Veni Awards 2017

A list of the 154 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: 1127
Male/female applicant ratio: 607 male, 520 female
Number of awards (percentage): 154 (13,7%)
Female/male award ratio: 67 women, 87 men
Percentage awarded (women): 12,9%
Percentage awarded (men): 14,3%


Alphabetical list by researcher's surname

A

The playful brain
Dr. E.J.M. (Marijke) Achterberg (f), UU, Veterinary Medicine
Playing with peers is important for proper brain development. Moreover, social play is impaired in childhood and adolescent psychiatric disorders, such as autism. Using detailed behavioral analysis in young rats and innovative techniques such as chemogenetics, the researcher aims to unravel the brain mechanisms that contribute to social play behavior.

Robots among humans: safe and socially intuitive navigation
Dr. J. (Javier) Alonso-Mora (m), TUD, Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3ME)
In the near future millions of robots, autonomous cars and boats, will coexist with humans. This research will provide algorithms that allow a mobile robot to safely navigate and coordinate with other robots and humans.

Super quality pictures through a tiny endoscope
Dr. L.V. (Liubov) Amitonova (f), VU - Biophotonics & Medical Imaging
Optical microscopy is a basic tool for biological research, but light scattering restricts imaging deep inside living organisms. Researchers will use advanced technology of light control in combination with unique fiber probes to create new optical methods for deep-tissue imaging with an unparalleled quality.

B

The magnesium journey through the renal cell: how to get out?
Dr. J.H.F. (Jeroen) de Baaij (m), RUN medical center
Renal magnesium wasting is often the cause of hypomagnesemia in patients. This study will examine the cells that transport magnesium in the kidney. Already for fifteen years, it is known how magnesium enters these kidney cells, but the mechanism of subsequent extrusion to the blood compartment remains elusive.

Representing users in a negotiation
Dr. T. (Tim) Baarslag (m), CWI  - Intelligent and Autonomous Systems
Smart grids hold great promise for a sustainable future, but they also entrust computers with a brand new responsibility: negotiating complex contracts on behalf of users, without fully comprehending their wishes. The researcher will develop new negotiation algorithms that can strike personalized deals, even when the user’s preferences are uncertain.

How do galaxies form in massive clusters?
Dr. Y.M. (Yannick) Bahé (m), UL  – Leiden Observatory
Galaxies living in galaxy clusters - the densest, most extreme environment of our Universe - are observed to differ strikingly from isolated galaxies. The proposed research project will use state-of-the-art computer simulations to understand the origin of these differences, filling a major gap in our understanding of galaxy formation.

How R-spondin proteins generate breast cancer
Dr. E.R.M. (Elvira) Bakker (f), UMC Utrecht, Pathology
Breast cancer affects many women and treatment is insufficient. This is partly due to the lack of knowledge on the exact causal factors and processes during breast tumor development. The researchers have concrete indications that so-called R-spondin proteins generate breast tumors and will investigate how these proteins do this.

BladeMan: Reliable Manufacturing of Wind Turbine Blades
Dr. ir. I. (Ismit) Baran (m), UvT, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Production Technology
As the era of fossil fuels will come to an end, we urgently need cheap renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. This VENI project will enable the control of bonding performance during the manufacturing process. This will contribute developing more reliable and efficient very large wind blades in future.

The means towards etiology-driven treatment of joint hyper-resistance in spastic cerebral palsy
Dr. L. (Lynn) Bar-On (v), KU Leuven / VUmc, Rehabilitation science
Children with cerebral palsy have muscle spasticity and stiffness that limit motion and restrict activities, but their relative contributions are unknown. The researchers will unravel their separate effect by imaging muscle movement and activity during passive and active stretching, standing, and walking, and by administrating treatment that targets either component.

What conditions should a unified theory of Quantum Gravity satisfy?
Dr. A.M.F. (Alexandre) Belin (m), UvA– Theoretical Physics
Quantum mechanics and general relativity are two fundamental building blocks in our understanding of physics. Merging them is one of the greatest challenges of modern physics. Using the holographic duality, the researcher proposes a systematic study to identify the criteria a unified theory of quantum gravity must satisfy.

Understanding motor learning to prevent ankle and knee injuries in sports: a novel approach
Dr. A. (Anne) Benjaminse (v), UMCG, Department of Human Movement Sciences
Sports injuries result in a great personal and societal burden. Primary injury prevention needs to reduce the incidence in the long-term. I will apply and examine ‘motor learning’, followed by investigating retention and transfer of learned safe movement techniques, aiming to eventually reduce the injury risk on the field.

The unbearable slowness of integrating climate change adaptation into existing policy domains
Dr. G.R (Robbert) Biesbroek (m), WUR – Public Administration and Policy
Timely adaptation to climate change impacts requires integration of adaptation in existing policy domains. This comparative research analyses if and how institutional characteristics and political processes influence the depth, scope and pace of integration. The research offers new insights for strategic interventions to accelerate, deepen and upscale policy integration processes.

Aging yeast to understand dementia
Dr. ir. M.M.M. (Mark) Bisschops (m), TUD - Biotechnology
This project aims at developing and using powerful yeast model systems for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research. To do so, humanized yeast cells will be studied in a state that mimics the non-dividing, yet active state of neurones, using advanced and innovative cultivation techniques.

Heating and cooling at the nanoscale
Dr. S.C. (Simon) Boehme (m), VU – Department of Physics and Astronomy
Tiny chunks of semiconductor material (semiconductor “nanocrystals”) may enable cheaper and more efficient devices. To enable commercialization of e.g. nanocrystal solar cells, LEDs, or thermoelectric devices, the applicant will study thermal processes at the nanoscale via laser spectroscopy. Thereby he contributes to the development of urgently needed thermal management strategies.

New brain connections
Dr. H.J. (Henk-Jan) Boele (m), EUR MC - Neurosciences
Our brain, and in broader terms our nervous system, has an enormous adaptability (neuroplasticity). For this Veni-proposal, I want to investigate the biological processes of this brain adaptability. The gained knowledge about these processes is severely needed for the treatment of brain diseases as a result of degeneration or injury.

Lovely sex or sexy love? 
Dr. D. (Daphne) van de Bongardt (f), EUR – Department of Psychology, Education & Child
StudiesThis project investigates bidirectional links between love and sex in youths’ intimate relationships. Young couples (18-25 years) will be interviewed, complete daily diaries, and perform interaction tasks with best friends, to assess how positive and negative experiences with peers, love, and sex are connected, and linked with their general wellbeing.

One size fits none: diversity in the symptomatology of patients is the key to targeted depression treatment
Dr. L. (Lynn) Boschloo (v), UMCG, Psychopathology and psychiatry
Depressed patients differ substantially in their response to  pharmacological and psychological interventions. In this research, I will use innovative statistical techniques to embrace individual differences in the precise symptomatology of patients. This will enable me to estimate precisely which treatment is most likely to be successful for an individual patient.

Engineering goes Beauty - A computational multi-physics modelling approach towards the preservation of historical oil paintings
Dr. ir. E. (Emanuela) Bosco (f), TUE, Department of Built Environment
Degradation of historical oil paintings is a major issue for cultural heritage conservators. My goal is to propose a computational multi-physics approach to predict chemo-mechanical damage phenomena in oil paintings, and to translate the improved understanding into guidelines for conservation experts. This will ensure timely and effective preservation treatments.

What makes inbreeding so depressing? A genomic perspective on the role of harmful mutations in inbreeding depression
Dr. M. (Mirte) Bosse (v), WUR
Inbreeding causes many viability problems in small populations. A major contributor to these problems is the expression of harmful mutations in homozygous state during inbreeding. This project quantifies harmful mutations based on individual genome sequences and evaluates the predictive value of these genomic measures for the harmful effects during inbreeding.

The magnetic brain: Alzheimer’s disease seen through iron
Dr. L. (Lucia) Bossoni (f), LUMC, Radiology Department – Biophysics
Abnormal accumulation of iron is found in the brains of patients suffering from several different neurodegenerative diseases, but its potential toxicity is still not understood. This research uses a new multidisciplinary approach to detect and characterize different forms of iron, also leading to new in vivo methods of visualization.

Explaining real-life risk-taking in adolescence   
Dr. B.R. (Barbara) Braams, (f)  – UL, Psychology
Risk-taking behavior is widely studied in the lab, but the relationship with real-life behavior is unclear. This proposal aims to relate lab measures and real-life risk-taking behavior.

How recycling can introduce toxic compounds into new products
Dr. S.H. (Sicco) Brandsma (m), VU – Department Environment & Health
We are being exposed to toxic additives that can leach out recycled products. To which additives in what concentrations are we being exposed? How can we prevent those additives to end up in recycled products? That will be the subject of my proposed project.

C

Identification, Isolation and Analysis of Single Cancer Stem Cells
Dr. M.P. (Miao-Ping) Chien (f), EUR – Biophysics
To understand the molecular mechanisms driving oncogenesis it is imperative to study individual cells. I will create and use optical and chemical methods for the identification, isolation and analysis of single cancer stem cells, and investigate their role in the formation, progression and therapeutic resistance of tumors.

Global wildlife loss and plant invasion: cascading effects on seagrass ecosystem services
Dr. M.J.A. (Marjolijn) Christianen (f), NIOO
Ecosystems are currently altered by human-induced changes in large herbivores and invasive species abundances. Researchers investigate how green sea turtles, as large grazers, and invasive seagrass interactively affect seagrass ecosystem services. A tool to use green turtle foraging patterns for global monitoring of (invasive) seagrass biomass will be developed.

Defying anti-party politics. The party-state in the age of mass democracy: France, Germany, and Italy, 1918-2000
Dr. P. (Pepijn) Corduwener (m), UU – Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis
New social movements, the rise of populism, and declining membership numbers jeopardize the position of political parties in European democracies. Yet this is far from new: this project shows how parties have defied anti-party politics throughout the twentieth century by rendering modern democracies ‘party-states’.

Pan-European Diplomacy in the Cold War (1972-90)
Dr. L.C. (Laurien) Crump-Gabreëls (f), UU – History of International Relations
This project explores how the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1972-90) contributed to a peaceful conduct of the Cold War and its conclusion through Pan-European, multilateral diplomacy. Since such an all-embracing dialogue is currently lacking, this can also teach us how to meet present challenges on European security.

Birds divorce only for a good reason
Dr. A. (Antica) Culina (f), NIOO-KNAW, Animal Ecology
Many species (including humans) form breeding bonds that are socially exclusive (pair spends a breeding season together and cares for the offspring). Like humans, birds often divorce. I will study why some pairs of great tit remain together, while some divorce, and how divorce impacts survival of males and females.

D

Cosmic remodelling: How galaxies change the structure of the universe
Dr. M.P. (Marcel) van Daalen (m), UL – Leiden Observatory
The structure of our universe is tightly connected to the distribution of both dark and visible matter. However, the violent processes associated with galaxy formation make significant changes to this distribution. By better understanding how they do so, astronomers can learn more about our universe as a whole.

Retirement of the solo self-employed
Dr. M. (Marleen) Damman (f), NIDI – Theme group Work & Retirement
The group of solo self-employed is growing and is becoming increasingly diverse. Which of these solo self-employed individuals are in control over their own retirement? This project examines how work- and career-related diversity within the group of solo selfemployed is related to retirement preparation and retirement experiences.

From Ownership to Access: The Implications of Streaming Digital Content on Consumers, Sellers, and Artists   
Dr. H. (Hannes) Datta (m), UvT - Tilburg School of Economics and Management      
Consumers increasingly adopt online streaming services, and thereby give up product ownership in favor of access to content. However, academic research on online streaming is scarce. This project systematically investigates how streaming services for information goods (namely music)—affect consumers, platforms, artists, and public policy makers.

Boosting gastro-esophageal cancer immunity
Dr. S. (Sarah), Derks (v), VUMC, Medical Oncology
New therapies are needed for gastro-esophageal cancer. One exciting area of cancer therapy is immunotherapy. This project aims to reveal the mechanisms gastroesophageal cancers use to escape immune attack. Through these studies, the applicant will test new targets that can be used to enhance immunotherapy for this deadly disease.

Leaving a Lasting Impression: The Earliest Printed Books in the Low Countries
Dr. A. (Anna) Dlabačová (v), UL – Dutch Language and Culture
The influence of Dutch book printing on spirituality and visual culture at the end of the Middle Ages was far greater than previously thought. Cultural-historical research into the first generation of printed books paints a new picture of religious practice in the transitional period from manuscript to print.

Reading Zoos in the Age of the Anthropocene
Dr. K. (Kári) Driscoll (m), UU – Comparative Literature
Zoos have always told a particular story about humanity’s relationship to nature. Now, with climate change and mass extinctions looming, that story is changing. This project explores how the stories told at zoos and in literature and film about zoos reflect and shape a new environmental consciousness.

