Vidi Awards 2014

Below is the list of 87 researchers who were awarded a Vidi, an indicative title and a brief summary of the research project. The maximum Vidi grant is 800.00 euros. It allows researchers to develop their own innovative lines of research, and to appoint one or more researchers. Vidi, together with Veni and Vici, make up the Innovational Research Incentive Scheme of NWO.



Alphabetical list by researcher's surname

A

Developing a feel for symbiotic driving
Dr D.A. (David) Abbink (m), Delft University of Technology, Mechanical Engineering (3ME)
At present drivers still need to keep an eye on automatic cars and be able to correct them. So why don't we make the interaction with automatic cars more like that between a horse and its rider? I will make this possible by means of the new interface based on adaptive assistive forces.

A new look at a mysterious quantum soup
Dr M.P. (Milan) Allan (m), Leiden University - Leiden Institute of Physics
For the first time researchers will be able to image individual electrons in a mysterious quantum soup that fluctuates in both space and time. To realise this they will develop a unique microscope that has a resolution at the level of a single electron.

B

iMR: a 21st century solution to MRI
Dr C.A.T. (Cornelis) van den Berg (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Radiology, Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicin
MRI has become part and parcel of modern medicine. However the basic measurement and reconstruction principles still date from the 1970s. By making use of recent developments in numeric optimisation and computing power far more effective MRI scans can be achieved that will make it possible to do an MRI examination within a few minutes.

Activation of the immune system
Dr G. (Geert) van den Bogaart (m), Radboud University Medical Center –Tumour Immunology
Dendritic cells activate T cells by showing them pieces of pathogens. This project will clarify the mechanisms with which pathogens are efficiently presented for optimal activation of the immune system. These insights could make new treatments of immune-related diseases possible.

Host-microbiome interactions: identification of biomarker species that are key to respiratory health
Dr D. (Debby) Bogaert (f), University Medical Center Utrecht
Respiratory infections among children are caused by bacteria that are often present in healthy people as well. It is not clear why some children become ill, whereas others do not. The researcher thinks that body-specific bacteria are responsible for this and hopes by means of this project to identify favourable bacteria that ensure a healthy ecosystem in the nose-throat cavity.

Insurance stimuli for protection against floods
Dr W.J. (Wouter) Botzen (m), VU – Milieueconomie
This research will develop insurances that provide an affordable and broad coverage of flood damage and also give stimuli to policyholders to reduce risks. An integrated flood risk and insurance model will evaluate different types of solutions for flood insurances. Experiments and questionnaire studies will investigate the preparation behaviour of individuals with respect to floods and how insurance policies can guide this behaviour.

Malaria gametocytes – seeds of dispersion
Dr J.T. (Teun) Bousema (m), Radboud University Medical Center - Epidemiology
Malaria spreads by mosquitoes that become infected after biting malaria‐infected humans. This research will determine when humans are first infectious and what strategies malaria parasites use to maximize their spread. Uncovering parasite and human factors that influence the spread of malaria may lead to new opportunities for malaria elimination.

2-CAPTURE: Conflict of interest between regulators and market parties unravelled
Dr C.H.J.M. (Caelesta) Braun (f), Utrecht University - Utrecht University School of Governance
Failing supervision is often attributed to a conflict of interests between regulators and market parties. Why can the one regulator keep market parties at an appropriate distance, whereas another allows himself to be influenced by them too much? This project explains the relations between market parties and regulators and in doing this will offer a basis for reforms in supervision.

Mistake? Thank you!
Dr M. (Mirjam) Broersma (f), Radboud University – Centre for Language Studies
Anyone who learns a second language is confronted with 'strange' new sounds. The chance of making mistakes is large, but how do you learn from these if you do not notice them yourself? This project will investigate the best way of making somebody aware of their mistakes with respect to improving their skill in a language.

Elastic hinges for large stroke
Dr D.M. (Dannis) Brouwer (m), University oif Twente – Engineerg Technology
Through a combination of (1) an efficient modelling method, (2) recent insights and advanced elastic designs and (3) additive manufacturing methods, the age-old limitation short stroke of elastic hinges can be overcome. This frees up the way for almost ideal frictionless, lightweight and maintenance-free hinge elements with large stroke.

Nature conservation in crisis situations
Dr B.E. (Bram) Büscher (m), Wageningen University – Sociology of Development and Change
The pressure on vulnerable ecosystems and animal species is rapidly rising worldwide. This is increasingly giving rise to exceptional and violent situations where immediate action must be taken to protect nature. This project will investigate nature conservation crisis situations and the effect of these on people and nature in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

C

An evolutionary approach to coordination of self-interested agents
Prof. M. (Ming) Cao (m), University of Groningen (ENTEG)
Robot and sensor networks, distributed energy grids and many facets of society can be modelled as complex networks of agents making self-interested decisions that often conflict with group objectives. I will seek methods for coordinating these networks and ultimately resolving such social dilemmas through a closely coupled approach of theory and experimentation.

What are planets made of?
Dr E. (Elisa) Costantini (f), SRON - Astrophysics
Planets such as the earth contain materials that were once spread out in the interstellar medium. The researchers will use X-ray spectroscopy to determine the chemistry of this primeval material to gain a better understanding of how planets in other solar systems are formed.

D

Measuring heartbeat with light
Dr R.P. (Richard) Davis (m), Leiden University Medical Center- Life Sciences
In cardiac arrhythmias there is an abnormal electrical activity of the heart. Heart cells from pluripotent stem cells can help to understand the role of genes, but current methods are slow. I will develop a faster approach making use of new imaging techniques to identify patients at risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

The appetite of a neutron star
Dr N.D. (Nathalie) Degenaar (f), University of Amsterdam – Astronomy
Neutron stars are among the most extreme objects in the universe. Due to their gigantic gravitational field these cannibals can swallow up gas from a nearby star. Researchers will use astronomical observations to accurately map the eating patterns of neutron stars.

How men and women contribute to gender inequality
Dr B. (Belle) Derks (f), Utrecht University - Psychology
It is not just men who are sexist: some women increase their career chances by opposing other women. This project will investigate why women do this, whether this is encouraged by sexist organisation cultures and which interventions can break through this pattern.

FirSTeps – the emergence of walking in children
Dr N. (Nadia) Dominici (f), VU University Amsterdam - Human Movement Sciences
A child's first step is small but it is a large jump in his or her development. Spontaneous changes in brain and muscle activity during the development of walking skills take centre stage in this project. The results will be directly applied in the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy.

What are all those viruses doing in my intestines?
Dr B.E. (Bas) Dutilh (m), Utrecht University – Bioinformatics
Almost nothing is known about the bacteria-eating viruses in our intestines. I recently discovered one that occurs worldwide in about half of all people and is probably important for the biodiversity of intestinal flora. I now want to discover more of these viruses and to investigate how these influence intestinal biodiversity.

E

Listening to inaudible sound
Dr L.G. (Läslo) Evers (m), Delft University of Technology – Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics
Inaudible sound from volcanoes and earthquakes travels across enormous distances through the earth, atmosphere and oceans. Using this sound, geophysicists will determine the temperature of the deep ocean and high atmosphere. At considerable depth and altitude scarcely any measurements have been made even though a greater understanding of these is important in the changing system earth.

F

The mysteries of conversations revealed
Dr R. (Raquel) Fernández Rovira (f), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
When people communicate with each other in a spontaneous conversation many subconscious processes take place. This research programme will use computer algorithms to analyse large numbers of human conversations to find out how we can better communicate with each other and with computers.

G

Does empathy help?
Dr V. (Valeria) Gazzola (f), Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, KNAW
It is often assumed that much/more empathy is automatically translated into more helpfulness, whereas direct causal evidence is lacking. In this project scientists will develop an innovative form of brain stimulation to directly stimulate brain activity in areas that are responsible for empathy and then measure whether this leads to more helpfulness.

