Veni awards 2016

A list of the 158 Veni laureates, working titles and a brief summaries of the research projects is given below. The laureates are also listed per NWO division. Veni, along with Vidi and Vici is a part of NWO's Talent Scheme programme.


Facts and figures

Total (eligible) applicants: 1056
Male/female applicant ratio: 481 female, 575 male
Number of awards (percentage): 158 (15%)
Female/male award ratio: 77 women, 81 men
Percentage awarded (women): 16%
Percentage awarded (men): 14%

 


Alphabetical list by researcher's surname

A

The Value of Admiration
Dr. A.T.M. (Alfred) Archer (m), UvT – Filosofie
We admire heroes, saints, and film stars but what is admiration and what role should it play in our lives? Using tools and insights from philosophy and psychology, this project will investigate the nature and value of admiration, when admiration is appropriate and admiration’s role in education and leadership.

Sensitive cities. Amsterdam, London and Paris (1850-1930)
Dr. A.M.G. (Anneleen) Arnout (f),  – Geschiedenis
Our interaction with the urban environment is highly emotional. Sensitive cities investigates the way in which urban space influenced the emotional experience in three metropolises during the period of most intense urbanisation. It investigates how transforming urban space elicited and intensified emotional experiences.

Learning from degradation data: When to shut down public services
Dr. ir. J.J. (Joachim) Arts (m), TUE
Unexpected failures of MRI-scanners, aircraft and other capital assets, are unsafe and expensive. Data about failures is therefore rare, but sensors are increasingly gathering real-time degradation data. These data are used to optimize maintenance and support for each system individually so that safety and cost performance improve.

The fate of emotional memories
Dr. V.A. (Vanessa) van Ast (f), UvA – Clinical Psychology
Our emotional memories seem indelible, and therefore a reliable record of our experiences. But nothing is further from the truth: over time both the content and emotional intensity of a memory can alter. This project investigates when such alterations develop, and what the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are.

B

The heart’s energy supply in the balance
Dr. ir. A.J. (Ot) Bakermans (m), AMC - Radiologie
Inborn errors in fat metabolism are frequently associated with heart disease. Adequate treatment is currently lacking, because the exact cause is still unknown. In this project, the investigator will measure heart energy metabolism with new MRI techniques, while the patient is exercising on a bicycle ergometer inside the MRI scanner.

Genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders
Dr. T.S. (Stefan) Barakat (m), Erasmus MC
Disorders of brain development are frequently occurring but are often incompletely understood. Here the researchers investigate the role of non-coding genome elements, and ask whether they are important for the disease-process. By making use of novel techniques, enhancers are identified and functionally tested in mini-brains derived from patient stem cells.

Connecting the Dots: Minimal Structure Modeling for Machine Translation
Dr. A. (Arianna) Bisazza (f), UvA – Informatica
Machine translation is a key technology enabling fast and large-scale access to multilingual information, however its quality differs dramatically among languages. This projects aims at improving translation quality across a wide spectrum of languages, by focusing on the modeling of structural relations among words and abstract word representations.

Environmental migration in the digital age
Dr. I.J.C. (Ingrid) Boas (f), WUR – environmental policy
Increasingly more people migrate because of environmental impacts and in doing so use information and communication technologies (ICTs) – such as mobile phones. How do ICT and related information exchange influence choices and movements of environmental migrants? This project will unravel this question.

Marinewerven: Laboratoria voor industrieel kapitalisme
Dr. P. (Pepijn) Brandon (m), VU – Geschiedenis
Naval shipyards in the eighteenth and nineteenth century played important roles in the introduction of industrial production methods. These large state-enterprises often were technological front-ners. In many cases they employed not only wage laborers but also forced laborers and slaves. This shines new light on the history of industrial capitalism.

Large-scale improvement of radiation treatment of cancer patients
Dr. ir. S. (Sebastiaan) Breedveld (m) Erasmus MC - Radiotherapy
The worldwide applied, largely manual method for generation of treatment plans often results in suboptimal radiation treatment. Possible consequences are severe treatment complications or a reduced tumour control probability. In this project, mathematical methods will be developed to enable large- scale application of automated generation of high-quality treatment plans.

Number words
Dr. E. (Lisa) Bylinina (f), Meertens Instituut – Taalwetenschap
People think about numbers in similar ways across cultures, but talk about them differently in different languages. This project will collect data on the various realisations of number concepts in the grammars of the world's languages, find patterns and establish ways to bridge the gap between language and number cognition.

C

Shaping the building blocks of life
Dr. A. (Aurélie) Carlier (f), UM - MERLN
Our body is made of small building blocks (cells) that come in a remarkable variety of shapes and sizes. In this project, I will use computational techniques to investigate how cell shape can steer cell functioning. This fundamental understanding will be used to improve the surfaces of orthopedic implants.

Childrearing and language development in two indigenous communities.
Dr. M. (Marisa) Casillas (f), MPI – Taalwetenschap
Children learn language by hearing and using it with their caregivers, but caregivers interact with their children in different ways around the globe. Do these differences affect children’s language development? To find out, I will study two cultures with very different styles for child-caregiver interaction: Mayan and Papua New Guinean.

Interactive development of phoneme categorization and word learning ability, a comparison between typically developing infants and infants at familial risk of dyslexia
Dr. A. (Ao) Chen (f), UU – Taalwetenschap
A crucial component of language acquisition is recognizing phonemes, sound units distinguishing word meaning. Acquisition of phonemes presumably depends on an interaction between categorisation and word learning. I investigate this interaction in children with and without a familial risk of dyslexia to pinpoint developmental deviations of the at risk group

Elimination of worm infections in man
Dr. L.E. (Luc) Coffeng (m), Erasmus MC, Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam –Afdeling Maatschappelijke Gezondheidszorg
Globally, parasitic worm infections still affect the health and socio-economic status of over one billion people. Fortunately, these infections are now being targeted to better understand and predict how mass drug administration can lead to elimination of parasitic worm infections.elimination. The researcher will develop new methods.

TB joins for dinner
Dr. S. (Susanna) Commandeur (f), VUmc – Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control
The tuberculosis bacterium stores fat derived from the host as lipid-bodies. It is thought that these bodies play a role in persister cell formation and antibiotic resistance, a crucial challenge in the fight against tuberculosis. In this project I will study the formation and the role of these lipid bodies.

D

Better predictions using big data sets
Dr. T.P.A. (Thomas) Debray (m), UMC Utrecht
Decision making is increasingly based on risk estimates of statistical (prediction) models. Unfortunately, many of these models have poor accuracy in practice because used datasets are too small or unsatisfactory. This project develops new methods to improve the accuracy and applicability of prediction models by using “big data sets”.

Policing the Police in Kenya
Dr. T.G. (Tessa) Diphoorn (f), UU - Cultural Anthropology
This research will develop an innovative approach to analysing the state by including intrastate interactions to understand how state authority is constructed from within. It will do so through an ethnographic study of the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), a Kenyan state institution established in 2012 to regulate police (mis)conduct.

Put the brake on Borrelia-induced joint inflammation.
PhD M (Marije) Doppenberg-Oosting (f), Radboudumc, Experimental Internal Medicine
After recognition of pathogens, including Borrelia bacteria, our immune system is activated to kill the invaders. The role of one of these recognizers (TLR10) will be determined, because TLR10 has the unique capacity to inhibit other TLRs. TLR10 might therefore be used in the treatment of Lyme disease.

Neglected drug development
Dr. T.P.C. (Thomas) Dorlo (m), UU – Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences
Neglected tropical diseases claim many victims in developing countries. Nevertheless only 1% of all newly developed medicines are aimed at these diseases. This research focuses on the development of innovative mathematical models to make clinical drug development for leishmaniasis, one of these neglected diseases, better, cheaper and faster.

Cryptanalysis of Lattice-based Cryptography
Dr. ir. L. (Léo) Ducas (m), Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica – Cryptology Group
The forthcoming quantum computer would have a disastrous effect on the current cryptographic algorithms securing the Internet. A theoretical solution for more secure algorithms relies on mathematical lattices with large dimension. This research aims to significantly improve and refine the understanding of their security to facilitate new international secure standards.

Dissecting the complex interplay between the human host and gut microbiome in 3D organoid culture systems
Dr. D.D. (Devanjali) Dutta, Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research
Gut microbes influence the body's susceptibility to gastrointestinal tract diseases like inflammatory bowel and cancer. Using digestive organ derived tissue structures called 'Mini-gut' organoids, I will study mechanism(s) by which the gut microbiome sustains homeostasis and how its fluctuations modulate immune responses in humans, in turn causing diseases like cancer.

E

Branchinq controls yield in barley
Dr. G.W. (Wilma) van Esse (f), WUR-Laboratory of  Molecular Biology
Cereal crop yield is determined by the number of seeds per spike, seed weight and the number of spike bearing branches. Negative correlations between these traits limit the improvement of yield. In this project the trait-off between  different yield components in barley is studied at the moleculair and genetic level."

F

Glycosylering van antilichaam receptoren en arthritis
Dr. D. (David) Falck (m), LUMC – Center for Proteomics and Metabolomics
David Falck will design an instrumental analysis platform to map sugars attached to proteins regulating antibody activated immune responses. He aims to improve diagnosis and treatment by gaining insights into the molecular mechanism of arthritis.

Information storage at the nano-scale
Dr S. (Saeedeh) Farokhipoor (f), RUG - Natuurkunde
Ever-smaller electronic components cannot be manufactured using current technology. Scientists will explore the self-assembly of miniature capacitors in novel materials, for information storage. Reduction of both size and power consumption enables advances in electronics to continue well into the future.

Fair For All: Making Room for Fairness in the Globalised Economy
Dr. B.R. (Benjamin) Ferguson (m), VU – Filosofie
Moral notions like equality and fairness play no role in economic theory. This project will develop a complement to mainstream economic theory that makes room for the value of fairness. This allows us to assess whether and when low wages are unfair and to identify other unjust economic activities.

Are there other universes?
Dr. S.M. (Simon) Friederich (m), RUG
Some philosophers and physicists think so. According to them, the existence of other universes can explain why there is at least one -our own- that is hospitable to life. This multiverse idea leads straight into a minefield of epistemological challenges - all systematically tackled by this project.

G

Structure and function in the aging brain
Dr. L. (Linda) Geerligs (f), University of Amsterdam – Psychology
For the wellbeing of older adults, a high level of cognitive functioning is important. I will investigate how individual differences in cognitive functioning across the lifespan can be explained by differences in the brain, by combining measurements of the structure and the function of the brain.

Predictive Simulation of Human Locomotion
Dr. T. (Thomas) Geijtenbeek (m), TU Delft – Biomechanical Engineering
Technological aids offer enormous potential to increase the mobility of people with disabilities, but developments are strongly impeded by the fact that human responses to new devices or treatments are difficult to predict. By creating a simulation model that predicts human movement, researchers can greatly improve and accelerate their developments.

Drying drops of living liquids
Dr.ir. H. (Hanneke) Gelderblom (f), TU/e – Applied Physics
When a liquid drop that contains tiny particles dries, intriguing patterns form in the remaining stain. The researchers will investigate this stain formation in evaporating drops of living bacteria, and develop methods to control the bacteria deposition.

Internal and External Sources of Action
Dr. D.G. (Davood) Ghara Gozli (m), UL - Institute of Psychology
Our actions are shaped by what we perceive in the environment (what is currently present), and by the changes that we wish to bring about (what is currently absent). The interaction between these two sources of action is the aim of the proposed research.

Should we trust our own eyes? Challenges from cognitive penetration and implicit bias.
Dr. H.J.H. (Harmen) Ghijsen (m), RUN– Filosofie
We usually think that ‘seeing for ourselves’ is a proper way to decide a question. But how proper is this if what we see is biased by what we (implicitly) believe? This project will investigate to what extent our perceptual biases should lead us to distrust our own eyes.

What is unique about human brain cells?
Dr. N.A. (Natalia) Goriounova (f), VU – Neuroscience
Are human brain cells unique in the way they make connections and communicate to each other? How does the activity of these cells relate to cognition? To answer these questions VU researchers will record electrical activity from human brain cells in tissue resected during brain surgery.

Entangled enemies: Parasites caught in the food-web
Dr AS (Alena) Gsell (f), NIOO-KNAW, Aquatic Ecology
Parasites are exceedingly common in nature; nevertheless, they are rarely included in food-web research. I will study how parasites influence competition between free-living species and how predation and diversity of potential hosts affect the spread of disease using long-term data and laboratory experiments on microscopic algae and their fungal parasites.

Magnetism and electronics layer by layer
Dr. M. H. D. (Marcos) Guimarães (m) – TU Eindhoven - Physics of Nanostructures
Electronic devices that use magnetic properties are present in key elements inside computers, like in hard-disk drives. New generation of these devices promise faster computers with lower power consumption. The researchers will study how a new class of
nanomaterials can push forward the development of these magneto-electronic devices.

H

Nature and nurture of the human visual brain
Dr. K.V. (Koen) Haak (m), RU - Donders Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging
The human visual brain is composed of many functional subunits that together determine how we perceive our visual environment. In this project, the researcher will investigate whether the internal organisation of these functional subunits is hereditary, whether it depends on visual experience, and whether it changes across the lifespan.

Causal mechanisms of birdsong learning performance as a model of human speech and language acquisition.
Drs. S.M. ter Haar, (f) UU
Song acquisition in young songbirds is very similar to speech acquisition in infants. How well speech and birdsong are learnt can vary a lot between individuals. By rearing songbirds under controlled conditions, I systematically study how predispositions, experience and sleep influence song learning performance and the associated brain mechanisms.

ORION-4D: Towards a unified theory of low- and high-mass star formation
Dr. A. (Alvaro) Hacar (m), Universiteit Leiden – Sterrewacht Leiden
Do Sun-like and massive stars form by different processes or not? This is a major open question in modern astrophysics. A new set of state-of-the-art radioastronomical observations and analysis techniques in the Orion cloud will critically test our current theories of how most stars in our Galaxy are formed.

Lobbying in the European Union: Why the political agenda favours some interests over others.
Dr. M.C. (Marcel) Hanegraaff, (m), UvA - Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Many citizens are concerned that political systems are not responsive to citizens but merely serve the interests of business corporations. This seems especially applicable to politics in the EU. In reaction to these widespread concerns, this study uncovers the influence of business groups on the EU’s political agenda.

