijders (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Linguistics
I will investigate whether babies pick up words better if their brains resonate with speech. Does it help if they hear words in a strict rhythm such as in a song? Do differences between babies in this brain resonance predict later language development? Is this genetically determined?

How do pupils influence each other's opinions about other ethnic groups?
Dr T.H. (Tobias) Stark (m), Utrecht University - European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER)
I will investigate whether the position of pupils in the friend network determines who is the most influential. With this knowledge an intervention will be developed that facilitates tolerance in influential pupils. These influential pupils will later spread the tolerance among the classmates.

Vital art: transgender portraiture as visual activism
Dr E.A. Steinbock (f), Maastricht University - Gender studies
Although many people are familiar with the term ‘transgender’, little is known about the experiences with and the reactions to social stigmas that transgenders experience. By studying visual activism and the media landscape in which this takes place I will emphasise the strategic role of the portrait in the recognition and acknowledgement of discrimination.

Extra security layer against falsified digital signatures
Dr M.M.J. (Marc) Stevens (m), CWI – Computer Science/Mathematics
Digital signatures and other cryptographic standards are vital for Internet security. This research will focus on a new extra security layer against weaknesses in frequently used standards. This will enable threats such as the falsification of digital signatures in the supermalware Flame to be counteracted.

Does the lab speak the truth?
Dr J.T.R. (Jan) Stoop (m), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Applied Economics
Economists use the lab to study prosocial behaviour. But do these results predict behaviour in the real world? The researcher will compare the laboratory results with behaviour in the real world step-by-step. The steps will show where the lab can improve. The researcher will apply these improvements in the lab.

Informal networks and care in a participation society: changes, mechanisms and consequences
Dr B.A. (Bianca) Suanet (f), VU University Amsterdam - Sociology
The participation society elicits the question as to whether personal networks of elderly people are capable of providing sufficient informal care. In this study I will investigate how changes in network types have influenced informal and formal care use over the past twenty years. I will also determine which categories of elderly people are vulnerable.

Time in early modern metaphysics
Dr A.E. Thomas (f), University of Groningen - Philosophy
This project explains ‘new’ seventeenth century developments in the philosophy of time: time conceived as a thing, and as divine. This impacted conceptions of free will, personal identity, and idealism. With other scholars, the project also emphasises the role that neglected female philosophers played in early modern thought.

Revealing the origins of solar systems: examining the formation of proto-planetary disks and binary stars
Dr J. (John) Tobin (m), Leiden University, Leiden Observatory - Astronomy
The origin of solar systems, also ours, lies in the formation of a rotating disc of gas and dust around a recently born star. But, how this process happens is not yet fully understood. Revolutionary new radio telescopes will be used to test theories about the origin of stars and disks.

Shield against depression
Dr M.J. (Marie-José) van Tol (f), University Medical Center Groningen - Neuroimaging Center
A person who has been depressed in the past is at risk of becoming depressed again. This research will unravel how preventative cognitive therapy can equip the brain against a recurrence in order to predict who will benefit from preventative therapy to reduce the chance of new depressive episodes.

He threatened to kill me! The coping strategies of public service providers when dealing with aggressive citizens
Dr L.G. (Lars) Tummers (m), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Public Administration
Citizens are sometimes aggressive towards public service providers. This ranges from swearing and threats to physical attacks. This project will analyse the effects of different types of citizen aggression on the work experience of public service providers. Not all aggression can be prevented. This project will therefore investigate how service providers can best deal with aggression.

Making mini-tubes shrink and grow
Dr B. (Babet) van der Vaart (f), Netherlands Cancer Institute - Cell Biology
Cells contain tubes that grow and shrink with the help of proteins that specifically bind to the ends. The dynamics of the tubes are important because when they becomes deregulated cell division can be disrupted and cancer can develop. In this research will be studied how the protein composition at the end of the tubes is regulated.

The body's own drug couriers
Dr P. Vader (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Laboratories and Pharmacy
Cells in the human body exchange information via small membrane vesicles. Researchers will investigate how they do that and whether these vesicles can also be used to transfer medicines to cells damaged by disease.

Do mothers know best?
Dr O.H. (Oscar) Vedder (m), University of Groningen - Behavioural Biology
This research on free-living common terns will determine whether mothers in certain cases encourage their offspring, via hormones in the eggs, to grow more instead of investing in body maintenance. This could provide an advantage in situations where there is a lot of competition and a higher chance of premature death.

Specialists at work: how decomposers break down plant litter
Dr G.F. (Ciska) Veen (f), Netherlands Institute for Ecology
Dead plant material, plant litter, is broken down by soil organisms. In this project it will be investigated how soil organisms specialise on plant litter and what the consequences of this are for the functioning of ecosystems. This research is important because as a result of climate change specific associations between plants litter and soil organisms could become detached.

No man is an island
Dr E. (Eva) Velthorst (f), AMC - Psychiatry
Social isolation is a serious problem in the case of psychotic disorders. Especially in adolescence, when the first psychotic symptoms become manifest, social withdrawal can have disastrous consequences. With the help of innovative methods the different causes of withdrawal behaviour among these young people will be described.

In charge of your nerves
Dr B. (Bart) Verkuil (m), Leiden University - Clinical Psychology
Somebody who frets a lot is called a bag of nerves. In people who fret a lot, the vagal nerve that ensures relaxation is indeed less active. The researcher will examine whether fretting decreases when this nerve is electrically stimulated. This could lead to new insights in the treatment of various psychological disorders.

Investigating the early universe with quantum gravity
Dr F. (Francesca) Vidotto (f), Radboud University Nijmegen
What was the shape of the universe during the Big Bang? How did the miniscule irregularities from which all cosmic structures developed, such as our solar system, form? The means to answering this question is quantum gravity, a theory that takes both quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity into consideration.

A better exhaust for a fusion reactor
Dr W.A.J. (Wouter) Vijvers (m), FOM institute DIFFER
Nuclear fusion can potentially generate clean, sustainable and safe energy on a large scale. The exhaust of a fusion reactor is exposed to conditions comparable to those on the sun's surface. This project will develop an innovative measurement system to thoroughly measure the plasma exhaust and subsequently bring this under control.

Quality matters: including water quality in global water stress projections
Dr M.T.H. (Michelle) van Vliet (f), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Earth System Science
Water stress is increasing worldwide because the demand for qualitatively good water is increasing under a growing, prosperous world population, whereas the availability of water is changing due to climate change, for example. This research will develop an integral model to determine current and future water stress throughout the world. Possibilities for improving water quality through technological solutions will be evaluated.

Novel means to inhibit immune responses: CD200R interferes with TLR trafficking
Dr M. (Michiel) van der Vlist (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Immunology
During infections the immune system clears up pathogens. Unintentional damage during this clearing up action must not adversely affect the health of the body's own organs. My research will investigate a protein that prevents an excessive immune response via a new and completely different mechanism than the mechanisms known up until now.

The genetic code of poisonous snakes
Dr F.J. (Freek) Vonk (m), Naturalis
Snakes use venom - a mixture of proteins - to catch prey. These proteins have evolved as a result of genetic modification of normal non-toxic body proteins. In this project the genomes of two poisonous snake species will be elucidated to gain a better understanding of these adaptations.

Africa for sale?
Dr M.J. (Maarten) Voors (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Development Economics
Foreign investments in African agriculture have recently shown a strong increase. The consequences of this are potentially widespread but have not been systematically investigated. This research will analyse the causal effect on development for the African continent and will analyse a large-scale commercial agricultural project in Sierra Leone in detail.

Experimental evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacterial consortia
Dr M.G.J. (Marjon) de Vos (f), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Plant Sciences
Antibiotic resistance is a growing worldwide problem because is hinders the treatment of infections. Infections caused by several pathogenic bacteria often have mutual interactions that influence the growth. In this study the researchers will investigate the effect of these mutual interactions on the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

Inhibiting the highly diverse receptor binding pocket of Influenza A Virus using its conserved ligand
Dr R.P. (Robert) de Vries (m), Utrecht University - Faculty of Natural Sciences
Universal inhibitors for influenza - human and animal influenza viruses - always bind to the same type of receptor but in different ways. Whatever the differences in how they do this, a part of the receptor is conserved. We will simulate that conserved part and modify it in such a way that we can inhibit the virus.