A new quantum material
Dr R. (Rene) Gerritsma (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute of Physics
A system of interacting atoms and ions is surprisingly similar to a natural solid substance in which the atoms play the role of electrons while the ions form the crystal structure. This new material can be used as a quantum simulator for solid-state physics. The researchers will excite the atoms to a Rydberg state, as a result of which the interactions can be established over a wide range.

Reading thoughts in the brain
Dr M.A.J. (Marcel) van Gerven (m), Radboud University Nijmegen – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Techniques from artificial intelligence will be used to read thoughts on the basis of brain activity measurements. Researchers will illustrate this approach by reconstructing observations and proposed stimuli based on MRI measurements. This research forms the basis of new applications in the field of neurosciences.

The hottest place in the Universe
Dr. A (Alessandro) Grelli (m), Utre University - Institute for Subatomic Physics
Atoms are accelerated up to almost the speed of light and then they collide. The heat developed during such collision is so intense that the ordinary matter melts. As a consequence the same state of matter present in our Universe, a few fractions of a second after the Big Bang, is created. The researcher will study its properties by using heavy-quarks as a probe.

New light on metal transport
Dr A. (Albert) Guskov (m), University of Groningen – Membrane Enzymology
Nickel and cobalt are essential trace elements. Strict regulation of the cellular uptake is necessary, as the elements are toxic at increased concentrations. Using a special new technique, I will analyse the structure of transport proteins that catalyse this uptake. This work could lead to the development of new antibiotics.

H

Donor rejection due to acute leukaemia
Dr M.D. (Mette) Hazenberg (f), Amsterdam Medical Center - Medicine, non-organ related specialisms
The transplantation of donor stem cells is an important but risky treatment for acute leukaemia. The researchers have demonstrated that the donor immune system produces leukaemia-specific antibodies that prevent a recurrence of the disease. They will now investigate what the donor immune system needs for this and how transplantation-related complications can be prevented.

Transmissibility of respiratory viruses
Dr S. (Sander) Herfst (m), Erasmus Medical Center - Microbiology
People are often infected by new viruses from the animal kingdom. In this research we will determine the properties necessary for the transmission of these viruses between mammals. The results can help to estimate the risk of new virus outbreaks in the future and how these can be prevented.

Faster routes to developing new medicines
Dr A. K. H. (Anna) Hirsch (f), University of Groningen - Chemistry
The development of a new medicine is a challenging process. Researchers will develop new methods that accelerate this process. Chemists will apply these methods to discover molecules that could be developed into a medicine against malaria. 

Energy against ageing
Dr R.H.L. (Riekelt) Houtkooper (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Biochemistry
As a result of ageing mitochondria, the power stations of our cells, function less well. However, the researchers have discovered genes that can delay this process. In this research they will study how these genes can counteract ageing. There will also investigate whether they can counteract diseases of old age via these genes.

Why do stiff blood vessels leak?
Dr S. (Stephan) Huveneers (m), University of Amsterdam/Sanquin - Histology, cell biology
The stiffening of blood vessels causes leakages and eventually leads to inflammatory and vascular diseases. The research will look for proteins that regulate the adherence of blood vessel cells. Using advanced microscopy the function of these proteins in blood vessels will subsequently be investigated for new possibilities for treatment.

J

The arms race between bacteria and viruses
Dr C. (Chirlmin) Joo (m), Delft University of Technology – BioNanoScience
The bacterial immune system contains genome-modified characteristics. Using advanced microscopy the researchers will make these genetically altered characteristics visible at the molecular level. The knowledge acquired will be used for the development of reliable genetic modification techniques with many applications in biotechnology.

K

Using immune cells with renewed energy in the fight against leukaemia
Prof. A.P. (Arnon) Kater (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Non-organ related specialisms
Immune cells from patients with chronic lymphatic leukaemia have a strongly reduced function as a result of which they can no longer fight the leukaemia. Initial studies suggest that disrupted energy metabolism can play a role in this. By means of restoring the energy metabolism, this research intends to use the body's own immune cells against leukaemia.

Can quantum information be represented by individual atoms?
Prof A.A. (Alexander) Khajetoorians (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Molecules and Materials
In this project we will investigate how superconductors and individual atomic magnets interact with each other and can co-exist and whether it is possible to combine both phenomena to realise quantum information and calculations using individual atoms as building blocks.

Identity problems and personality disorders in young people: similarities, differences and interaction
Dr T.A. (Theo) Klimstra (m), Tilburg University - Developmental Psychology
For many people adolescence is a confusing and turbulent period due to temporary identity problems. Some people, however, never emerge from these problems and have an increased risk of developing personality disorders. This project focuses on making an early distinction between these two phenomena that are difficult to distinguish during adolescence.

How can we go from biomass waste to biomass product?
Prof. M. C. (Maaike) Kroon (f), Eindhoven University of Technology – Chemical Engineering
A lot of waste is created in biorefining and only a small part of this can be converted into usable products. In this project novel renewable solvents will be investigated to dissolve the biomass waste so that several useful products can be isolated from the solution. With this approach the economic value of biomass waste can be increased.

L

Why do patients with type II diabetes respond differently to therapies?
Dr H.J. (Hiddo) Lambers Heerspink (m), University Medical Center Groningen - Department Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Some patients with type 2 diabetes and renal disease respond very well to the drugs prescribed, whereas others do not. The researchers will study the underlying mechanisms as to why these patients respond so differently, so that in the future the right drug can be selected according to the patient’s individual characteristics.

Prior expectation in visual cognition: from the cortical column to subjective experience
Dr F.P. (Floris) de Lange (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
We often say ‘seeing is believing’, but in fact the opposite is true. Our expectations determine to a large extent what we see. I will investigate how expectations change the brain processes of observation and what the consequences of expectations are for the observation.

The merry culture in and around the Low Countries (13th-17th century)
Dr K. (Katell) Lavéant (f), Utrecht University - French Language and Culture
This project will investigate the merry culture in and around the Low Countries (13th to 17th century), its cultural practices and its material and literary phenomena (including satirical texts in French and Dutch) to demonstrate how parody played a vital role in social cohesion.

A waste of time or no time to waste? Assessing the impact of international reparative justice procedures
Dr R.M. (Rianne) Letshert (f), Tilburg University - INTERVICT
One of the basic principles of reparative law is that it contributes to the sense of victims' justice and the reconstruction of societies that have been confronted by international crimes or serious human rights violations. This research will determine whether, and if so how, international justice procedures contribute to this.

Criminal law enforcement by European authorities: fundamental rights under threat?
Dr M.J.J.P. (Michiel) Luchtman (m), Utrecht University – Law, Economics, Management and Organisation
EU institutions are increasingly required to investigate and prosecute legal infringements. These institutions have considerable powers to investigate and sanction. This project will examine whether the law provides sufficient safeguards against unjustified infringements of fundamental rights of citizens and if not, whether and how the law should then be changed.

M

Beyond Agglomerations: Mapping Externality Fields and Network Externalities [DISPERSAL]
Dr E.J. (Evert) Meijers (m), Delft University of Technology – Civil Engineering/Urban and Regional Development
Within geography and economics agglomeration advantages have been a fundamental concept for a long time. However are such advantages strictly limited to agglomerations as the concept suggests? Researchers will examine why and how 'agglomeration' advantages spread over a larger area.

Chemical reactions: hot or not?
Dr J. (Joerg) Meyer (m), Leiden University - Chemistry
When molecules react with surfaces, they release energy and heat up their environment. The researchers will develop and apply computer simulations to analyse what happens on the atomic scale. They will study different reactions, with relevance ranging from sustainable energy to the formation of planets.