How MMP-1 aggravates pulmonary fibrosis
Dr. J. (Jan Willem) Duitman (m), AMC –Medicine
Pulmonary fibrosis is a severe and lethal lung disorder of unknown aetiology with limited treatment options. Recent data suggest that a protein called MMP-1 is detrimental for this disease. Here, I will investigate the underlying mechanism by which MMP-1 aggravates disease progression and whether targeting MMP-1 may have clinical relevance.

E

Nanoparticle-Based Gene Therapy of Hemoglobinopathies
Dr. C. (Christina) Eich (f), LUMC – Radiology
Sickle cell disease/β-thalassemia are deadly gene disorders disrupting erythrocyte function and greatly reducing the patient’s quality of life and expectance. Researchers aim to overcome the disadvantages of current therapies by developing a nanoparticle-based gene therapy using CRISPR/Cas9 to specifically modify erythrocyte precursors in the body to eliminate disease symptoms.

Where did this beastly weather come from?
R.J. (Ruud) van der Ent, PhD (male), UU – Physical Geography
Have you ever wondered where all the rainwater that downpours in your backyard is coming from? The climate expert will investigate whether it comes from land or ocean, close by or far away. The research will show whether climate models can accurately predict this, and gives hints to improve them.

Mesoscale simulations in catalysis
Dr. ir. I.A.W. (Ivo) Filot (m), TUE – Inorganic Materials Chemistry
Understanding catalysis at the all length and time scales is important in solving today’s environmental and energy challenges. The researchers will study how the structure of a catalyst changes during a chemical process. In this way, new ways can be identified to avoid premature catalyst deactivation.

The costs and benefits of mobile DNA on pathogen evolution
Dr. L. (Like) Fokkens, UvA
Fungal pathogens increasingly threaten our health and food security. In some fungal pathogens pathogenicity chromosomes move and combine in the population. I want to investigate how obtaining a mobile chromosome influences the recipient genome, to improve assessment of the contribution of mobile chromosomes to the emergence of new fungal pathogens.

Unravelling the brain’s internal sensory and motor models of standing
Dr. P.A. (Patrick) Forbes (m), EUR MC, Department of Neuroscience
How is balance maintained automatically? Our brain uses internal sensory and motor models to control posture. Using novel robotics, these models will be uncoupled by modifying properties of our sensors, body mechanics and environment. This research will reveal causal relationships between the neural computations and compensatory responses required to stand.

Reef-dwelling organisms in a changing ocean
Dr. M. (Martina) De Freitas Prazeres (f), Naturalis Biodiversity Center – Marine Biodiversity Group
Climate change is altering coral reefs at an alarming rate. To be able to survive, reef-dwelling organisms must be able to adapt or shift their distribution range. Using foraminifera as model organisms, this project will utilise genetic tools to analyse the capacity of populations to respond to rapid climate change.

G

Polyploidy: extra DNA by not dividing
Dr. M. (Matilde) Galli (v), Hubrecht Institute
Polyploid cells, which contain a multitude of chromosome pairs, are important in many animals for organ and body growth. In this project, researchers will study how cells are programmed to become polyploid in a living organism, by identifying the molecules that drive cells to change their cell division program.

Precision physics with heavy quarks: from colliders to the cosmos
Dr. R.G.G. (Rhorry) Gauld (m), Nikhef - Theory group
The high energy collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) provide an ideal environment for performing studies of heavy quark production. The LHC data will be used to improve the predictions of heavy production in our atmosphere, which occur as ultra-high energy cosmic neutrinos bombard the Earth.

Rats on the move
Dr. A.A.E. (Alexandra) van der Geer (f), Naturalis
The Polynesian rat occurs on almost every island in the Pacific. However, it does not belong there. It was introduced by humans and then rapidly adapted to the local environments. This research teaches us how mammals evolve and how the present biodiversity may have arisen.

Soil Protists and plants: who is in control?
Dr. S. (Stefan) Geisen (m), Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)
Protists are microbial organisms that promote plant performance by releasing nutrients from their bacterial prey. Yet, it remains unknown if plants select for their own protist community and if higher diversity affects plant performance. I will address this research-question by examining plant-protist interactions in different successional stages.

Predicting the right treatment in schizophrenia
Dr. E.M. (Elsmarieke) van de Giessen (v) – AMC
20-35% of patients with schizophrenia don’t respond to antipsychotics and are treatment resistant. This is recognized as a significant problem. The researchers will test whether a novel MRI scan and plasma measure can predict treatment resistance, in order to provide these patients with appropriate treatment at an early stage.

How to Securely Update a Trillion Devices and Sleep Through the Night
Dr. C. (Cristiano) Giuffrida (m), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Computer Science
With our growing reliance on 24/7 software operations and the number of always-on software-empowered devices soon reaching trillion units, updating software correctly is increasingly challenging but required to preserve the security of pervasive IT systems. In this project, I aim to investigate techniques to securely and automatically update software with minimal impact on every-day user and device operations.

Global change and marine plant diseases
Dr. L.L. (Laura) Govers (v), RUG - GELIFES
Higher marine plants form the foundation of many coastal ecosystems. These economic and ecological valuable habitats are globally declining, with a yet unclear role of plant diseases. The project will unravel the effect of global change on newly-found Phytophthora infection of seagrasses and its consequences for coastal conservation and restoration.

H

Is it me or my disorder?
Dr. S.E. (Sanneke) de Haan (f), RUN – Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies
Psychiatric disorders change one’s feelings and thoughts. How to distinguish between experiences that are one’s ‘own’ and experiences that are the result of one’s disorder or medication? Could others be of help in making this distinction? This project addresses these questions, drawing on philosophical theories of authenticity and patients’ experiences.

The Author as Policy Officer
Dr. L.J. (Laurens) Ham (m), UU – Dutch Language and Culture
Who thought policy was only produced by officials, writing boring reports? This projects shows a different picture. Dutch writers have constantly been involved in literary policies since the 1960s: by protesting against budget cuts, by becoming policy officers and writing novels about what it is like to be an author.

Verification of Cyber-Physical Systems: Exploiting Uncertainty for Scalability
Dr. ir. A. (Arnd) Hartmanns (m), UT – Computer Science
Computers control our physical world: in self-driving cars, smart power grids, or manufacturing robots. We must verify that such systems work even when faced with unexpected and random events. This research will deliver practical mathematical verification methods which take advantage of the very randomness that challenges the control algorithms.

Not only background noise: Multimodal investigations on the neural processing of unattended sounds in natural environments
Dr. L. (Lars) Hausfeld (m), MU – Neuroscience
Imagine yourself sitting in a noisy café talking to a good friend. Following your friend’s voice relies on actively ignoring noise. In this project, I examine the fate of the distracting sounds and aim to develop a device that lowers intensity of surrounding chatter to better follow your own conversation.

How do vaccinations work?
B.A. (Balthasar) Heesters, PhD (m), AMC – Experimental Immunology
By iterative selection of the best antibodies, the immune system acquires more specific antibodies. This is why some vaccines work so well. By unraveling the exact mechanism of selection, the researcher hopes to understand why some vaccines work better than others and use the obtained knowledge to improve vaccination.

App ecosystems: A critical history
Dr. A. (Anne) Helmond (f), UvA – Media Studies
Mobile apps have become an important form of digital media. However, researchers know little about how they have evolved over time. This project aims to develop novel digital methods for writing histories of single apps, a collection of apps, app stores, and app ecosystems.

A radical way of communicating
Dr. S. (Sasha) De Henau (m), UMCU - Molecular Cancer Research
Oxidants and free radicals are best known for their harmful effect on our health. However, international research has shown that our cells generate low levels of these compounds as means of communication. Researchers want to understand how cells use these compounds without causing cellular damage.

Positive or negative? From organic molecule to liquid-electrolyte battery
Dr. K.H. (Koen) Hendriks (m), TUE  – Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Organic molecules that can either be electrically positively or negatively charged have a great potential for application in a new type of redox flow battery. The development of these materials and their implementation in flow batteries allows for cheap and large-scale energy storage of renewable energy.

Did curiosity kill the cat?
Dr. R. (Ronnie) Hermens (m), RUG – philosophy
Schrödinger discovered that, if we take quantum mechanics literally, cats can be alive and dead at the same time. Though a non-literal reading seems preferable, recent research indicates that such a reading is untenable. In this project the precise implications of that research are investigated.

Local support to lung-resident memory T cell function: The importance of location
Dr. P. (Pleun) Hombrink (m), Sanquin - Adaptive Immunity Laboratory
Lungs are protected against pathogens by distinct CD8+ T cell populations with unique functional and phenotypic properties. The molecular mechanisms underlying their precise localization, function and maintenance are unknown. I will combine unbiased genomic analysis of single cells with immunohistochemistry to investigate interactions between T cells and diverse microenvironments.

Frailty in older people: a modifiable condition?
Dr. E.O. (Emiel) Hoogendijk (m), VUmc – Epidemiology and biostatistics
There is an increase in the number of frail older people in society, but a lack of effective interventions for this group. This has major implications for public health. This project investigates the impact of frailty on healthy life expectancy, and mechanisms for preventing adverse outcomes in frail older people.

Tuning growth/defense trade-offs in plants by dissecting their molecular basis: grow and defend?
Dr. A. (Anneke) Horstman (f), WUR, Plant Research
Insect herbivory and plant pathogens cause severe crop losses. Plants can defend themselves against these attackers, but this generally reduces their growth. With this research, we explore the regulation of the balance between growth and defense. The results can be used to develop resistant crops with decreased yield loss.

Mangrove-RESCUE
Dr. E.M. (Erik) Horstman (m), UT, Civil Engineering
Mangrove ecosystems shelter tropical and subtropical shorelines. Their natural resilience allows them to recover from erosion events and to adapt to changing conditions. This study measures and simulates processes that influence this resilience, enabling the long-term prediction and protection of mangrove development and their contribution to coastal safety.

Network Interventions in the Peer Context
Dr. G. (Gijs) Huitsing (m), RUG – Sociology
How do interventions change social processes among students? Using social network analysis, a behavioral model will be developed that explains how student’s relationships and behavior change during an anti-bullying intervention. Computer simulations on this model generate guidelines for new network interventions that will be further investigated in classrooms for effectiveness.

J

Harnessing the Power of Near-future Quantum Computers
Dr. S. (Stacey) Jeffery (f), CWI  – Algorithms and Complexity
Quantum computers will revolutionize the future of computing, but can we take advantage of the power of quantum mechanics for computation before we have a perfectly working quantum computer? Researchers will explore the capabilities of primitive quantum computers that will become available in the next few years.

We do not live in a bubble: economic shocks in misspecified panel data models
Dr. A. (Artūras) Juodis (m), RUG - Economics and Business  
Much of economic data at individual and country level is observed over time. To properly describe the co-movements of economic units over time, common shocks and trends have to be accounted for. This project investigates the impact of common shocks in misspecified panel data models.

K

Exploring equivariant homotopy theory
Dr. M. (Magdalena) Kedziorek (f), UU – Mathematics
Mathematicians have always been intrigued by shapes and geometric objects. Understanding geometric objects with additional structure given by symmetries became one of the long-term themes of algebraic topology. The proposed research project uses modern methods to work towards understanding spaces with symmetries.

Hiring on taste: revealing the hidden power of cultural capital within occupational recruitment procedures  
Dr. K.A.V. (Kobe) de Keere (m), UvA - Cultural Sociology  
Selecting the right candidate for a job is a difficult process, characterized by much insecurity and of which the outcome often seems unpredictable. This project now aims to investigate, in a comparative manner, how important the role of cultural capital is in order to be successful during job selection procedures.

Personalized online interventions for mental health
Dr. S.M. (Saskia) Kelders (f), UT - Psychology, Health and Technology
Online interventions for mental health can be effective, but not every intervention is effective for everyone. A model will be developed to predict for whom an intervention is effective and a method to match every individual to the most appropriate intervention. This will be evaluated in lab and field studies.

Towards Equal Educational Opportunities: The Complex Interaction between Genes, Families, and Schools    
Dr. A. (Antonie) Knigge (m), UU - Sociologie   
Politicians and scientists have proposed several educational reforms to create more equal educational opportunities for Dutch children from different social backgrounds. To assess the potential effectiveness of such policies, this project uses twin methods to study the interplay between genetic, family, and school influences on educational attainment.