What does switch your heart disease on?
Dr. M. (Magdalena) Harakalova (f), UMCU – Division Heart and Lungs
Cardiomyopathies are serious diseases of the heart in which variations in DNA (mutations) can play a role. Not everyone having a certain predisposing mutation develops cardiomyopathy. Using new DNA techniques I will check if combinations of additional variations explains the disease risk to prevent sudden dead at young age.

Why is Parkinson’s tremor exacerbated during acute psychological stress?
Dr. R.C.G. (Rick) Helmich (m), Radboud University Medical Centre, Neurology
Parkinson’s tremor is exacerbated by acute psychological stress, and available medication is not effective in those circumstances. Here, I use brain imaging to investigate how the noradrenaline system – which is activated during stress – increases Parkinson’s tremor. I also investigate how medication that targets the noradrenaline system (propranolol) reduces stress-­induced tremor.

Predictive accuracy in computational spectroscopy of large molecules
Dr. B. (Benjamin) Helmich-Paris (m), VU –
A smart combination of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity will allow for fast and reliable computer simulations of molecules containing heavy elements. These simulations provide a detailed insight in the properties of such molecules and will aid in the design of new materials.

Weighing evidence reliably
Dr L. (Leah) Henderson (f), RUG – Filosofie
We learn from what others tell us all the time. Yet others are not always reliable. This research investigates the basic principles behind how should we take appropriate account of the reliability of our sources of information. It applies these principles to practical problems in scientific and legal policy.

Neuronal synchrony in visual cortex in health and disease: the stimulus matters
Dr. D. (Dora) Hermes, (f), UU, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht
Visual input has a large effect on human brain activity, and can induce strong neuronal oscillations. This study will make a model that predicts these oscillations from the visual input. This model will be used to predict which visual input can provoke a seizure in photosensitive epilepsy.

Predicting immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy response
Dr. S. (Sandra) Heskamp (f), Radboud university medical center, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are novel, promising anti-cancer agents. However, not all patients benefit from these expensive drugs. The researcher will develop novel imaging techniques to predict on beforehand which patients will respond. This will improve the chance of effective treatment and reduce unnecessary side effects and health care costs.

Mapping fluid highways and byways in shales
Dr. M.E. (Maartje) Houben (f), UU – Geoscience
Fluid flow through shales is slow and pore connectivity is poorly understood. The researchers will use different combinations of experiments and imaging techniques to characterize fluid flow pathways in shales.

Can you help me, doctor?
Dr. H.M. (Hieke) Huistra (f), UU – Geschiedenis 
Increasingly, people ask their doctors for help without being ill. They request, for example, eyelid corrections and Viagra prescriptions, but also assisted dying. This project studies patient requests surrounding birth and death in the twentieth century. Thus, it investigates how patients have influenced the medicalization of ‘natural’ life events.

I

When statistical mechanics goes wrong
Dr E. (Enej) Ilievski (m), UVA - Theoretical Physics
Although most materials follow the thermodynamic laws and allow heat transfer between objects, certain materials do not. Theoretical researchers will try to explain this unusual behavior. Understanding deviations from thermal equilibrium of these materials may provide insight into the formation of our universe.

Emerging mycobacterial diseases
Dr. J. (Jakko) van Ingen (m), Radboudumc
Nontuberculous mycobacteria are emerging causative agents of severe and treatment-refractory infections in the immunocompromised. I propose to build a system to mimic human infections and assess the efficacy of smart combinations of antibiotics against these, and later other, bacteria. The best combinations can then proceed into clinical trials.

J

One size fits all? New ways for meta-analysis
Dr. S. (Suzanne) Jak (f), UvA - Department of Child Development and Education
Meta-analytic structural equation modeling is an increasingly popular statistical technique to synthesize the results from several independent studies. In this project I will develop a new method that overcomes shortcomings of existing approaches, enabling more valid systematic synthesis of research findings in a wide range of fields.

The Interaction between Religion and Law in Pre-modern Tibet
Dr. B.K. (Berthe) Jansen (f), UL – Area studies
In pre-modern Tibet monks authored almost all literature. The legal texts they produced are currently understudied. This project is a systematic study of these works in order to understand the influence of Buddhism on law, shedding light on the interaction between the religious and the secular, both then and now.

Pro-government Militias and Political Order in Civil War
Dr. C. (Corinna) Jentzsch (f), UL—Political Science
Governments in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan have mobilized militias to defend the state and the population against armed rebellion. The empowerment of such progovernment armed groups has varying consequences for security and political order in conflict-ridden states. Under what conditions does state-militia collaboration help sustain political order?

K

Preventing the onset of chronic inflammatory disease
P.L. (Paul) Klarenbeek MD, PhD (m), UvA, Medicine
I am investigating cells that are only present in the blood of individuals that will develop rheumatoid arthritis in the future. By understand the role of these cells we hope to develop strategies to prevent rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic diseases from occurring.

Squishy and smart: Designing biocompatible materials from the bottom up
Dr. T.E. (Thomas Edward) Kodger, WUR - Chemistry
The gel-like materials, which constitute a large fraction of our bodies, are ultrasoft but extremely resilient at the same time. The researcher will develop new synthetic materials that show the mimick these features and which enable direct 3D printing to fabricate a new generation of implants and prosthetics.

Synthetic materials in life-like motion.
Dr. ir. P.A. (Peter) Korevaar (m), RU – Institute for Molecules and Materials
The assembly of molecular building blocks into dynamic materials that grow, move and self-regulate is one of the most fascinating processes in living matter. The researchers will develop new strategies to apply the underlying principles in artificial, “smart” materials that display controlled motions and exert forces at the micro-scale.

Chemical industry made natural!
Dr. T.J. (Ties) Korstanje (m), UvA – Chemistry
Currently chemical industry primarily uses fossil resources. Because of the many environmental problems hereof, a switch to renewable resources is required. In this project a method will be developed to convert the non-edible parts of plants into a natural and sustainable feedstock for chemical industry.

Between the school and the mosque: Young Muslims negotiating citizenship in the Netherlands
Dr. H. (Hülya) Kosar Altinyelken (f), UvA, Social and Behavioural Sciences
Thousands of Muslim children and youth receive Qur’anic instruction at mosques in the Netherlands. By focusing on Turkish immigrants, this project seeks to analyse the dynamic interplay between Qur’anic instruction and the citizenship education provided at secondary schools, and how young Muslims negotiate the differences between these two distinct worlds.

Fully reproducible workflows scaling from workstations to the cloud
Dr. J.K. (Johannes) Köster (m), CWI – Life Sciences Group
Data analysis currently faces two challenges. First, scientific results should be easily reproducible. Second, ever increasing amounts of data necessitate to scale data analyses to cloud computing. This project aims to turn Snakemake into the first data analysis framework that allows full reproducibility and seamlessly scales to the cloud.

Hidden symmetries between prime numbers
Dr. A.L. (Arno) Kret (m), UvA – Wiskunde
The Langlands program is an influential unsolved problem in modern mathematics. It points out deep underlying symmetries between prime numbers and equations. The goal of this research project is to solve the problem in important cases for the general symplectic groups and general special orthogonal groups.

It takes two to tango. The preliminary reference dance between the Court of Justice of the European Union and national courts.
Dr. J. (Jasper) Krommendijk (m), Radboud University - Faculty of Law
The Court of Justice of the European Union has an enormous influence on national laws as result of national courts’ requests for a preliminary ruling. By examining why judg aes refer and what they do with rulings, this project aims to formulate improve the preliminary reference procedure.

Real-time self-report data: It is real(ly) time to go continuously
Dr. R.M. (Rebecca) Kuiper (f), UU – Methods and Statistics
Due to devices such as smartphones gathering real-time self-report data is more convenient. Unfortunately, methods to analyze these data lag behind. Hence, this project focusses on developing i) a continuous-time model that uses all merits of these data and ii) techniques for evaluation of hypotheses regarding group-, subgroup, and person-level.

L

Lungs of the earth: measuring oxygen to unravel the forest carbon balance
Dr. I.T. (Ingrid) van der Laan-Luijkx (f), WU – Meteorology and Air Quality
Understanding the global carbon balance is key when predicting climate change. The major unknown is biospheric carbon exchange and its response to a changing climate. To better understand the processes involved, the researchers will combine measurements of the breathing of forests with model development to interpret the observations.

Parallelism in depth
Dr. A. W. (Alfons) Laarman (m), UT – Computer Science
The fastest route through busy traffic, the correctness of complex digital systems and the analysis of social-media, or computer networks are all problems that are solved efficiently by “depth-first” search algorithms. The researcher will adapt all these algorithms at once to exploit modern multi-core computers: the future of computer science.

How to eat plants
Dr. S. (Stephan) Lautenschlager – Naturalis - Geologie
During the last 500 million years, different animals have repeatedly adapted to feed on plants. To be able to do that, they have developed different skull and jaw shapes. Using digital models and computer simulations, this project investigates plant-eating dinosaurs to understand what it takes to efficiently feed on plants.

Improving Quantitative Decision Making
Dr. C.J.P. (Christophe) Lembregts (m), EUR, Rotterdam School of Management
People’s lives are pervaded with quantitative information. Despite the widespread availability, individuals have great difficulty to make consistent decisions while relying on quantitative information. This project proposes a novel way to enhance understanding of quantitative information, how it could improve decision quality and delineate conditions under which it is effective.

Disclosures of alternative performance metrics: misleading or informative?
Dr. P.Y.E. (Edith) Leung (f), EUR, Erasmus School of Economics
Managers often report adjusted “non-GAAP” performance measures that do not conform to existing accounting regulation. Regulators and media criticize these measures as being misleading to investors, although there is no concrete evidence to support this view. This proposal contributes to this debate by examining the usefulness of non-GAAP disclosures.

Metaphorical Meanings for Artificial Agents
Dr. A.F. (Martha) Lewis (f), UvA – Taalwetenschap
This research aims to explain and recreate human creative thinking. I will build a theory of the way in which humans understand analogies, and then put the theory into practice within a realistic computational model of the brain, aiming to create an artificial agent that can think creatively.

Simple to complex: methane upgrading
Dr. G (Guanna) Li (f), TUD -  Chemical Engineering
Direct conversion of methane to liquid chemicals is a chemists' Holy Grail’. This research focuses on understanding the catalytic mechanism for liquifying natural gas. The knowledge gained will enable formulating recipes for well-defined heterogenous catalysts through 'rational design.'

Turning differences into evidence
H.F. (Hester) Lingsma, PhD (f) Erasmus MC – Public Health
We often see large between-hospital variation in treatment. Partly because for many medical treatments, effectiveness is not clear. In my research I will use between-hospital variations to study which treatments work best. Among others, I will study optimal treatment for patients with traumatic brain injury.

A Fragmented World: A New Philosophical Approach to Perspectival Facts
Dr. M. A. (Martin) Lipman (m), UvA – Filosofie
We observe the world from different perspectives and under various conditions – both in our ordinary experience and in advanced sciences. This results in conflicting observations of the world, of which it seems that only one can be right. This project investigates a new philosophical approach to this widespread phenomenon, based on the assumption that the world exhibits a fragmented structure and perspectival observations consist in the observations of different fragments of world.

Communicating polymers towards haptics and soft robotics
Dr.ir. D. (Danqing) Liu (f) TU Eindhoven Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
The researcher will develop ‘communicating polymers’ channelling communication between humans and machineries. By an external trigger the ‘smart’ surfaces deform locally which impart tactile perception to human fingers and enable devices to ‘talk’ to humans. Reversibly, the surfaces receive touch commands from humans in respect to both location and force.

M

Sleep off your trauma
Dr. H.J.F. (Hein) van Marle (m), Vumc – Department of Anatomy & Neurosciences
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severely disabling mental disorder. Traumatic memories at its core, resulting in nightmares and flashbacks. In this project, I test whether PTSD treatment can be augmented by manipulating traumatic memories during post-treatment sleep.

The pupil does it
Dr. S. (Sebastiaan) Mathôt (m), UU, Department of Experimental Psychology
Do you see things more clearly if the size of your eye's pupil is 'just right'? And, if so, what is the 'best' pupil size, and what does this depend on? How do changes in pupil size, driven by light and arousal, help you to see the world more clearly?

Molecular teamwork
Dr. D.H. (Dimphna) Meijer (f), UU – Crystal and Structural Chemistry
Every neuron in our brain contacts approximately one thousand other neurons. The researchers combine two scientific disciplines, chemistry and neuroscience, to study how our molecular building blocks (‘proteins’) team up to build and maintain those contacts.

Generic Security of Authentication and Encryption
Dr. ir. B.J.M. (Bart) Mennink (m), Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen – Digital Security Group
Cryptography finds many applications, such as banking and telecommunication. Snowden's disclosures on global surveillance have recently reconfirmed its importance. This proposal centers around authentication and encryption, the two basic tools for securing our data. It targets the development of new, highly secure, protocols that outperform the state of the art.

Cultural connections or divides?
Dr. R. (Roza) Meuleman (f), Radboud University - Sociology
Does interest in elite culture (e.g. museums, theatres, classical concerts) connect or divide people of different socioeconomic backgrounds? This project examines to what extent elite cultural interest affects the socioeconomic status of people’s social network and to what extent this affects outcomes of social inequality and social cohesion.

A novel immunotherapy for colorectal cancer
Dr. N.F.C.C. (Noel) de Miranda (m), LUMC – Pathology.
I have recently discovered an immune cell population with the potential to eliminate cancers that cannot be recognized by T-cells, a major cell type of the immune system. I aim at characterizing this unknown immune cell population and to test its potential application as a novel immunotherapy for cancer patients.

Measurement in Medicine: choosing and using the best outcome measure
Dr. L.B. (Wieneke) Mokkink (f), VUmc – Epidemiologie en Biostatistiek
Very often poor quality instruments are being used in biomedical research. Results of those studies may be unreliable and invalid. I will develop a checklist to help clinicians/researchers to choose the best instrument for their studies. In this project I specifically focus on tests and instruments administered by health-care professionals.

Facilitating self-regulated learning in adaptive educational technologies
Dr. I. (Inge) Molenaar (f), RU, Onderwijs wetenschappen
Adaptive educational technologies are increasingly used in primary education. These technologies adjust educational material to the performance of students. The proposed research investigates how students learn with adaptive educational technologies and under which conditions personalized visualizations aid students to improve their learning.  