Playing hide and seek: subterranean plant-fungi interactions
Dr L. (Liesje) Mommer (f), Wageningen University – Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
In a natural grassland many different species of plant are found next to each other without a single species of plant becoming dominant. Researchers think that pathogenic soil fungi keep a rein on the more abundant species of plant, whereas the rare species can hide between the roots of their neighbours so that the fungi cannot find them.

Chance networks in geometric spaces
Dr T. (Tobias) Müller (m), Amsterdam, Utrecht University – Mathematics
Researchers will examine chance networks, which arise if we connect randomly chosen points in a geometric space. They will investigate how the structure of the network changes if there is a dependency between points or if the geometric space is no longer the usual flat plane.

N

Home run for photochemistry!
Dr T. (Timothy) Noël (m), Eindhoven University of Technology – Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Light is often not considered for the carrying out of chemical reactions due to its low efficiency. In this project the researchers will develop new catalysts that can accelerate and improve chemical reactions. Furthermore, photochemical micro-reactors will be used to maximise the yield.

O

Cheap elements as a basis of the catalysts
Dr E. (Edwin) Otten (m), University of Groningen - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
In modern chemical processes catalysts based on scarce rare metals are frequently used. In the quest for cheaper and more sustainable alternatives the researchers will try to simulate the properties of these rare metals using commonly occurring, cheap elements.

P

The matter in the universe and melted chocolate
Dr E. (Enrico) Pajer (m), Utrecht University - Theoretical Physics
Cosmologists have discovered that the immensities of the universe, filled with stars and galaxies and the mysterious dark matter and dark energy, are not so different from ordinary liquids like melted chocolate! By employing this analogy, telescope images will reveal new secrets about the universe origin and the nature of its contents.

Fugitive slaves in North America
Dr D.A. (Damian) Pargas (m), Leiden University - Institute for History
In the 19th century thousands of American slaves attempted to make an escape. Many fled to free areas such as the North, Canada and Mexico. Others went into hiding—in Southern cities for example where they sometimes posed as free black people. This study will examine the migration and assimilation experiences of these fugitive slaves in the period 1800-1860.

Literary Hispanophilia and Hispanophobia in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Dr Y. (Yolanda) Rodríguez Pérez (f), University of Amsterdam – European Studies
The love-hate relationship with Spain has played a key role in the realisation of the national identity in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This tension can be seen in both the early modern literature as well as in the 19th century national image and canon formation.

Deciphering the dark matter code
Dr K. (Kalliopi) Petraki (f), FOM - Nikhef
Dark matter is a mysterious substance that makes up most of the mass in our universe. The gravity of dark matter makes it possible for galaxies to form, and host stars and planets like our own. By observing galaxies carefully, researchers will try to infer what dark matter consists of and how it interacts.

Shapes and formats of extraterrestrial organic molecules
Dr A. (Annemieke) Petrignani (f), University of Amsterdam – Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences
Hydrocarbons are ubiquitous. The extraterrestrial variants play an important role in the formation of stars and planets and possibly life as well. Researchers will measure the infrared characteristics in the laboratory so that the extraterrestrial shapes and formats can be determined.

Evolutionary causes and consequence of the evolution of the fish placenta
Dr B.J.A. (Bart) Pollux (m), Wageningen University – Experimental Zoology
The placenta is a complex organ that has repeatedly evolved in the animal kingdom. This research project will investigate why the placenta evolved and what the consequences of this are for the evolution of sexual characteristics and reproductive behaviour. For this the researchers will study natural populations of live-bearing fish.

R

Democracy indicator
Dr G.J. (Jeroen) de Ridder (m), VU University Amsterdam - Philosophy
Are liberal democracies good at producing knowledge? The researchers will determine how free and open debate between different standpoints should ideally lead to knowledge. They will subsequently investigate whether this ideal holds if citizens' considerable differences in opinion and limited rational ability are taken into account.

Fingerprinting human cortical architecture: from ex vivo to in vivo human histology with MRI
Dr A.F. (Alard) Roebroeck (m), Maastricht University
In this project researchers will use advanced MRI techniques to image the architecture of the human cortex with unrivalled precision. In healthy people and in patients who suffer from brain disease we will be able to see details that have remained hidden up until now.

Information exchange: the interpretation of questions and answers
Dr F. (Floris) Roelofsen (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation
Researchers will develop a new theory of meaning in which the exchange of information by means of questions and answers will take centre stage. They will investigate how the interpretation of a sentence is built up from the meanings of the elements in the sentence and how the links in meaning are laid between the different expressions in a dialogue.

Make your own new blood vessel
Dr J.I. (Joris) Rotmans (m), Leiden University Medical Center - Organs and Organ Systems
The current artificial blood vessels that are used in vascular operations only function moderately well in the long term. The researchers will develop an innovative method in which the patient becomes the engineer of his own new blood vessel that does not grow in the laboratory but in his own body.

The earliest evolution of jaws with teeth
Dr M. (Martin) Rücklin (m), Leiden University/Naturalis - Geology
Our jaw has a complex but efficient form. How has this evolved? With the help of X-ray technology and 3D techniques we will examine fossil fish to gain a better understanding of the evolution of teeth as well as the great success of vertebrate animals with jaws (including ourselves).

Longing for imperfection
Prof. E. (Ellen) Rutten (f), University of Amsterdam – Slavonic Studies
Reclaimed wood tables, grainy photos, frayed jeans. Imperfection is an answer to our desire for the authentic and sublime in a world of rapid technological innovation. Researchers and designers will together study where that desire comes from and how we can use it in Europe in times of economic and ecological crisis.

S

Cryptography in the Quantum Age
Dr C. (Christian) Schaffner (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Language, Logic and Computation
Cryptography provides solutions for the secure transmission and processing of information. Recent developments around quantum computers offer new possibilities but also form a threat. This research project will get cryptography ready for the new quantum era.

Appropriate public accountability
Dr T. (Thomas) Schillemans (m), Utrecht University - Law, Economics, Management and Organisation
The accountability of semi-public organisations is a very current topic. This research will analyse the effects of accountability on decisions of organisations. Psychological insights will be linked to managerial research. This will lead to new theoretical knowledge with practical value; accountability can be matched to the task of organisations.

Orchestration of activity in the brain
Dr J.M. (Jan-Mathijs) Schoffelen (m), Radboud University Nijmegen – Neurosciences
Our brain consists of a network of interconnected areas, each of which has its own function. Neuroscientists will investigate how this functionality is influenced by the communication between the brain areas.

The experts, their prior knowledge and the problem of limited data
Dr A.G.J. (Rens) van de Schoot (m), Utrecht University - Methodology and Statistics
Sometimes it is impossible to collect enough data for statistically reliable analysis (e.g. children with severe burns). Nevertheless, it is vitally important that systematic research can be done without having to simplify the research question. This can be realised by implementing the knowledge of scientists, clinicians and hands-on experts in the analyses.

Studies into possibilities for recovering from progressive kidney damage
Dr B. (Bart) Smeets (m), Radboud university medical center - Biochemistry
In this project the importance of the signalling protein SDF‐1 will be investigated in the prevention of and recovery from damage to the cells of the renal filter, renal tubes and small blood vessels in the kidney. The ultimate aim is to develop a treatment that makes recovery from kidney damage possible.

Why our brain prefers habits when it is under stress
Dr T. (Tom) Smeets (m), Maastricht University – Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences
Human behaviour can be purposeful or it can be the consequence of habits. In stressful conditions our brains more often choose the behaviour that emerges from old habits. The researchers will determine which neurocognitive processes lie at the basis of this.