Folate in the intestine, more than just a gut feeling
Dr. ing. D.E.G. (Dieuwertje) Kok (f), WUR, Human nutrition
Some intestinal bacteria can produce essential vitamins such as folate. This research will determine whether local production of folate affect the DNA in the cells of the large intestine. The obtained information will be essential to better understand causes of common diseases like cancer of the large intestine.

How do flowers get their colours –and to what end?
Dr. C.J. (Casper) van der Kooi (m), RuG – Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
This project will chart the optics of colourful flowers of plants with very diverse ecologies. The optical and evolutionary analyses will explain how pollinators and plant physiology drove flower colour evolution.

Living Lyric. Greek song culture in Roman Egypt (c. 30 BCE – 400 CE)
Dr. M. (Mark) de Kreij (m), RUN
In 2014 a new fragment of Sappho emerged, a papyrus that survived two millennia in the desert sands of Egypt. LIVING LYRIC starts from these kinds of papyri, in search of the readers, listeners, and other admirers of Sappho and her fellow lyricists in Roman Egypt.

Unraveling the mystery of stories: How linguistic viewpoint markers influence Theory of Mind
Dr. K.W.M. (Kobie) van Krieken (v), RUN – Centre for Language Studies
Het lezen van verhalen verbetert ons vermogen om de gedachten van anderen in de echte wereld te lezen. Hoe is dit mogelijk? Om deze vraag te beantwoorden zal dit project een model ontwikkelen om te onderzoeken in hoeverre de taal van verhalen en identificatie met verhaalpersonages dit proces faciliteren.

The Communication Model of Cultural Change
Dr. N. (Namkje) Koudenburg, (f) RUG - Social Psychology
This proposal examines the role of micro-level aspects of conversation in macro-level cultural change. A novel CCC-model is developed, proposing that a) the interplay between form and content of social interaction determines the possibility and direction of cultural change, b)cultural change is mediated by changes in perceived opinion distribution.

Shooting the messenger
Dr. J.J.W. (Jonas) Kuiper (m), UMCU, Ophthalmology
Disturbed communication within the immune system is central to the development of severe and incurable autoimmune diseases. The researchers will investigate how a key enzyme (ERAP2) disrupts the communication via proteins within the immune system and aim to provide rationale for pharmacological inhibition of this enzyme to cure autoimmune diseases.

L

How hot is ice-cold chemistry?
Dr. A.L.M. (Thanja) Lamberts (f), UL – Leiden Institute of Chemistry
At the low temperatures in space (-260 ºC), the molecular building blocks of life can only be formed through chemical reactions that produce lots of heat. In this project, computer simulations are used to study how this heat is transferred to the ice-covered dust grains on which the reactions occur.

Beating the Binge
Dr. L.H.J.M. (Lotte) Lemmens (f), UM, Clinical Psychology
Binge eating, the uncontrolled consumption of large amounts of food in a short timeframe, is a common phenomenon with many negative consequences. I will examine the factors that predict binge eating in daily life in order to find out how and when to intervene to prevent binge eating episodes.

New platform for topological quantum computing
Dr. C. (Chuan) Li (f), UT - Institute of Nanotechnology
To achieve next generation computing with topological quantum bits, people need to first realize the essential elements – Majorana fermions, then demonstrate their non-trivial statistics. In this VENI project, researchers from the University of Twente will use novel semimetallic superconductors to build a new platform for Majorana states.

Live, liver, life!
Dr. L. (Lucas) Lindeboom (m), MU – Medical Engineering, Physiology
One out of three people have stored unhealthy amounts of fat in their liver and it is currently unknown what drives this fat accumulation in the liver. I will develop innovative Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy techniques to non-invasively investigate the pathways of fat synthesis and fat disposal in the liver.

Building a digital pathologist for improved treatment of prostate cancer
Dr. Ir. G.J.S. (Geert) Litjens (m), RUMC – pathology
The treatment of prostate cancer patients is largely determined by a pathologist inspecting tumor tissue. Sadly, there can be large discrepancies between pathologists in this inspection, sometimes resulting in incorrect treatment for patients. The researcher develops an automated tissue analysis method based on ‘deep learning’ to better assess patient prognosis.

Ibn ʿArabī’s Reshaping of the Muslim Imagination
Dr. L.W.C. (Eric) van Lit (m), UU
Imagination had a central place in the thought of the Sufi Ibn Arabi (d. 1240). It is suggested that his notion of the imagination permeated Muslim culture at large. This project investigates the nature of this impact as well as its consequences that remain valid today.

Impact of sequential driver mutations on epigenetic regulation during intestinal carcinogensis
Dr. N. (Ning Qing) Liu, NKI
Colorectal cancer progression is largely determined by sequential driver mutations. Understanding mechanisms of these mutations in gene regulation provides essential knowledge for clinical diagnosis and treatment. Here, I aim to comprehensively investigate this molecular process using state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing techniques on CRISPR-Cas9 modified human intestinal organoids carrying these mutations.

Treating compulsive behavior by improving confidence calibration
Dr. J. (Judy) Luigjes (f), AMC
It is unknown why patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and pathological gambling persist in their debilitating compulsive behaviors. Research suggests that the inability to accurately estimate confidence about a choice could be key. I propose to investigate how confidence contributes to compulsive behaviors and to treat them by improving confidence estimation.

Making the health choice easier – role of the local food environment
Dr. J.D. (Joreintje) Mackenbach (f), VUmc – Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Real-life food choices are constrained by the availability and price of foods, and subject to individual food budgets and psychosocial resources. I will investigate whether we can make healthier choices easier by changing local food environments, especially for people with lower food budgets and those more sensitive to environmental cues.

The Psychometrics of Learning
Dr. M. (Maarten) Marsman (m), UvA - Psychological Methods
Researchers have successfully uncovered major phenomena in educational measurement, but have neglected to explain why these effects occur. A new theory of cognitive development explains the observed phenomena and provides crucial insights into how education can overcome the undesirable effects.

Optimization Models for Faster and Affordable Access to Rare Disease Therapeutics   
Dr. T.G. (Tugce Gizem) Martagan (f) TUE - Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences 
There are more than 7000 rare diseases but treatments are available only for 300 of them. This research will improve the affordability, accessibility and variety of treatments for these rare diseases. Optimization models and novel decision support tools will be developed for both pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare policy makers.

Stretching the lifespan of blood clots for effective wound healing
Dr. C. (Cristina) Martinez-Torres (f), AMOLF - Physics
When we cut our skin, the wound is rapidly sealed by a blood clot withstanding mechanical deformations until the injury heals and vanishing shortly after. Interestingly, clots that are deformed last longer than those who are not. The researchers will study why the stretched clots are more resistant to disappear.

Making enzymes to order
Dr. C. (Clemens) Mayer (m), RUG – Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
Enzymes are the most sophisticated catalysts known to mankind. Harnessing their prowess for industrial applications is an enticing prospect, yet enzymes are seldom optimal for abiological tasks. Here, the researcher will explore new strategies to tailor enzymatic activities inside bacterial hosts and evaluate their potential for creating madeto-order biocatalysts.

Nervous gut - the enteric nervous system, a so far unnoticed component of the tumor microenvironment, orchestrated by NDRG4
Dr. V. (Veerle) Melotte (f), MUMC – Pathologie
It is well-known that components of the tumor-microenvironment play an important role in the development of colorectal cancer. I will investigate whether the enteric nervous system, an neglected member of the tumor-microenvironment, plays a role in the development of colorectal cancer and can be used as a potential therapeutic target.

Novel highly transparent metal oxides to enable 25% conversion efficiency for industrially viable silicon solar cells
Dr. ir. J. (Jimmy) Melskens (m) TUE  Department of Applied Physics
Revolutionary approaches are needed to further increase the conversion efficiency of future industrial silicon solar cells. Therefore, highly transparent metal oxides will be developed as contact materials in this project to enable the successful extraction of charges from the silicon while avoiding significant electrical and optical losses.

Towards a human-friendly worldview
Dr. J.M. (Jesse) Mulder (m), UU – Philosophy and Religious Studies
The mainstream interpretation of the scientific worldview is biased towards the mechanistic form of understanding that enabled remarkable successes in physics. However, that leaves no place for our self-understanding as rational beings, nor for our diverse scientific practices. This project thus develops an alternative, pluralistic interpretation.

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“Divine Denkraum: Early Modern Protestant Princes and Theologians Exchanging Thoughts through Things”
Dr. E.D. (Eelco) Nagelsmit (m), UU – Art History
Protestant princes and theologians in early modern Europe exchanged thoughts through things. This project investigates how image-objects provided thought-space for reflection on and contemplation of the divine, by examining three protestant courts in Germany and England, and thus brings together religious history, art history and anthropology.

Enhancing heart regeneration
Dr. P.D.N. (Phong) Nguyen (m), KNAW–Hubrecht Institute
Injury to the heart (e.g. by a heart attack) will cause irreversible damage. Researchers will use zebrafish, who can fully recover from heart injury, to discover new factors and understand why heart attack patients cannot properly repair their hearts.

Understanding inter-species gene exchange and compatibility
Dr. F.L.N. (Franklin) Nobrega (m), Delft – Department of Bionanoscience
A century of bacteriophage studies has resulted in the development of molecular biology and many genetic tools. However, phages themselves remain obscure entities. This research will address fundamental questions regarding recombination and exchange of genetic information between species, and will develop a platform for phage tailoring for bacterial control purposes.

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Integrating mechanical metamaterials in soft robots
Dr. ir. J.T.B. (Bas) Overvelde (m), AMOLF, Amsterdam
Mechanical metamaterials have properties arising from the shape of their microstructure, rather than chemical composition. In this project an actuated metamaterial is developed with reprogrammable behavior, which will be embedded in a new generation of versatile soft robots.

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Do Female Politicians Talk Differently? Or Do Journalists Hear Different Things?
Dr. D.J. (Daphne) van der Pas (f), UvA – Political Science  
Female politicians often receive different media coverage from their male colleagues. Why is this? Are journalists making judgements based on gender, or are female politicians presenting a different image to the media? This project studies how male and female politicians present themselves, how the media covers them, and why.

Redefining concepts of membrane transport mechanism
Dr. C.P. (Cristina) Paulino (f), RUG – Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute
Transport across cell membranes is facilitated by proteins that are categorized into channels, primary- and secondary-active transporters, each thought to exert its own distinct mechanism. The KdpFABC complex, however, embodies features of all classes. Investigation of its structure and function will undoubtedly blur the current conceptual boundaries of translocation mechanisms.

Polytheism as language. A linguistic approach to divine plurality in the religious experience of Greek worshippers
Dr. S. (Saskia) Peels (f), UL – LUCAS
The ancient Greeks knew a plurality of gods (polytheism), who helped them in all aspects of life. But what image did they have of these often complex gods? And why did a Greek sometimes turn to one god, and at other times to another? A linguistically inspired method helps us.

What are you talking about? Understanding reference in speech and gesture
Dr. D. (David) Peeters (m), RUN – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior, Nijmegen
In everyday life we often refer to things in the world around us by using speech and gesture. How does the brain allow us to quickly and efficiently understand acts of reference? On the basis of virtual reality research, this project develops a neurocognitive model that explains how this works.

Language in the brain, from left to right
Dr. V. (Vitória) Piai (f), RU and Radboudumc - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, and department of Medical Psychology
The overwhelming majority of the people use their left hemisphere to speak and understand language. But in patients who suffered left-hemisphere damage, for example due to stroke, the right hemisphere seems able to take over language functioning. The researchers will investigate how the right-hemisphere language system works.

Are rocks made out of sugar: how does a realistic pore fluid chemistry influence rock mechanics?
Dr. A.M.H. (Anne) Pluymakers (f) TUD - Department of Geoscience & Engineering (GSE), Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Potential consequences of waste water injection and drilling for geothermal energy are hot topics when discussing the use of the subsurface. This research will use novel experimental techniques to determine how the chemical interaction between fluids and rocks influences rock strength and the formation of fractures and fluid pathways.

Trace hidden fingerprints of diseases
Dr. Ir. E. (Edwin) van der Pol (m), UvA, Academic Medical Centre, Biomedical Engineering & Physics
Cancer, cardiovascular disease, and preeclampsia can be predicted earlier by minuscule fingerprints that are hidden in blood. In this project, researchers develop the technology to rapidly trace these precious fingerprints and predict diseases in an early stage, like a security agency of the human body.

DNA to disease - Unfolding the human genome to identify disease-causing variation
Dr. S.L. (Sara) Pulit (f), UMCU - Brain Center Rudolf Magnus / Neurology
Although genetic studies have uncovered thousands of variants associated to common disease in humans, translating these findings to disease-relevant biological mechanism remains a fundamental challenge. I propose an integrated framework that uses the three-dimensional folding of the genome integrated with other genomic data to identify disease-causing genes.