Measuring and controlling molecular left and right-handedness
Dr S.J. (Sander) Wezenberg (m), University of Groningen - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
Many molecules from nature have a different mirror image (left and right-handed). In other words they are chiral. The relationship between the mirror images appears to influence certain biological functions. The researcher will develop chemical methods to determine and influence chiral relationships.

Networks of symptoms in psychosis
Dr J.T.W. (Hanneke) Wigman (f), University Medical Centre Groningen - Psychiatry
The researcher will study the development of psychoses (a lost sense of reality) by describing networks of early symptoms and by examining per person how these symptoms influence each other. This will help to develop personalised treatment recommendations.

3D models of protein-RNA complexes
Dr L. (Li) Xue (f) Utrecht University - Chemistry
Protein-RNA interactions are crucial to cellular function and are involved in various human diseases when disrupted. Gaining structural knowledge about the complexes involved is essential for drug design, but remains experimentally and computationally challenging. Using artificial intelligence, I will tackle this problem and build 3D models of protein-RNA complexes.

When global health meets local development: a case study of the 'First 1000 Days of Life'-intervention in Guatemala
Dr E.J.F. (Emily) Yates-Doerr (f), University of Amsterdam - AISSR
The United Nations will connect healthcare with attention for development and sustainability. It will start with projects for children in the first 1000 days after conception by improving the nutritional situation of mothers. In the Highlands of Guatemala the researcher will ascertain how this global policy works out in local situations.

Monsters unveiled: cosmic rays and dark matter in clusters of galaxies
Dr F. (Fabio) Zandanel (m), University of Amsterdam - Astronomy
How has the universe developed? What is dark matter? I will study these questions using the biggest structures in the universe: clusters. These consist of hundreds of galaxies and with a mass of one million billion times that of the sun they possibly provide the key to the answers.

Nanostructures for Energetic Wisdom (NEW)
Dr I. (Ilaria) Zardo (f), Eindhoven University of Technology
Nanostructures in general and nanowires more specifically are potentially superior to conventional materials for energy conversion. My research will focus on the investigation and engineering of nanostructured materials for thermoelectric applications. My novel approach is based on two main directions: nanowires composites and topological thermoelectric nanostructures.

High-throughput 3D imaging for nanoscience
Dr X. (Xiaodong) Zhuge (m), CWI - Scientific Computing / Leiden University Medical Centre - Molecular Cell Biology
A crucial question in nanoscience is how the 3D structure of microscopic particles (biological structures, nanomaterials) is ordered in large volumes. In this project we will develop new methods for reconstructing large volumes to make rapid imaging with nanometre resolution possible.

Minor tremors, major consequences: the seismology of epileptic fits
Dr M. (Maeike) Zijlmans (f), University Medical Center Utrecht - Neurology
Epilepsy makes patients uncertain. High-frequency minor electrical tremors have recently been found in diseased tissue, which reflect the epileptic disease activity. The researcher wants to capture these small tremors with standard brain scans and use these for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.


Laureates Earth and Life Sciences


Z/E-conversion of hexenal as modulator of insect physiology and plant-herbivore interactions
Dr S. (Silke) Allmann (f), University of Amsterdam - Plant physiology
Under stress plants emit the green aromatic substance Z-3-hexenal into the air. Caterpillars eating plants convert this substance into E-2-hexenal. I will investigate why caterpillars convert the substance and what the exact consequences of this are for the physiology and ecology of the plant and the caterpillar.

Islands within islands: the effect of isolation on marine biodiversity
Dr L.E. (Leontine) Becking (f), Naturalis
Marine lakes offer a unique view of biodiversity in the sea. Since the time of Darwin, islands have played a key role within biology as natural laboratories of ecology and evolution. Research into marine lakes - inside out islands so to speak - can provide new insights into the processes that give rise to biodiversity in tropical seas.

Cognition in the sleeping cerebellum
Dr C.B. (Cathrin) Canto (f), Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences - Cerebellar Coordination & Cognition
The cerebellum is vital for memory formation of motor and cognitive learning processes. The researcher will unravel how cells in the cerebellum code information during learning processes and the role of sleep in this process.

Exploiting your neighbour's cry for help - the role of herbivore induced plant volatiles in plant growth strategies
Dr J.C. (Bob) Douma (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Crop and Weed Ecology
If plants are attacked by insects, they produce volatile substances. Neighbouring plants can use this information to regulate their investment in defence or growth. With the help of 3D models evolutionary game theory and experiments, I will investigate which strategy is advantageous. These insights will help to make crop production more sustainable.

Unravelling the functions of cerebellar nuclear circuits in sensorimotor processing
Dr Z. (Zhenyu) Gao (m), Erasmus MC - Neurosciences
The output of the cerebellum is formed by the cerebellar nucleus circuits and is important for the control of motor functions. I will study the connections of the nuclear circuits to gain a better picture of the mechanisms with which the brain controls the motor functions with considerable temporal precision.

Functional study of long non-coding RNAs in intestinal stem cells using organoid and mouse model system
Dr. I. (Inha) Heo (v), Hubrecht Instituut
Last decade, lncRNA emerged as a novel regulators in multiple biological processes. Although thousands of lncRNAs are identified, physiological roles of most lncRNAs remain unknown. Here I will study the physiological role of lncRNAs in intestinal stem cells, which are one of the most well studied adult stem cells.

The principles of peroxisome formation: organelle origin and morphogenesis
Dr K. (Kèvin) Knoops (m), University of Groningen - Molecular Cell Biology
Peroxisomes are essential cell organelles for metabolism. An important new formation process for peroxisomes is now being dissected in detail with the help of advanced microscopic and biochemical techniques. These new concepts about peroxisome formation could make an important contribution to medical research.

Eutrophication and the iron cycle
Dr P. (Peter) Kraal (m), Utrecht University - Geochemistry
Iron is an important nutrient for microorganisms that also regulates the availability of other nutrients in rivers, lakes and the sea. This study will investigate how, under the influence of eutrophication, changes to the chemical conditions in this type of systems influence the properties and burial of iron minerals.

Improved modelling of the current and future polar snow cover
Dr J.T.M. (Jan) Lenaerts (m), Utrecht University - Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU)
Global warming is causing rapid changes in the polar areas on earth, especially in the processes in polar snow. In this project I will use a global climate model to simulate these current and future changes and the consequences of these for the climate and the rest of our planet.

Learning to breathe - Unravelling the respiratory chain of the nitrite-oxidizing bacterium nitrospira moscoviensis
Dr. S. (Sebastian) Lücker (m), RU - Ecologische Microbiologie
Learning to breathe. Nitrite‐oxidizing bacteria are everywhere in the environment and crucial for cleaning our wastewater. How they gain energy for growth, however, is not yet known. The aim of this project is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of their metabolism and learn how these important bacteria live and conserve energy.

Knowledge in an uncertain world
Dr K.J. (Kimberley) Mathot (f), Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research - Marine Ecology
Animals need knowledge to constantly adapt their behaviour to their surroundings. This project will focus on how and why individuals differ in the manner in which they invest in acquiring knowledge and the consequences of such differences on foraging and migratory behaviour.

Dry soils: a driving force of droughts and heat waves?
Dr D.G.M. (Diego) Miralles (m), VU University Amsterdam - Earth Sciences
Global warming is expected to intensify heat waves and make droughts more persistent. In addition, the drier soils may trigger a critical feedback that will further amplify dry and warm conditions. This project will use observations to investigate this climate feedback, and evaluate its representation in the climate models we use for predictions.

Mechanics, aerodynamics and energetics of mosquito flight
Dr F.T. (Florian) Muijres (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Experimental Zoology
How do malaria mosquitoes fly? Mosquitoes are particularly dangerous because they spread serious diseases such as malaria. The spread is very effective because mosquitoes suck blood and fly. However little is known about their flight performances. I therefore propose studying the flight performances of mosquitoes using an experimental and model-based approach.

Bridging the gap between the pore and macro scales: the missing link in modelling solute transport through the unsaturated zone
Dr A. (Amir) Raoof (m), Utrecht University - Hydrogeology
Soil contamination due to agricultural and industrial use forms a serious problem for the environment, our drinking water supplies and health that must be understood and counteracted for a sustainable future. This project will provide essential information and make it possible to make a satisfactory prediction about the transport of pollutants in the soil.