Surfing the Wave in Hybrid Photovoltaics
Dr. A.J. (Andrew) Musser (m), AMOLF – Ultrafast Spectroscopy
Photovoltaics convert sunlight into electricity, but these devices lose a huge amount of energy as heat. Some molecules can capture this heat as useful energy. Researchers aim to learn how this process is driven by the way the molecules vibrate.

N

Relativism in Ancient Philosophy
Dr. T. (Tamer) Nawar (m), RUG — Filosofie
The idea that truth and morality are relative, not objective, originated in ancient Greece and has divided thinkers ever since. But how can something be ‘true for someone’? What implications are there if morality is relative? This project will offer the first systematic examination of relativism in Greco-Roman philosophy.

Nocturnal hypoglycemia in diabetes: night- and daymare?
Dr. G.M. (Giesje) Nefs (f), Radboudumc – Medical Psychology
Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) during sleep is common in people with type 1 diabetes. This study will examine psychological predictors of nocturnal hypoglycemia, the consequences for daily life, and the best approach to treating (worries about) very low blood glucose.

Truth, Paradox and the Structure of Thought
Dr. C. (Carlo) Nicolai (m), UU – Filosofie
Science aims at the true: Our coherent use of the notion of truth is threatened by the so-called Liar paradox. The project will approach the challenges posed by the Liar from an innovative, unprecedentedly general perspective: it will yield new insights on the fundamental operation of adding a notion of truth to a structure.

Organisation by organelles
Dr. W. (Wilco) Nijenhuis (m), UU – Cell Biology
The functioning of cells is determined by their shape and internal organization. The researchers will use light to position specific cellular components within epithelial cells to study how these components locally influence the organization and shape of cells.

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The myth of filthy and unhealthy medieval towns
Dr. R.M.R. (Roos) van Oosten (f), UL – Archeologie
This project aims to rebut the popular notion that medieval towns were filthier and unhealthier to live in than early modern or 19th-century ones. In order to do so, the archaeological sanitary infrastructure (cesspits and wells) in four big pre-industrial towns will be mapped and analyzed with historical GIS applications.

In or out of employment? Policies and economics as natural experiments
Dr. K.M. (Karen) Oude Hengel (f), Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam
Gaining insight in exit routes of workers with health problems is important regarding the ageing workforce. Relatively little is known about the impact of the macro-level on the European differences in un(employment) rates. I will investigate the impact of policies and economic recession on exit pathways with innovative statistical methods.

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Beyond the Rivers of Babylon: Rural Landscape and Settlements in Hellenistic Mesopotamia
Dr. R.P. (Rocco) Palermo (m), RUG – Archeologie
Alexander the Great created the very first global world and his successors ruled over several modern nations from Europe to Asia. In this project I will investigate the impact of the Seleucid imperial power on the rural landscape of Mesopotamia through the analysis of newly collected evidence by multiple archaeological projects in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Identify the causative immune interactions for Systemic Sclerosis
Dr. A.(Aridaman) Pandit (m), UMCU, Immunology
The researcher will study how the immune system becomes self-destructive leading to incurable autoimmune disease like systemic sclerosis. The researcher will study the interactions between multiple immune cells, which play a key role in autoimmune disease to improve disease diagnostics and treatment.

Human Curiosities: Expanding the Social Relevance of Medical Museums
Dr. M.S. (Manon) Parry (f), UvA – Geschiedenis
Medical museums can play a greater role in society by contributing to health and wellbeing. I will research how medical heritage across Europe can be used to address public health problems, from the stigma of illness or disability to the challenges of ageing societies and infectious diseases.

Quantum dynamics from black hole physics
Dr J.F. (Juan) Pedraza (m), UvA – Physics
Exotic materials produced in modern particle accelerators have great potential for technological applications but are poorly understood at the theoretical level. This research project will develop novel methods to characterize them, by studying an analogue problem in gravitational physics.

Defining ‘Europe’ in Medieval European Geographical Discourse: the Image of the World and its Legacy, 1110-1500
Dr. N.I. (Natalia) Petrovskaia (f), UU – Geschiedenis
The researcher will show how the Image of the World, one of the most influential texts in European intellectual history which described the world as it was known (or imagined), contributed to the development of the idea of Europe.

Geographies of food consumption
Dr. M.P. (Maartje) Poelman (f), UU – Human Geography and Spatial Planning
The rhythm of our daily life is now busier and more dynamic than in previous decades: we live, work, and play at many different locations. How this lifestyle and the abundant availability of unhealthy foods at multiple locations affect (un)healthy food consumption will be explored using innovative methodologies.

Do I know what you know?
Dr. J.E. (Janneke) van de Pol (f), UU – Department of Education
High school teachers are often insufficiently aware of their students’ knowledge. Therefore, students frequently receive inadequate individual support, resulting in suboptimal performance. This project focuses on investigating and promoting teacher judgment accuracy and subsequently support adaptivity and students’ learning by training teachers to use more informative cues when making judgments.

Wires turn salty water into freshwater
Dr. S. (Slawomir) Porada (m), University of Twente, Faculty of Science & Technology
Water can be desalinated with thin electrically charged conductive wires covered with a layer of porous carbon. In the project I develop fundamental insight in the materials and theory of porous electrodes and I build and validate a small-scale prototype to desalinate water.

Bringing sand from sea to land
dr. T.D. (Timothy) Price (m), Utrecht University – Geosciences
Natural beach and dune growth ensure climate proof coasts under the expected sea level rise, but the movement of sand from the seabed to the dunes remains largely unexplained. With this research I aim to analyse and model this landward displacement, to better understand and predict beach and dune growth.

Before the Grammarians: Arabic in the formative period of Islam.
Dr. M. (Marijn) van Putten (m), UL – Taalwetenschap
After the advent of Islam, the Arabs quickly conquered a large part of the world. We do not know what language these conquerors spoke from their written language. By looking at Arabic language material, for example, in Greek and Hebrew script, we can deduce what these people spoke.

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The role of inhibition in shaping hippocampal memory traces
Dr. P. (Priyanka) Rao-Ruiz (f), VU University, Amsterdam
To remember the context of a given memory the memory-encoding brain-area activates a small population of cells called a memory trace. I will study the contribution of inhibitory neurons, known to inhibit activity of their neighbouring cells, in the process of memory trace formation at the molecular and cellular level.

The settlement of new refugees in  municipalities: making lives, forming issues
Dr. R. (Rogier) van Reekum (m), EUR, Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
How does the settlement of new refugees in Dutch municipalities practically and materially become an issue for a widening network of publics? When refugees settle this affects both their and other people’s lives. This research will study how people are brought together around shared issues concerning refugee settlement.

Turning on the alarms: how dendritic cells activate the immune attack
Dr. N.H. (Natalia) Revelo (f), Tumor Immunology Department, Radboudumc
Dendritic cells scan our bodies searching for pathogens and cancer cells. After finding a threat, they deliver an alarm message to specialized immune cells trained to keep the danger under control. The researcher will use high-resolution microscopes to understand how dendritic cells prepare, pack and deliver this alarm message.

What did Africans think of Eurafrica? 1918-1970s
Dr. A.I.G.C.F.S.V. (Anne-Isabelle) Richard-Picchi (f), UL – Geschiedenis 
Africa-Europe relations have been shaped in many ways. One of these is Eurafrica. It means that Africa-Europe relations are special: these continents complement and depend on each other. It has always been examined from a European perspective. The historian examines what Africans thought about it and how they used it.

Going out for a walk: spying on metastasized skincancer cells
Dr. LMA (Laila) Ritsma (f), Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) – Molecular Cell Biology
It is almost impossible to cure patients who have skin cancer metastases in the liver. The applicant will improve the function of a medicine with mediocre function (TGF-β inhibitor). She will use advanced microscopy to define the time point(s) at which specific cells should be targeted by the drugs.

Predicting language: it is fast, but is it good?
Dr. J. (Joost) Rommers (m), RU Nijmegen - Taalwetenschap
Predictions help readers and listeners recognize words quickly. But at what cost? The researchers will examine the consequences of prediction for comprehension of the intended message, using memory tests and recordings of brain activity in healthy readers and in patients with memory loss.

Building or Burning Bridges?
Dr. M. (Matthijs) Rooduijn (m), UvA – Political Science
Societal groups are drifting apart – especially regarding their attitudes toward immigration. Popular wisdom has ascribed this polarizing trend to increasing immigration and to successes of radical right parties. I put forward and test an alternative explanation: social polarization is fueled by the increasing pervasiveness of both pro- and anti-immigration messages.

Lack of measurement invariance in multilevel data: A cluster-based solution for making valid attribute comparisons.
Dr. K. (Kim) de Roover (f), UvT, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
When measuring unobservable attributes by observed variables like questionnaire items, psychologists assume a measurement model (MM). When comparing attributes based on item scores, they assume measurement invariance across compared groups/subjects. My project presents methods for comparing MMs across many groups/subjects and finding clusters of groups/subjects for which comparisons are valid.

Visualizing protein synthesis in real time
Dr. S.A. (Suzan) Ruijtenberg (f), Hubrecht Institute - Tanenbaum group
The protein levels in a cell determine its behavior and need to be strictly controlled as even minor changes can have major consequences. Here, the researchers develop a first-of kind method to visualize protein synthesis in real-time, in living, human cells and identify the regulatory mechanisms that influence final protein levels.

Discovering the origin and nature of jets from accreting black holes with multiwavelength observations
Dr. T.D. (Thomas) Russell (m), UvA - Anton Pannekoek Instituut voor Sterrenkunde
Black holes are not just one-way vacuum cleaners; they can launch powerful “jets” from the material they are feeding on, altering their surroundings and affecting the evolution of galaxies and the formation of stars. This project will study how jets are produced and how they influence their surroundings.

Manipulating Spiritual Matter. How did Early Modern Science Become Experimental?
Dr. D.C. (Doina-Cristina) Rusu (f), RUG – Filosofie
The emergence of experimental philosophy in the seventeenth century is linked with the adoption of a corpuscularian matter theory. However, experiments were used before corpuscularianism. This project studies how the concept of ‘spirits’ allowed the transition from the Aristotelian-scholastic matter theory to corpuscularianism, giving birth to the new experimental science.

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3D MRI Action Camera
Dr. A. (Alessandro) Sbrizzi, Imaging Division, UMC Utrecht
In cardiology and radiotherapy, information about 3D organ motion is essential. MRI could be used but unfortunately it is far too slow. I would like to solve this problem by, instead of repeated imaging, reconstructing only the transformation of organs. Determination of 3D motion fields with

Preserve protection! – Specific depletion of pathogenic B cells in autoimmunity
Dr. H.U. (Ulrich) Scherer (m), UL Medical Center – Rheumatology
Our immune system is a powerful weapon. In rheumatoid arthritis, it turns against us. B cells that normally make protective antibodies derail. Here, researchers will use sequencing technology to find the “Achilles’ heel” of these cells. With this information, researchers aim to specifically target them while preserving immune protection.

Polymerase Theta, an Achilles’ heel of cancer?
Dr. J. (Joost) Schimmel (m), Leiden University Medical Center – Human Genetics
The erroneous repair of chromosomal breaks can lead to serious diseases, including cancer. This is caused by the usage of alternative DNA repair mechanisms in  cells. The researcher will study the regulation of this mechanism by Polymerase Theta and whether inhibition of this protein can be used in cancer treatment.

Analytic techniques in the study of diophantine equations

Dr. D. (Damaris) Schindler (f), UU – Mathematisch Instituut
The study of Diophantine equations has fascinated mankind for more than 2000 years. Given a system of polynomial equations with integer coefficients one wants to understand its solution set in the integers. This project studies aspects of this question using modern tools in analytic number theory.

Feeding Starved Coasts by Natural Morphological Diffusivity
Dr. Ir. M.A. (Matthieu) de Schipper (m), TU Delft - Civiele Techniek en Geowetenschappen
Coastal protection is of paramount importance for protecting our populations and economies. Concentrated nourishments, where sand from offshore is dumped near the beach, have recently been proposed as innovative alternative for coastal protection. Extensive measurements are performed and a numerical model is constructed to predict the behavior of such nourishments.

Pop preachers and counter-terror culture: contesting terrorism through social media and popular culture in Indonesia
Dr. L.K. (Leonie) Schmidt (f), UvA – Media studies
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country and a key front in the global ‘war on terror’, an Islamic ‘counter-terror culture’ has emerged. This project investigates how counter-terror culture – of which social media and popular cultural products are part – can help to limit Islamic radicalisation and terrorism.

Be in control!
Dr. M. (Miroslava) Scholten (f), UU – EU law
Not only national but also increasingly EU entities, such as the European Central Bank, can investigate and punish those who violate EU law. This EU-national mix of enforcement powers however makes it possible for supervisors to escape democratic and judicial accountability. This project aims at making the escape impossible.

Notation Cultures in Contemporary Music
Dr. F.J. (Floris) Schuiling (m), UU – Media studies
This project develops an innovative approach to music notation by comparing various notation systems in classical music, world music, popular and experimental music. I investigate how these notations construct cultural identities, creative interactions between musicians, and ideas about the nature of music itself.

Dutch final -n deletion or Frisian schwa deletion
Dr. M. (Marjoleine) Sloos (f), Fryske Akademy – Taalwetenschap
Word-final -n in Dutch is often deleted. In Frisian, the -n is retained but the schwa can be deleted. How do bilingual speakers tease these rules apart? This project focuses on the intersection of language rules (the grammar) and word storage (the lexicon).

What motivates investors to hold responsible investments?
Dr. P.M.A. (Paul) Smeets (m), Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics
Insight in investor motives is crucial because it will increase the share of private funding for tackling critical social and environmental challenges. My projects investigate the role of three possible drivers of socially responsible investment behavior: financial motives, intrinsic social objectives and the psychological factor of happiness.

Simultaneous control of multiple movements in hybrid-powered arm prostheses, using micro-hydraulics.
Dr. ir. G. (Gerwin) Smit, PhD, (m), TU Delft – 3mE
Current prosthetics arms are far from optimal. They are too heavy and are hard to control. In this research on control strategies, the newest developments in microhydraulic- actuation and micro-servo-systems, will be applied in the development of an ultra-lightweight, hybrid-powered, easy controllable, multi-steerable prosthetic arm.

A new approach for comprehensive modelling of molten salt fuel properties
Dr. A.L. (Anna Louise) Smith (f), TUD – Radiation Science and Technology
Molten Salt Reactors ning on thorium fuel are highly promising for sustainable energy production. Using innovative analytical methods combined with advanced modelling, researchers at TU-Delft will investigate the structure, thermodynamic stability and viscosity of the liquid fuel salt, which is key for the development and safety analysis of the reactor.