Cross-fertilisation between numbers and symmetry
Dr M.S. (Maarten) Solleveld (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Mathematics
Mathematicians investigate the connections between apparently completely different things. On the one hand number theory, with fractions, roots and generalisations from these, and on the other symmetry, such as the rotations of a sphere. This will lead to a better understanding of both.

Biases in Top Management Teams and Corporate Actions
Prof. O.G. (Oliver) Spalt (m), Tilburg University - Department of Finance
The project will investigate how (good) top management teams take financial decisions. On the basis of empirical methods and data I will describe the impact of behavioural biases on financial company choices. The results are important for both researchers and managers.

Defending or Damaging Democracy? Legal Action against Anti-immigrant Parties in Europe and its Effects on their Electoral Support
Dr J.H.P. (Joost) van Spanje (m), University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research
Many anti-immigration parties are being challenged legally. Their members are often prosecuted on criminal charges; sometimes the parties are as well. Do such measures influence the behaviour of voters during elections? This project will investigate the effects of legal measures against anti-immigration parties on the electoral support for these parties in 21 European countries between 1965 and 2015.

How thirsty are the crops?
Dr S. (Susan) Steele-Dunne (f), Delft University of Technology, Water Research Centre Delft
Researchers will work on a technique to recognise water deficit in vegetation at an early stage. With the help of radar they will even be able to look through clouds into plants and determine the need for water. This will enable a better prediction of drought, improved water management and smarter irrigation management.

Wind in cities
Dr G.J. (Gert-Jan) Steeneveld (m), Wageningen University – Meteorology and Air Quality
The spatial variation of buildings, roads and parks forms microclimates in cities. Wind in cities influences the thermal comfort, air quality, health and energy demand of the residents. Using advanced flow simulations meteorologists will determine the behaviour of wind, wind gusts and microclimates in the city.

Controlling drugs with light
Dr W. (Wiktor) Szymanski (m), UMCG - Radiology
Medicinal drugs are often active outside the disease spot, causing side effects and toxicity in the environment. This research aims to finds methods to use light to focus  the drug action only in the required space and time.

T

Semantic dissection in the wild
Dr I. A. (Ivan) Titov (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
Computers that extract knowledge from text would signify a revolution for search engines and other web applications. The current manually produced sources are not sufficient for extracting knowledge from text on the web. How can computers understand text by reading? This is the main challenge within this project.

Camera ready? Action!
Prof. M. (Moniek) Tromp (f), University of Amsterdam - HIMS
Chemists need to understand catalysts and their reactions so that they can improve these. By making a very rapid series of photos with different colours of light researchers can separately illuminate all aspects of the reaction and by doing this produce a ‘real-life’ film for the first time.

Unravelling plant roots
Dr K.H.W.J. (Kirsten) ten Tusscher (f), Utrecht University - Theoretical Biology
Roots provide plants with water and nutrients. How the structure of the root system develops and can adjust to the surroundings is largely unknown. In this research computer models will be used to gain a better understanding of the structure of plant roots.

V

The evolution of intestinal cancer
Dr L. (Louis) Vermeulen (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Organs and organ systems, Gastrointestinal system
When we hear the word ‘evolution’ we mostly think about the origin and development of the most diverse and beautiful forms of life. However evolution can also result in very unpleasant matters such as cancer and drug resistance. In this project we will investigate the evolutionary processes underlying the development of intestinal cancer.

Navigating through a tempting food environment
Dr E.W.M.L. (Emely) de Vet (f), Wageningen University – Strategic Communication
Easy access to unhealthy food in large quantities is correlated with an increase in obesity. The researchers will analyse which subtle hints in the food environment give rise to unhealthy eating behaviour and how adjusting these stimuli can contribute to a healthier eating pattern.

Adaptive materials with molecular light switches
Dr I. K. (Ilja) Voets (f), Eindhoven University of Technology - Chemical Engineering
How the building blocks of the material are positioned and the interactions between these determine properties such as elasticity and transparency. In this research molecular light switches will be produced and incorporated to develop new adaptive materials.

W

Structure biology comes home
Dr M.H. (Markus) Weingarth (m), UU – Chemistry
Protein function depends on environment. The ultimate goal is hence to understand proteins in their home, which is the cell. This project will use solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and virtual computational microscopy to investigate membrane proteins directly in the cell.

Large quantum networks of small quantum devices
Dr S.D.C. Wehner (f), Delft University of Technology - Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft, Quantum Transport (QuTech)
The Internet has changed how we live today. A future quantum Internet could solve problems that lie outside of reach of standard communication networks, such as the security of communication that is guaranteed through the laws of nature. In this project researchers will work on mathematical tools and robust protocols to be able to produce a quantum Internet based on realistic quantum devices.

Healthy plants due to sweet underground communication
Dr T. (Tom) Wennekes (m), Wageningen University - Organic Chemistry
Plants have an enormous bacterial population around their roots, the rhizosphere, which is vital for their health. The researchers will develop a rhizosphere model on a chip and with the help of molecular tools will use this to study how the plants and bacteria communicate with each other via sugars.

Cholesterol transport, inflammation and atherosclerosis
Dr M. (Marit) Westerterp (f), Amsterdam Medical Center - Medical Biochemistry
Cells in the vessel wall transport cholesterol to particles in the blood. Blocking cholesterol transporters in these cells leads to a chronically elevated inflammation resulting in atherosclerosis. We will investigate if under these conditions atherosclerosis is dependent on a crucial inflammatory regulator.

Why do we like stories?
Dr R.M. (Roel) Willems (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Psycholinguistics
People like stories. If we read a story then we imagine what we read and empathise with the main characters. People differ strongly as to which stories they like. This research will study how our imagination influences our appreciation of stories and how this differs between people.

Flexible dopamine and rigid behaviour
Dr I. (Ingo) Willuhn (m), Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience/Amsterdam Medical Center– Neuromodulation & Behaviour
The neurotransmitter dopamine is important for acquiring habits. Neuroscientists want to discover which pathways in the brain coordinate dopamine release during the formation of habits. Rigid habits that arise due to a disruption of this coordination can lead to psychiatric disorders.

Designing robust quantum building blocks
Dr M. T. (Michael) Wimmer (m), Delft University of Technology – Theoretical Physics
Quantum effects at the nanometre scale make new electronics, such as a quantum computer, possible. However, quantum effects are often too vulnerable for this. The researcher will use computer simulations to investigate how so-called ‘topological’ nano building blocks can be constructed from ordinary materials to achieve robust quantum properties.

Predicting the outcome of therapy using brain scans
Dr G.A. (Guido) van Wingen (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Medicine
Different treatments exist for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but all of these only work on half of the patients. Using new methods to analyse brain scans the researchers will look for patterns that can predict which treatment is most suitable for a patient.

Journalistic entrepreneurship in action
Dr T.A.C. (Tamara) Witschge (f), University of Groningen - Journalism Studies and Media
Entrepreneurship is growing within journalism: in the digital era a growing number of journalists besides producing content are also responsible for selling and disseminating news and current affairs. This research will investigate how entrepreneurship influences the work of journalists and what the consequences of this are for their task of informing citizens.

Z

A glowing needle in a haystack of bacteria
Dr M.R. (Marcel) de Zoete (m), Utrecht University - Microbiology
The human intestines are populated by billions of bacteria: the microbiota. Although the vast majority of these are benign, a small group of bacterial species is capable of causing considerable inflammations. The researchers will fish these bacteria out of the microbiota of healthy and ill people and study how they cause disease.

Quantum technology with single atom transistors
Dr F.A. (Floris) Zwanenburg (m), University of Twente – MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology
The researchers will manufacture electronic circuits with a single atom in the heart of the switch. These are ideal for investigating's atomic properties such as the ionisation energy and the nuclear spin. In the longer term these single atom transistors can be used as building blocks for a quantum computer.