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Extracting more information from high-frequency data: Looking for signs of direction through Realized Semicovariances 
Dr. R. (Rogier) Quaedvlieg  (m), EUR - Department of Business Economics
The covariance captures the degree to which asset returns move together. This project decomposes the covariance into four terms; the covariance stemming from joint upward returns, joint downward returns, and two coming from returns with opposite signs. It investigates their theoretical and practical properties, which will provide new economic insights.

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Characterizing catalysis on the molecular scale
Dr. F.T. (Freddy) Rabouw (m), UU – Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science
Catalysts make chemical reactions faster and more efficient. A typical catalyst contains billions of active nanoparticles that together determine its properties. The researcher will study chemical reactions on the scale of individual catalytic nanoparticles. This will yield a better understanding of catalysis and contribute to the development of new catalysts.

In a job, out of trouble?
Dr. A.A.T. (Anke) Ramakers (f), UL – Criminology
Based on the common belief that employment increases successful re-integration, policy efforts are directed towards connecting inactive ex-prisoners to jobs. This project helps to develop theory and evidence-based policies by examining (1) causes of joblessness, and (2) effects of different kinds of jobs and different kinds of joblessness on reoffending.

Vulnerable and unheard: Refugee children and their right to effective participation in asylum procedures
Dr. S.E. (Stephanie) Rap (f), UL – Department of Child Law
Refugee children have the right to be heard in asylum procedures. Through a combination of qualitative methods and legal analysis of children’s rights, this study provides an urgent  exploration of the conceptual and practical implications of their right to effective participation. It will result in guidelines for effectively hearing children.

General psychopathology: greater than the sum of its parts?
Dr. J. (Jolien) Rijlaarsdam (f), UL  –Centre for Child and Family Studies
A psychiatric problem seldom comes alone but is often accompanied by other psychiatric symptoms. Can we identify one overall dimension that summarizes various psychiatric symptoms? How is this overall dimension associated with the environment and gene regulation at sensitive developmental periods?

Automated formal analysis of real-world privacy-friendly systems
Dr. ir. J.E.J. (Joeri) de Ruiter (m), RUN – Institute for Computing and Information Sciences
Due to the increase of personal data that is collected and processed about us, the need for privacy-friendly systems increases. However, do these systems provide the privacy they claim? In this research methods will be developed to verify whether this is in fact the case.

Photonic transport through complex nonlinear systems: using noise to transmit a signal
Dr. S.R.K. (Said) Rodriguez (m), UU - Nanomaterial Science
The transfer of energy and information across complex technological systems is typically degraded by noise. This research will investigate the opposite case where noise enhances the transport of light across complex systems, and provides functionality that is not easily obtained in noiseless systems, such as unidirectional flow.

Planning for the unknown
Dr. W. (Ward) Romeijnders (m), RUG – Economics and Business
Many practical decisions have to be made before key information is known. To support decision making in such situations, researchers will develop new algorithms for the underlying mathematical optimization problems, exploiting recently discovered properties of these problems. The new algorithms will be applied to investment decisions in electricity networks.

Visualizing repair of DNA-damage in single cells
Dr. ir. K. (Koos) Rooijers (m), Hubrecht Institute
The packaging of the DNA is thought to form a barrier for DNA-repair molecules. However, exactly how repair mechanisms are influenced by the packaging of DNA remains elusive. This project aims to systematically identify DNA repair in single cells, to provide basic knowledge for example for better cancer treatments.

Towards a mathematical conjecture of the Landau-Ginzburg/conformal field theory correspondence
Dr. A. (Ana) Ros Camacho (f), UU – Mathematics
This project studies the algebraic structures underlying a result from theoretical physics called the Landau–Ginzburg/conformal field theory correspondence, and seeks a proper mathematical statement of this result

The rich have money, the poor have children
Dr. P. (Pauline) Rossi (f), UvA – FEB – ASE
I explore how people make decisions on their number of children and on their expenses on children’s health in Africa. I discuss the implications for population growth.

EU Constitutional Order for Responding to Human Health Disasters
Dr. A. (Anniek) de Ruijter LLM (f), UvA - Faculty of Law, Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance
Today, our interconnected world creates significant opportunities for the devastating effects of (deliberate) biological and chemical health threats. The EU is increasingly powerful in warding off these emergencies. This research aims to improve the EU constitutional order for responding to these major health threats.

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The role of Megafauna in shaping ecosystems: insights into rewilding
Dr. L. (Luca) Santini (m), RUN
Rewilding aims to restore ecosystem function by reintroducing megafauna. The validity of this approach has been questioned as our understanding of the consequences of such reintroductions is limited. Through process-based ecosystem modeling this project will advance our understanding on the role of megafauna in shaping ecosystems and inform conservation management.

Fairness of earnings and inequalities       
Dr. C.G. (Carsten) Sauer (m), RUN – Afdeling Sociologie  
The project investigates the development of citizens’ fairness perception of individual earnings and income inequality. The researcher focuses on households and families, organizations, and country characteristics as contexts in which people learn what they perceive as fair and unfair. He contributes to debates about legitimate inequalities in Europe.

Evaluating the effect of baryons on cosmological probes with next-generation simulations
Dr. M. (Matthieu) Schaller (m), UL  – Leiden Observatory
We will finish the development of a novel simulation code that exploits modern computer architecture and use it to perform large simulations of the Universe and the formation of galaxies. We will use these to interpret observations aiming to shed light on the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Black hole horizons and the quark-gluon plasma
Dr. W. (Wilke) van der Schee (m), UU - Physics
Collisions of lead nuclei at the LHC accelerator result in the formation of quark-gluon plasma. Because of the strong force between these particles, this plasma has surprisingly strong similarities with the horizon of a black hole. This research models the plasma dynamics by forming a corresponding black hole.

Unravelling a fatty immunological mystery - The role of lipid antigens in health and disease
Dr. H.S. (Henk) Schipper (m), UMC Utrecht, Laboratory for Translational Immunology
Invariant Natural Killer T cells comprise a unique immune cell subset for their inflammatory response to lipid antigens. This research project aims at unravelling the mysterious identity of their lipid antigens, and scrutinize their role in health and disease.

Self-Control without the Self: The Numerical Aggregation System and Overconsumption
Dr D.R. (Dan) Schley (m) EUR - Marketing Management 
People’s lives involve struggling with self-control. The trouble is that self-control requires a lot of motivation. This project researches a key component of self-control that does not rely on peoples’ motivations. By understanding the cognitive mechanisms underlying self-control, we can develop tools to improve individuals’ financial, health, and environmental decisions.

Space tumblers and waves
Dr. P. (Patricia) Schmidt (f), RU – Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics
When two black holes collide in the Universe, they produce ripples in the fabric of spacetime. These “gravitational waves” are the fingerprints of the black holes that tell scientists about their masses and spins. waveform models that researchers can accurately reveal these. But it is only with sophisticated theoretical waveform models that researchers can accurately reveal these.

Deploying Uncertainty Quantification in Particle Image Velocimetry
Dr. ing. A. (Andrea) Sciacchitano (m), TUD, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Aerodynamics
Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a leading measurement technique for aerodynamic research. However, uncertainty of PIV data is mostly unknown, making PIV data unsuitable for aerodynamic certification and validation of numerical simulations. This VENI realises the complete uncertainty quantification of PIV results by embedding uncertainty quantification in the experimental design.

Good bad reduction
Dr. A.J.B. (Arne) Smeets (m), RUN – Mathematics
A central question in algebraic geometry is when a family of algebraic varieties can be extended in a nice way to a slightly larger parameter space. This proposal studies various arithmetic aspects of this question which are still beyond our understanding, even for some of the simplest varieties.

Religion, culture, and ethnicity in court procedures on children from minority families  
Dr. I.D.A. (Iris) Sportel (f), RUN – Centrum voor Migratierecht
Due to increasing diversity of Dutch society, courts and the child welfare system interact with a growing number of minority families. This project will focus on representations of religion, ethnicity, and culture in procedures on minority family children, investigating the role of parents as well as assumptions of professionals.

Immune cells under attack
Dr. R. (Regina) Stark (f), Sanquin Research - Hematopoiesis
The immune system is essential to keep us healthy. During the attack by pathogens the inflammation generated by the fighting immune system also causes collateral damage and restructures the tissue. I will investigate how this inflammation influences the local defence function of immune cells in tissues.

Fatal first impressions?
Dr. K.M. (Karen) Stegers-Jager (f), EUR MC
Within a split second assessors form a first impression of a trainee. How does this first impression influence the final rating? Is this the reason for poorer ratings for ethnic minority trainees? Unravelling this judgment process is essential for fair assessments for all students in our multicultural society.

The Family Business of Power
Dr. J.A. (Jasper) van der Steen (m), UL – History
This project approaches the Nassau family between 1550 and 1815 as a family business and explores how the Nassaus organized their family and attempted to maintain continuity and expand their power. It demonstrates that dynasties functioned more logically and consistently than historians have previously assumed.

Innovating Knowledge: Isidore’s Etymologiae in the Carolingian Period
Dr. E. (Evina) Steinova (f), Huygens ING - History
Intellectual networks are crucial in the spreading of innovations and their survival. By studying the first well-attested European intellectual network, that of the Carolingian period, through the lens of its first general encyclopedia, we can learn about common properties of such networks and the dynamics of innovation.

Restoring sensory unity
Dr. N. (Nathan) van der Stoep (m), UU – Experimental Psychology  
Our brains combine what we see and hear, enhancing spatial perception. Hearing loss causes hearing and vision to be in conflict. In this project, the researchers will investigate whether the brain’s plasticity can be used to restore sensory unity, improve spatial perception, and rehabilitate people with hearing loss.

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More than words: Uncovering the effects of talkers’ voices on real-life speech perception by cochlear implant users
Dr. T.N. (Terrin) Tamati (f), UMCG – Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Understanding speech in the real world, outside the clinic, can be challenging. This project investigates cochlear implant users’ perception of speech produced by talkers with different voices and accents. Findings will identify difficulties cochlear implant users encounter in their daily lives, to account for them in clinical settings.

Bye-bye gender injustice
Dr. A.S.H. (Alexandra) Timmer (f), UU – Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM)
Europe persistently suffers from gender injustice. The main legal mechanism seeking to achieve gender justice – human rights law and particularly equality law – falls short. This project analyzes why, using an original combination of historical and legal analysis, and advances proposals for change.

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Self-oscillating surfaces
Dr. G.V. (Ghislaine) Vantomme (f), TUE – Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
Researchers will create self-oscillating surfaces able to move continuously under sunlight. These new materials will be used to create self-cleaning windows and to transport liquid through pipes and membranes.

Adults with symptoms of acute rhinosinusitis and sore throat: who will benefit from antibiotics?
Dr. R.P. (Roderick) Venekamp (m), UMCU – Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care
Antibiotic overprescribing is most prominent in adults presenting to primary care with symptoms of acute rhinosinusitis and sore throat. My research aims to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in these conditions by identifying subgroups of patients that are most likely to benefit from antibiotics using novel IPD meta-analytic methods.

A New Theory of Revolutionary Scientific Change
Dr. L.M. (Lukas) Verburgt (m), UvA – Department of Philosophy
Thoroughly grounded on original case-studies drawn from the Second Scientific Revolution, this projects offers a new theory of the rationality of revolutionary scientific change by bringing together recent trends in the history and philosophy of science with key insights from contemporary philosophy.

Like parent, like child?
Dr. M.L. (Marije) Verhage (f), VU, Clinical Child and Family Studies
Studies have shown that the quality of parent-child relationships is often transmitted across generations. By using data from 100 existing studies on this topic in a novel way, this intergenerational transmission can be understood in more detail. This knowledge will ultimately improve intervention methods to stimulate secure parent-child relationships.

Complex genetics of exercise electrocardiography
Dr. N. (Niek) Verweij (m), UMCG - Cardiology
Exercise can elicit cardiovascular abnormalities and characteristics that are not present at rest. This study will elucidate the genetic mechanisms by which the human body regulates the heart in response to exercise leading up to disease.

Which processes cause errors in stem cell DNA?
Dr. M. (Mark) Vis (m), TUE – Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
It is common that different kinds of macromolecules in a mixture are incompatible, forming two different phases. Examples are pigment and binder particles in paint or polysaccharides and proteins in food. Researchers want to utilize this incompatibility by stabilizing the macromolecular interface and thereby enabling the design of new materials.

Foraging in a noisy world: Marine predator-prey interactions under fluctuating sound conditions
Dr. F. (Fleur) Visser (f), LU
Noisy human activities may disturb foraging whales, top predators of the ocean. I will combine experimental sound exposure with advanced sensor technologies to investigate how noise affects whales, their prey and whale-prey interactions. Such knowledge is crucial for effective protection of whales and the marine environment at large.