The smell of liver disease.
Dr A.M. (Agnieszka) Smolinska, (f), Maastricht University Medical Center- Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) is a deadly liver disease recognized in a (too) late stage. To comprehensively characterize PSC patients I will obtain extensive chemical and microbiological data from breath, blood and feces. Subsequently with big-data pattern recognition non-invasive markers will be developed for early diagnosis and steering therapeutical interventions.

Chinks in the armor of the tubercle bacillus
Dr. A. (Alexander) Speer (m), VUmc - Medical Microbiology and Infection Control
The tuberculosis bacterium has a remarkably impermeable cell wall, which prevents most antibiotics to gain access to the cell. However, this shield cannot be completely impermeable, since the bacterium must also acquire nutrients. In this project, I will identify essential channel proteins of Mtb that passage nutrients and antibiotics.

NuRD regulates development
Dr. C.G. (Nelleke) Spruijt (f),  – RIMLS
The researcher will use a mass measuring machine to study which proteins are in the NuRD complex together. This protein complex plays an important role during the development of blood cells. The researchers will investigate which genes are regulated by NuRD during this development.

New genetic tools from pathogenic bacteria
Dr. R.H.J. (Raymond) Staals (m), Wageningen University – Department of Agrotechnology & Food Sciences
Over the last years, CRISPR-Cas technology has revolutionized the possibilities in genetic modification. This research will address the role and mechanism of a new CRISPR-Cas system that is often found in pathogenic bacteria. Moreover, possibilities will be explored to exploit this system as a new genetic tool.

Lung immunity under a molecular magnifying glass
Dr. R. (Ralph) Stadhouders (m), Erasmus MC - Pulmonary Medicine
The immune system protects us from germs. However, sometimes our immune system is mistaken and responds excessively fierce to harmless substances, resulting in allergies or asthma. The researcher will examine in the nucleus of the responsible immune cells how they are activated and what goes wrong in asthmatics.

Faith in Jest: Humour and the Literature of the English Reformation
Dr. L.J. (Lieke) Stelling (f), UU – Literatuurwetenschap
Humour and religion are often seen as uneasy bedfellows, but the imaginative literature of the English Reformation abounded in jokes about contentious religious issues. This project investigates how humour made people feel strong in the face of religious anxiety and contributed to a more peaceful society.

RELAPSE, DON’T DO IT! Building a relapse prevention model in weight loss maintenance
Dr. M.M. (Maartje) van Stralen (f), VU - EMGO
Weight loss results in health benefits in overweight adults. However, only a few people who lose weight, manage to maintain their lost weight. I will investigate what causes weight regain and how we can prevent people to regain weight.

Cleaning Groundwater of Organic Micropollutants: fundamental understanding of biodegradation
Dr. N.B. (Nora) Sutton (w), WU – Environmental Technology
Groundwater is an essential source of drinking water, however, its quality is threatened by micropollutants, including pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Naturally-present microorganisms can degrade micropollutants; however, this is currently unpredictable. In this project, I will develop the knowledge required to in the future use microorganisms to clean groundwater for drinking water production.

Genes as natural experiments?
Dr. S. A. (Sonja) Swanson (f), Erasmus MC – Department of Epidemiology
Our genes have been proposed as natural experiments to study the consequences of obesity on interventions) across the life-course requires novel statistical methods that the proposed research will develop and implement. cardiometabolic, neurologic, and psychiatric health outcomes. Using this “natural experiment” to understand the causal effects of obesity (and weight-loss

Bayesian uncertainty quantication in complex models
Dr. B.T. (Botond) Szabó (m), UL – Mathematisch Instituut
Bayesian uncertainty quantification is widely used in practice in many dif- ferent fields of applications, for instance in genetics, finance, epidemiology and machine learning. However, in certain cases it can be fundamentally misleading. The aim of this project is to determine in which cases can Bayesian uncertainty statements be trusted.

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Looking for the “I” in teams while still functioning as a team: Individual job crafting and its relationships with individual, team, and organizational outcomes.
Dr. M. (Maria) Tims (f), VU - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
Job crafting refers to self-initiated changes in one’s job design to improve person-job fit. However, little is known about how these individual changes influence and are influenced by team members. The proposed studies are designed to find out under which conditions job crafting contributes to individual, team, and organizational outcomes.

When does gestational diabetes leave a mark?
Dr. Ir. E.W. (Elmar) Tobi (m) – UL Medical Center
Gestational diabetes increases a child’s risk on obesity and diabetes. Diagnosis and treatment usually starts in mid-gestation. Is this timely? This study investigates whether metabolism is already altered in the first trimester by maternal glucose metabolism and characterizes the metabolic alterations on the cellular level.

All good things come in threes
Dr. S.G.M. (Silvia) Toonen (f), UvA – Sterrenkunde
While our Sun spends its life alone, most stars have one or two neighbouring stars. Even though interactions between stars give rise to the most extreme phenomena in the Universe, they are not understood well. Revolutionary computer simulations allow us - for the first time - to study triple star evolution.

Causes of droughts: local or far away?
Dr. O.A. (Obbe) Tuinenburg, UU - Environmental Sciences
This research studies the atmosphere during droughts. The causes of droughts are determined to be either a moisture transport deficit in the atmosphere, or a lack of precipitation despite normal atmospheric moisture transport. These insights in the causes and mechanisms of droughts will increase drought predictability.

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Explaining Political Stability in Small States
Dr. W.P. (Wouter) Veenendaal (m), UL – Political Science
Why do small countries have more stable political systems than large ones, despite the weakness of political structures and strongly personalized politics? This project examines the effects of smallness and informal relations on political stability, and analyses how personal relations can contribute to the absence of political crises and violence.

Can we cure HIV if we know how to attack dormant viruses?
Dr. Y.U. (Yme) van der Velden (m), AMC, laboratory of experimental virology, Department of Medical Microbiology
Anti-HIV therapy potently suppresses viral replication, but fails in curing HIV because the virus survives in a dormant state from which it can re awaken to restart the infection. To bring the cure for HIV one step closer, I aim to directly visualize these dormant viruses and evaluate novel treatment strategies.

Truth-tellers: The mentality behind subversive speech behaviour in narratives in the first printed texts in Dutch (1450-1500)
Dr. M.D. (Martine) Veldhuizen (f), UU – Literatuurwetenschap
In the Middle Ages there was no legal ‘freedom of expression’, but that does not mean there was no room to criticize authorities. Stories from the earliest Dutch press with "truth speakers', which are characters who dare to go verbally against authority, give an insight into the mentality behind subversive speech behavior.

The Constitutionalization of Private Regulation
Dr. P.W.J. (Paul) Verbruggen (m), RU – MaGW
This project answers the question of how and when private law submits rules set by private, non-state actors to fundamental principles of laws. This ‘constitutionalization’ of private regulation is assessed by examining, in comparative fashion, case law on liability of private regulators in England, Germany, the Netherlands and European Union

Matter over mind: Skinner, Quine, and the Heyday of Behaviorism
Dr. A.A. Verhaegh (Sander) (m), RUG/UvT – Filosofie
Twentieth-century psychology and philosophy were dominated by behaviorism. The leading scholars were B.F. Skinner and W.V. Quine. How did they develop their theories? How did they influence each other? And what are the implications for the relation between psychology and philosophy? This projects answers these questions by examining their archives.

Where do meaning and structure in languages come from?
Dr. T. (Tessa) Verhoef (f), MPI – Taalwetenschap
Language is an important defining feature of the human species. It allows us to communicate in a meaningful way about complex matters. Where do meaning and structure in languages come from? To unravel this question, this project will recreate the evolution of language in the lab.

Focusing in on high myopia
Dr. V.J.M. (Virginie) Verhoeven (f), Erasmus MC – Ophthalmology & Clinical Genetics
High myopia (severe nearsightedness; a refractive error of -6 or more) leads to blindness and is becoming more and more common. Treatment options are currently limited. I will investigate how a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors leads to high myopia and how this can be prevented.

Building nanostructures in living cells
Dr. F. (Frank) Versluis (m), TUD - Chemical Engineering
Building nanostructures in living cells by using self-assembly methods has the potential to become a new class of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. The researcher will develop peptides that self-assemble into fiber networks around malignant cells to eliminate them and around organelles to isolate and study them.

Reconstructing cellular structures required for chromosome segregation
M. (Mathijs) Vleugel, PhD (m), Delft University of Technology - Bionanoscience
During cell division, the chromosomes are duplicated and equally divided over two new cells. The forces generated by a complex structure of cables (the mitotic spindle) are essential for the physical separation of duplicated chromosomes. The researcher aims to study these forces through the step-by-step reconstruction of the mitotic spindle.

Innovation Capacity in Times of Decline
Dr. J. (Joris) van der Voet (m), UL, Institute of Public Administration
Financial decline can stimulate innovation capacity in local government organizations, but can also impede innovation capacity. This project investigates what cutback management strategies can be used in local government organizations to maintain or even strengthen innovation capacity. The project compares Dutch local government organizations with Spain and the United Kingdom.

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Bringing Bouncy Balls to Life with The Elastic Leidenfrost Effect
Dr. S.R. (Scott) Waitukaitus (m), Amolf—Physics
Everyone has seen water droplets hovering on a hot pan—this is the Leidenfrost effect. Researchers now study this with water-soaked bouncy balls, which instead chaotically jump around. The longterm goal is to make materials that come to life during heating.

Attacking the bacterial sweet spot
Dr. M.T.C. (Marthe) Walvoort (f), RUG – Chemistry
Bacteria display a diverse array of exotic sugars that are absent from humans. These sugars play a crucial role in infection and bacterial survival. Using chemistry and biology, the researchers will explore a novel sugar modification with the aim to attack this bacterial sweet spot in the fight against infection.

Dissecting the effects of brown adipose tissue on the vessel wall
Dr Y. (Yanan) Wang (f), University Medical Center Groningen - Pediatrics
Brown adipose tissue is an emerging target to combat cardiometabolic disease. This project aims to dissect the mechanism(s) how brown adipose tissue activation attenuates atherosclerosis.

The familiar other: Cultural representations and Netherlands-Iran relations, 1959-1979
Dr. M. Warnaar-Schuitmaker, (f), UL   
Foreign policyj is influenced by cultural representation, and vice versa. In this process, similarity is as important as difference. Close Netherlands-Iran relations in the 1960s and 1970s are a case in point. This research build bridges between international relations and studies in cultural representation.

Break down to build up soil carbon
Dr. J.T. (James) Weedon (m), VU – Earth and Life Sciences
Managing soils to store more carbon from the atmosphere is an important tool for counteracting climate-warming. Researchers will use DNA-methods to investigate how the dead leaves of different plant types are broken down by different communities of fungi and bacteria, and how the carbon-rich molecules they produce accumulate in soil.

Genetic influences on criminal careers
Dr. S.G.A. (Steve) van de Weijer (m), NSCR - Criminology
Criminologists usually explain criminal careers from life events, such as (parental) divorce and employment. However, genetic factors can influence both criminal behaviour and the occurrence of such environmental factors. This study will examine the extent to which criminal behavior can be explained from either genetic factors or environmental factors.

Energy crisis in the faling heart
Dr. B.D. (Daan) Westenbrink (m), UMCG dept. Cardiology
Heart failure is a deadly disease of which the cause has not been unraveled yet. We do know that the energy reserves stored in the heart  out. The investigators will try to find whether inhibition of mitochondria, the power stations of the heart, is at the heart of the problem.

Fast vibrationless spatially moving manipulators
Dr. Ir. V. (Volkert) van der Wijk (m), TU Delft - Precision and Microsystems Engineering
An urgent need in the packaging and high-tech manufacturing and assembly industry is to have fast and accurate spatially moving robots that do not cause base vibrations. In this research, new methodology is developed with which for the first time inherently balanced vibrationless spatial manipulators can be designed.

Do the pontine nuclei form the heart of voluntary motor control?
Dr. L. ( Laurens) Witter (m), VU University Amsterdam
Diseases of motor control have a high incidence and have great impact on quality of life. This research aims to broaden our insight in voluntary motor control. The communication between forebrain and cerebellum and their role in voluntary motor control will be investigated.

The nature of naming and the naming of nature
Dr. J (Joeri) Witteveen (m), UU – Filosofie
Shifting taxonomic perspectives can ‘decouple’ species-names from their species, resulting in a confusion of speech. Innovative nineteenth-century methods once averted this threat, but no longer satisfy the demands of today’s Big Data Biology. This historical-philosophical project demonstrates how we can learn from the past in addressing this new ‘Babylonian challenge’.

Cracking the ACPA-code; what anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) can teach us about rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
D. (Diane) van der Woude M.D. Ph.D. (f), LUMC, Leiden – Rheumatology
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have more cardiovascular disease. Specific blood markers for RA have now also been found in cardiovascular disease without RA. This project will investigate what these markers can teach us about disease development and whether they themselves may cause cardiovascular disease or RA.

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The Bam complex as a molecular cooper
Dr. S. (Shengqi) Xiang (m), UU – Chemistry
In Gram-negative bacteria, the β barrel proteins on the outer membrane are inserted by a supramolecular machinery, Bam complex. This research aims to investigate the complex in its native environment and reveal the internal operating principle. The outcome can help researchers develop new antibiotics aiming at this machinery.

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Studying supernova remnants to understand the origin of neutron star diversity
Dr. P.Z. (Ping) Zhou (f), Universiteit van Amsterdam, Anton Pannekoek Instituut voor Sterrenkunde
The life of a massive star ends with a violent explosion. Two products are left: a supernova remnant and a compact object such as a neutron star. How do the birth conditions determine the observed diversity of neutron stars? I will use their host supernova remnants to find the answer.

Why do traumatic memories keep on intruding?
Dr. M. (Mirjam) van Zuiden (f), Academic Medical Center – Psychiatry
Individuals exposed to traumatic events, such as life-threatening accidents, often suffer from recurrent distressing intrusive memories. The researchers investigate the role of the stress-hormone cortisol in the development of such intrusive memories. This will aid in future prevention of the development of intrusive memories after trauma.

Diagnosing X-rays in a split-second
Dr. L. (Laura) Zwaan, (f), Erasmus MC
A radiologist looks at an X-ray for only a split-second and correctly diagnoses it! How is it possible that such a complex task is correctly performed so quickly? To what extent does the context drive this process? How does this skill develop? This project will unravel this fascinating process.