Naar boven

Sorted by NWO division

Earth and Life Sciences 

Activation of the immune system
Dr G. (Geert) van den Bogaart (m), Radboud University Medical Center –Tumour Immunology
Dendritic cells activate T cells by showing them pieces of pathogens. This project will clarify the mechanisms with which pathogens are efficiently presented for optimal activation of the immune system. These insights could make new treatments of immune-related diseases possible.

What are all those viruses doing in my intestines?
Dr B.E. (Bas) Dutilh (m), Utrecht University – Bioinformatics
Almost nothing is known about the bacteria-eating viruses in our intestines. I recently discovered one that occurs worldwide in about half of all people and is probably important for the biodiversity of intestinal flora. I now want to discover more of these viruses and to investigate how these influence intestinal biodiversity.      

Listening to inaudible sound
Dr L.G. (Läslo) Evers (m), Delft University of Technology – Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics
Inaudible sound from volcanoes and earthquakes travels across enormous distances through the earth, atmosphere and oceans. Using this sound, geophysicists will determine the temperature of the deep ocean and high atmosphere. At considerable depth and altitude scarcely any measurements have been made even though a greater understanding of these is important in the changing system earth.

The arms race between bacteria and viruses
Dr C. (Chirlmin) Joo (m), Delft University of Technology – BioNanoScience
The bacterial immune system contains genome-modified characteristics. Using advanced microscopy the researchers will make these genetically altered characteristics visible at the molecular level. The knowledge acquired will be used for the development of reliable genetic modification techniques with many applications in biotechnology.

Playing hide and seek: subterranean plant-fungi interactions
Dr L. (Liesje) Mommer (f), Wageningen University – Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
In a natural grassland many different species of plant are found next to each other without a single species of plant becoming dominant. Researchers think that pathogenic soil fungi keep a rein on the more abundant species of plant, whereas the rare species can hide between the roots of their neighbours so that the fungi cannot find them.

Evolutionary causes and consequence of the evolution of the fish placenta
Dr B.J.A. (Bart) Pollux (m), Wageningen University – Experimental Zoology
The placenta is a complex organ that has repeatedly evolved in the animal kingdom. This research project will investigate why the placenta evolved and what the consequences of this are for the evolution of sexual characteristics and reproductive behaviour. For this the researchers will study natural populations of live-bearing fish.

The earliest evolution of jaws with teeth
Dr M. (Martin) Rücklin (m), Leiden University/Naturalis - Geology
Our jaw has a complex but efficient form. How has this evolved? With the help of X-ray technology and 3D techniques we will examine fossil fish to gain a better understanding of the evolution of teeth as well as the great success of vertebrate animals with jaws (including ourselves).

Orchestration of activity in the brain
Dr J.M. (Jan-Mathijs) Schoffelen (m), Radboud University Nijmegen – Neurosciences
Our brain consists of a network of interconnected areas, each of which has its own function. Neuroscientists will investigate how this functionality is influenced by the communication between the brain areas.

Wind in cities
Dr G.J. (Gert-Jan) Steeneveld (m), Wageningen University – Meteorology and Air Quality
The spatial variation of buildings, roads and parks forms microclimates in cities. Wind in cities influences the thermal comfort, air quality, health and energy demand of the residents. Using advanced flow simulations meteorologists will determine the behaviour of wind, wind gusts and microclimates in the city.

Unravelling plant roots
Dr K.H.W.J. (Kirsten) ten Tusscher (f), Utrecht University - Theoretical Biology
Roots provide plants with water and nutrients. How the structure of the root system develops and can adjust to the surroundings is largely unknown. In this research computer models will be used to gain a better understanding of the structure of plant roots.

Flexible dopamine and rigid behaviour
Dr I. (Ingo) Willuhn (m), Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience/Amsterdam Medical Center– Neuromodulation & Behaviour
The neurotransmitter dopamine is important for acquiring habits. Neuroscientists want to discover which pathways in the brain coordinate dopamine release during the formation of habits. Rigid habits that arise due to a disruption of this coordination can lead to psychiatric disorders.

Chemical Sciences

New light on metal transport
Dr A. (Albert) Guskov (m), University of Groningen – Membrane Enzymology
Nickel and cobalt are essential trace elements. Strict regulation of the cellular uptake is necessary, as the elements are toxic at increased concentrations. Using a special new technique, I will analyse the structure of transport proteins that catalyse this uptake. This work could lead to the development of new antibiotics.

Faster routes to developing new medicines
Dr A. K. H. (Anna) Hirsch (f), University of Groningen - Chemistry
The development of a new medicine is a challenging process. Researchers will develop new methods that accelerate this process. Chemists will apply these methods to discover molecules that could be developed into a medicine against malaria. 

Chemical reactions: hot or not?
Dr. J. (Joerg) Meyer (m), UL - Chemistry
When molecules react with surfaces, they release energy and heat up their environment. The researchers will develop and apply computer simulations in order to analyse what happens on the atomic scale. They will study different reactions, with relevance ranging from sustainable energy to the formation of planets.

Cheap elements as a basis of the catalysts
Dr E. (Edwin) Otten (m), University of Groningen - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
In modern chemical processes catalysts based on scarce rare metals are frequently used. In the quest for cheaper and more sustainable alternatives the researchers will try to simulate the properties of these rare metals using commonly occurring, cheap elements.

Shapes and formats of extraterrestrial organic molecules
Dr A. (Annemieke) Petrignani (f), University of Amsterdam – Van ’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences
Hydrocarbons are ubiquitous. The extraterrestrial variants play an important role in the formation of stars and planets and possibly life as well. Researchers will measure the infrared characteristics in the laboratory so that the extraterrestrial shapes and formats can be determined.

Controlling drugs with light
Dr W. (Wiktor) Szymanski (m), UMCG - Radiology
Medicinal drugs are often active outside the disease spot, causing side effects and toxicity in the environment. This research aims to finds methods to use light to focus  the drug action only in the required space and time.

Camera ready? Action!
Prof. M. (Moniek) Tromp (f), University of Amsterdam - HIMS
Chemists need to understand catalysts and their reactions so that they can improve these. By making a very rapid series of photos with different colours of light researchers can separately illuminate all aspects of the reaction and by doing this produce a ‘real-life’ film for the first time.

Adaptive materials with molecular light switches
Dr I. K. (Ilja) Voets (f), Eindhoven University of Technology - Chemical Engineering
How the building blocks of the material are positioned and the interactions between these determine properties such as elasticity and transparency. In this research molecular light switches will be produced and incorporated to develop new adaptive materials.

Structure biology comes home
Dr M.H. (Markus) Weingarth (m), UU – Chemistry
Protein function depends on environment. The ultimate goal is hence to understand proteins in their home, which is the cell. This project will use solid-state Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and virtual computational microscopy to investigate membrane proteins directly in the cell.

Healthy plants due to sweet underground communication
Dr T. (Tom) Wennekes (m), Wageningen University - Organic Chemistry
Plants have an enormous bacterial population around their roots, the rhizosphere, which is vital for their health. The researchers will develop a rhizosphere model on a chip and with the help of molecular tools will use this to study how the plants and bacteria communicate with each other via sugars.

Physical Sciences

What are planets made of?
Dr E. (Elisa) Costantini (f), SRON - Astrophysics
Planets such as the earth contain materials that were once spread out in the interstellar medium. The researchers will use X-ray spectroscopy to determine the chemistry of this primeval material to gain a better understanding of how planets in other solar systems are formed.

The appetite of a neutron star
Dr N.D. (Nathalie) Degenaar (f), University of Amsterdam – Astronomy
Neutron stars are among the most extreme objects in the universe. Due to their gigantic gravitational field these cannibals can swallow up gas from a nearby star. Researchers will use astronomical observations to accurately map the eating patterns of neutron stars.