Noiseless superconducting detectors to detect extraterrestrial life
Dr. ir. P.J. (Pieter) de Visser (m), SRON – Astronomy
If there is extraterrestrial life, it will only be visible in the weak signal from the atmosphere of an inhabited planet, which becomes measurable after blocking the starlight. My goal is to detect this weak signal with superconducting detectors, which determine the colour of each incoming photon and are noiseless.

Are people egocentric when they talk?
Dr. J. (Jorrig) Vogels (m), RUG – Center for Language and Cognition Groningen       
This research addresses the question whether people take the perspective of the listener into account when they talk. By studying choices in language use (do I say ‘the girl’ or ‘she’, for example), researchers try to figure out when people speak in an egocentric way and when they do not.

Changes in tumour metabolism, a marker of effectiveness of proton therapy?
D. (Dennis) Vriens (m), MD, PhD, LUMC – Radiology, section nuclear medicine
Head-and-neck cancer often recurs after radiotherapy. This requires additional treatment. The researchers investigate whether molecular imaging of early changes in tumourmetabolism after proton therapy, is able to predict if and where recurrences will appear. This technique could be used to selectively intensify radiotherapy to tumour-regions that seem resistant to treatment.

Gut feeling of chickens: exploiting the unique mechanism of digesta reflux to improve sustainability of poultry production
Dr. ir. S (Sonja) de Vries (f), WUR - Animal Nutrition Group
In chickens, feed travels from beak to cloaca AND reverse. How much feed travels upstream and whether this depends on age, breed, and diet of the birds is unknown. Researchers will study flow of gut contents in young and mature chickens from various breeds for different diets.

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Quantum bits in space and time
Dr. M. (Michael) Walter (m), UvA – Institute for Theoretical Physics and Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics
Physicists have recently discovered clues that space and time are held together by quantum entanglement, the mysterious resource that powers quantum computers. The researcher will develop theoretical tools to subject these ideas to stringent tests and shed new light on the fabric of space-time.

Anticipating drought by memorizing the past – understanding human-hydrology interactions in reservoir management
Dr. ir. N. (Niko) Wanders (m), Utrecht University
Droughts have a significant impact on human water management, severely influencing water security. I will develop a model that tries to understand how humans operate water reservoirs under severe drought. I will look for reservoir management strategies to ensure sustainable water use and improve water security in the future.

New imaging technique sees the heart attack before it happens
Dr. T. (Tianshi) Wang (m), EUR, Erasmus MC, Biomedical Engineering
Most heart attacks and strokes are caused by the rupture of lipid-core atherosclerotic plaques in the artery wall. Seeing the heart attack before it happens may potentially save millions of lives. Dr. Wang is developing a new technique named thermo-elastic deformation imaging, targeting early detection of the lipid-core plaques.

Epic Pasts: pre-Islam through Muslim eyes
Dr. P.A. (Peter) Webb (m), UL – LIAS
Since Islam’s rise, Muslims have been interested in pre-Islamic history, and contrary to much current opinion, they have not simply rejected all pre-Islamic heritages as incompatible with Islam. EPIC PASTS explores how Muslims confront their pre-history, and reveals how changing impressions of pre-Islam have reshaped the definition of Islam itself.

Detrimental or beneficial effects of imprisonment?
Dr. H.T. (Hilde) Wermink (f), UL, afdeling Criminologie
Imprisonment is typically the most severe sentence that can be imposed. Nevertheless, it is unknown whether sentencing goals are achieved through imprisonment. This study examines whether imprisonment works to reduce re-offending, for whom it works, and how consequences can be understood. This knowledge is necessary for more effective correctional intervention.

NeuroBeta: Creating an organ-on-a-chip screening platform of functionally innervated Islets of Langerhans
Dr. ir. P.A. (Paul) Wieringa (m), MU, Complex Tissue Regeneration
Nerves in the pancreas are poorly understood, although evidence suggests nerves regulate pancreatic function and neural malfunction leads to Diabetes. A 3D in vitro platform will be developed that recreates the nerve-pancreas circuit for the study of neural regulation of pancreatic function and the development of relevant therapies.

Small pores, big sensors
Dr. C. (Carsten) Wloka-Tjalsma (m), RUG – Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute
The molecular composition of any cell is rapidly changing and challenging to quantify. In this project, small pores equipped with sensor-proteins will be inserted into cellular membranes to quantify small molecules. The effect of chemotherapeutics on individual cancer cells under consideration of their molecular composition will be evaluated.

Democratising Europe Through Transnational Partisanship
Dr. F. (Fabio) Wolkenstein (m), UvA – Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
How can citizens overcome the power of elites? By organising, of course. This project explores a mode of popular organisation which promises to help ordinary citizens gain democratic control of the EU — transnational partisanship. The project clarifies what transnational partisanship is, why it matters, and how it may succeed.

Under Pressure!? Reform stress in the public sector
Dr. J.L.C. (Jan) Wynen (m), UvT – School of Governance
Public organizations are subject to a multitude of reforms. Yet, little is known on the precise effects of such continuous reforms. This research analyses the effect of such repeated structural reforms on the entrepreneurial nature of public sector organizations.

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Listening to Modernity in Southeast Asian early recordings
Dr. m. (melê) yamomo (m), UvA – ASCA
The experience and understanding of modernity are often thought of as something seen or read. This project considers how modernity was heard and listened to in Southeast Asia through the arrival of early sound technologies from 1890 to 1950.

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Posterior Urethral Valves: Causes and prediction of future kidney function
Dr. L.F.M. (Loes) van der Zanden (f) RUN, Health Evidence
Boys with the birth defect posterior urethral valves have obstructed urinary outflow. This may cause severe kidney damage, sometimes already before birth. The researcher will try to answer the two most burning questions of future parents: “What causes posterior urethral valves?“ and: “Will our son have normal kidney function?”.

Unfair Trade? Globalization, Institutions and Inequality in Southeast Asia, 1830-1940
Dr. P. (Pim) de Zwart (m), WUR – Rural and Environmental History
Trade and colonial institutions have arguably had an important impact on the growth of inequality within developing countries since the 19th century. Yet the historical evidence is thin and it is unclear what mechanisms were key. This project explores this relationship in Southeast Asia during the “first era of globalization”.

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Sorted bij NWO division

Applied and engineering Sciences (AES)


Robots among humans: safe and socially intuitive navigation
Dr. J. (Javier) Alonso-Mora (m), TUD, Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering (3ME)
In the near future millions of robots, autonomous cars and boats, will coexist with humans. This research will provide algorithms that allow a mobile robot to safely navigate and coordinate with other robots and humans.

Super quality pictures through a tiny endoscope
Dr. L.V. (Liubov) Amitonova (f), VU - Biophotonics & Medical Imaging
Optical microscopy is a basic tool for biological research, but light scattering restricts imaging deep inside living organisms. Researchers will use advanced technology of light control in combination with unique fiber probes to create new optical methods for deep-tissue imaging with an unparalleled quality.

BladeMan: Reliable Manufacturing of Wind Turbine Blades
Dr. ir. I. (Ismit) Baran (m), UT, Faculty of Engineering Technology, Production Technology
As the era of fossil fuels will come to an end, we urgently need cheap renewable energy sources such as wind turbines. This VENI project will enable the control of bonding performance during the manufacturing process. This will contribute developing more reliable and efficient very large wind blades in future.

Engineering goes Beauty - A computational multi-physics modelling approach towards the preservation of historical oil paintings
Dr. ir. E. (Emanuela) Bosco (f), TUE, Department of Built Environment
Degradation of historical oil paintings is a major issue for cultural heritage conservators. My goal is to propose a computational multi-physics approach to predict chemo-mechanical damage phenomena in oil paintings, and to translate the improved understanding into guidelines for conservation experts. This will ensure timely and effective preservation treatments.

Tuning growth/defense trade-offs in plants by dissecting their molecular basis: grow and defend?
Dr. A. (Anneke) Horstman (f), WUR, Plant Research
Insect herbivory and plant pathogens cause severe crop losses. Plants can defend themselves against these attackers, but this generally reduces their growth. With this research, we explore the regulation of the balance between growth and defense. The results can be used to develop resistant crops with decreased yield loss.

Mangrove-RESCUE
Dr. E.M. (Erik) Horstman (m), UvT, Civil Engineering
Mangrove ecosystems shelter tropical and subtropical shorelines. Their natural resilience allows them to recover from erosion events and to adapt to changing conditions. This study measures and simulates processes that influence this resilience, enabling the long-term prediction and protection of mangrove development and their contribution to coastal safety.

Novel highly transparent metal oxides to enable 25% conversion efficiency for industrially viable silicon solar cells
Dr. ir. J. (Jimmy) Melskens (m) TUE (TU/e) Department of Applied Physics
Revolutionary approaches are needed to further increase the conversion efficiency of future industrial silicon solar cells. Therefore, highly transparent metal oxides will be developed as contact materials in this project to enable the successful extraction of charges from the silicon while avoiding significant electrical and optical losses.

Integrating mechanical metamaterials in soft robots
Dr. ir. J.T.B. (Bas) Overvelde (m), AMOLF, Amsterdam
Mechanical metamaterials have properties arising from the shape of their microstructure, rather than chemical composition. In this project an actuated metamaterial is developed with reprogrammable behavior, which will be embedded in a new generation of versatile soft robots

Trace hidden fingerprints of diseases
Dr. Ir. E. (Edwin) van der Pol (m), UvA, Academic Medical Centre, Biomedical Engineering & Physics
Cancer, cardiovascular disease, and preeclampsia can be predicted earlier by minuscule fingerprints that are hidden in blood. In this project, researchers develop the technology to rapidly trace these precious fingerprints and predict diseases in an early stage, like a security agency of the human body.

Deploying Uncertainty Quantification in Particle Image Velocimetry
Dr. ing. A. (Andrea) Sciacchitano (m), TUD, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Aerodynamics
Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) is a leading measurement technique for aerodynamic research. However, uncertainty of PIV data is mostly unknown, making PIV data unsuitable for aerodynamic certification and validation of numerical simulations. This VENI realises the complete uncertainty quantification of PIV results by embedding uncertainty quantification in the experimental design.

Gut feeling of chickens: exploiting the unique mechanism of digesta reflux to improve sustainability of poultry production
Dr. ir. S (Sonja) de Vries (f), WUR - Animal Nutrition Group
In chickens, feed travels from beak to cloaca AND reverse. How much feed travels upstream and whether this depends on age, breed, and diet of the birds is unknown. Researchers will study flow of gut contents in young and mature chickens from various breeds for different diets.

New imaging technique sees the heart attack before it happens
Dr. T. (Tianshi) Wang (m), EUR, Erasmus MC, Biomedical Engineering
Most heart attacks and strokes are caused by the rupture of lipid-core atherosclerotic plaques in the artery wall. Seeing the heart attack before it happens may potentially save millions of lives. Dr. Wang is developing a new technique named thermo-elastic deformation imaging, targeting early detection of the lipid-core plaques.

NeuroBeta: Creating an organ-on-a-chip screening platform of functionally innervated Islets of Langerhans
Dr. ir. P.A. (Paul) Wieringa (m), MU, Complex Tissue Regeneration
Nerves in the pancreas are poorly understood, although evidence suggests nerves regulate pancreatic function and neural malfunction leads to Diabetes. A 3D in vitro platform will be developed that recreates the nerve-pancreas circuit for the study of neural regulation of pancreatic function and the development of relevant therapies.

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Health Research and Development (ZonMw)


The magnesium journey through the renal cell: how to get out?
Dr. J.H.F. (Jeroen) de Baaij (m), RUN medical center
Renal magnesium wasting is often the cause of hypomagnesemia in patients. This study will examine the cells that transport magnesium in the kidney. Already for fifteen years, it is known how magnesium enters these kidney cells, but the mechanism of subsequent extrusion to the blood compartment remains elusive.

How R-spondin proteins generate breast cancer
Dr. E.R.M. (Elvira) Bakker (f), UMC Utrecht, Pathology
Breast cancer affects many women and treatment is insufficient. This is partly due to the lack of knowledge on the exact causal factors and processes during breast tumor development. The researchers have concrete indications that so-called R-spondin proteins generate breast tumors and will investigate how these proteins do this.

The means towards etiology-driven treatment of joint hyper-resistance in spastic cerebral palsy
Dr. L. (Lynn) Bar-On (f), KU Leuven / VUmc, Rehabilitation science
Children with cerebral palsy have muscle spasticity and stiffness that limit motion and restrict activities, but their relative contributions are unknown. The researchers will unravel their separate effect by imaging muscle movement and activity during passive and active stretching, standing, and walking, and by administrating treatment that targets either component.