Naar boven

Sorted bij NWO division

Earth and Life Sciences

TB joins for dinner
Dr. S. (Susanna) Commandeur (f), VUmc – Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control
The tuberculosis bacterium stores fat derived from the host as lipid-bodies. It is thought that these bodies play a role in persister cell formation and antibiotic resistance, a crucial challenge in the fight against tuberculosis. In this project I will study the formation and the role of these lipid bodies.

Dissecting the complex interplay between the human host and gut microbiome in 3D organoid culture systems
Dr. D.D. (Devanjali) Dutta, Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology and Stem Cell Research
Gut microbes influence the body's susceptibility to gastrointestinal tract diseases like inflammatory bowel and cancer. Using digestive organ derived tissue structures called 'Mini-gut' organoids, I will study mechanism(s) by which the gut microbiome sustains homeostasis and how its fluctuations modulate immune responses in humans, in turn causing diseases like cancer.

What is unique about human brain cells?
Dr. N.A. (Natalia) Goriounova (f), VU – Neuroscience
Are human brain cells unique in the way they make connections and communicate to each other? How does the activity of these cells relate to cognition? To answer these questions VU researchers will record electrical activity from human brain cells in tissue resected during brain surgery.

Entangled enemies: Parasites caught in the food-web
Dr AS (Alena) Gsell (f), NIOO-KNAW, Aquatic Ecology
Parasites are exceedingly common in nature; nevertheless, they are rarely included in food-web research. I will study how parasites influence competition between free-living species and how predation and diversity of potential hosts affect the spread of disease using long-term data and laboratory experiments on microscopic algae and their fungal parasites.

Nature and nurture of the human visual brain
Dr. K.V. (Koen) Haak (m), RU - Donders Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging
The human visual brain is composed of many functional subunits that together determine how we perceive our visual environment. In this project, the researcher will investigate whether the internal organisation of these functional subunits is hereditary, whether it depends on visual experience, and whether it changes across the lifespan.

Causal mechanisms of birdsong learning performance as a model of human speech and language acquisition.
Drs. S.M. ter Haar, (f) UU
Song acquisition in young songbirds is very similar to speech acquisition in infants. How well speech and birdsong are learnt can vary a lot between individuals. By rearing songbirds under controlled conditions, I systematically study how predispositions, experience and sleep influence song learning performance and the associated brain mechanisms.

Neuronal synchrony in visual cortex in health and disease: the stimulus matters
Dr. D. (Dora) Hermes, (f), UU, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht
Visual input has a large effect on human brain activity, and can induce strong neuronal oscillations. This study will make a model that predicts these oscillations from the visual input. This model will be used to predict which visual input can provoke a seizure in photosensitive epilepsy.

Mapping fluid highways and byways in shales
Dr. M.E. (Maartje) Houben (f), UU – Geoscience
Fluid flow through shales is slow and pore connectivity is poorly understood. The researchers will use different combinations of experiments and imaging techniques to characterize fluid flow pathways in shales.

Lungs of the earth: measuring oxygen to unravel the forest carbon balance
Dr. I.T. (Ingrid) van der Laan-Luijkx (f), WU – Meteorology and Air Quality
Understanding the global carbon balance is key when predicting climate change. The major unknown is biospheric carbon exchange and its response to a changing climate. To better understand the processes involved, the researchers will combine measurements of the breathing of forests with model development to interpret the observations.

How to eat plants
Dr. S. (Stephan) Lautenschlager – Naturalis - Geologie
During the last 500 million years, different animals have repeatedly adapted to feed on plants. To be able to do that, they have developed different skull and jaw shapes. Using digital models and computer simulations, this project investigates plant-eating dinosaurs to understand what it takes to efficiently feed on plants.

Organisation by organelles
Dr. W. (Wilco) Nijenhuis (m), UU – Cell Biology
The functioning of cells is determined by their shape and internal organization. The researchers will use light to position specific cellular components within epithelial cells to study how these components locally influence the organization and shape of cells.

Identify the causative immune interactions for Systemic Sclerosis
Dr. A.(Aridaman) Pandit (m), UMCU, Immunology
The researcher will study how the immune system becomes self-destructive leading to incurable autoimmune disease like systemic sclerosis. The researcher will study the interactions between multiple immune cells, which play a key role in autoimmune disease to improve disease diagnostics and treatment.

Bringing sand from sea to land
dr. T.D. (Timothy) Price (m), Utrecht University – Geosciences
Natural beach and dune growth ensure climate proof coasts under the expected sea level rise, but the movement of sand from the seabed to the dunes remains largely unexplained. With this research I aim to analyse and model this landward displacement, to better understand and predict beach and dune growth.

The role of inhibition in shaping hippocampal memory traces
Dr. P. (Priyanka) Rao-Ruiz (f), VU University, Amsterdam
To remember the context of a given memory the memory-encoding brain-area activates a small population of cells called a memory trace. I will study the contribution of inhibitory neurons, known to inhibit activity of their neighbouring cells, in the process of memory trace formation at the molecular and cellular level.

Turning on the alarms: how dendritic cells activate the immune attack
Dr. N.H. (Natalia) Revelo (f), Tumor Immunology Department, Radboudumc
Dendritic cells scan our bodies searching for pathogens and cancer cells. After finding a threat, they deliver an alarm message to specialized immune cells trained to keep the danger under control. The researcher will use high-resolution microscopes to understand how dendritic cells prepare, pack and deliver this alarm message.

Visualizing protein synthesis in real time
Dr. S.A. (Suzan) Ruijtenberg (f), Hubrecht Institute - Tanenbaum group
The protein levels in a cell determine its behavior and need to be strictly controlled as even minor changes can have major consequences. Here, the researchers develop a first-of kind method to visualize protein synthesis in real-time, in living, human cells and identify the regulatory mechanisms that influence final protein levels.

Polymerase Theta, an Achilles’ heel of cancer?
Dr. J. (Joost) Schimmel (m), Leiden University Medical Center – Human Genetics
The erroneous repair of chromosomal breaks can lead to serious diseases, including cancer. This is caused by the usage of alternative DNA repair mechanisms in  cells. The researcher will study the regulation of this mechanism by Polymerase Theta and whether inhibition of this protein can be used in cancer treatment.

The smell of liver disease.
Dr A.M. (Agnieszka) Smolinska, (f), Maastricht University Medical Center- Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) is a deadly liver disease recognized in a (too) late stage. To comprehensively characterize PSC patients I will obtain extensive chemical and microbiological data from breath, blood and feces. Subsequently with big-data pattern recognition non-invasive markers will be developed for early diagnosis and steering therapeutical interventions.

Chinks in the armor of the tubercle bacillus
Dr. A. (Alexander) Speer (m), VUmc - Medical Microbiology and Infection Control
The tuberculosis bacterium has a remarkably impermeable cell wall, which prevents most antibiotics to gain access to the cell. However, this shield cannot be completely impermeable, since the bacterium must also acquire nutrients. In this project, I will identify essential channel proteins of Mtb that passage nutrients and antibiotics.

New genetic tools from pathogenic bacteria
Dr. R.H.J. (Raymond) Staals (m), Wageningen University – Department of Agrotechnology & Food Sciences
Over the last years, CRISPR-Cas technology has revolutionized the possibilities in genetic modification. This research will address the role and mechanism of a new CRISPR-Cas system that is often found in pathogenic bacteria. Moreover, possibilities will be explored to exploit this system as a new genetic tool.

Causes of droughts: local or far away?
Dr. O.A. (Obbe) Tuinenburg, UU - Environmental Sciences
This research studies the atmosphere during droughts. The causes of droughts are determined to be either a moisture transport deficit in the atmosphere, or a lack of precipitation despite normal atmospheric moisture transport. These insights in the causes and mechanisms of droughts will increase drought predictability.

Can we cure HIV if we know how to attack dormant viruses?
Dr. Y.U. (Yme) van der Velden (m), AMC, laboratory of experimental virology, Department of Medical Microbiology
Anti-HIV therapy potently suppresses viral replication, but fails in curing HIV because the virus survives in a dormant state from which it can re awaken to restart the infection. To bring the cure for HIV one step closer, I aim to directly visualize these dormant viruses and evaluate novel treatment strategies.

Reconstructing cellular structures required for chromosome segregation
M. (Mathijs) Vleugel, PhD (m), Delft University of Technology - Bionanoscience
During cell division, the chromosomes are duplicated and equally divided over two new cells. The forces generated by a complex structure of cables (the mitotic spindle) are essential for the physical separation of duplicated chromosomes. The researcher aims to study these forces through the step-by-step reconstruction of the mitotic spindle.

Break down to build up soil carbon
Dr. J.T. (James) Weedon (m), VU – Earth and Life Sciences
Managing soils to store more carbon from the atmosphere is an important tool for counteracting climate-warming. Researchers will use DNA-methods to investigate how the dead leaves of different plant types are broken down by different communities of fungi and bacteria, and how the carbon-rich molecules they produce accumulate in soil.

Do the pontine nuclei form the heart of voluntary motor control?
Dr. L. ( Laurens) Witter (m), VU University Amsterdam
Diseases of motor control have a high incidence and have great impact on quality of life. This research aims to broaden our insight in voluntary motor control. The communication between forebrain and cerebellum and their role in voluntary motor control will be investigated.

Chemical Sciences

Glycosylering van antilichaam receptoren en arthritis
Dr. D. (David) Falck (m), LUMC – Center for Proteomics and Metabolomics
David Falck will design an instrumental analysis platform to map sugars attached to proteins regulating antibody activated immune responses. He aims to improve diagnosis and treatment by gaining insights into the molecular mechanism of arthritis.

Predictive accuracy in computational spectroscopy of large molecules
Dr. B. (Benjamin) Helmich-Paris (m), VU
A smart combination of quantum mechanics with Einstein’s theory of relativity will allow for fast and reliable computer simulations of molecules containing heavy elements. These simulations provide a detailed insight in the properties of such molecules and will aid in the design of new materials.

Squishy and smart: Designing biocompatible materials from the bottom up
Dr. T.E. (Thomas Edward) Kodger, WUR - Chemistry
The gel-like materials, which constitute a large fraction of our bodies, are ultrasoft but extremely resilient at the same time. The researcher will develop new synthetic materials that show the mimick these features and which enable direct 3D printing to fabricate a new generation of implants and prosthetics.

Synthetic materials in life-like motion.
Dr. ir. P.A. (Peter) Korevaar (m), RU – Institute for Molecules and Materials
The assembly of molecular building blocks into dynamic materials that grow, move and self-regulate is one of the most fascinating processes in living matter. The researchers will develop new strategies to apply the underlying principles in artificial, “smart” materials that display controlled motions and exert forces at the micro-scale.

Chemical industry made natural!
Dr. T.J. (Ties) Korstanje (m), UvA – Chemistry
Currently chemical industry primarily uses fossil resources. Because of the many environmental problems hereof, a switch to renewable resources is required. In this project a method will be developed to convert the non-edible parts of plants into a natural and sustainable feedstock for chemical industry.

Simple to complex: methane upgrading
Dr. G (Guanna) Li (f), TUD - Chemical Engineering
Direct conversion of methane to liquid chemicals is a chemists' Holy Grail’. This research focuses on understanding the catalytic mechanism for liquifying natural gas. The knowledge gained will enable formulating recipes for well-defined heterogenous catalysts through 'rational design.'

Molecular teamwork
Dr. D.H. (Dimphna) Meijer (f), UU – Crystal and Structural Chemistry
Every neuron in our brain contacts approximately one thousand other neurons. The researchers combine two scientific disciplines, chemistry and neuroscience, to study how our molecular building blocks (‘proteins’) team up to build and maintain those contacts.

A new approach for comprehensive modelling of molten salt fuel properties
Dr. A.L. (Anna Louise) Smith (f), TUD – Radiation Science and Technology
Molten Salt Reactors ning on thorium fuel are highly promising for sustainable energy production. Using innovative analytical methods combined with advanced modelling, researchers at TU-Delft will investigate the structure, thermodynamic stability and viscosity of the liquid fuel salt, which is key for the development and safety analysis of the reactor.

NuRD regulates development
Dr. C.G. (Nelleke) Spruijt (f), – RIMLS
The researcher will use a mass measuring machine to study which proteins are in the NuRD complex together. This protein complex plays an important role during the development of blood cells. The researchers will investigate which genes are regulated by NuRD during this development.

Building nanostructures in living cells
Dr. F. (Frank) Versluis (m), TUD - Chemical Engineering
Building nanostructures in living cells by using self-assembly methods has the potential to become a new class of diagnostic and therapeutic tools. The researcher will develop peptides that self-assemble into fiber networks around malignant cells to eliminate them and around organelles to isolate and study them.

Attacking the bacterial sweet spot
Dr. M.T.C. (Marthe) Walvoort (f), RUG – Chemistry
Bacteria display a diverse array of exotic sugars that are absent from humans. These sugars play a crucial role in infection and bacterial survival. Using chemistry and biology, the researchers will explore a novel sugar modification with the aim to attack this bacterial sweet spot in the fight against infection.

The Bam complex as a molecular cooper
Dr. S. (Shengqi) Xiang (m), UU – Chemistry
In Gram-negative bacteria, the β barrel proteins on the outer membrane are inserted by a supramolecular machinery, Bam complex. This research aims to investigate the complex in its native environment and reveal the internal operating principle. The outcome can help researchers develop new antibiotics aiming at this machinery.

Physical Sciences

Connecting the Dots: Minimal Structure Modeling for Machine Translation
Dr. A. (Arianna) Bisazza (f), UvA – Informatica
Machine translation is a key technology enabling fast and large-scale access to multilingual information, however its quality differs dramatically among languages. This projects aims at improving translation quality across a wide spectrum of languages, by focusing on the modeling of structural relations among words and abstract word representations.

Cryptanalysis of Lattice-based Cryptography
Dr. ir. L. (Léo) Ducas (m), CWI – Cryptology
The forthcoming quantum computer would have a disastrous effect on the current cryptographic algorithms securing the Internet. A theoretical solution for more secure algorithms relies on mathematical lattices with large dimension. This research aims to significantly improve and refine the understanding of their security to facilitate new international secure standards.