Reading thoughts in the brain
Dr M.A.J. (Marcel) van Gerven (m), Radboud University Nijmegen – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour
Techniques from artificial intelligence will be used to read thoughts on the basis of brain activity measurements. Researchers will illustrate this approach by reconstructing observations and proposed stimuli based on MRI measurements. This research forms the basis of new applications in the field of neurosciences.

Chance networks in geometric spaces
Dr T. (Tobias) Müller (m), Amsterdam, Utrecht University – Mathematics
Researchers will examine chance networks, which arise if we connect randomly chosen points in a geometric space. They will investigate how the structure of the network changes if there is a dependency between points or if the geometric space is no longer the usual flat plane.

Cryptography in the Quantum Age
Dr C. (Christian) Schaffner (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Language, Logic and Computation
Cryptography provides solutions for the secure transmission and processing of information. Recent developments around quantum computers offer new possibilities but also form a threat. This research project will get cryptography ready for the new quantum era.

Cross-fertilisation between numbers and symmetry
Dr M.S. (Maarten) Solleveld (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Mathematics
Mathematicians investigate the connections between apparently completely different things. On the one hand number theory, with fractions, roots and generalisations from these, and on the other symmetry, such as the rotations of a sphere. This will lead to a better understanding of both.

Semantic dissection in the wild
Dr I. A. (Ivan) Titov (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
Computers that extract knowledge from text would signify a revolution for search engines and other web applications. The current manually produced sources are not sufficient for extracting knowledge from text on the web. How can computers understand text by reading? This is the main challenge within this project.

Large quantum networks of small quantum devices
Dr S.D.C. Wehner (f), Delft University of Technology - Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft, Quantum Transport (QuTech)
The Internet has changed how we live today. A future quantum Internet could solve problems that lie outside of reach of standard communication networks, such as the security of communication that is guaranteed through the laws of nature. In this project researchers will work on mathematical tools and robust protocols to be able to produce a quantum Internet based on realistic quantum devices.

Humanities

Mistake? Thanks!
Dr M. (Mirjam) Broersma (f), Radboud University Nijmegen – Centre for Language Studies
Anyone who learns a second language is confronted with 'strange' new sounds. The chance of making mistakes is large, but how do you learn from these if you do not notice them yourself? This project will investigate the best way of making somebody aware of their mistakes with respect to improving their skill in a language.

The merry culture in and around the Low Countries (13th-17th century)
Dr K. (Katell) Lavéant (f), Utrecht University - French Language and Culture
This project will investigate the merry culture in and around the Low Countries (13th to 17th century), its cultural practices and its material and literary phenomena (including satirical texts in French and Dutch) to demonstrate how parody played a vital role in social cohesion.

Fugitive slaves in North America
Dr D.A. (Damian) Pargas (m), Leiden University - Institute for History
In the 19th century thousands of American slaves attempted to make an escape. Many fled to free areas such as the North, Canada and Mexico. Others went into hiding—in Southern cities for example where they sometimes posed as free black people. This study will examine the migration and assimilation experiences of these fugitive slaves in the period 1800-1860.

Mixed feelings: Literary Hispanophilia and Hispanophobia in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
Dr Y. (Yolanda) Rodríguez Pérez (f), University of Amsterdam – European Studies
The love-hate relationship with Spain has played a key role in the realisation of the national identity in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This tension can be seen in both the early modern literature as well as in the 19th century national image and canon formation.

Democracy indicator
Dr G.J. (Jeroen) de Ridder (m), VU University Amsterdam - Philosophy
Are liberal democracies good at producing knowledge? The researchers will determine how free and open debate between different standpoints should ideally lead to knowledge. They will subsequently investigate whether this ideal holds if citizens' considerable differences in opinion and limited rational ability are taken into account.

Information exchange: the interpretation of questions and answers
Dr F. (Floris) Roelofsen (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation
Researchers will develop a new theory of meaning in which the exchange of information by means of questions and answers will take centre stage. They will investigate how the interpretation of a sentence is built up from the meanings of the elements in the sentence and how the links in meaning are laid between the different expressions in a dialogue.

The mysteries of conversations revealed
Dr R. (Raquel) Fernández Rovira (f), University of Amsterdam - Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
When people communicate with each other in a spontaneous conversation many subconscious processes take place. This research programme will use computer algorithms to analyse large numbers of human conversations to find out how we can better communicate with each other and with computers.

Longing for imperfection
Prof. E. (Ellen) Rutten (f), University of Amsterdam – Slavonic Studies
Reclaimed wood tables, grainy photos, frayed jeans. Imperfection is an answer to our desire for the authentic and sublime in a world of rapid technological innovation. Researchers and designers will together study where that desire comes from and how we can use it in Europe in times of economic and ecological crisis.

Why do we like stories?
Dr R.M. (Roel) Willems (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Psycholinguistics
People like stories. If we read a story then we imagine what we read and empathise with the main characters. People differ strongly as to which stories they like. This research will study how our imagination influences our appreciation of stories and how this differs between people.

Journalistic entrepreneurship in action
Dr T.A.C. (Tamara) Witschge (f), University of Groningen - Journalism Studies and Media
Entrepreneurship is growing within journalism: in the digital era a growing number of journalists besides producing content are also responsible for selling and disseminating news and current affairs. This research will investigate how entrepreneurship influences the work of journalists and what the consequences of this are for their task of informing citizens. 

Social Sciences

Insurance stimuli for protection against floods
Dr W.J. (Wouter) Botzen (m), VU University Amsterdam – Environmental Economics
This research will develop insurances that provide an affordable and broad coverage of flood damage and also give stimuli to policyholders to reduce risks. An integrated flood risk and insurance model will evaluate different types of solutions for flood insurances. Experiments and questionnaire studies will investigate the preparation behaviour of individuals with respect to floods and how insurance policies can guide this behaviour.

2-CAPTURE: Conflict of interest between regulators and market parties unravelled
Dr C.H.J.M. (Caelesta) Braun (f), Utrecht University - Utrecht University School of Governance
Failing supervision is often attributed to a conflict of interests between regulators and market parties. Why can the one regulator keep market parties at an appropriate distance, whereas another allows himself to be influenced by them too much? This project explains the relations between market parties and regulators and in doing this will offer a basis for reforms in supervision.

Nature conservation in crisis situations
Dr B.E. (Bram) Büscher (m), Wageningen University – Sociology of Development and Change
The pressure on vulnerable ecosystems and animal species is rapidly rising worldwide. This is increasingly giving rise to exceptional and violent situations where immediate action must be taken to protect nature. This project will investigate nature conservation crisis situations and the effect of these on people and nature in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

How men and women contribute to gender inequality
Dr B. (Belle) Derks (f), Utrecht University- Psychology
It is not just men who are sexist: some women increase their career chances by opposing other women. This project will investigate why women do this, whether this is encouraged by sexist organisation cultures and which interventions can break through this pattern.

Does empathy help?
Dr V. (Valeria) Gazzola (f), Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, KNAW
It is often assumed that much/more empathy is automatically translated into more helpfulness, whereas direct causal evidence is lacking. In this project scientists will develop an innovative form of brain stimulation to directly stimulate brain activity in areas that are responsible for empathy and then measure whether this leads to more helpfulness.

Identity problems and personality disorders in young people: similarities, differences and interaction
Dr T.A. (Theo) Klimstra (m), Tilburg University - Developmental Psychology
For many people adolescence is a confusing and turbulent period due to temporary identity problems. Some people, however, never emerge from these problems and have an increased risk of developing personality disorders. This project focuses on making an early distinction between these two phenomena that are difficult to distinguish during adolescence.