Making mini-tubes shrink and grow
Dr B. (Babet) van der Vaart (f), Netherlands Cancer Institute - Cell Biology
Cells contain tubes that grow and shrink with the help of proteins that specifically bind to the ends. The dynamics of the tubes are important because when they becomes deregulated cell division can be disrupted and cancer can develop. In this research will be studied how the protein composition at the end of the tubes is regulated.

Do mothers know best?
Dr O.H. (Oscar) Vedder (m), University of Groningen - Behavioural Biology
This research on free-living common terns will determine whether mothers in certain cases encourage their offspring, via hormones in the eggs, to grow more instead of investing in body maintenance. This could provide an advantage in situations where there is a lot of competition and a higher chance of premature death.

Specialists at work: how decomposers break down plant litter
Dr G.F. (Ciska) Veen (f), Netherlands Institute for Ecology
Dead plant material, plant litter, is broken down by soil organisms. In this project it will be investigated how soil organisms specialise on plant litter and what the consequences of this are for the functioning of ecosystems. This research is important because as a result of climate change specific associations between plants litter and soil organisms could become detached.

Quality matters: including water quality in global water stress projections
Dr M.T.H. (Michelle) van Vliet (f), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Earth System Science
Water stress is increasing worldwide because the demand for qualitatively good water is increasing under a growing, prosperous world population, whereas the availability of water is changing due to climate change, for example. This research will develop an integral model to determine current and future water stress throughout the world. Possibilities for improving water quality through technological solutions will be evaluated.

Novel means to inhibit immune responses: CD200R interferes with TLR trafficking
Dr M. (Michiel) van der Vlist (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Immunology
During infections the immune system clears up pathogens. Unintentional damage during this clearing up action must not adversely affect the health of the body's own organs. My research will investigate a protein that prevents an excessive immune response via a new and completely different mechanism than the mechanisms known up until now.

The genetic code of poisonous snakes
Dr F.J. (Freek) Vonk (m), Naturalis
Snakes use venom - a mixture of proteins - to catch prey. These proteins have evolved as a result of genetic modification of normal non-toxic body proteins. In this project the genomes of two poisonous snake species will be elucidated to gain a better understanding of these adaptations.

Experimental evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacterial consortia
Dr M.G.J. (Marjon) de Vos (f), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Plant Sciences
Antibiotic resistance is a growing worldwide problem because is hinders the treatment of infections. Infections caused by several pathogenic bacteria often have mutual interactions that influence the growth. In this study the researchers will investigate the effect of these mutual interactions on the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

Laureates Chemical Sciences

Design of smart materials to realise nanorobots functioning inside the human body
Dr L. (Lorenzo) Albertazzi (m), Eindhoven University of Technology - Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
Researchers will create smart materials that 'self-assemble': are able to build themselves. This approach will be used to realise nano-robots that can function inside the human body. These devices will transport drugs into the body or attack viruses to cure a variety of diseases.

Do we live in healthy homes?
Dr A.M. (Ana María) Ballesteros-Gómez (f), VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies
Electronic equipment, furniture and building materials contain potentially toxic and sometimes unknown contaminants to which we are exposed every day. Chemists can develop faster and cheaper analysis methods to answer questions regarding the safety of our indoor environments.

Towards a general methodology for catalyst design
Dr. F. (Federico) Calle-Vallejo (m), UL - Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Can we tailor catalysts at the atomic scale by means of high-school chemistry and geometry rules? By using large-scale computer simulations, this projects aims to develop a general methodology for the design of tomorrow’s catalysts based on the number of valence electrons and coordination numbers, two simple yet powerful concepts.

Vaccines against worm infections
Dr F. (Fabrizio) Chiodo (m), UL - Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Schistosomiasis is a very harmful worm infection. Existing medicines cannot prevent re-infections. I will work on the development of vaccines against this and similar diseases by very precisely covering gold spheres with pieces of the parasites so that the immune system can be taught in a very controlled manner how to destroy the worms.

Playing billiards with molecules
Dr W. (Wenrui) Dong (m), Radboud University - Institute for Molecules and Materials
Researchers use advanced methods to very precisely fire hydroxyl radicals at oxygen atoms, as a result of which a chemical reaction is induced. The movement of the reaction products will be very accurately mapped with the help of laser beams so that the details of the chemical reaction can be revealed.

Soft Pharma: functionally soft material for controlling polymorphism
Dr H.B. (Burak) Eral (m), Utrecht University - Chemistry
The sustainable growth of the pharmaceutical industry is currently hindered by our insufficient knowledge of polymorphism. This increases the costs of vital drugs. The researchers will develop new 'soft' materials to solve this problem and to make pharmaceuticals more effective and affordable.

Graphene as biological sensor
Dr. W. (Wangyang) Fu (m), UL- Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Under physiological conditions, graphene sensors typically cannot detect biological stimuli occurring at a distance larger than a nanometer from its surface. Consequently, they are disregarded as potent biological sensors. This proposal promises to shed light on this distance-dependent sensing paradigm by proposing new radiofrequency approaches to deeply probe biological pathways.

Poly-ubiquitin; a chain of events unravelled
Dr G.J. (Gerbrand) van der Heden-van Noort (m), Netherlands Cancer Institute- Chemical Biology
A wide range of processes in the cell are switched on and off through the confirmation of a chain of small proteins called ubiquitin. The composition of this string of proteins determines exactly what happens. This research will shed light on which polymers specifically cause signals.

Receptor proteins as a starting point for new medicines against brain tumours
Dr S. (Saskia) Nijmeijer (f), VU University Amsterdam - Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Glioblastoma is an untreatable brain tumour in which two receptor proteins are expressed at an elevated level. I will investigate how the biochemical function of these receptor proteins contributes to glioblastoma. When we subsequently understand and can influence the function of these receptor proteins then we will have a starting point for new medicines.

Measuring and controlling molecular left and right-handedness
Dr S.J. (Sander) Wezenberg (m), University of Groningen - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
Many molecules from nature have a different mirror image (left and right-handed). In other words they are chiral. The relationship between the mirror images appears to influence certain biological functions. The researcher will develop chemical methods to determine and influence chiral relationships.

3D models of protein-RNA complexes
Dr. L. (Li) Xue (v) UU - Scheikunde
Protein-RNA interactions are key to cellular function and involved in various human diseases when disrupted. Gaining structural knowledge about the involved complexes is essential for drug design, but remains challenging both experimentally and computationally. Using artificial intelligence, I will tackle this problem and build 3D models of protein-RNA complexes.

Laureates Physical Sciences

Quantum and classical data protection
Dr J. (Jop) Briët (m), New York University (US) - Computer Science / Mathematics
During the transmission and storage of digital information, data loss occurs as a consequence of noise. The aim of this research is to determine how this negative effect can be reduced by using new mathematical techniques, which come from fields such as quantum mechanics.

Understanding and influencing human choices
Dr A.V. (Arnoud) den Boer (m), University of Twente - Mathematics
Human choosing behaviour lies at the basis of many social and commercial decision problems. This research project will develop mathematical and statistical methods to describe this behaviour and to respond to it in an optimal manner.

Detection methods for similarity structures in time-dependent data
Dr A. (Anne) Driemel (f), Eindhoven University of Technology - Computer Science
Detection methods for similarity structures are used to summarise and analyse the content of digital data. Although research in the past was mainly based on static data, the data can be time- dependent recordings of dynamic parameters. In this case the development over time must also be efficiently summarised.

Einstein’s Frame Dragging effect around galactic black holes
Dr. A.R. (Adam) Ingram (m), UvA - Astronomy
In Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, the space surrounding a spinning black hole is twisted up like water spiraling down a sink. Astronomers will study this effect using observations of gas falling into black holes in our galaxy.

Computer, look before you leap
Dr B.M.P. (Bart) Jansen (m), University of Bergen (NO) - Computer Science
Many computer calculations can be sped up by adding a pre-processing step in which the input is simplified. The standard model for problem simplification is limited and does not take parallel processing power into account. I will investigate innovative simplification procedures that do utilise this possibility.

Explosive transmission and community forming on networks
Dr J. (Julia) Komjáthy (f), Eindhoven University of Technology - Mathematics
Processes on networks describe a number of important phenomena, for example the dissemination of information in a society. This research proposes to very precisely mathematically analyse two important characteristics, namely extremely well-connected nodes and the formation of community structures.