ORION-4D: Towards a unified theory of low- and high-mass star formation
Dr. A. (Alvaro) Hacar (m), UL – Sterrewacht Leiden
Do Sun-like and massive stars form by different processes or not? This is a major open question in modern astrophysics. A new set of state-of-the-art radioastronomical observations and analysis techniques in the Orion cloud will critically test our current theories of how most stars in our Galaxy are formed.

Fully reproducible workflows scaling from workstations to the cloud
Dr. J.K. (Johannes) Köster (m), CWI – Life Sciences Group
Data analysis currently faces two challenges. First, scientific results should be easily reproducible. Second, ever increasing amounts of data necessitate to scale data analyses to cloud computing. This project aims to turn Snakemake into the first data analysis framework that allows full reproducibility and seamlessly scales to the cloud.

Hidden symmetries between prime numbers
Dr. A.L. (Arno) Kret (m), UvA – Wiskunde
The Langlands program is an influential unsolved problem in modern mathematics. It points out deep underlying symmetries between prime numbers and equations. The goal of this research project is to solve the problem in important cases for the general symplectic groups and general special orthogonal groups.

Parallelism in depth
Dr. A. W. (Alfons) Laarman (m), UT – Computer Science
The fastest route through busy traffic, the correctness of complex digital systems and the analysis of social-media, or computer networks are all problems that are solved efficiently by “depth-first” search algorithms. The researcher will adapt all these algorithms at once to exploit modern multi-core computers: the future of computer science.

Generic Security of Authentication and Encryption
Dr. ir. B.J.M. (Bart) Mennink (m),  – Digital Security Group
Cryptography finds many applications, such as banking and telecommunication. Snowden's disclosures on global surveillance have recently reconfirmed its importance. This proposal centers around authentication and encryption, the two basic tools for securing our data. It targets the development of new, highly secure, protocols that outperform the state of the art.

Discovering the origin and nature of jets from accreting black holes with multiwavelength observations
Dr. T.D. (Thomas) Russell (m), UvA - Anton Pannekoek Instituut voor Sterrenkunde
Black holes are not just one-way vacuum cleaners; they can launch powerful “jets” from the material they are feeding on, altering their surroundings and affecting the evolution of galaxies and the formation of stars. This project will study how jets are produced and how they influence their surroundings.

Analytic techniques in the study of diophantine equations
Dr. D. (Damaris) Schindler (f), UU – Mathematisch Instituut
The study of Diophantine equations has fascinated mankind for more than 2000 years. Given a system of polynomial equations with integer coefficients one wants to understand its solution set in the integers. This project studies aspects of this question using modern tools in analytic number theory.

Bayesian uncertainty quantication in complex models
Dr. B.T. (Botond) Szabó (m), UL – Mathematisch Instituut
Bayesian uncertainty quantification is widely used in practice in many dif- ferent fields of applications, for instance in genetics, finance, epidemiology and machine learning. However, in certain cases it can be fundamentally misleading. The aim of this project is to determine in which cases can Bayesian uncertainty statements be trusted.

All good things come in threes
Dr. S.G.M. (Silvia) Toonen (f), UvA – Sterrenkunde
While our Sun spends its life alone, most stars have one or two neighbouring stars. Even though interactions between stars give rise to the most extreme phenomena in the Universe, they are not understood well. Revolutionary computer simulations allow us - for the first time - to study triple star evolution.

Studying supernova remnants to understand the origin of neutron star diversity
Dr. P.Z. (Ping) Zhou (f), Universiteit van Amsterdam, Anton Pannekoek Instituut voor Sterrenkunde
The life of a massive star ends with a violent explosion. Two products are left: a supernova remnant and a compact object such as a neutron star. How do the birth conditions determine the observed diversity of neutron stars? I will use their host supernova remnants to find the answer.

Humanities

The Value of Admiration
Dr. A.T.M. (Alfred) Archer (m), UvT – Filosofie
We admire heroes, saints, and film stars but what is admiration and what role should it play in our lives? Using tools and insights from philosophy and psychology, this project will investigate the nature and value of admiration, when admiration is appropriate and
admiration’s role in education and leadership.

Sensitive cities. Amsterdam, London and Paris (1850-1930)
Dr. A.M.G. (Anneleen) Arnout (f),  – Geschiedenis
Our interaction with the urban environment is highly emotional. Sensitive cities investigates the way in which urban space influenced the emotional experience in three metropolises during the period of most intense urbanisation. It investigates how transforming urban space elicited and intensified emotional experiences.

Marinewerven: Laboratoria voor industrieel kapitalisme
Dr. P. (Pepijn) Brandon (m), VU – Geschiedenis
Naval shipyards in the eighteenth and nineteenth century played important roles in the introduction of industrial production methods. These large state-enterprises often were technological front-ners. In many cases they employed not only wage laborers but also forced laborers and slaves. This shines new light on the history of industrial capitalism.

Number words
Dr. E. (Lisa) Bylinina (f), Meertens Instituut – Taalwetenschap
People think about numbers in similar ways across cultures, but talk about them differently in different languages. This project will collect data on the various realisations of number concepts in the grammars of the world's languages, find patterns and establish ways to bridge the gap between language and number cognition.

Childrearing and language development in two indigenous communities.
Dr. M. (Marisa) Casillas (f), MPI – Taalwetenschap
Children learn language by hearing and using it with their caregivers, but caregivers interact with their children in different ways around the globe. Do these differences affect children’s language development? To find out, I will study two cultures with very different styles for child-caregiver interaction: Mayan and Papua New Guinean.

Interactive development of phoneme categorization and word learning ability, a comparison between typically developing infants and infants at familial risk of dyslexia
Dr. A. (Ao) Chen (f), UU – Taalwetenschap
A crucial component of language acquisition is recognizing phonemes, sound units distinguishing word meaning. Acquisition of phonemes presumably depends on an interaction between categorisation and word learning. I investigate this interaction in children with and without a familial risk of dyslexia to pinpoint developmental deviations of the at risk group

Fair For All: Making Room for Fairness in the Globalised Economy
Dr. B.R. (Benjamin) Ferguson (m), VU – Filosofie
Moral notions like equality and fairness play no role in economic theory. This project will develop a complement to mainstream economic theory that makes room for the value of fairness. This allows us to assess whether and when low wages are unfair and to identify other unjust economic activities.

Are there other universes?
Dr. S.M. (Simon) Friederich (m), RUG
Some philosophers and physicists think so. According to them, the existence of other universes can explain why there is at least one---our own---that is hospitable to life. This multiverse idea leads straight into a minefield of epistemological challenges---all systematically tackled by this project.

Should we trust our own eyes? Challenges from cognitive penetration and implicit bias.
Dr. H.J.H. (Harmen) Ghijsen (m), RUN– Filosofie
We usually think that ‘seeing for ourselves’ is a proper way to decide a question. But how proper is this if what we see is biased by what we (implicitly) believe? This project will investigate to what extent our perceptual biases should lead us to distrust our own eyes.

Weighing evidence reliably
Dr L. (Leah) Henderson (f), RUG – Filosofie
We learn from what others tell us all the time. Yet others are not always reliable. This research investigates the basic principles behind how should we take appropriate account of the reliability of our sources of information. It applies these principles to practical problems in scientific and legal policy.

Can you help me, doctor?
Dr. H.M. (Hieke) Huistra (f), UU – Geschiedenis 
Increasingly, people ask their doctors for help without being ill. They request, for example, eyelid corrections and Viagra prescriptions, but also assisted dying. This project studies patient requests surrounding birth and death in the twentieth century. Thus, it investigates how patients have influenced the medicalization of ‘natural’ life events.

The Interaction between Religion and Law in Pre-modern Tibet
Dr. B.K. (Berthe) Jansen (f), UL – Area studies
In pre-modern Tibet monks authored almost all literature. The legal texts they produced are currently understudied. This project is a systematic study of these works in order to understand the influence of Buddhism on law, shedding light on the interaction between the religious and the secular, both then and now.

Metaphorical Meanings for Artificial Agents
Dr. A.F. (Martha) Lewis (f), UvA – Taalwetenschap
This research aims to explain and recreate human creative thinking. I will build a theory of the way in which humans understand analogies, and then put the theory into practice within a realistic computational model of the brain, aiming to create an artificial agent that can think creatively.

A Fragmented World: A New Philosophical Approach to Perspectival Facts
Dr. M. A. (Martin) Lipman (m), UvA – Filosofie
We observe the world from different perspectives and under various conditions – both in our ordinary experience and in advanced sciences. This results in conflicting observations of the world, of which it seems that only one can be right. This project investigates a new philosophical approach to this widespread phenomenon, based on the assumption that the world exhibits a fragmented structure and perspectival observations consist in the observations of different fragments of world.

Relativism in Ancient Philosophy
Dr. T. (Tamer) Nawar (m), RUG — Filosofie
The idea that truth and morality are relative, not objective, originated in ancient Greece and has divided thinkers ever since. But how can something be ‘true for someone’? What implications are there if morality is relative? This project will offer the first systematic
examination of relativism in Greco-Roman philosophy.

Truth, Paradox and the Structure of Thought
Dr. C. (Carlo) Nicolai (m), UU – Filosofie
Science aims at the true: Our coherent use of the notion of truth is threatened by the so-called Liar paradox. The project will approach the challenges posed by the Liar from an innovative, unprecedentedly general perspective: it will yield new insights on the fundamental operation of adding a notion of truth to a structure.

The myth of filthy and unhealthy medieval towns
Dr. R.M.R. (Roos) van Oosten (f), UL – Archeologie
This project aims to rebut the popular notion that medieval towns were filthier and unhealthier to live in than early modern or 19th-century ones. In order to do so, the archaeological sanitary infrastructure (cesspits and wells) in four big pre-industrial towns will be mapped and analyzed with historical GIS applications.

Beyond the Rivers of Babylon: Rural Landscape and Settlements in Hellenistic Mesopotamia
Dr. R.P. (Rocco) Palermo (m), RUG – Archeologie
Alexander the Great created the very first global world and his successors ruled over several modern nations from Europe to Asia. In this project I will investigate the impact of the Seleucid imperial power on the rural landscape of Mesopotamia through the analysis of newly collected evidence by multiple archaeological projects in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Human Curiosities: Expanding the Social Relevance of Medical Museums
Dr. M.S. (Manon) Parry (f), UvA – Geschiedenis
Medical museums can play a greater role in society by contributing to health and wellbeing. I will research how medical heritage across Europe can be used to address public health problems, from the stigma of illness or disability to the challenges of ageing societies and infectious diseases.

Defining ‘Europe’ in Medieval European Geographical Discourse: the Image of the World and its Legacy, 1110-1500
Dr. N.I. (Natalia) Petrovskaia (f), UU – Geschiedenis
The researcher will show how the Image of the World, one of the most influential texts in European intellectual history which described the world as it was known (or imagined), contributed to the development of the idea of Europe.

Before the Grammarians: Arabic in the formative period of Islam
Dr. M. (Marijn) van Putten (m), UL – Taalwetenschap
After the advent of Islam, the Arabs quickly conquered a large part of the world. We do not know what language these conquerors spoke from their written language. By looking at Arabic language material, for example, in Greek and Hebrew script, we can deduce what these people spoke.

What did Africans think of Eurafrica? 1918-1970s
Dr. A.I.G.C.F.S.V. (Anne-Isabelle) Richard-Picchi (f), UL – Geschiedenis 
Africa-Europe relations have been shaped in many ways. One of these is Eurafrica. It means that Africa-Europe relations are special: these continents complement and depend on each other. It has always been examined from a European perspective. The historian examines what Africans thought about it and how they used it.

Predicting language: it is fast, but is it good?
Dr. J. (Joost) Rommers (m), RU Nijmegen - Taalwetenschap
Predictions help readers and listeners recognize words quickly. But at what cost? The researchers will examine the consequences of prediction for comprehension of the intended message, using memory tests and recordings of brain activity in healthy readers and in patients with memory loss.

Manipulating Spiritual Matter. How did Early Modern Science Become Experimental?
Dr. D.C. (Doina-Cristina) Rusu (f), RUG – Filosofie
The emergence of experimental philosophy in the seventeenth century is linked with the adoption of a corpuscularian matter theory. However, experiments were used before corpuscularianism. This project studies how the concept of ‘spirits’ allowed the transition from the Aristotelian-scholastic matter theory to corpuscularianism, giving birth to the new experimental science.

Pop preachers and counter-terror culture: contesting terrorism through social media and popular culture in Indonesia
Dr. L.K. (Leonie) Schmidt (f), UvA – Media studies
In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country and a key front in the global ‘war on terror’, an Islamic ‘counter-terror culture’ has emerged. This project investigates how counter-terror culture – of which social media and popular cultural products are part – can help to limit Islamic radicalisation and terrorism.

Notation Cultures in Contemporary Music
Dr. F.J. (Floris) Schuiling (m), UU – Media studies
This project develops an innovative approach to music notation by comparing various notation systems in classical music, world music, popular and experimental music. I investigate how these notations construct cultural identities, creative interactions between musicians, and ideas about the nature of music itself.

Dutch final -n deletion or Frisian schwa deletion
Dr. M. (Marjoleine) Sloos (f), Fryske Akademy – Taalwetenschap
Word-final -n in Dutch is often deleted. In Frisian, the -n is retained but the schwa can be deleted. How do bilingual speakers tease these rules apart? This project focuses on the intersection of language rules (the grammar) and word storage (the lexicon).

Faith in Jest: Humour and the Literature of the English Reformation
Dr. L.J. (Lieke) Stelling (f), UU – Literatuurwetenschap
Humour and religion are often seen as uneasy bedfellows, but the imaginative literature of the English Reformation abounded in jokes about contentious religious issues. This project investigates how humour made people feel strong in the face of religious anxiety and contributed to a more peaceful society.

Truth-tellers: The mentality behind subversive speech behaviour in narratives in the first printed texts in Dutch (1450-1500)
Dr. M.D. (Martine) Veldhuizen (f), UU – Literatuurwetenschap
In the Middle Ages there was no legal ‘freedom of expression’, but that does not mean there was no room to criticize authorities. Stories from the earliest Dutch press with "truth speakers', which are characters who dare to go verbally against authority, give an insight into the mentality behind subversive speech behavior.

Matter over mind: Skinner, Quine, and the Heyday of Behaviorism
Dr. A.A. Verhaegh (Sander) (m), RUG/UvT – Filosofie
Twentieth-century psychology and philosophy were dominated by behaviorism. The leading scholars were B.F. Skinner and W.V. Quine. How did they develop their theories? How did they influence each other? And what are the implications for the relation between psychology and philosophy? This projects answers these questions by examining their archives.