Prior expectation in visual cognition: from the cortical column to subjective experience
Dr F.P. (Floris) de Lange (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior, Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging

We often say ‘seeing is believing’, but in fact the opposite is true. Our expectations determine to a large extent what we see. I will investigate how expectations change the brain processes of observation and what the consequences of expectations are for the observation.

A waste of time or no time to waste? Assessing the impact of international reparative justice procedures
Dr R.M. (Rianne) Letschert (f), Tilburg University - INTERVICT
One of the basic principles of reparative law is that it contributes to the sense of victims' justice and the reconstruction of societies that have been confronted by international crimes or serious human rights violations. This research will determine whether, and if so how, international justice procedures contribute to this.

Criminal law enforcement by European authorities: fundamental rights under threat?
Dr M.J.J.P. (Michiel) Luchtman (m), Utrecht University – Law, Economics, Management and Organisation
EU institutions are increasingly required to investigate and prosecute legal infringements. These institutions have considerable powers to investigate and sanction. This project will examine whether the law provides sufficient safeguards against unjustified infringements of fundamental rights of citizens and if not, whether and how the law should then be changed.

Beyond Agglomerations: Mapping Externality Fields and Network Externalities [DISPERSAL]
Dr E.J. (Evert) Meijers (m), Delft University of Technology – Civil Engineering/Urban and Regional Development
Within geography and economics agglomeration advantages have been a fundamental concept for a long time. However are such advantages strictly limited to agglomerations as the concept suggests? Researchers will examine why and how 'agglomeration' advantages spread over a larger area.

Appropriate public accountability
Dr T. (Thomas) Schillemans (m), Utrecht University - Law, Economics, Management and Organisation
The accountability of semi-public organisations is a very current topic. This research will analyse the effects of accountability on decisions of organisations. Psychological insights will be linked to managerial research. This will lead to new theoretical knowledge with practical value; accountability can be matched to the task of organisations.

The experts, their prior knowledge and the problem of limited data
Dr A.G.J. (Rens) van de Schoot (m), Utrecht University - Methodology and Statistics
Sometimes it is impossible to collect enough data for statistically reliable analysis (e.g. children with severe burns). Nevertheless, it is vitally important that systematic research can be done without having to simplify the research question. This can be realised by implementing the knowledge of scientists, clinicians and hands-on experts in the analyses.

Why our brain prefers habits when it is under stress
Dr T. (Tom) Smeets (m), Maastricht University – Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences
Human behaviour can be purposeful or it can be the consequence of habits. In stressful conditions our brains more often choose the behaviour that emerges from old habits. The researchers will determine which neurocognitive processes lie at the basis of this.

Biases in Top Management Teams and Corporate Actions
Prof. O.G. (Oliver) Spalt (m), Tilburg University - Department of Finance
The project will investigate how (good) top management teams take financial decisions. On the basis of empirical methods and data I will describe the impact of behavioural biases on financial company choices. The results are important for both researchers and managers.

Defending or Damaging Democracy? Legal Action against Anti-immigrant Parties in Europe and its Effects on their Electoral Support
Dr J.H.P. (Joost) van Spanje (m), University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam School of Communication Research
Many anti-immigration parties are being challenged legally. Their members are often prosecuted on criminal charges; sometimes the parties are as well. Do such measures influence the behaviour of voters during elections? This project will investigate the effects of legal measures against anti-immigration parties on the electoral support for these parties in 21 European countries between 1965 and 2015.

Navigating through a tempting food environment
Dr E.W.M.L. (Emely) de Vet (f), Wageningen University – Strategic Communication
Easy access to unhealthy food in large quantities is correlated with an increase in obesity. The researchers will analyse which subtle hints in the food environment give rise to unhealthy eating behaviour and how adjusting these stimuli can contribute to a healthier eating pattern.

Physics

A new look at a mysterious quantum soup
Dr M.P. (Milan) Allan (m), Leiden University - Leiden Institute of Physics
For the first time researchers will be able to image individual electrons in a mysterious quantum soup that fluctuates in both space and time. To realise this they will develop a unique microscope that has a resolution at the level of a single electron.

A new quantum material
Dr R. (Rene) Gerritsma (m), University of Amsterdam - Institute of Physics
A system of interacting atoms and ions is surprisingly similar to a natural solid substance in which the atoms play the role of electrons while the ions form the crystal structure. This new material can be used as a quantum simulator for solid-state physics. The researchers will excite the atoms to a Rydberg state, as a result of which the interactions can be established over a wide range.

The hottest place in the universe
Dr A (Alessandro) Grelli (m), Utrecht University - Institute for Subatomic Physics
Atoms are accelerated up to almost the speed of light and then they collide. The heat developed during such collisions is so intense that ordinary matter melts. This gives rise to the same state of matter that was present in our universe just a few fractions of a second after the Big Bang. The researcher will study its properties by using heavy-quarks as a probe.

Can quantum information be represented by individual atoms?
Prof A.A. (Alexander) Khajetoorians (m), Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Molecules and Materials
In this project we will investigate how superconductors and individual atomic magnets interact with each other and can co-exist and whether it is possible to combine both phenomena to realise quantum information and calculations using individual atoms as building blocks.

Pajer - The matter in the universe and melted chocolate
Dr E. (Enrico) Pajer (m), Utrecht University - Theoretical Physics
Cosmologists have discovered that the immensities of the universe, filled with stars and galaxies and the mysterious dark matter and dark energy, are not so different from ordinary liquids like melted chocolate! By employing this analogy, telescope images will reveal new secrets about the universe origin and the nature of its contents.

Deciphering the dark matter code
Dr K. (Kalliopi) Petraki (f), FOM - Nikhef
Dark matter is a mysterious substance that makes up most of the mass in our universe. The gravity of dark matter makes it possible for galaxies to form, and host stars and planets like our own. By observing galaxies carefully, researchers will try to infer what dark matter consists of and how it interacts.

Designing robust quantum building blocks
Dr M. T. (Michael) Wimmer (m), Delft University of Technology – Theoretical Physics
Quantum effects at the nanometre scale make new electronics, such as a quantum computer, possible. However, quantum effects are often too vulnerable for this. The researcher will use computer simulations to investigate how so-called ‘topological’ nano building blocks can be constructed from ordinary materials to achieve robust quantum properties.

Technology Foundation STW

Developing a feel for symbiotic driving
Dr D.A. (David) Abbink (m), Delft University of Technology, Mechanical Engineering (3ME)
At present drivers still need to keep an eye on automatic cars and be able to correct them. So why don't we make the interaction with automatic cars more like that between a horse and its rider? I will make this possible by means of the new interface based on adaptive assistive forces.

iMR: a 21st century solution to MRI
Dr C.A.T. (Cornelis) van den Berg (m), University Medical Center Utrecht - Radiology, Radiotherapy and Nuclear Medicine
MRI has become part and parcel of modern medicine. However the basic measurement and reconstruction principles still date from the 1970s. By making use of recent developments in numeric optimisation and computing power far more effective MRI scans can be achieved that will make it possible to do an MRI examination within a few minutes.

Elastic hinges for large stroke
Dr D.M. (Dannis) Brouwer (m), University of Twente – Engineering Technology
Through a combination of (1) an efficient modelling method, (2) recent insights and advanced elastic designs and (3) additive manufacturing methods, the age-old limitation short stroke of elastic hinges can be overcome. This frees up the way for almost ideal frictionless, lightweight and maintenance-free hinge elements with large stroke.

An evolutionary approach to coordination of self-interested agents
Prof. M. (Ming) Cao (m), University of Groningen (ENTEG)
Robot and sensor networks, distributed energy grids and many facets of society can be modelled as complex networks of agents making self-interested decisions that often conflict with group objectives. I will seek methods for coordinating these networks and ultimately resolving such social dilemmas through a closely coupled approach of theory and experimentation.