Learning at the right speed
Dr W.M. (Wouter) Koolen (m), CWI - Computer Science
Learning computer systems that gradually become better in their task are a widely used technology. In current systems the learning rate must be manually adjusted to the difficulty of the task to be learnt. The researchers will design new programs that can also learn the correct learning rate.

How do you reduce brain teasers to box-ticking exercises?
Dr J. (Jesper) Nederlof (m), Maastricht University - Computer Science
A natural strategy for solving a complex task is to transform it into a simpler task (for example packing a suitcase by trying out all the layouts). The research will study this strategy for complex planning problems that must be solved by computers.

Extra security layer against falsified digital signatures
Dr M.M.J. (Marc) Stevens (m), CWI – Computer Science/Mathematics
Digital signatures and other cryptographic standards are vital for Internet security. This research will focus on a new extra security layer against weaknesses in frequently used standards. This will enable threats such as the falsification of digital signatures in the supermalware Flame to be counteracted.

Revealing the origins of solar systems: examining the formation of proto-planetary disks and binary stars
Dr J. (John) Tobin (m), Leiden University, Leiden Observatory - Astronomy
The origin of solar systems, also ours, lies in the formation of a rotating disc of gas and dust around a recently born star. But, how this process happens is not yet fully understood. Revolutionary new radio telescopes will be used to test theories about the origin of stars and disks.

Monsters unveiled: cosmic rays and dark matter in clusters of galaxies
Dr F. (Fabio) Zandanel (m), University of Amsterdam - Astronomy
How has the universe developed? What is dark matter? I will study these questions using the biggest structures in the universe: clusters. These consist of hundreds of galaxies and with a mass of one million billion times that of the sun they possibly provide the key to the answers.

Interdivisional laureates

Targeted nanotherapeutics: aiming at the resolution of liver fibrosis
Dr. R. (Ruchi) Bansal (v), UT - MIRA
Liver damage caused by excessive alcohol-intake or hepatitis viral infections, is a growing health problem with no medication. With this project, researchers aim to develop innovative targeted nanomedicines for the treatment of liver diseases, by targeting to the crucial cell types in the liver without eliciting adverse effects.

Language in the courtroom
Dr A. (Anita) Eerland (f), Open University - Faculty of Psychology and Educational Studies
People process sentences such as ‘the perpetrator shot’ in a different way than ‘the perpetrator was shooting’. The researchers will study the effect of such subtle differences in language use on the processing of witness statements and on legal decision-making. It will also be investigated whether experts are less susceptible to such effects than laypeople.

Language in the courtroom
Dr A. (Anita) Eerland (f), Open University - Faculty of Psychology and Educational Studies
People process sentences such as ‘the perpetrator shot’ in a different way than ‘the perpetrator was shooting’. The researchers will study the effect of such subtle differences in language use on the processing of witness statements and on legal decision-making. It will also be investigated whether experts are less susceptible to such effects than laypeople.

Focus on the locus
Dr H.I.L. (Heidi) Jacobs (f), Maastricht University - Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
The locus coeruleus - a small area in the brainstem - appears to be a switching centre for the memory. With more detailed and new brain scans and brain stimulations the researchers will unravel how the communication between this area and other areas of the brain changes in elderly people and in patients with dementia.

Learning form the past: the influence of humans via land use on the global carbon cycle
Dr C.G.M. (Kees) Klein Goldewijk (m), Utrecht University - Faculty of Geosciences
Climate models contain parameters for current land use. However these must also be better calibrated with historical land use data because the feedbacks with the climate system can change over time. This proposal will lead to a new global dataset for historical land use that is unique because for the first time it will be supplemented with knowledge from history and archaeology.

A better exhaust for a fusion reactor
Dr W.A.J. (Wouter) Vijvers (m), FOM institute DIFFER
Nuclear fusion can potentially generate clean, sustainable and safe energy on a large scale. The exhaust of a fusion reactor is exposed to conditions comparable to those on the sun's surface. This project will develop an innovative measurement system to thoroughly measure the plasma exhaust and subsequently bring this under control.

Inhibiting the highly diverse receptor binding pocket of Influenza A Virus using its conserved ligand
Dr R.P. (Robert) de Vries (m), Utrecht University - Faculty of Natural Sciences
Universal inhibitors for influenza - human and animal influenza viruses - always bind to the same type of receptor but in different ways. Whatever the differences in how they do this, a part of the receptor is conserved. We will simulate that conserved part and modify it in such a way that we can inhibit the virus.

Laureates Humanities

The writing on the rocks: Thamudic and Arabia’s linguistic past
Dr A.M. Al-Jallad (m), Leiden University - Linguistics
The Arab deserts are littered with thousands of scarcely understood ancient inscriptions known as the Thamudic inscriptions. This project is the first integral study of this corpus carried out within the digital humanities. Making these texts accessible will fundamentally change our understanding of the languages and the people of pre-Islamic Arabia.

Great expectations: discourse markers of (counter)expectation in incremental sentence processing
Dr G. van Bergen (f), Utrecht University - Linguistics
‘Maria is actually a man.’ In this example the word actually indicates that the information in the rest of the sentence goes against the listener's expectation. In this project it will be investigated whether such expectation markers make the word-for-word processing of sentences easier. It will be measured to what extent listeners adjust their predictions about the rest of sentence as soon as they hear an expectation marker.

Contested letters from the Dutch East Indies: the transcultural appropriations of Kartini's writings since 1911
Dr P.A.L. Bijl (m), University of Amsterdam - Language and Literature
Although the Dutch letters from the Javanese woman Kartini (1879-1904) have been translated into eight languages they have nevertheless remained outside of the Dutch literary canon. This project will investigate how Kartini’s letters are used in the West and in Asia to express views about the role of women in the colonial and postcolonial period.

Deceiving stuff: histories, functions, techniques, and effects of material mimesis
Dr M.A.H. Bol (f), University of Amsterdam - Art and Architecture
In our everyday lives we are surrounded by deceptive materials: laminated floors that look like wood and a synthetic kitchen top that looks like marble. This project will investigate the function and impact of this practice of materials imitation within the history of art and science.

Networked landscapes: modelling supra-regional communities in the early 3rd millennium BC
Dr Q.P.J. Bourgeois (m), Leiden University - Archaeology
This project will investigate landscape organisation in North-West Europe in the third millennium BC. The aim is to generate new perspectives on spatial organisation and the emergence of supra-regional groups and networks. This will be realised using techniques such as computer simulations and network analyses.

Towards a science of linguistic depiction
Dr M. Dingemanse (m), Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics - Linguistics
We do not just use language to describe things but also to depict things, for example by using signs or sound-symbolic words (ideophones). This project will investigate the linguistic processing of such depictions and by doing this will enrich linguistics, which up until now has mainly focused on the descriptive function of language.

Asylum theory for a non-ideal world
Dr L.L. Ferracioli (f), University of Amsterdam - Philosophy
In this project I will investigate the following questions: who is a refugee, why do states have obligations towards refugees and how can we fairly distribute the burdens of protection between states? The aim of the research is to develop a theory that provides perspective for a more desirable and effective regulation for the protection of refugees.

Critical moments: How do events affect how we should judge the legitimacy of political authorities?
Dr T. Fossen (m), Leiden University - Philosophy
The researchers will develop a new perspective on a classical political-philosophical issue: what makes a government legitimate or illegitimate? In this perspective the significance of events plays a crucial role in the judgement about a government and about the appropriate attitude of citizens (obedience or resistance?).

Numbering life. Metrics and measures in digital media
Dr. C. Gerlitz (v), UvA - Mediastudies
The project investigates the effects of the growing quantification of social and cultural life in social media platforms into counts of friends or Likes, rankings of popularity or algorithmic metrics. It claims such digital numbers not only measure but transform social life and allow third-parties to make social media activities economically valuable.

Socratic educations: the ancient reception of the Alcibiades Maior
Dr L.A. Joosse (m), Utrecht University - Philosophy
What is good education? This project will investigate Greco-Roman thought about this question through the interpretative history of the Platonic dialogue Alcibiades. In this Socrates, the exemplary philosopher, teaches Alcibiades, the brilliant traitor. The text therefore offers later readers an inspiring example as well as a challenge: what if things go wrong?

Listen to your mother! Elucidating the role of speaker familiarity in initial word learning
Dr C.M.M. Junge (f), University of Amsterdam - Linguistics
In this research proposal it will be examined whether a trusted voice helps babies to learn words. If that is the case then is this because babies listen more attentively or more easily to this voice, or both? It will also be investigated whether a known voice influences the learning of words by babies with an increased risk of autism.