Where do meaning and structure in languages come from?
Dr. T. (Tessa) Verhoef (f), MPI – Taalwetenschap
Language is an important defining feature of the human species. It allows us to communicate in a meaningful way about complex matters. Where do meaning and structure in languages come from? To unravel this question, this project will recreate the evolution of language in the lab.

The familiar other: Cultural representations and Netherlands-Iran relations, 1959-1979
Dr. M. Warnaar-Schuitmaker, (f), UL  
Foreign policyj is influenced by cultural representation, and vice versa. In this process, similarity is as important as difference. Close Netherlands-Iran relations in the 1960s and 1970s are a case in point. This research build bridges between international relations and studies in cultural representation.

The nature of naming and the naming of nature
Dr. J (Joeri) Witteveen (m), UU – Filosofie
Shifting taxonomic perspectives can ‘decouple’ species-names from their species, resulting in a confusion of speech. Innovative nineteenth-century methods once averted this threat, but no longer satisfy the demands of today’s Big Data Biology. This historical-philosophical project demonstrates how we can learn from the past in addressing this new ‘Babylonian challenge’.

Social Sciences

Learning from degradation data: When to shut down public services
Dr. ir. J.J. (Joachim) Arts (m), TUE
Unexpected failures of MRI-scanners, aircraft and other capital assets, are unsafe and expensive. Data about failures is therefore rare, but sensors are increasingly gathering real-time degradation data. These data are used to optimize maintenance and support for each system individually so that safety and cost performance improve.

The fate of emotional memories
Dr. V.A. (Vanessa) van Ast (f), UvA – Clinical Psychology
Our emotional memories seem indelible, and therefore a reliable record of our experiences. But nothing is further from the truth: over time both the content and emotional intensity of a memory can alter. This project investigates when such alterations develop, and what the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are.

Environmental migration in the digital age
Dr. I.J.C. (Ingrid) Boas (f), WUR – environmental policy
Increasingly more people migrate because of environmental impacts and in doing so use information and communication technologies (ICTs) – such as mobile phones. How do ICT and related information exchange influence choices and movements of environmental migrants? This project will unravel this question.

Policing the Police in Kenya
Dr. T.G. (Tessa) Diphoorn (f), UU - Cultural Anthropology
This research will develop an innovative approach to analysing the state by including intrastate interactions to understand how state authority is constructed from within. It will do so through an ethnographic study of the Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), a Kenyan state institution established in 2012 to regulate police (mis)conduct.

Structure and function in the aging brain
Dr. L. (Linda) Geerligs (f), University of Amsterdam – Psychology
For the wellbeing of older adults, a high level of cognitive functioning is important. I will investigate how individual differences in cognitive functioning across the lifespan can be explained by differences in the brain, by combining measurements of the structure and the function of the brain.

Internal and External Sources of Action
Dr. D.G. (Davood) Ghara Gozli (m), UL - Institute of Psychology
Our actions are shaped by what we perceive in the environment (what is currently present), and by the changes that we wish to bring about (what is currently absent). The interaction between these two sources of action is the aim of the proposed research.

Lobbying in the European Union: Why the political agenda favours some interests over others.
Dr. M.C. (Marcel) Hanegraaff, (m), UvA - Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
Many citizens are concerned that political systems are not responsive to citizens but merely serve the interests of business corporations. This seems especially applicable to politics in the EU. In reaction to these widespread concerns, this study uncovers the influence of business groups on the EU’s political agenda.

One size fits all? New ways for meta-analysis
Dr. S. (Suzanne) Jak (f), UvA - Department of Child Development and Education
Meta-analytic structural equation modeling is an increasingly popular statistical technique to synthesize the results from several independent studies. In this project I will develop a new method that overcomes shortcomings of existing approaches, enabling more valid systematic synthesis of research findings in a wide range of fields.

Pro-government Militias and Political Order in Civil War
Dr. C. (Corinna) Jentzsch (f), UL—Political Science
Governments in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Sudan have mobilized militias to defend the state and the population against armed rebellion. The empowerment of such progovernment armed groups has varying consequences for security and political order in conflict-ridden states. Under what conditions does state-militia collaboration help sustain political order?

Between the school and the mosque: Young Muslims negotiating citizenship in the Netherlands
Dr. H. (Hülya) Kosar Altinyelken (f), UvA, Social and Behavioural Sciences
Thousands of Muslim children and youth receive Qur’anic instruction at mosques in the Netherlands. By focusing on Turkish immigrants, this project seeks to analyse the dynamic interplay between Qur’anic instruction and the citizenship education provided at secondary schools, and how young Muslims negotiate the differences between these two distinct worlds.

It takes two to tango. The preliminary reference dance between the Court of Justice of the European Union and national courts
Dr. J. (Jasper) Krommendijk (m), Radboud University - Faculty of Law
The Court of Justice of the European Union has an enormous influence on national laws as result of national courts’ requests for a preliminary ruling. By examining why judg aes refer and what they do with rulings, this project aims to formulate improve the preliminary reference procedure. proposals to

Real-time self-report data: It is real(ly) time to go continuously
Dr. R.M. (Rebecca) Kuiper (f), UU – Methods and Statistics
Due to devices such as smartphones gathering real-time self-report data is more convenient. Unfortunately, methods to analyze these data lag behind. Hence, this project focusses on developing i) a continuous-time model that uses all merits of these data and ii) techniques for evaluation of hypotheses regarding group-, subgroup, and person-level.

Improving Quantitative Decision Making
Dr. C.J.P. (Christophe) Lembregts (m), EUR, Rotterdam School of Management
People’s lives are pervaded with quantitative information. Despite the widespread availability, individuals have great difficulty to make consistent decisions while relying on quantitative information. This project proposes a novel way to enhance understanding of quantitative information, how it could improve decision quality and delineate conditions under which it is effective.

Disclosures of alternative performance metrics: misleading or informative?
Dr. P.Y.E. (Edith) Leung (f), EUR, Erasmus School of Economics
Managers often report adjusted “non-GAAP” performance measures that do not conform to existing accounting regulation. Regulators and media criticize these measures as being misleading to investors, although there is no concrete evidence to support this view. This proposal contributes to this debate by examining the usefulness of non-GAAP disclosures.

The pupil does it
Dr. S. (Sebastiaan) Mathôt (m), UU, Department of Experimental Psychology
Do you see things more clearly if the size of your eye's pupil is 'just right'? And, if so, what is the 'best' pupil size, and what does this depend on? How do changes in pupil size, driven by light and arousal, help you to see the world more clearly?

Cultural connections or divides?
Dr. R. (Roza) Meuleman (f), Radboud University - Sociology
Does interest in elite culture (e.g. museums, theatres, classical concerts) connect or divide people of different socioeconomic backgrounds? This project examines to what extent elite cultural interest affects the socioeconomic status of people’s social network and to what extent this affects outcomes of social inequality and social cohesion.

Facilitating self-regulated learning in adaptive educational technologies
Dr. I. (Inge) Molenaar (f), RU, Onderwijs wetenschappen
Adaptive educational technologies are increasingly used in primary education. These technologies adjust educational material to the performance of students. The proposed research investigates how students learn with adaptive educational technologies and under which conditions personalized visualizations aid students to improve their learning. 

Nocturnal hypoglycemia in diabetes: night- and daymare?
Dr. G.M. (Giesje) Nefs (f), Radboudumc – Medical Psychology
Hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) during sleep is common in people with type 1 diabetes. This study will examine psychological predictors of nocturnal hypoglycemia, the consequences for daily life, and the best approach to treating (worries about) very low blood glucose.

In or out of employment? Policies and economics as natural experiments
Dr. K.M. (Karen) Oude Hengel (f), Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam
Gaining insight in exit routes of workers with health problems is important regarding the ageing workforce. Relatively little is known about the impact of the macro-level on the European differences in un(employment) rates. I will investigate the impact of policies and economic recession on exit pathways with innovative statistical methods.

Geographies of food consumption
Dr. M.P. (Maartje) Poelman (f), UU – Human Geography and Spatial Planning
The rhythm of our daily life is now busier and more dynamic than in previous decades: we live, work, and play at many different locations. How this lifestyle and the abundant availability of unhealthy foods at multiple locations affect (un)healthy food consumption will be explored using innovative methodologies.

Do I know what you know?
Dr. J.E. (Janneke) van de Pol (f), UU – Department of Education
High school teachers are often insufficiently aware of their students’ knowledge. Therefore, students frequently receive inadequate individual support, resulting in suboptimal performance. This project focuses on investigating and promoting teacher judgment accuracy and subsequently support adaptivity and students’ learning by training teachers to use more informative cues when making judgments.

The settlement of new refugees in municipalities: making lives, forming issues
Dr. R. (Rogier) van Reekum (m), EUR, Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen
How does the settlement of new refugees in Dutch municipalities practically and materially become an issue for a widening network of publics? When refugees settle this affects both their and other people’s lives. This research will study how people are brought together around shared issues concerning refugee settlement.

Building or Burning Bridges?
Dr. M. (Matthijs) Rooduijn (m), UvA – Political Science
Societal groups are drifting apart – especially regarding their attitudes toward immigration. Popular wisdom has ascribed this polarizing trend to increasing immigration and to successes of radical right parties. I put forward and test an alternative explanation: social polarization is fueled by the increasing pervasiveness of both pro- and anti-immigration messages.

Lack of measurement invariance in multilevel data: A cluster-based solution for making valid attribute comparisons
Dr. K. (Kim) de Roover (f), UvT, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
When measuring unobservable attributes by observed variables like questionnaire items, psychologists assume a measurement model (MM). When comparing attributes based on item scores, they assume measurement invariance across compared groups/subjects. My project presents methods for comparing MMs across many groups/subjects and finding clusters of groups/subjects for which comparisons are valid.

Be in control!
Dr. M. (Miroslava) Scholten (f), UU – EU law
Not only national but also increasingly EU entities, such as the European Central Bank, can investigate and punish those who violate EU law. This EU-national mix of enforcement powers however makes it possible for supervisors to escape democratic and judicial accountability. This project aims at making the escape impossible.

What motivates investors to hold responsible investments?
Dr. P.M.A. (Paul) Smeets (m), Maastricht University, School of Business and Economics
Insight in investor motives is crucial because it will increase the share of private funding for tackling critical social and environmental challenges. My projects investigate the role of three possible drivers of socially responsible investment behavior: financial motives, intrinsic social objectives and the psychological factor of happiness.

RELAPSE, DON’T DO IT! Building a relapse prevention model in weight loss maintenance
Dr. M.M. (Maartje) van Stralen (f), VU - EMGO
Weight loss results in health benefits in overweight adults. However, only a few people who lose weight, manage to maintain their lost weight. I will investigate what causes weight regain and how we can prevent people to regain weight.

Looking for the “I” in teams while still functioning as a team: Individual job crafting and its relationships with individual, team, and organizational outcomes.
Dr. M. (Maria) Tims (f), VU - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Job crafting refers to self-initiated changes in one’s job design to improve person-job fit. However, little is known about how these individual changes influence and are influenced by team members. The proposed studies are designed to find out under which conditions job crafting contributes to individual, team, and organizational outcomes.

Explaining Political Stability in Small States
Dr. W.P. (Wouter) Veenendaal (m), UL – Political Science
Why do small countries have more stable political systems than large ones, despite the weakness of political structures and strongly personalized politics? This project examines the effects of smallness and informal relations on political stability, and analyses how personal relations can contribute to the absence of political crises and violence.

The Constitutionalization of Private Regulation
Dr. P.W.J. (Paul) Verbruggen (m), RU – MaGW
This project answers the question of how and when private law submits rules set by private, non-state actors to fundamental principles of laws. This ‘constitutionalization’ of private regulation is assessed by examining, in comparative fashion, case law on liability of private regulators in England, Germany, the Netherlands and European Union

Innovation Capacity in Times of Decline
Dr. J. (Joris) van der Voet (m), UL, Institute of Public Administration
Financial decline can stimulate innovation capacity in local government organizations, but can also impede innovation capacity. This project investigates what cutback management strategies can be used in local government organizations to maintain or even strengthen innovation capacity. The project compares Dutch local government organizations with Spain and the United Kingdom.

Genetic influences on criminal careers
Dr. S.G.A. (Steve) van de Weijer (m), NSCR - Criminology
Criminologists usually explain criminal careers from life events, such as (parental) divorce and employment. However, genetic factors can influence both criminal behaviour and the occurrence of such environmental factors. This study will examine the extent to which criminal behavior can be explained from either genetic factors or environmental factors.

Diagnosing X-rays in a split-second
Dr. L. (Laura) Zwaan, (f), Erasmus MC
A radiologist looks at an X-ray for only a split-second and correctly diagnoses it! How is it possible that such a complex task is correctly performed so quickly? To what extent does the context drive this process? How does this skill develop? This project will unravel this fascinating process.

Physics

Information storage at the nano-scale
Dr S. (Saeedeh) Farokhipoor (f), RUG - Natuurkunde
Ever-smaller electronic components cannot be manufactured using current technology. Scientists will explore the self-assembly of miniature capacitors in novel materials, for information storage. Reduction of both size and power consumption enables advances in electronics to continue well into the future.

Drying drops of living liquids
Dr.ir. H. (Hanneke) Gelderblom (f), TU/e – Applied Physics
When a liquid drop that contains tiny particles dries, intriguing patterns form in the remaining stain. The researchers will investigate this stain formation in evaporating drops of living bacteria, and develop methods to control the bacteria deposition.

When statistical mechanics goes wrong
Dr E. (Enej) Ilievski (m), UVA - Theoretical Physics
Although most materials follow the thermodynamic laws and allow heat transfer between objects, certain materials do not. Theoretical researchers will try to explain this unusual behavior. Understanding deviations from thermal equilibrium of these materials may provide insight into the formation of our universe.

Surfing the Wave in Hybrid Photovoltaics
Dr. A.J. (Andrew) Musser (m), AMOLF – Ultrafast Spectroscopy
Photovoltaics convert sunlight into electricity, but these devices lose a huge amount of energy as heat. Some molecules can capture this heat as useful energy. Researchers aim to learn how this process is driven by the way the molecules vibrate.

Quantum dynamics from black hole physics
Dr J.F. (Juan) Pedraza (m), UvA – Physics
Exotic materials produced in modern particle accelerators have great potential for technological applications but are poorly understood at the theoretical level. This research project will develop novel methods to characterize them, by studying an analogue problem in gravitational physics.

Bringing Bouncy Balls to Life with The Elastic Leidenfrost Effect
Dr. S.R. (Scott) Waitukaitus (m), Amolf—Physics
Everyone has seen water droplets hovering on a hot pan—this is the Leidenfrost effect. Researchers now study this with water-soaked bouncy balls, which instead chaotically jump around. The longterm goal is to make materials that come to life during heating.

Technology Foundation STW

Large-scale improvement of radiation treatment of cancer patients
Dr. ir. S. (Sebastiaan) Breedveld (m) Erasmus MC - Radiotherapy
The worldwide applied, largely manual method for generation of treatment plans often results in suboptimal radiation treatment. Possible consequences are severe treatment complications or a reduced tumour control probability. In this project, mathematical methods will be developed to enable large- scale application of automated generation of high-quality treatment plans.

Shaping the building blocks of life
Dr. A. (Aurélie) Carlier (f), UM - MERLN
Our body is made of small building blocks (cells) that come in a remarkable variety of shapes and sizes. In this project, I will use computational techniques to investigate how cell shape can steer cell functioning. This fundamental understanding will be used to improve the surfaces of orthopedic implants.

Branchinq controls yield in barley
Dr. G.W. (Wilma) van Esse (f), WUR-Laboratory of  Molecular Biology
Cereal crop yield is determined by the number of seeds per spike, seed weight and the number of spike bearing branches. Negative correlations between these traits limit the improvement of yield. In this project the trait-off between  different yield components in barley is studied at the moleculair and genetic level."

Predictive Simulation of Human Locomotion
Dr. T. (Thomas) Geijtenbeek (m), TU Delft – Biomechanical Engineering
Technological aids offer enormous potential to increase the mobility of people with disabilities, but developments are strongly impeded by the fact that human responses to new devices or treatments are difficult to predict. By creating a simulation model that predicts human movement, researchers can greatly improve and accelerate their developments.

Magnetism and electronics layer by layer
Dr. M. H. D. (Marcos) Guimarães (m) – TU Eindhoven - Physics of Nanostructures
Electronic devices that use magnetic properties are present in key elements inside computers, like in hard-disk drives. New generation of these devices promise faster computers with lower power consumption. The researchers will study how a new class of nanomaterials can push forward the development of these magneto-electronic devices.

Communicating polymers towards haptics and soft robotics

Dr.ir. D. (Liu) Danqing (f) TU Eindhoven  Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
The researcher will develop ‘communicating polymers’ channelling communication between humans and machineries. By an external trigger the ‘smart’ surfaces deform locally which impart tactile perception to human fingers and enable devices to ‘talk’ to humans. Reversibly, the surfaces receive touch commands from humans in respect to both location and force.

Wires turn salty water into freshwater
Dr. S. (Slawomir) Porada (m), University of Twente, Faculty of Science & Technology
Water can be desalinated with thin electrically charged conductive wires covered with a layer of porous carbon. In the project I develop fundamental insight in the materials and theory of porous electrodes and I build and validate a small-scale prototype to desalinate water.

3D MRI Action Camera
Dr. A. (Alessandro) Sbrizzi, Imaging Division, UMC Utrecht
In cardiology and radiotherapy, information about 3D organ motion is essential. MRI could be used but unfortunately it is far too slow. I would like to solve this problem by, instead of repeated imaging, reconstructing only the transformation of organs. Determination of 3D motion fields with

Feeding Starved Coasts by Natural Morphological Diffusivity

Dr. Ir. M.A. (Matthieu) de Schipper (m), TU Delft - Civiele Techniek en Geowetenschappen
Coastal protection is of paramount importance for protecting our populations and economies. Concentrated nourishments, where sand from offshore is dumped near the beach, have recently been proposed as innovative alternative for coastal protection. Extensive measurements are performed and a numerical model is constructed to predict the behavior of such nourishments.

Simultaneous control of multiple movements in hybrid-powered arm prostheses, using micro-hydraulics
Dr. ir. G. (Gerwin) Smit, PhD, (m), TU Delft – 3mE
Current prosthetics arms are far from optimal. They are too heavy and are hard to control. In this research on control strategies, the newest developments in microhydraulic- actuation and micro-servo-systems, will be applied in the development of an ultra-lightweight, hybrid-powered, easy controllable, multi-steerable prosthetic arm.

Cleaning Groundwater of Organic Micropollutants: fundamental understanding of biodegradation
Dr. N.B. (Nora) Sutton (w), WU – Environmental Technology
Groundwater is an essential source of drinking water, however, its quality is threatened by micropollutants, including pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Naturally-present microorganisms can degrade micropollutants; however, this is currently unpredictable. In this project, I will develop the knowledge required to in the future use microorganisms to clean groundwater for drinking water production.

Fast vibrationless spatially moving manipulators
Dr. Ir. V. (Volkert) van der Wijk (m), TU Delft - Precision and Microsystems Engineering
An urgent need in the packaging and high-tech manufacturing and assembly industry is to have fast and accurate spatially moving robots that do not cause base vibrations. In this research, new methodology is developed with which for the first time inherently balanced vibrationless spatial manipulators can be designed.

Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

The heart’s energy supply in the balance
Dr. ir. A.J. (Ot) Bakermans (m), AMC - Radiologie
Inborn errors in fat metabolism are frequently associated with heart disease. Adequate treatment is currently lacking, because the exact cause is still unknown. In this project, the investigator will measure heart energy metabolism with new MRI techniques, while the patient is exercising on a bicycle ergometer inside the MRI scanner.

Genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders
Dr. T.S. (Stefan) Barakat (m), Erasmus MC
Disorders of brain development are frequently occurring but are often incompletely understood. Here the researchers investigate the role of non-coding genome elements, and ask whether they are important for the disease-process. By making use of novel techniques, enhancers are identified and functionally tested in mini-brains derived from patient stem cells.

Elimination of worm infections in man
Dr. L.E. (Luc) Coffeng (m), Erasmus MC, Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam –Afdeling Maatschappelijke Gezondheidszorg
Globally, parasitic worm infections still affect the health and socio-economic status of over one billion people. Fortunately, these infections are now being targeted for to better understand and predict how mass drug administration can lead to elimination of parasitic worm infections.elimination. The researcher will develop new methods.

Better predictions using big data sets
Dr. T.P.A. (Thomas) Debray (m), UMC Utrecht
Decision making is increasingly based on risk estimates of statistical (prediction) models. Unfortunately, many of these models have poor accuracy in practice because used datasets are too small or unsatisfactory. This project develops new methods to improve the accuracy and applicability of prediction models by using “big data sets”.

Put the brake on Borrelia-induced joint inflammation.
PhD M (Marije) Doppenberg-Oosting (f), Radboudumc, Experimental Internal Medicine
After recognition of pathogens, including Borrelia bacteria, our immune system is activated to kill the invaders. The role of one of these recognizers (TLR10) will be determined, because TLR10 has the unique capacity to inhibit other TLRs. TLR10 might therefore be used in the treatment of Lyme disease.

Neglected drug development
Dr. T.P.C. (Thomas) Dorlo (m), UU – Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences
Neglected tropical diseases claim many victims in developing countries. Nevertheless only 1% of all newly developed medicines are aimed at these diseases. This research focuses on the development of innovative mathematical models to make clinical drug development for leishmaniasis, one of these neglected diseases, better, cheaper and faster.

What does switch your heart disease on?
Dr. M. (Magdalena) Harakalova (f), UMCU – Division Heart and Lungs
Cardiomyopathies are serious diseases of the heart in which variations in DNA (mutations) can play a role. Not everyone having a certain predisposing mutation develops cardiomyopathy. Using new DNA techniques I will check if combinations of additional variations explains the disease risk to prevent sudden dead at young age.

Why is Parkinson’s tremor exacerbated during acute psychological stress?
Dr. R.C.G. (Rick) Helmich (m), Radboud University Medical Centre, Neurology
Parkinson’s tremor is exacerbated by acute psychological stress, and available medication is not effective in those circumstances. Here, I use brain imaging to investigate how the noradrenaline system – which is activated during stress – increases Parkinson’s tremor. I also investigate how medication that targets the noradrenaline system (propranolol) reduces stress-­induced tremor.

Predicting immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy response

Dr. S. (Sandra) Heskamp (f), Radboud university medical center, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are novel, promising anti-cancer agents. However, not all patients benefit from these expensive drugs. The researcher will develop novel imaging techniques to predict on beforehand which patients will respond. This will improve the chance of effective treatment and reduce unnecessary side effects and health care costs.

Emerging mycobacterial diseases
Dr. J. (Jakko) van Ingen (m), Radboudumc
Nontuberculous mycobacteria are emerging causative agents of severe and treatment-refractory infections in the immunocompromised. I propose to build a system to mimic human infections and assess the efficacy of smart combinations of antibiotics against these, and later other, bacteria. The best combinations can then proceed into clinical trials.

Preventing the onset of chronic inflammatory disease
P.L. (Paul) Klarenbeek MD, PhD (m), UvA, Medicine
I am investigating cells that are only present in the blood of individuals that will develop rheumatoid arthritis in the future. By understand the role of these cells we hope to develop strategies to prevent rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic diseases from occurring.

Turning differences into evidence
H.F. (Hester) Lingsma, PhD (f) Erasmus MC – Public Health
We often see large between-hospital variation in treatment. Partly because for many medical treatments, effectiveness is not clear. In my research I will use between-hospital variations to study which treatments work best. Among others, I will study optimal treatment for patients with traumatic brain injury.

Sleep off your trauma
Dr. H.J.F. (Hein) van Marle (m), Vumc – Department of Anatomy & Neurosciences
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severely disabling mental disorder. Traumatic memories at its core, resulting in nightmares and flashbacks. In this project, I test whether PTSD treatment can be augmented by manipulating traumatic memories during post-treatment sleep.

A novel immunotherapy for colorectal cancer
Dr. N.F.C.C. (Noel) de Miranda (m), LUMC – Pathology.
I have recently discovered an immune cell population with the potential to eliminate cancers that cannot be recognized by T-cells, a major cell type of the immune system. I aim at characterizing this unknown immune cell population and to test its potential application as a novel immunotherapy for cancer patients.

Measurement in Medicine: choosing and using the best outcome measure
Dr. L.B. (Wieneke) Mokkink (f), VUmc – Epidemiologie en Biostatistiek
Very often poor quality instruments are being used in biomedical research. Results of those studies may be unreliable and invalid. I will develop a checklist to help clinicians/researchers to choose the best instrument for their studies. In this project I specifically focus on tests and instruments administered by health-care professionals.

Going out for a walk: spying on metastasized skincancer cells
Dr. LMA (Laila) Ritsma (f), Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC) – Molecular Cell Biology
It is almost impossible to cure patients who have skin cancer metastases in the liver. The applicant will improve the function of a medicine with mediocre function (TGF-β inhibitor). She will use advanced microscopy to define the time point(s) at which specific cells should be targeted by the drugs.

Preserve protection! – Specific depletion of pathogenic B cells in autoimmunity
Dr. H.U. (Ulrich) Scherer (m), UL Medical Center – Rheumatology
Our immune system is a powerful weapon. In rheumatoid arthritis, it turns against us. B cells that normally make protective antibodies derail. Here, researchers will use sequencing technology to find the “Achilles’ heel” of these cells. With this information, researchers aim to specifically target them while preserving immune protection.

Lung immunity under a molecular magnifying glass
Dr. R. (Ralph) Stadhouders (m), Erasmus MC - Pulmonary Medicine
The immune system protects us from germs. However, sometimes our immune system is mistaken and responds excessively fierce to harmless substances, resulting in allergies or asthma. The researcher will examine in the nucleus of the responsible immune cells how they are activated and what goes wrong in asthmatics.

Genes as natural experiments?
Dr. S. A. (Sonja) Swanson (f), Erasmus MC – Department of Epidemiology
Our genes have been proposed as natural experiments to study the consequences of obesity on interventions) across the life-course requires novel statistical methods that the proposed research will develop and implement. cardiometabolic, neurologic, and psychiatric health outcomes. Using this “natural experiment” to understand the causal effects of obesity (and weight-loss

When does gestational diabetes leave a mark?
Dr. Ir. E.W. [Elmar] Tobi (m) – UL Medical Center
Gestational diabetes increases a child’s risk on obesity and diabetes. Diagnosis and treatment usually starts in mid-gestation. Is this timely? This study investigates whether metabolism is already altered in the first trimester by maternal glucose metabolism and characterizes the metabolic alterations on the cellular level. Wanneer beïnvloed zwangerschapsdiabetes het kind?

Focusing in on high myopia
Dr. V.J.M. (Virginie) Verhoeven (f), Erasmus MC – Ophthalmology & Clinical Genetics
High myopia (severe nearsightedness; a refractive error of -6 or more) leads to blindness and is becoming more and more common. Treatment options are currently limited. I will investigate how a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors leads to high myopia and how this can be prevented.

Dissecting the effects of brown adipose tissue on the vessel wall
Dr Y. (Yanan) Wang (f), University Medical Center Groningen - Pediatrics
Brown adipose tissue is an emerging target to combat cardiometabolic disease. This project aims to dissect the mechanism(s) how brown adipose tissue activation attenuates atherosclerosis.

Energy crisis in the faling heart
Dr. B.D. (Daan) Westenbrink (m), UMCG dept. Cardiology
Heart failure is a deadly disease of which the cause has not been unraveled yet. We do know that the energy reserves stored in the heart  out. The investigators will try to find whether inhibition of mitochondria, the power stations of the heart, is at the heart of the problem.

Cracking the ACPA-code; what anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) can teach us about rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease.
D. (Diane) van der Woude M.D. Ph.D. (f), LUMC, Leiden – Rheumatology
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have more cardiovascular disease. Specific blood markers for RA have now also been found in cardiovascular disease without RA. This project will investigate what these markers can teach us about disease development and whether they themselves may cause cardiovascular disease or RA.

Why do traumatic memories keep on intruding?
Dr. M. (Mirjam) van Zuiden (f), Academic Medical Center – Psychiatry
Individuals exposed to traumatic events, such as life-threatening accidents, often suffer from recurrent distressing intrusive memories. The researchers investigate the role of the stress-hormone cortisol in the development of such intrusive memories. This will aid in future prevention of the development of intrusive memories after trauma.

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