How can we go from biomass waste to biomass product?
Prof. M. C. (Maaike) Kroon (f), Eindhoven University of Technology – Chemical Engineering
A lot of waste is created in biorefining and only a small part of this can be converted into usable products. In this project novel renewable solvents will be investigated to dissolve the biomass waste so that several useful products can be isolated from the solution. With this approach the economic value of biomass waste can be increased.

Home run for photochemistry!
Dr T. (Timothy) Noël (m), Eindhoven University of Technology – Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Light is often not considered for the carrying out of chemical reactions due to its low efficiency. In this project the researchers will develop new catalysts that can accelerate and improve chemical reactions. Furthermore, photochemical micro-reactors will be used to maximise the yield.

Technology Foundation STW: Roebroeck - Fingerprinting human cortical architecture: from ex vivo to in vivo human histology with MRI
Dr A.F. (Alard) Roebroeck (m), Maastricht University
In this project researchers will use advanced MRI techniques to image the architecture of the human cortex with unrivalled precision. In healthy people and in patients who suffer from brain disease we will be able to see details that have remained hidden up until now.

Technology Foundation STW: Steele-Dunne - How thirsty are the crops?
Dr S. (Susan) Steele-Dunne (f), Delft University of Technology, Water Research Centre Delft
Researchers will work on a technique to recognise water deficit in vegetation at an early stage. With the help of radar they will even be able to look through clouds into plants and determine the need for water. This will enable a better prediction of drought, improved water management and smarter irrigation management.

Quantum technology with single atom transistors
Dr F.A. (Floris) Zwanenburg (m), University of Twente – MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology
The researchers will manufacture electronic circuits with a single atom in the heart of the switch. These are ideal for investigating's atomic properties such as the ionisation energy and the nuclear spin. In the longer term these single atom transistors can be used as building blocks for a quantum computer.

Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)

The evolution of intestinal cancer
Dr L. (Louis) Vermeulen (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Organs and organ systems, Gastrointestinal system
When we hear the word ‘evolution’ we mostly think about the origin and development of the most diverse and beautiful forms of life. However evolution can also result in very unpleasant matters such as cancer and drug resistance. In this project we will investigate the evolutionary processes underlying the development of intestinal cancer.

Why do patients with type II diabetes respond differently to therapies?
Dr H.J. (Hiddo) Lambers Heerspink (m), University Medical Center Groningen - Department Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Some patients with type 2 diabetes and renal disease respond very well to the drugs prescribed, whereas others do not. The researchers will study the underlying mechanisms as to why these patients respond so differently, so that in the future the right drug can be selected according to the patient’s individual characteristics.

Transmissibility of respiratory viruses
Dr S. (Sander) Herfst (m), Erasmus Medical Center - Microbiology
People are often infected by new viruses from the animal kingdom. In this research we will determine the properties necessary for the transmission of these viruses between mammals. The results can help to estimate the risk of new virus outbreaks in the future and how these can be prevented.

Predicting the outcome of therapy using brain scans
Dr G.A. (Guido) van Wingen (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Medicine
Different treatments exist for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, but all of these only work on half of the patients. Using new methods to analyse brain scans the researchers will look for patterns that can predict which treatment is most suitable for a patient.

Donor rejection due to acute leukaemia
Dr M.D. (Mette) Hazenberg (f), Amsterdam Medical Center - Medicine, non-organ related specialisms
The transplantation of donor stem cells is an important but risky treatment for acute leukaemia. The researchers have demonstrated that the donor immune system produces leukaemia-specific antibodies that prevent a recurrence of the disease. They will now investigate what the donor immune system needs for this and how transplantation-related complications can be prevented.

Host-microbiome interactions: identification of biomarker species that are key to respiratory health
Dr D. (Debby) Bogaert (f), University Medical Center Utrecht
Respiratory infections among children are caused by bacteria that are often present in healthy people as well. It is not clear why some children become ill, whereas others do not. The researcher thinks that body-specific bacteria are responsible for this and hopes by means of this project to identify favourable bacteria that ensure a healthy ecosystem in the nose-throat cavity.

Malaria gametocytes – seeds of dispersion
Dr J.T. (Teun) Bousema (m), Radboud university medical center - Epidemiology
Malaria spreads via mosquitoes that become infected after biting malaria‐infected humans. This research will determine when humans are first infectious and what strategies malaria parasites use to maximise their spread. Uncovering parasite and human factors that influence the spread of malaria may lead to new opportunities for malaria elimination.

Cholesterol transport, inflammation and atherosclerosis
Dr M. (Marit) Westerterp (f), Amsterdam Medical Center - Medical Biochemistry
Cells in the vessel wall transport cholesterol to particles in the blood. Blocking cholesterol transporters in these cells leads to a chronically elevated inflammation resulting in atherosclerosis. We will investigate if under these conditions atherosclerosis is dependent on a crucial inflammatory regulator.

Measuring heartbeats with light
Dr R.P. (Richard) Davis (m), Leiden University Medical Center- Life Sciences
In cardiac arrhythmias there is an abnormal electrical activity of the heart. Heart cells from pluripotent stem cells can help to understand the role of genes, but current methods are slow. I will develop a faster approach making use of new imaging techniques to identify patients at risk of cardiac arrhythmias.

Make your own new blood vessel
Dr J.I. (Joris) Rotmans (m), Leiden University Medical Center - Organs and Organ Systems
The current artificial blood vessels that are used in vascular operations only function moderately well in the long term. The researchers will develop an innovative method in which the patient becomes the engineer of his own new blood vessel that does not grow in the laboratory but in his own body.

Energy against ageing
Dr R.H.L. (Riekelt) Houtkooper (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Biochemistry
As a result of ageing mitochondria, the power stations of our cells, function less well. However, the researchers have discovered genes that can delay this process. In this research they will study how these genes can counteract ageing. There will also investigate whether they can counteract diseases of old age via these genes.

Using immune cells with renewed energy in the fight against leukaemia
Prof. A.P. (Arnon) Kater (m), Amsterdam Medical Center - Non-organ related specialisms
Immune cells from patients with chronic lymphatic leukaemia have a strongly reduced function as a result of which they can no longer fight the leukaemia. Initial studies suggest that disrupted energy metabolism can play a role in this. By means of restoring the energy metabolism, this research intends to use the body's own immune cells against leukaemia.

Studies into possibilities for recovering from progressive kidney damage
Dr B. (Bart) Smeets (m), Radboud university medical center - Biochemistry
In this project the importance of the signalling protein SDF‐1 will be investigated in the prevention of and recovery from damage to the cells of the renal filter, renal tubes and small blood vessels in the kidney. The ultimate aim is to develop a treatment that makes recovery from kidney damage possible.

Why do stiff blood vessels leak?
Dr S. (Stephan) Huveneers (m), University of Amsterdam/Sanquin - Histology, cell biology
The stiffening of blood vessels causes leakages and eventually leads to inflammatory and vascular diseases. The research will look for proteins that regulate the adherence of blood vessel cells. Using advanced microscopy the function of these proteins in blood vessels will subsequently be investigated for new possibilities for treatment.

A glowing needle in a haystack of bacteria
Dr M.R. (Marcel) de Zoete (m), Utrecht University - Microbiology
The human intestines are populated by billions of bacteria: the microbiota. Although the vast majority of these are benign, a small group of bacterial species is capable of causing considerable inflammations. The researchers will fish these bacteria out of the microbiota of healthy and ill people and study how they cause disease.

FirSTeps – the emergence of walking in children
Dr N. (Nadia) Dominici (f), VU University Amsterdam - Human Movement Sciences
A child's first step is small but it is a large jump in his or her development. Spontaneous changes in brain and muscle activity during the development of walking skills take centre stage in this project. The results will be directly applied in the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy.