16 Starting science talents go to top foreign institutions thanks to Rubicon

16 September 2020

16 researchers who have recently received their PhDs can do their research at foreign research institutes thanks to a Rubicon grant from NWO. The Rubicon programme gives young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience.

They investigate responses of airlines in relation to different emission control policies, they also look into the way intonation works, the role of cholesterol in Alzheimer’s Disease and a new way of describing quantum computations.  

Top institutions

For many researchers, experience abroad is an important step in their career. Thanks to the Rubicon grant these young researchers can do their research at top institutions such as Oxford and Harvard. The laureates depart to different destinations: seven laureates are going to the United States, four to the United Kingdom, two to Germany and the rest of the individual candidates are going to Australia, Israel and France.

NWO is complying with the measures announced by the Dutch government to tackle the coronavirus. This will have an impact on the funding rounds, ongoing research and NWO’s policy. NWO will ensure that these activities do not stop. The current circumstances require appropriate measures, which will differ per instrument. This means that the researchers awarded Rubicon funding in this round will only start their research when the situation is safe for them.

Facts and figures

99 researchers submitted a proposal for Rubicon, 44 of them women and 55 men. The overall award rate was 16.2%. The award rate was 18.2% for women and 14.5% for men. The majority of the researchers will go abroad for a period of 24 months. A total of 13 Rubicon researchers are going abroad for 24 months, one is going for 12 months, one is leaving 15 months abroad and one will go for 18 months.


With a Rubicon grant researchers can spend up to 24 months doing research at a foreign institution. The size of the grant is dependent on the destination chosen and the duration of the stay. Each year, NWO can fund about 60 young researchers within Rubicon (for a total amount of 7 million euros allocated over three rounds). The awards concern the first funding round of 2020.

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Source: NWO