A role for content and mental causation in empirical psychology
Dr A. Kalis (f), Utrecht University - Philosophy
Many mental states have content: our convictions, desires, intentions 'are all about something'. Empirical psychology, however, scarcely offers space for the notion of content. This project will develop a philosophical analysis that shows how mental content can and should play a role in in empirical psychological research.

Yoga, Bingo and prayer in urban renewal areas
Dr L.J. van de Kamp (f), Tilburg University - Art and Architecture
How the interaction between different groups of people influences urban redevelopment will be investigated by means of anthropological fieldwork in Amsterdam-Noord. I will analyse the dynamics between established and new residents, entrepreneurs, artists, welfare workers, religious groups, housing corporations and government in how they deal with industrial heritage, collective rituals and media and communication technologies.

Divided by memory: coping with religious diversity in post-civil war France, 1598-1685
Dr D.C. van der Linden (m), University Of Groningen - History
After a religious conflict people always still remember their opponent's crimes. That makes reconciliation difficult. This project will investigate how the conflicting memories of the French religious wars (1562–1598) continued to divide Catholics and Protestants and undermined religious tolerance.

Well-ordered ontologies in the human sciences
Dr. D.L. Ludwig (m), VU - Filosofie
The research project is concerned with controversial scientific concepts such as ‘mental disorder’, ‘intelligence’, and ‘race’. Scientists can classify humans in a variety of ways and the project develops an account that balances scientific and ethical considerations in the development of scientific classifications of humans.

Hide and leak. Secrecy and openness in overseas companies in the Dutch Golden Age
Dr D.H. van Netten (f), University of Amsterdam - History
Secrets create power, anxiety and desires. How were secrecy and openness dealt with in the Dutch East Indies Company and Dutch West Indies Company? This project will investigate the seventeenth century practice of hiding and revealing information by seafarers, merchants, scientists and administrators. What happened to spies, traitors and whistle-blowers?

The role of gesture during the acquisition of a sign language as a second language
Dr. G. Ortega (m), RU / Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics - Taalkunde
This project investigates how experience with gesture helps speakers of Dutch to learn Sign Language of the Netherlands. This project will study if learners produce their own gestures for signs that are similar in form and will investigate how the brain processes signs and gestures in a different way.

The art of teaching: Greek didactic epic from the Hellenistic to the Imperial period
Dr F. Overduin (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Language and Culture
Didactic poetry in ancient Greek from the first century AD is largely ignored by classicists. How should this technical knowledge in Homeric verse be valued? This research will take these long poems in which art and knowledge are combined, and instead of considering these from an academic perspective will consider them from the perspective of the literary epic tradition.

Learning the senses: perception verbs in child-adult interaction in two cultures
Dr. L. San Roque (v), RU - Taalkunde
While our physiology for perception is the same, the way languages encode perception seems astonishingly diverse. How deep do these differences go? I study child-adult conversation to discover how, why and when we learn to use perception verbs (e.g., see, taste) and whether this is the same in different cultures.

You are what you track: practising autonomy, solidarity and authenticity in an age of personalised healthcare
Dr T. Sharon (f), Maastricht University - Philosophy
Personalised healthcare is seen as a solution for the crisis in healthcare. But little is known about the effect it will have on people's everyday lives. This research will examine how a key technology – self-tracking medical devices – changes people's values and how they view themselves.

Resonating rhythms in the baby brain - on individual differences in language acquisition
Dr T.M. Snijders (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Linguistics
I will investigate whether babies pick up words better if their brains resonate with speech. Does it help if they hear words in a strict rhythm such as in a song? Do differences between babies in this brain resonance predict later language development? Is this genetically determined?

Vital art: transgender portraiture as visual activism
Dr E.A. Steinbock (f), Maastricht University - Gender studies
Although many people are familiar with the term ‘transgender’, little is known about the experiences with and the reactions to social stigmas that transgenders experience. By studying visual activism and the media landscape in which this takes place I will emphasise the strategic role of the portrait in the recognition and acknowledgement of discrimination.

Time in early modern metaphysics
Dr. A.E. Thomas (v), RUG - Filosofie
This project explains ‘new’ seventeenth century developments in the philosophy of time: time conceived as a thing, and as divine. This impacted conceptions of freewill, personal identity, and idealism. With other scholars, the project also emphasises the role that neglected women philosophers played in early modern thought.

Laureates Social Sciences

Educational inequality and language
Dr O. (Orhan) Agirdag (m), University of Amsterdam - AMCIS, Educational Sciences
Pupils whose first language is not Dutch perform worse at school than pupils whose native language is Dutch. But why is that the case? Do all categories of pupils whose first language is not Dutch perform worse than Dutch-speaking pupils? And is language inequality enhanced by the characteristics of schools and education systems? These questions are not only relevant from a scientific viewpoint. The outcomes can also be used by parents, teachers and policymakers.

Patterns of politicisation in 14 democracies
Dr C.F. (Caspar) van den Berg (m), Leiden University - Public Administration
Do policy and administration improve if civil servants are subject to strong political influence or does this instead happen if they are as neutral and impartial as possible? Why are civil servants in some countries and policy sectors more politicised than in others? This project will compare 14 countries in Europe, North America and East Asia and provide answers to these questions.

Do gooders and sustainable consumption
Dr J.W. (Jan Willem) Bolderdijk (m), University of Groningen - Economics and Business, Marketing
Although consumers consider it important to be moral, extreme moral behaviour (e.g. veganism) can come at a price - ‘do gooders’ are not popular. I will investigate what the relevance of this mechanism is for the marketing of sustainable food sources (e.g. cultured meat and soya butter).

Off to a bad start - Investigating the role of oxytocin and estradiol in the cycle of harsh parenting over generations
Dr P.A. (Peter) Bos (m), Utrecht University - Clinical psychology
People who have been brought up harshly often bring up their own children harshly. This might be due to an insensitivity of the brain for hormones vital for parental behaviour. Whether this is the case will be investigated in people for the first time.

Using behavioural economics to understand gender differences in career choices
Dr T. (Thomas) Buser (m), University of Amsterdam - Markets and Organisations
Men are more willing to compete then women. I will explore the causes and consequences of this gender difference. Can it explain gender differences in academic and professional career choices? Are gender differences in the reaction to feedback an explanation? And are women more stressed out by competitive pressure than men?

Network psychometrics: methods for exposing the architecture and dynamics of mood disorders
Dr A.O.J. (Angélique) Cramer (f), University of Amsterdam - Psychometrics
In the network approach a psychological disorder is a consequence of interactions between symptoms (gloomy and fretting). In this proposal methods to construct and analyse these networks will be further developed. Subsequently the networks of patients with mood disorders will be investigated: for example, can we predict when the patient will experience a relapse?

Time-inconsistency and implications for investment, saving, and trading behavior
Dr. S. (Sebastian) Ebert (m), UvT - Financiën
I will investigate the impact of time-inconsistency on individuals’ investment, saving, and trading behavior. Applications lie in the design of institutions that mitigate time-inconsistency when it comes to important investment decisions like retirement saving, in deriving guidelines for individual investor protection, and in regulating the retail banking sector.

The challenge of evidence-based intellectual property law reform: legal pragmatism meets doctrinal legal reasoning
Dr S.J. (Stef) van Gompel (m), University of Amsterdam - Information Law
Legislative policy concerning intellectual property rights traditionally has a strong dogmatic perspective. This research will clarify how intellectual property rights can be better based on an empirically supported policy. It will make concrete suggestions for the development of an empirically supported policy in which the traditional legal-dogmatic legislative approach is united with a more legal-pragmatic approach.

The challenge of evidence-based intellectual property law reform: legal pragmatism meets doctrinal legal reasoning
Dr S.J. (Stef) van Gompel (m), University of Amsterdam - Information Law
Legislative policy concerning intellectual property rights traditionally has a strong dogmatic perspective. This research will clarify how intellectual property rights can be better based on an empirically supported policy. It will make concrete suggestions for the development of an empirically supported policy in which the traditional legal-dogmatic legislative approach is united with a more legal-pragmatic approach.

Transactional relations between early adolescent antisocial behaviours, personality characteristics, and parenting behaviours
Dr A.D. (Amaranta) de Haan (f), Utrecht University - Orthopedagogy, Psychosocial problems
In this project it will be investigated how the antisocial behaviour of young people, their personality characteristics, and the child-raising behaviour of parents mutually influence each other within three time levels: second-to-second (micro-level), day-to-day (meso-level) and year-to-year (macro-level). In addition, the reciprocal effects of antisocial behaviour, personality and the child-raising behaviour between the three-time levels will be studied.

The anticipating brain
Dr S. (Saskia) Haegens (f), Radboud University Nijmegen- Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
In everyday life we are exposed to an enormous input of sensory information of which only a small part is relevant. How does the brain selectively pay attention to expected events? The researchers will measure the brainwaves in the human brain to discover which brain networks and mechanisms regulate our attention.

Neural mechanisms of pain-avoidance learning in healthy and chronic-pain populations
Dr M. (Marieke) Jepma (f), Leiden University - Cognitive Psychology
Learning to avoid behaviour that leads to pain is crucial. The researchers will map the neurocognitive mechanisms that underlie this learning process. They will also investigate if, and if yes how, this learning process is disrupted in patients with chronic pain.

The ‘others’ amongst ‘us’: Western societies, ‘otherness’ and the law
Dr M. (Moritz) Jesse (m), Leiden University - European Law
How should Western societies deal with increasing diversity as a result of migration and how should laws be made that work better in this new reality? In this project it will be investigated how prejudices have led to legislation that has enhanced instead of reducing the differences between the minority and the majority and how this can be prevented in the future.

Late starters in criminality
Dr M.V. (Vere) van Koppen (f), VU University Amsterdam- Criminal Law and Criminology
Science and policy have always focused on young criminals. However, most criminals probably become involved in criminality as adults. The study will establish how many adult starters there actually are, who they are, and what can explain their criminal careers. We can use this knowledge to develop better interventions for this group.

Back to the typewriters? - Rethinking informational self-determination in the era of mass state surveillance
Dr E. (Eleni) Kosta (f), Tilburg University - Law, Technology and Society
This project will investigate how the legislator can protect the personal details of individuals now that it has become clear that governments grant themselves large-scale access to the data of companies such as Facebook and Google. Alternatives will be proposed for informational self-determination so that the data processes of companies will become more transparent and clearer and the citizen will be better protected.

Planning, places, prices and politics: the economics of spatial planning policy
Dr H.R.A. (Hans) Koster (m), VU University Amsterdam - Spatial Economics
We will analyse the economic reasons for applying spatial planning. By making use of theoretical models and unique microdata we can, for example, analyse the influence of height restrictions, heritage protection, and social housing on the urban economy.

Neighbourhood differences in anxiety for crime
Dr W. (Willem) de Koster (m), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Sociology
In neighbourhoods with more ethnic minorities, local nationals are more afraid of crime, just like in neighbourhoods that are more untidy and where people have less contact with each other. But why is this the case? Insights from criminology and sociology will be combined and tested to gain a better understanding of this.

Role of pupil-synchronisation in trust
Dr M.E. (Mariska) Kret (f), University of Amsterdam - Labour and Organisational Psychology
In deciding whether or not to trust an unknown person, we use our intuition. A person's pupil size is an important signal and is picked up by observers whose pupils automatically synchronise. This research will focus on the relationship between pupil synchronisation and trust, and the neurohormonal processes that modulate this relationship.

Entwined senses in autism
Dr T.M. (Tessa) van Leeuwen (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
People with autism see the world differently and in the case of synesthesia the senses are connected. Synesthesia is more prevalent among people with autism. Is there a common cause of the changed perception in autism and synesthesia? The researchers will compare the brain activity of people with autism and people with synesthesia.

Compensatory consumption: costs and remedies
Dr M. (Monika) Lisjak (f), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Marketing management
This proposal examines how consumers use consumption to deal with challenges and setbacks in life. Specifically, the proposal aims to examine the costs of engaging in such compensatory behaviour. In addition, this proposal aims to identify remedies that could help consumers reduce overconsumption and increase well-being.

The quality of political debate and political confidence
Dr S.M. (Sofie) Marien (f), University of Amsterdam - Political Science
Within the scientific community and the Dutch population concerns are being expressed about the increasing vulgarisation in society. In this project it will be determined if the quality of political debates in the media is deteriorating, as is often suggested, and what the consequences of this are for political trust.

Working towards safer task-designs: interactions between performance pressure and fatigue in task execution
Dr A. (Arne) Nieuwenhuys (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Labour and Organisational Psychology
The rise of a 24-hour consumer society imposes high requirements on employees as a result of which work pressure and tiredness are increasing. Looking for a healthy balance between productivity and safety, this project will investigate how work pressure and tiredness can enhance or counteract each other and influence different aspects of human actions during work.

Developing novel latent variable techniques that open up a treasure trove of register data for social science
Dr D.L. (Daniel) Oberski (m), Tilburg University - Methodology and Statistics
Big data from government administrations offers an enormous potential for the social sciences. However there are indications that register data often contains errors, whereas the size of these measurement errors and the consequences of these for statistical analyses are not yet known. I will therefore develop statistical methods to estimate register errors and to make corrections.

Symbol or substance? Towards a systematic application of criminalisation criteria in EU law
J.W. (Jannemieke) Ouwerkerk (f), Tilburg University - Criminal law
The European Union can require Member States to make certain behaviours criminal offences in the national law. This project will investigate on which grounds (so-called ‘criteria for penalisation’) the European Union can make this requirement. An instrument will also be developed to make the systematic application of these criteria easier and realisable.

What a great idea! Understanding and improving the selection of creative ideas
Dr S.M. (Simone) Ritter (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Social en Cultural Psychology
For innovations it is vitally important to select the most creative ideas from a collection of ideas. Genuinely innovative ideas are often erroneously rejected. This project will investigate the cognitive processes underlying the incorrect assessment of ideas and how the selection of creative ideas can be improved.

Advertising-resilient children
Dr E. (Esther) Rozendaal (f), Radboud University Nijmegen - Communication Science
Nowadays children grow up in a world full of advertisements. They see advertisements on TV, on the Internet and even on their mobile phones. That leads to materialism, unhealthy eating behaviour, and parent-child conflicts. This project will investigate how an innovative educational intervention can make children more resilient to the effects of advertisements.

Fortress Europe as a mobile space? Intra-EU mobility of African migrants
Dr J. (Joris) Schapendonk (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Social Geography
With an innovative study design, specialised in the following of migrants, this research will provide a systematic insight into how, how many and why African migrants travel across the internal borders of the EU. Using mobility instead of domicile as a basic premise the project will result in new starting points to understand the integration process of migrants.

The gambling brain
Dr G.T. (Guillaume) Sescousse (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Just like drug addiction, addiction to gambling has dramatic consequences. Yet far less is known about the factors in the brain that underlie excessive gambling. Through the clever combination of brain scans and a smartphone app the researchers will now be able to map how the brain activity of gamblers is linked to their daily gambling behaviour.

How do pupils influence each other's opinions about other ethnic groups?
Dr T.H. (Tobias) Stark (m), Utrecht University - European Research Centre on Migration and Ethnic Relations (ERCOMER)
I will investigate whether the position of pupils in the friend network determines who is the most influential. With this knowledge an intervention will be developed that facilitates tolerance in influential pupils. These influential pupils will later spread the tolerance among the classmates.

Does the lab speak the truth?
Dr J.T.R. (Jan) Stoop (m), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Applied Economics
Economists use the lab to study prosocial behaviour. But do these results predict behaviour in the real world? The researcher will compare the laboratory results with behaviour in the real world step-by-step. The steps will show where the lab can improve. The researcher will apply these improvements in the lab.

Informal networks and care in a participation society: changes, mechanisms and consequences
Dr B.A. (Bianca) Suanet (f), VU University Amsterdam - Sociology
The participation society elicits the question as to whether personal networks of elderly people are capable of providing sufficient informal care. In this study I will investigate how changes in network types have influenced informal and formal care use over the past twenty years. I will also determine which categories of elderly people are vulnerable.

He threatened to kill me! The coping strategies of public service providers when dealing with aggressive citizens
Dr L.G. (Lars) Tummers (m), Erasmus University Rotterdam - Public Administration
Citizens are sometimes aggressive towards public service providers. This ranges from swearing and threats to physical attacks. This project will analyse the effects of different types of citizen aggression on the work experience of public service providers. Not all aggression can be prevented. This project will therefore investigate how service providers can best deal with aggression.

In charge of your nerves
Dr B. (Bart) Verkuil (m), Leiden University - Clinical Psychology
Somebody who frets a lot is called a bag of nerves. In people who fret a lot, the vagal nerve that ensures relaxation is indeed less active. The researcher will examine whether fretting decreases when this nerve is electrically stimulated. This could lead to new insights in the treatment of various psychological disorders.

Africa for sale?
Dr M.J. (Maarten) Voors (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Development Economics
Foreign investments in African agriculture have recently shown a strong increase. The consequences of this are potentially widespread but have not been systematically investigated. This research will analyse the causal effect on development for the African continent and will analyse a large-scale commercial agricultural project in Sierra Leone in detail.

Laureates Physics

Whispers of the Majorana particles
Dr. A. (Attila) Geresdi (m), TUD
Topological quantum computation based on Majorana particles offers an unmatched protection against loosing quantum information by the interaction with the environment. The researcher will build an on-chip radiation detector to catch the quantum noise (‘whispers’) emitted by these elusive particles and demonstrate the feasibility of topological quantum bits.

Glass transition and crystallization of active colloidal swimmers
Dr. R. (Ran) Ni (m), University of Amsterdam
Different from passive matter, active matter is capable of converting biological/chemical energy to drive the motion, which produce a variety of strikingly new phenomena. The researcher will study the dynamic phase transition in systems of active matter by using computer simulations, focusing on glass transition and crystallization.

Quantum optics of spins in semiconductor waveguides
Dr. D.O.S. (Danny) O’Shea (m), RUG
A quantum mechanical memory can be used to store optical pulses in a communication network in order to eliminate the possibility of eavesdropping. By using new materials and exploiting new control techniques this research will design and explore a semiconductor-based quantum memory with a robust device-on-chip approach.

The infinite atomic laser
Dr B.P. (Benjamin) Pasquiou (m), University of Amsterdam
Atoms are not just particles but also waves. Therefore, just as with light, an atomic laser can be built. Recent discoveries by the researchers have taken away the biggest obstacles for building this continuous atomic laser. The researchers will build this laser and use it to make very precise measurements.

Investigating the early universe with quantum gravity
Dr. F. (Francesca) Vidotto (v), RU
Wat was de vorm van het heelal ten tijde van de Big Bang? Hoe ontwikkelden zich de minuscule onregelmatigheden van waaruit alle kosmische structuren, zoals ons sterrenstelsel, zich vormden? Het middel om deze vragen te beantwoorden is quantumzwaartekracht, een theorie die zowel quantummechanica als de Algemene Relativiteitstheorie in ogenschouw neemt.

Investigating the early universe with quantum gravity
Dr F. (Francesca) Vidotto (f), Radboud University Nijmegen
What was the shape of the universe during the Big Bang? How did the miniscule irregularities from which all cosmic structures developed, such as our solar system, form? The means to answering this question is quantum gravity, a theory that takes both quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity into consideration.

Laureates Technology Fundation STW

Measuring without pricking
Dr N. (Nienke) Bosschaart (f), AMC/University of Amsterdam - Biomedical Engineering & Physics
Sick or premature babies sometimes have blood taken three times per day to determine their blood values. The aim of this research is to measure these blood values non-invasively (without pricking) using a new technique: low coherence spectroscopy.

Generating terahertz waves with microchips
Dr. D. (Daniele) Cavallo (m), TUD - Microelectronics
Terahertz waves are a unique type of electromagnetic waves, with great potential applications. Yet there is no practical way of generating them. This research aims at using the same microchips present in computers and cell phones to generate terahertz waves.

ExoFlow: learning to listen to whispering cells
Dr F.A.W. (Frank) Coumans (m), AMC/University of Amsterdam - Biomedical Engineering & Physics
Cells in our body can talk to each other via small ‘speech balloons’ in the blood. In this project a technique will be developed to distinguish ‘speech balloons’ from the 'background noise'. This will make it possible to read the 'speech balloon' so that serious diseases can be predicted at an earlier stage.

Behaviour-aware search evaluation for information retrieval
Dr. J (Jiyin) He (v), CWI - Information Access
Accurate evaluation metrics are the basis for designing and developing effective search systems. Standard search evaluation metrics do not consider how users search in reality and therefore do not match user experience in reality. This project will devise an evaluation approach capable of capturing the variability of user search behaviours.

Fundamentals and kinetics of electrochemically active microorganisms on capacitive materials
Dr A. (Annemiek) ter Heijne (f), Wageningen University and Research Centre - Environmental Technology
Bacteria can release electrons from wastewater and store these in conductive grains. The researchers will study how the bacteria charge up these grains and which factors influence this process. The aim of this research is to purify wastewater and at the same time to generate and store as much electricity as possible for later use.

Elucidating the immune signalling regulatory network in Arabidopsis thaliana with digital genomic footprinting
Dr. R. (Richard) J. Hickman (m), UU - Fytopathologie
Plants are exposed to a variety of different pests and pathogens. To formulate an effective immune response, plants must decide which defences are appropriate to ensure survival. This research will investigate the molecular decision making process that underlies plant immunity.

Imaging healing with sound
Dr K. (Klazina) Kooiman (f), Erasmus MC - Biomedical Technology
Minuscule gas bubbles have the potential to detect cardiovascular diseases and cancer and to cure these. This project will examine how gas bubbles attach to diseased cells thereby making these visible on echographic images and how these bubbles could be used to locally administer high doses of medicines.

The best regenerative cell for cartilage
Dr R. (Roberto) Narcisi, (m), Erasmus MC - Orthopaedics
Damaged cartilage does not recover automatically and causes joint pain and problems with movement. By identifying the ideal regenerative cells that can be reproduced often and can make the cartilage stable, I want to ensure that cartilage defects can be restored using cell therapy.

The secrets of ionic wind
Dr S. (Sander) Nijdam (m), Eindhoven University of Technology - Plasma Physics
Gas can be set in motion by electricity. This is called ionic wind and can be used in aircraft wings or for the cooling of electronics. The researchers will investigate the principles of this so that applications can be realised.

Microprobe for more accurate measurements in the brain
Dr M. (Mathieu) Odijk (m), University of Twente - BIOS
Existing techniques to follow neurotransmitters in the brain are relatively slow and large. A new microprobe is needed to follow these molecules down to the nearest second prior to a migraine attack. Using this microprobe it will also be possible to far more accurately investigate the role of acetylcholine in cognitive processes.

The body's own drug couriers
Dr P. Vader (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Laboratories and Pharmacy
Cells in the human body exchange information via small membrane vesicles. Researchers will investigate how they do that and whether these vesicles can also be used to transfer medicines to cells damaged by disease.

High-throughput 3D imaging for nanoscience
Dr X. (Xiaodong) Zhuge (m), CWI - Scientific Computing / Leiden University Medical Centre - Molecular Cell Biology
A crucial question in nanoscience is how the 3D structure of microscopic particles (biological structures, nanomaterials) is ordered in large volumes. In this project we will develop new methods for reconstructing large volumes to make rapid imaging with nanometre resolution possible.

Laureates WOTRO Science for Global Development

Fighting global infectious diseases locally
Dr N.C. (Nora) Engel (f), Maastricht University - Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
The control of infectious diseases and drug resistance in developing countries requires diagnostic tests that can be used if there are no experts, fridges or means of transport. This research will study innovative processes in the diagnostics of tuberculosis and HIV in India to make tests effective in everyday practice.

Re-patterning water control: Vegetable agro-export chains, water rights and rural livelihoods in the Bajío, Mexico
Dr J.D. (Jaime) Hoogesteger van Dijk (m), Wageningen University and Research Centre, Environmental Sciences
This research will study how large-scale vegetable production in the Bajío in central Mexico for consumers in Europe and North America is changing access to water for irrigation and the related lives of rural communities. It will also chart initiatives that are trying to bring about honest societal contribution locally within these production chains.

Connecting citizens: the fused identities of Nusaybin, Turkey and Qamishle, Syria
Dr. T. (Tsolin) Nalbantian (v), UL - LIAS
The project seeks to explore the shared connections between Syrian and Turkish citizens beyond their ethnic, religious, and national differences. This corrects both media and historical depictions that assume essential differences between them, thereby justifying the current violence in the region.

When global health meets local development: a case study of the 'First 1000 Days of Life'-intervention in Guatemala
Dr E.J.F. (Emily) Yates-Doerr (f), University of Amsterdam - AISSR
The United Nations will connect healthcare with attention for development and sustainability. It will start with projects for children in the first 1000 days after conception by improving the nutritional situation of mothers. In the Highlands of Guatemala the researcher will ascertain how this global policy works out in local situations.

Laureates Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

Improving our immune system for cancer therapy
Dr M. (Marleen) Ansems (f), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre - Tumour Immunology
Our immune system is vital for clearing up pathogens and cancer cells. The researchers will study whether the functioning of certain cells in our immune system can be improved so that better use of these can be made in cancer therapy.

The role of DNA repetitions in sickness and in health
Dr N.A. (Ahmad) Aziz (m), Leiden University Medical Center - Neurology
Long pieces of DNA repetitions are the causes of certain inherited neurological disorders characterised by cognitive, psychiatric and metabolic abnormalities. In this research it will be determined whether short pieces of DNA repetitions also play a role in the development of highly prevalent diseases such as dementia, depression and diabetes.

The autistic cerebellum
Dr A. (Aleksandra) Badura (f), Netherlands Institute for Neurosciences (NIN) - Neurosciences
Autism is a highly prevalent neurological disorder that is characterised by reduced cognitive and social skills. Damage to the cerebellum around birth is strongly correlated with the development of autism. We will investigate which role the cerebellum plays in cognitive functions and how abnormalities in this can contribute to the development of autism.

Biological pacemakers on the basis of gene therapy
Dr G.J.J. (Geert) Boink (m), AMC/University of Amsterdam - Cardiology
Thousands of pacemakers are implanted each year in the Netherlands. Despite the success of this treatment it has significant shortcomings. This project will search for a solution for the shortcomings by developing biological pacemakers based on a new type of gene therapy.

Stop the gluttons, stop atherosclerosis
Dr J. (Jan) van den Bossche (m), AMC - Medical Biochemistry
Macrophage means ‘glutton’. Macrophages destroy pathogens but during atherosclerosis they consume too much fat. This results in a localised fat accumulation and inflammation in the vessel wall. In this research we will intervene in the energy metabolism of the macrophage to reduce atherosclerosis.

Why is it difficult for elderly people to recover after a hospital admission?
Dr B.M. (Bianca) Buurman (f), AMC - Geriatrics
Elderly people who are admitted to hospital as an emergency case often leave the hospital in a poor condition and experience difficulties in recovering. In this study it will be investigated how this occurs, what the psychological impact of hospital admission is, and how patients can be successfully rehabilitated.

Local activation of immune cells following intestinal damage
Dr F.H.J. (Ferry) Cornelissen (m), Erasmus MC - Haematology
Our intestines are continuously damaged by a wide range of external influences. Special cells in the immune system, innate lymphoid cells, are vital for this recovery. However, how these cells initiate recovery of the intestinal wall is unknown and this will be further investigated in this project.

Listening to the genes in your heart
Dr E. (Ellen) Dirkx (f), Maastricht University – Cardiology
Chronic heart failure is a disorder of the heart muscle that results in the loss of circulation in all organs. To develop new medicines, the researchers will study the communication between genes and adjust this where errors occur.

Nanotherapy with postcode for atherosclerosis
Dr R. (Raphaël) Duivenvoorden (m), AMC - Vascular Medicine
Local vessel wall inflammation plays a key role in the development of atherosclerosis but at present it cannot be treated. The researcher will develop a nanotherapy with which powerful anti-inflammatory drugs can be specifically released at the location where the atherosclerosis is.

A crystal ball for adrenoleukodystrophy
Dr M. (Marc) Engelen (m), AMC - Paediatric Neurology
Some patients with the metabolic disease adrenoleukodystrophy develop brain abnormalities. A major problem in the treatment is that physicians cannot predict which patients these are. The researchers will look for predictive factors (MRI and blood tests) to improve the treatment.

Immunodeficiency despite successful HIV treatment in Africa
Dr R.L. (Raph) Hamers (m), AMC - Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development
The immune system of HIV infected patients often does not recover sufficiently, in spite of HIV medication. What will be the long term health effects for millions of patients in Africa? This project will investigate how the activity and functioning of the immune system in HIV-treated patients is influenced by tuberculosis, hepatitis B and HIV inhibitors and what the consequences of this are for patient health. It will also investigate new ways of measuring and predicting immunoactivity.

Intestinal stem cells do not like stress
Dr J. (Jarom) Heijmans (m), University of Amsterdam - Tytgat Institute for Liver and Intestinal Research
Intestinal stem cells and intestinal tumours disappear as a result of protein stress. The researchers will investigate how this happens in healthy intestines and intestinal tumours with the aim of finding possibilities for treating intestinal tumours.

Improving whooping cough vaccine
Dr I. (Ilse) Jongerius (f), University Medical Center Utrecht - Medical microbiology
The number of whooping cough cases has increased dramatically in recent years because the vaccine is effective for less long. Researchers will try to improve the whooping cough vaccine by means of innovative research.

How a hungry immune system can be influenced
Dr J. (Jorg) van Loosdregt (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Paediatric Immunology
Autophagy is a process that is switched on if there are insufficient nutrients and it is important for various cellular functions. The research will study how autophagy affects the immune system. Autophagy-manipulation could help to control autoimmune diseases such as (juvenile) rheumatism.

New research design for lifestyle research
Dr A.M. (Anne) May (f), University Medical Center Utrecht - Julius Centrum
The effectiveness of physical exercise is measured in randomised studies. Being assigned to a control group by lot can be disappointing: patients do not want to participate or still go and exercise. This proposal describes a new study design that can also be applied to other interventions that cannot be blinded.

Determining the direction of cell division
Dr M. (Micha) Nethe (m), Netherlands Cancer Institute - Oncology
Dividing cells that divide in the ‘wrong’ direction can disrupt the functioning of an organ. Researchers will analyse how the mammary gland removes cells that have divided wrongly and to what extent these cells contribute to the development of breast cancer.

In the skin of malaria parasites
Dr M. (Meta) Roestenberg (f), Leiden University Medical Center - Parasitology
Plasmodium falciparum malaria is a serious infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes. In this project it will be investigated how these parasites develop in the skin and influence immune cells so that an effective malaria vaccine that is practical to administer can be developed.

A new growth medium for mini-organs
Dr L.N. (Norman) Sachs (m), Hubrecht Institute
Recently, researchers discovered how to grow mini-organs. So far, they were only able to grow the organs in a medium made of mouse tumor proteins. This complicates the transplanting process. The goal is to to determine the relevant parts of the main growth medium protein and to develop a synthetic growth medium.

ADHD and addicted
Dr A.F.A. (Arnt) Schellekens (m), Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre
One-third of children with ADHD develop addiction problems. In these children the treatment of ADHD works less well and they find it very difficult to break with their addiction. By studying brain functions and genetic factors these addiction problems can be better treated and prevented in the future.

Shield against depression
Dr M.J. (Marie-José) van Tol (f), University Medical Center Groningen - Neuroimaging Center
A person who has been depressed in the past is at risk of becoming depressed again. This research will unravel how preventative cognitive therapy can equip the brain against a recurrence in order to predict who will benefit from preventative therapy to reduce the chance of new depressive episodes.

No man is an island
Dr E. (Eva) Velthorst (f), AMC - Psychiatry
Social isolation is a serious problem in the case of psychotic disorders. Especially in adolescence, when the first psychotic symptoms become manifest, social withdrawal can have disastrous consequences. With the help of innovative methods the different causes of withdrawal behaviour among these young people will be described.

Networks of symptoms in psychosis
Dr J.T.W. (Hanneke) Wigman (f), University Medical Centre Groningen - Psychiatry
The researcher will study the development of psychoses (a lost sense of reality) by describing networks of early symptoms and by examining per person how these symptoms influence each other. This will help to develop personalised treatment recommendations.

Minor tremors, major consequences: the seismology of epileptic fits
Dr M. (Maeike) Zijlmans (f), University Medical Center Utrecht - Neurology
Epilepsy makes patients uncertain. High-frequency minor electrical tremors have recently been found in diseased tissue, which reflect the epileptic disease activity. The researcher wants to capture these small tremors with standard brain scans and use these for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy.

Further information

NWO, Information and Communication Department, tel.: +31 70 344 07 41