Understanding motor learning to prevent ankle and knee injuries in sports: a novel approach
Dr. A. (Anne) Benjaminse (f), UMCG, Department of Human Movement Sciences
Sports injuries result in a great personal and societal burden. Primary injury prevention needs to reduce the incidence in the long-term. I will apply and examine ‘motor learning’, followed by investigating retention and transfer of learned safe movement techniques, aiming to eventually reduce the injury risk on the field.

New brain connections
Dr. H.J. (Henk-Jan) Boele (m), EUR MC - Neurosciences
Our brain, and in broader terms our nervous system, has an enormous adaptability (neuroplasticity). For this Veni-proposal, I want to investigate the biological processes of this brain adaptability. The gained knowledge about these processes is severely needed for the treatment of brain diseases as a result of degeneration or injury.

One size fits none: diversity in the symptomatology of patients is the key to targeted depression treatment
Dr. L. (Lynn) Boschloo (f), UMCG, Psychopathology and psychiatry
Depressed patients differ substantially in their response to  pharmacological and psychological interventions. In this research, I will use innovative statistical techniques to embrace individual differences in the precise symptomatology of patients. This will enable me to estimate precisely which treatment is most likely to be successful for an individual patient.

Boosting gastro-esophageal cancer immunity
Dr. S. (Sarah), Derks (f), VUMC, Medical Oncology
New therapies are needed for gastro-esophageal cancer. One exciting area of cancer therapy is immunotherapy. This project aims to reveal the mechanisms gastroesophageal cancers use to escape immune attack. Through these studies, the applicant will test new targets that can be used to enhance immunotherapy for this deadly disease.

How MMP-1 aggravates pulmonary fibrosis
Dr. J. (JanWillem) Duitman (m), AMC –Medicine
Pulmonary fibrosis is a severe and lethal lung disorder of unknown aetiology with limited treatment options. Recent data suggest that a protein called MMP-1 is detrimental for this disease. Here, I will investigate the underlying mechanism by which MMP-1 aggravates disease progression and whether targeting MMP-1 may have clinical relevance.

Predicting the right treatment in schizophrenia
Dr. E.M. (Elsmarieke) van de Giessen (f) – AMC
20-35% of patients with schizophrenia don’t respond to antipsychotics and are treatment resistant. This is recognized as a significant problem. The researchers will test whether a novel MRI scan and plasma measure can predict treatment resistance, in order to provide these patients with appropriate treatment at an early stage.

How do vaccinations work?
B.A. (Balthasar) Heesters, PhD (m), AMC – Experimental Immunology
By iterative selection of the best antibodies, the immune system acquires more specific antibodies. This is why some vaccines work so well. By unraveling the exact mechanism of selection, the researcher hopes to understand why some vaccines work better than others and use the obtained knowledge to improve vaccination.

Local support to lung-resident memory T cell function: The importance of
Dr. P. (Pleun) Hombrink (m), Sanquin - Adaptive Immunity Laboratory
Lungs are protected against pathogens by distinct CD8+ T cell populations with unique functional and phenotypic properties. The molecular mechanisms underlying their precise localization, function and maintenance are unknown. I will combine unbiased genomic analysis of single cells with immunohistochemistry to investigate interactions between T cells and diverse microenvironments.

Frailty in older people: a modifiable condition?
Dr. E.O. (Emiel) Hoogendijk (m), VUmc – Epidemiology and biostatistics
There is an increase in the number of frail older people in society, but a lack of effective interventions for this group. This has major implications for public health. This project investigates the impact of frailty on healthy life expectancy, and mechanisms for preventing adverse outcomes in frail older people.

Shooting the messenger
Dr. J.J.W. (Jonas) Kuiper (m), UMCU, Ophthalmology
Disturbed communication within the immune system is central to the development of severe and incurable autoimmune diseases. The researchers will investigate how a key enzyme (ERAP2) disrupts the communication via proteins within the immune system and aim to provide rationale for pharmacological inhibition of this enzyme to cure autoimmune diseases.

Treating compulsive behavior by improving confidence calibration
Dr. J. (Judy) Luigjes (f), AMC
It is unknown why patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder and pathological gambling persist in their debilitating compulsive behaviors. Research suggests that the inability to accurately estimate confidence about a choice could be key. I propose to investigate how confidence contributes to compulsive behaviors and to treat them by improving confidence estimation.

Nervous gut - the enteric nervous system, a so far unnoticed component of the tumor microenvironment, orchestrated by NDRG4
Dr. V. (Veerle) Melotte (f), MUMC – Pathologie
It is well-known that components of the tumor-microenvironment play an important role in the development of colorectal cancer. I will investigate whether the enteric nervous system, an neglected member of the tumor-microenvironment, plays a role in the development of colorectal cancer and can be used as a potential therapeutic target.

Enhancing heart regeneration
Dr. P.D.N. (Phong) Nguyen (m), KNAW–Hubrecht Institute
Injury to the heart (e.g. by a heart attack) will cause irreversible damage. Researchers will use zebrafish, who can fully recover from heart injury, to discover new factors and understand why heart attack patients cannot properly repair their hearts.

DNA to disease - Unfolding the human genome to identify disease-causing variation
Dr. S.L. (Sara) Pulit (f), UMCU - Brain Center Rudolf Magnus / Neurology
Although genetic studies have uncovered thousands of variants associated to common disease in humans, translating these findings to disease-relevant biological mechanism remains a fundamental challenge. I propose an integrated framework that uses the three-dimensional folding of the genome integrated with other genomic data to identify disease-causing genes.

General psychopathology: greater than the sum of its parts?
Dr. J. (Jolien) Rijlaarsdam (f), LU –Centre for Child and Family Studies
A psychiatric problem seldom comes alone but is often accompanied by other psychiatric symptoms. Can we identify one overall dimension that summarizes various psychiatric symptoms? How is this overall dimension associated with the environment and gene regulation at sensitive developmental periods?

Unravelling a fatty immunological mystery - The role of lipid antigens in health and disease
Dr. H.S. (Henk) Schipper (m), UMC Utrecht, Laboratory for Translational Immunology
Invariant Natural Killer T cells comprise a unique immune cell subset for their inflammatory response to lipid antigens. This research project aims at unravelling the mysterious identity of their lipid antigens, and scrutinize their role in health and disease.

Immune cells under attack
Dr. R. (Regina) Stark (f), Sanquin Research - Hematopoiesis
The immune system is essential to keep us healthy. During the attack by pathogens the inflammation generated by the fighting immune system also causes collateral damage and restructures the tissue. I will investigate how this inflammation influences the local defence function of immune cells in tissues.

Adults with symptoms of acute rhinosinusitis and sore throat: who will benefit from antibiotics?
Dr. R.P. (Roderick) Venekamp (m), UMCU – Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care
Antibiotic overprescribing is most prominent in adults presenting to primary care with symptoms of acute rhinosinusitis and sore throat. My research aims to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in these conditions by identifying subgroups of patients that are most likely to benefit from antibiotics using novel IPD meta-analytic methods.

Complex genetics of exercise electrocardiography
Dr. N. (Niek) Verweij (m), UMCG - Cardiology
Exercise can elicit cardiovascular abnormalities and characteristics that are not present at rest. This study will elucidate the genetic mechanisms by which the human body regulates the heart in response to exercise leading up to disease.

Changes in tumour metabolism, a marker of effectiveness of proton therapy?
Dr. D. (Dennis) Vriens (m), MD, PhD, LUMC – Radiology, section nuclear medicine
Head-and-neck cancer often recurs after radiotherapy. This requires additional treatment. The researchers investigate whether molecular imaging of early changes in tumourmetabolism after proton therapy, is able to predict if and where recurrences will appear. This technique could be used to selectively intensify radiotherapy to tumour-regions that seem resistant to treatment.

Posterior Urethral Valves: Causes and prediction of future kidney function
Dr. L.F.M. (Loes) van der Zanden (f) RUN, Health Evidence
Boys with the birth defect posterior urethral valves have obstructed urinary outflow. This may cause severe kidney damage, sometimes already before birth. The researcher will try to answer the two most burning questions of future parents: “What causes posterior urethral valves?“ and: “Will our son have normal kidney function?”.

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Science (ENW)


ALW - Earth Sciences

The playful brain
Dr. E.J.M. (Marijke) Achterberg (f), UU, Veterinary Medicine
Playing with peers is important for proper brain development. Moreover, social play is impaired in childhood and adolescent psychiatric disorders, such as autism. Using detailed behavioral analysis in young rats and innovative techniques such as chemogenetics, the researcher aims to unravel the brain mechanisms that contribute to social play behavior.

Aging yeast to understand dementia
Dr. ir. M.M.M. (Mark) Bisschops (m), TUD - Biotechnology
This project aims at developing and using powerful yeast model systems for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease research. To do so, humanized yeast cells will be studied in a state that mimics the non-dividing, yet active state of neurones, using advanced and innovative cultivation techniques.

What makes inbreeding so depressing? A genomic perspective on the role of harmful mutations in inbreeding depression
Dr. M. (Mirte) Bosse (f), WUR
Inbreeding causes many viability problems in small populations. A major contributor to these problems is the expression of harmful mutations in homozygous state during inbreeding. This project quantifies harmful mutations based on individual genome sequences and evaluates the predictive value of these genomic measures for the harmful effects during inbreeding.

Global wildlife loss and plant invasion: cascading effects on seagrass ecosystem services
Dr. M.J.A. (Marjolijn) Christianen (f), NIOO
Ecosystems are currently altered by human-induced changes in large herbivores and invasive species abundances. Researchers investigate how green sea turtles, as large grazers, and invasive seagrass interactively affect seagrass ecosystem services. A tool to use green turtle foraging patterns for global monitoring of (invasive) seagrass biomass will be developed.

Birds divorce only for a good reason
Dr. A. (Antica) Culina (f), NIOO-KNAW, Animal Ecology
Many species (including humans) form breeding bonds that are socially exclusive (pair spends a breeding season together and cares for the offspring). Like humans, birds often divorce. I will study why some pairs of great tit remain together, while some divorce, and how divorce impacts survival of males and females.

Where did this beastly weather come from?
R.J. (Ruud) van der Ent, PhD (male), UU – Physical Geography
Have you ever wondered where all the rainwater that downpours in your backyard is coming from? The climate expert will investigate whether it comes from land or ocean, close by or far away. The research will show whether climate models can accurately predict this, and gives hints to improve them.

The costs and benefits of mobile DNA on pathogen evolution
Dr. L. (Like) Fokkens, UvA
Fungal pathogens increasingly threaten our health and food security. In some fungal pathogens pathogenicity chromosomes move and combine in the population. I want to investigate how obtaining a mobile chromosome influences the recipient genome, to improve assessment of the contribution of mobile chromosomes to the emergence of new fungal pathogens.

Reef-dwelling organisms in a changing ocean
Dr. M. (Martina) De Freitas Prazeres (f), Naturalis Biodiversity Center – Marine Biodiversity Group
Climate change is altering coral reefs at an alarming rate. To be able to survive, reef-dwelling organisms must be able to adapt or shift their distribution range. Using foraminifera as model organisms, this project will utilise genetic tools to analyse the capacity of populations to respond to rapid climate change.

Polyploidy: extra DNA by not dividing
Dr. M. (Matilde) Galli (f), Hubrecht Institute
Polyploid cells, which contain a multitude of chromosome pairs, are important in many animals for organ and body growth. In this project, researchers will study how cells are programmed to become polyploid in a living organism, by identifying the molecules that drive cells to change their cell division program.

Rats on the move
Dr. A.A.E. (Alexandra) van der Geer (f), Naturalis
The Polynesian rat occurs on almost every island in the Pacific. However, it does not belong there. It was introduced by humans and then rapidly adapted to the local environments. This research teaches us how mammals evolve and how the present biodiversity may have arisen.

Soil Protists and plants: who is in control?
Dr. S. (Stefan) Geisen (m), NIOO-KNAW
Protists are microbial organisms that promote plant performance by releasing nutrients from their bacterial prey. Yet, it remains unknown if plants select for their own protist community and if higher diversity affects plant performance. I will address this research-question by examining plant-protist interactions in different successional stages.

Global change and marine plant diseases
Dr. L.L. (Laura) Govers (f), RUG - GELIFES
Higher marine plants form the foundation of many coastal ecosystems. These economic and ecological valuable habitats are globally declining, with a yet unclear role of plant diseases. The project will unravel the effect of global change on newly-found Phytophthora infection of seagrasses and its consequences for coastal conservation and restoration.

A radical way of communicating
Dr. S. (Sasha) De Henau (m), UMCU - Molecular Cancer Research
Oxidants and free radicals are best known for their harmful effect on our health. However, international research has shown that our cells generate low levels of these compounds as means of communication. Researchers want to understand how cells use these compounds without causing cellular damage.

How do flowers get their colours –and to what end?
Dr. C.J. (Casper) van der Kooi (m), RuG – Wiskunde en Natuurwetenschappen
This project will chart the optics of colourful flowers of plants with very diverse ecologies. The optical and evolutionary analyses will explain how pollinators and plant physiology drove flower colour evolution.

Impact of sequential driver mutations on epigenetic regulation during intestinal carcinogensis
Dr. N. (Ning Qing) Liu, NKI
Colorectal cancer progression is largely determined by sequential driver mutations. Understanding mechanisms of these mutations in gene regulation provides essential knowledge for clinical diagnosis and treatment. Here, I aim to comprehensively investigate this molecular process using state-of-the-art next-generation sequencing techniques on CRISPR-Cas9 modified human intestinal organoids carrying these mutations.

Understanding inter-species gene exchange and compatibility
Dr. F.L.N. (Franklin) Nobrega (m), Delft – Department of Bionanoscience
A century of bacteriophage studies has resulted in the development of molecular biology and many genetic tools. However, phages themselves remain obscure entities. This research will address fundamental questions regarding recombination and exchange of genetic information between species, and will develop a platform for phage tailoring for bacterial control purposes.

Are rocks made out of sugar: how does a realistic pore fluid chemistry influence rock mechanics?
Dr. A.M.H. (Anne) Pluymakers (f) TUD - Department of Geoscience & Engineering (GSE), Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Potential consequences of waste water injection and drilling for geothermal energy are hot topics when discussing the use of the subsurface. This research will use novel experimental techniques to determine how the chemical interaction between fluids and rocks influences rock strength and the formation of fractures and fluid pathways.

Visualizing repair of DNA-damage in single cells
Dr. ir. K. (Koos) Rooijers (m), Hubrecht Institute
The packaging of the DNA is thought to form a barrier for DNA-repair molecules. However, exactly how repair mechanisms are influenced by the packaging of DNA remains elusive. This project aims to systematically identify DNA repair in single cells, to provide basic knowledge for example for better cancer treatments.

The role of Megafauna in shaping ecosystems: insights into rewilding
Dr. L. (Luca) Santini (m), RUN
Rewilding aims to restore ecosystem function by reintroducing megafauna. The validity of this approach has been questioned as our understanding of the consequences of such reintroductions is limited. Through process-based ecosystem modeling this project will advance our understanding on the role of megafauna in shaping ecosystems and inform conservation management.

Foraging in a noisy world: Marine predator-prey interactions under fluctuating sound conditions
Dr. F. (Fleur) Visser (f), LU
Noisy human activities may disturb foraging whales, top predators of the ocean. I will combine experimental sound exposure with advanced sensor technologies to investigate how noise affects whales, their prey and whale-prey interactions. Such knowledge is crucial for effective protection of whales and the marine environment at large.

Anticipating drought by memorizing the past – understanding human-hydrology interactions in reservoir management
Dr. ir. N. (Niko) Wanders (m), UU
Droughts have a significant impact on human water management, severely influencing water security. I will develop a model that tries to understand how humans operate water reservoirs under severe drought. I will look for reservoir management strategies to ensure sustainable water use and improve water security in the future.

Chemistry

Heating and cooling at the nanoscale
Dr. S.C. (Simon) Boehme (m), VU – Department of Physics and Astronomy
Tiny chunks of semiconductor material (semiconductor “nanocrystals”) may enable cheaper and more efficient devices. To enable commercialization of e.g. nanocrystal solar cells, LEDs, or thermoelectric devices, the applicant will study thermal processes at the nanoscale via laser spectroscopy. Thereby he contributes to the development of urgently needed thermal management strategies.

How recycling can introduce toxic compounds into new products
Dr. S.H. (Sicco) Brandsma (m), VU – Department Environment & Health
We are being exposed to toxic additives that can leach out recycled products. To which additives in what concentrations are we being exposed? How can we prevent those additives to end up in recycled products? That will be the subject of my proposed project.

Mesoscale simulations in catalysis
Dr. ir. I.A.W. (Ivo) Filot (m), TUE – Inorganic Materials Chemistry
Understanding catalysis at the all length and time scales is important in solving today’s environmental and energy challenges. The researchers will study how the structure of a catalyst changes during a chemical process. In this way, new ways can be identified to avoid premature catalyst deactivation.

Positive or negative? From organic molecule to liquid-electrolyte battery
Dr. K.H. (Koen) Hendriks (m), TUE – Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Organic molecules that can either be electrically positively or negatively charged have a great potential for application in a new type of redox flow battery. The development of these materials and their implementation in flow batteries allows for cheap and large-scale energy storage of renewable energy.

How hot is ice-cold chemistry?
Dr. A.L.M. (Thanja) Lamberts (f), UL – Leiden Institute of Chemistry
At the low temperatures in space (-260 ºC), the molecular building blocks of life can only be formed through chemical reactions that produce lots of heat. In this project, computer simulations are used to study how this heat is transferred to the ice-covered dust grains on which the reactions occur.

Making enzymes to order
Dr. C. (Clemens) Mayer (m), RUG – Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
Enzymes are the most sophisticated catalysts known to mankind. Harnessing their prowess for industrial applications is an enticing prospect, yet enzymes are seldom optimal for abiological tasks. Here, the researcher will explore new strategies to tailor enzymatic activities inside bacterial hosts and evaluate their potential for creating madeto-order biocatalysts.

Redefining concepts of membrane transport mechanism
Dr. C.P. (Cristina) Paulino (f), RUG – Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute
Transport across cell membranes is facilitated by proteins that are categorized into channels, primary- and secondary-active transporters, each thought to exert its own distinct mechanism. The KdpFABC complex, however, embodies features of all classes. Investigation of its structure and function will undoubtedly blur the current conceptual boundaries of translocation mechanisms.

Characterizing catalysis on the molecular scale
Dr. F.T. (Freddy) Rabouw (m), UU – Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science
Catalysts make chemical reactions faster and more efficient. A typical catalyst contains billions of active nanoparticles that together determine its properties. The researcher will study chemical reactions on the scale of individual catalytic nanoparticles. This will yield a better understanding of catalysis and contribute to the development of new catalysts.

Self-oscillating surfaces
Dr. G.V. (Ghislaine) Vantomme (f), TUE – Institute for Complex Molecular Systems
Researchers will create self-oscillating surfaces able to move continuously under sunlight. These new materials will be used to create self-cleaning windows and to transport liquid through pipes and membranes.

Which processes cause errors in stem cell DNA?
Dr. M. (Mark) Vis (m), TUE – Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
It is common that different kinds of macromolecules in a mixture are incompatible, forming two different phases. Examples are pigment and binder particles in paint or polysaccharides and proteins in food. Researchers want to utilize this incompatibility by stabilizing the macromolecular interface and thereby enabling the design of new materials.

Small pores, big sensors
Dr. C. (Carsten) Wloka-Tjalsma (m), RUG – Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute
The molecular composition of any cell is rapidly changing and challenging to quantify. In this project, small pores equipped with sensor-proteins will be inserted into cellular membranes to quantify small molecules. The effect of chemotherapeutics on individual cancer cells under consideration of their molecular composition will be evaluated.

Physical Sciences

How do galaxies form in massive clusters?
Dr. Y.M. (Yannick) Bahé (m), LU – Leiden Observatory
Galaxies living in galaxy clusters - the densest, most extreme environment of our Universe - are observed to differ strikingly from isolated galaxies. The proposed research project will use state-of-the-art computer simulations to understand the origin of these differences, filling a major gap in our understanding of galaxy formation.

Cosmic remodelling: How galaxies change the structure of the universe
Dr. M.P. (Marcel) van Daalen (m), LU – Leiden Observatory
The structure of our universe is tightly connected to the distribution of both dark and visible matter. However, the violent processes associated with galaxy formation make significant changes to this distribution. By better understanding how they do so, astronomers can learn more about our universe as a whole.

How to Securely Update a Trillion Devices and Sleep Through the Night
Dr. C. (Cristiano) Giuffrida (m), VU - Computer Science
With our growing reliance on 24/7 software operations and the number of always-on software-empowered devices soon reaching trillion units, updating software correctly is increasingly challenging but required to preserve the security of pervasive IT systems. In this project, I aim to investigate techniques to securely and automatically update software with minimal impact on every-day user and device operations.

Verification of Cyber-Physical Systems: Exploiting Uncertainty for Scalability
Dr. ir. A. (Arnd) Hartmanns (m), UvT – Computer Science
Computers control our physical world: in self-driving cars, smart power grids, or manufacturing robots. We must verify that such systems work even when faced with unexpected and random events. This research will deliver practical mathematical verification methods which take advantage of the very randomness that challenges the control algorithms.

Harnessing the Power of Near-future Quantum Computers
Dr. S. (Stacey) Jeffery (f), CWI – Algorithms and Complexity
Quantum computers will revolutionize the future of computing, but can we take advantage of the power of quantum mechanics for computation before we have a perfectly working quantum computer? Researchers will explore the capabilities of primitive quantum computers that will become available in the next few years.

Exploring equivariant homotopy theory
Dr. M. (Magdalena) Kedziorek (f), UU – Mathematics
Mathematicians have always been intrigued by shapes and geometric objects. Understanding geometric objects with additional structure given by symmetries became one of the long-term themes of algebraic topology. The proposed research project uses modern methods to work towards understanding spaces with symmetries.

Towards a mathematical conjecture of the Landau-Ginzburg/conformal field theory correspondence
Dr. A. (Ana) Ros Camacho (f), UU – Mathematics
This project studies the algebraic structures underlying a result from theoretical physics called the Landau–Ginzburg/conformal field theory correspondence, and seeks a proper mathematical statement of this result.

Automated formal analysis of real-world privacy-friendly systems
Dr. ir. J.E.J. (Joeri) de Ruiter (m), RUN – Institute for Computing and Information Sciences
Due to the increase of personal data that is collected and processed about us, the need for privacy-friendly systems increases. However, do these systems provide the privacy they claim? In this research methods will be developed to verify whether this is in fact the case.

Evaluating the effect of baryons on cosmological probes with next-generation simulations
Dr. M. (Matthieu) Schaller (m), LU– Leiden Observatory
We will finish the development of a novel simulation code that exploits modern computer architecture and use it to perform large simulations of the Universe and the formation of galaxies. We will use these to interpret observations aiming to shed light on the nature of dark matter and dark energy.

Good bad reduction
Dr. A.J.B. (Arne) Smeets (m), RUN – Mathematics
A central question in algebraic geometry is when a family of algebraic varieties can be extended in a nice way to a slightly larger parameter space. This proposal studies various arithmetic aspects of this question which are still beyond our understanding, even for some of the simplest varieties.

Noiseless superconducting detectors to detect extraterrestrial life
Dr. ir. P.J. (Pieter) de Visser (m), SRON – Astronomy
If there is extraterrestrial life, it will only be visible in the weak signal from the atmosphere of an inhabited planet, which becomes measurable after blocking the starlight. My goal is to detect this weak signal with superconducting detectors, which determine the colour of each incoming photon and are noiseless.

Physics

What conditions should a unified theory of Quantum Gravity satisfy?
Dr. A.M.F. (Alexandre) Belin (m), UvA  – Theoretical Physics
Quantum mechanics and general relativity are two fundamental building blocks in our understanding of physics. Merging them is one of the greatest challenges of modern physics. Using the holographic duality, the researcher proposes a systematic study to identify the criteria a unified theory of quantum gravity must satisfy.

Precision physics with heavy quarks: from colliders to the cosmos
Dr. R.G.G. (Rhorry) Gauld (m), Nikhef - Theory group
The high energy collisions at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) provide an ideal environment for performing studies of heavy quark production. The LHC data will be used to improve the predictions of heavy production in our atmosphere, which occur as ultra-high energy cosmic neutrinos bombard the Earth.

New platform for topological quantum computing
Dr. C. (Chuan) Li (f), UvT - Institute of Nanotechnology
To achieve next generation computing with topological quantum bits, people need to first realize the essential elements – Majorana fermions, then demonstrate their non-trivial statistics. In this VENI project, researchers from the University of Twente will use novel semimetallic superconductors to build a new platform for Majorana states.

Stretching the lifespan of blood clots for effective wound healing
Dr. C. (Cristina) Martinez-Torres (f), AMOLF - Physics
When we cut our skin, the wound is rapidly sealed by a blood clot withstanding mechanical deformations until the injury heals and vanishing shortly after. Interestingly, clots that are deformed last longer than those who are not. The researchers will study why the stretched clots are more resistant to disappear.

Photonic transport through complex nonlinear systems: using noise to transmit a signal
Dr. S.R.K. (Said) Rodriguez (m), UU - Nanomaterial Science
The transfer of energy and information across complex technological systems is typically degraded by noise. This research will investigate the opposite case where noise enhances the transport of light across complex systems, and provides functionality that is not easily obtained in noiseless systems, such as unidirectional flow.

Space tumblers and waves
Dr. P. (Patricia) Schmidt (f), RU – Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics
When two black holes collide in the Universe, they produce ripples in the fabric of spacetime. These “gravitational waves” are the fingerprints of the black holes that tell scientists about their masses and spins. waveform models that researchers can accurately reveal these. But it is only with sophisticated theoretical waveform models that researchers can accurately reveal these.

Black hole horizons and the quark-gluon plasma
Dr. W. (Wilke) van der Schee (m), UU - Physics
Collisions of lead nuclei at the LHC accelerator result in the formation of quark-gluon plasma. Because of the strong force between these particles, this plasma has surprisingly strong similarities with the horizon of a black hole. This research models the plasma dynamics by forming a corresponding black hole.

Quantum bits in space and time
Dr. M. (Michael) Walter (m), UvA – Institute for Theoretical Physics and Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics
Physicists have recently discovered clues that space and time are held together by quantum entanglement, the mysterious resource that powers quantum computers. The researcher will develop theoretical tools to subject these ideas to stringent tests and shed new light on the fabric of space-time.

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Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH)


The unbearable slowness of integrating climate change adaptation into existing policy domains
Dr. G.R (Robbert) Biesbroek (m), WUR – Public Administration and Policy
Timely adaptation to climate change impacts requires integration of adaptation in existing policy domains. This comparative research analyses if and how institutional characteristics and political processes influence the depth, scope and pace of integration. The research offers new insights for strategic interventions to accelerate, deepen and upscale policy integration processes.

Lovely sex or sexy love?   
Dr. D. (Daphne) van de Bongardt (f), EUR – Department of Psychology, Education & Child
StudiesThis project investigates bidirectional links between love and sex in youths’ intimate relationships. Young couples (18-25 years) will be interviewed, complete daily diaries, and perform interaction tasks with best friends, to assess how positive and negative experiences with peers, love, and sex are connected, and linked with their general wellbeing.

Explaining real-life risk-taking in adolescence   
Dr. B.R. (Barbara) Braams, (f)  – LU, Psychology   
Risk-taking behavior is widely studied in the lab, but the relationship with real-life behavior is unclear. This proposal aims to relate lab measures and real-life risk-taking behavior. 

Defying anti-party politics. The party-state in the age of mass democracy: France, Germany, and Italy, 1918-2000
Dr. P. (Pepijn) Corduwener (m), UU – Departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis
New social movements, the rise of populism, and declining membership numbers jeopardize the position of political parties in European democracies. Yet this is far from new: this project shows how parties have defied anti-party politics throughout the twentieth century by rendering modern democracies ‘party-states’.

Pan-European Diplomacy in the Cold War (1972-90)
Dr. L.C. (Laurien) Crump-Gabreëls (f), UU – History of International Relations
This project explores how the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (1972-90) contributed to a peaceful conduct of the Cold War and its conclusion through Pan-European, multilateral diplomacy. Since such an all-embracing dialogue is currently lacking, this can also teach us how to meet present challenges on European security.

Retirement of the solo self-employed
Dr. M. (Marleen) Damman (f), NIDI – Theme group Work & Retirement
The group of solo self-employed is growing and is becoming increasingly diverse. Which of these solo self-employed individuals are in control over their own retirement? This project examines how work- and career-related diversity within the group of solo selfemployed is related to retirement preparation and retirement experiences.

From Ownership to Access: The Implications of Streaming Digital Content on Consumers, Sellers, and Artists   
Dr. H. (Hannes) Datta (m), TU - Tilburg School of Economics and Management 
Consumers increasingly adopt online streaming services, and thereby give up product ownership in favor of access to content. However, academic research on online streaming is scarce. This project systematically investigates how streaming services for information goods (namely music)—affect consumers, platforms, artists, and public policy makers.   

Is it me or my disorder?
Dr. S.E. (Sanneke) de Haan (f), RUN – Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies
Psychiatric disorders change one’s feelings and thoughts. How to distinguish between experiences that are one’s ‘own’ and experiences that are the result of one’s disorder or medication? Could others be of help in making this distinction? This project addresses these questions, drawing on philosophical theories of authenticity and patients’ experiences.

Living Lyric. Greek song culture in Roman Egypt (c. 30 BCE – 400 CE)
Dr. M. (Mark) de Kreij (m), RUN
In 2014 a new fragment of Sappho emerged, a papyrus that survived two millennia in the desert sands of Egypt. LIVING LYRIC starts from these kinds of papyri, in search of the readers, listeners, and other admirers of Sappho and her fellow lyricists in Roman Egypt.

Unfair Trade? Globalization, Institutions and Inequality in Southeast Asia, 1830-1940
Dr. P. (Pim) de Zwart (m), WUR – Rural and Environmental History
Trade and colonial institutions have arguably had an important impact on the growth of inequality within developing countries since the 19th century. Yet the historical evidence is thin and it is unclear what mechanisms were key. This project explores this relationship in Southeast Asia during the “first era of globalization”.

Leaving a Lasting Impression: The Earliest Printed Books in the Low Countries
Dr. A. (Anna) Dlabačová (f), UL – Dutch Language and Culture
The influence of Dutch book printing on spirituality and visual culture at the end of the Middle Ages was far greater than previously thought. Cultural-historical research into the first generation of printed books paints a new picture of religious practice in the transitional period from manuscript to print.

Reading Zoos in the Age of the Anthropocene
Dr. K. (Kári) Driscoll (m), UU – Comparative Literature
Zoos have always told a particular story about humanity’s relationship to nature. Now, with climate change and mass extinctions looming, that story is changing. This project explores how the stories told at zoos and in literature and film about zoos reflect and shape a new environmental consciousness.

The Author as Policy Officer
Dr. L.J. (Laurens) Ham (m), UU – Dutch Language and Culture
Who thought policy was only produced by officials, writing boring reports? This projects shows a different picture. Dutch writers have constantly been involved in literary policies since the 1960s: by protesting against budget cuts, by becoming policy officers and writing novels about what it is like to be an author.

App ecosystems: A critical history
Dr. A. (Anne) Helmond (f), UvA – Media Studies
Mobile apps have become an important form of digital media. However, researchers know little about how they have evolved over time. This project aims to develop novel digital methods for writing histories of single apps, a collection of apps, app stores, and app ecosystems.

Network Interventions in the Peer Context
Dr. G. (Gijs) Huitsing (m), RUG – Sociology
How do interventions change social processes among students? Using social network analysis, a behavioral model will be developed that explains how student’s relationships and behavior change during an anti-bullying intervention. Computer simulations on this model generate guidelines for new network interventions that will be further investigated in classrooms for effectiveness.

We do not live in a bubble: economic shocks in misspecified panel data models   
Dr. A. (Artūras) Juodis (m), RUG - Economics and Business
Much of economic data at individual and country level is observed over time. To properly describe the co-movements of economic units over time, common shocks and trends have to be accounted for. This project investigates the impact of common shocks in misspecified panel data models.

Hiring on taste: revealing the hidden power of cultural capital within occupational recruitment procedures 
Dr. K.A.V. (Kobe) de Keere (m), UvA - Cultural Sociology      
Selecting the right candidate for a job is a difficult process, characterized by much insecurity and of which the outcome often seems unpredictable. This project now aims to investigate, in a comparative manner, how important the role of cultural capital is in order to be successful during job selection procedures.

Personalized online interventions for mental health
Dr. S.M. (Saskia) Kelders (f), UvT - Psychology, Health and Technology
Online interventions for mental health can be effective, but not every intervention is effective for everyone. A model will be developed to predict for whom an intervention is effective and a method to match every individual to the most appropriate intervention. This will be evaluated in lab and field studies.

Towards Equal Educational Opportunities: The Complex Interaction between Genes, Families, and Schools  
Dr. A. (Antonie) Knigge (m), UU - Sociologie     
Politicians and scientists have proposed several educational reforms to create more equal educational opportunities for Dutch children from different social backgrounds. To assess the potential effectiveness of such policies, this project uses twin methods to study the interplay between genetic, family, and school influences on educational attainment.

The Communication Model of Cultural Change    
Dr. N. (Namkje) Koudenburg, (f) RUG - Social Psychology
This proposal examines the role of micro-level aspects of conversation in macro-level cultural change. A novel CCC-model is developed, proposing that a) the interplay between form and content of social interaction determines the possibility and direction of cultural change, b)cultural change is mediated by changes in perceived opinion distribution.

Beating the Binge
Dr. L.H.J.M. (Lotte) Lemmens (f), UM, Clinical Psychology
Binge eating, the uncontrolled consumption of large amounts of food in a short timeframe, is a common phenomenon with many negative consequences. I will examine the factors that predict binge eating in daily life in order to find out how and when to intervene to prevent binge eating episodes.

The offline side of cybercrime
Dr. E.R. (Eric) Leukfeldt (m), NSCR - criminology
Cybercrime takes place in the online world. However, cybercriminals are real human beings in an offline environment. Little is known about how these two worlds are intertwined. I will study the extent to which offline and online social ties and criminal meeting places provide access to cybercriminal networks.

The Psychometrics of Learning
Dr. M. (Maarten) Marsman (m), UvA - Psychological Methods
Researchers have successfully uncovered major phenomena in educational measurement, but have neglected to explain why these effects occur. A new theory of cognitive development explains the observed phenomena and provides crucial insights into how education can overcome the undesirable effects.

Optimization Models for Faster and Affordable Access to Rare Disease Therapeutics     
Dr. T.G. (Tugce Gizem) Martagan (f) TUE - Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences     
There are more than 7000 rare diseases but treatments are available only for 300 of them. This research will improve the affordability, accessibility and variety of treatments for these rare diseases. Optimization models and novel decision support tools will be developed for both pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare policy makers.

Towards a human-friendly worldview
Dr. J.M. (Jesse) Mulder (m), UU – Philosophy and Religious Studies
The mainstream interpretation of the scientific worldview is biased towards the mechanistic form of understanding that enabled remarkable successes in physics. However, that leaves no place for our self-understanding as rational beings, nor for our diverse scientific practices. This project thus develops an alternative, pluralistic interpretation.

Divine Denkraum: Early Modern Protestant Princes and Theologians Exchanging Thoughts through Things
Dr. E.D. (Eelco) Nagelsmit (m), UU – Art History
Protestant princes and theologians in early modern Europe exchanged thoughts through things. This project investigates how image-objects provided thought-space for reflection on and contemplation of the divine, by examining three protestant courts in Germany and England, and thus brings together religious history, art history and anthropology.

Do Female Politicians Talk Differently? Or Do Journalists Hear Different Things?
Dr. D.J. (Daphne) van der Pas (f), UvA – Political Science
Female politicians often receive different media coverage from their male colleagues. Why is this? Are journalists making judgements based on gender, or are female politicians presenting a different image to the media? This project studies how male and female politicians present themselves, how the media covers them, and why.

Polytheism as language. A linguistic approach to divine plurality in the religious experience of Greek worshippers
Dr. S. (Saskia) Peels (f), UL – LUCAS
The ancient Greeks knew a plurality of gods (polytheism), who helped them in all aspects of life. But what image did they have of these often complex gods? And why did a Greek sometimes turn to one god, and at other times to another? A linguistically inspired method helps us.

What are you talking about? Understanding reference in speech and gesture
Dr. D. (David) Peeters (m), RUN – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior, Nijmegen
In everyday life we often refer to things in the world around us by using speech and gesture. How does the brain allow us to quickly and efficiently understand acts of reference? On the basis of virtual reality research, this project develops a neurocognitive model that explains how this works.

Language in the brain, from left to right
Dr. V. (Vitória) Piai (f), RUN and Radboudumc - Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour, and department of Medical Psychology
The overwhelming majority of the people use their left hemisphere to speak and understand language. But in patients who suffered left-hemisphere damage, for example due to stroke, the right hemisphere seems able to take over language functioning. The researchers will investigate how the right-hemisphere language system works.

Extracting more information from high-frequency data: Looking for signs of direction through Realized Semicovariances 
Dr. R. (Rogier) Quaedvlieg  (m), EUR - Department of Business Economics     
The covariance captures the degree to which asset returns move together. This project decomposes the covariance into four terms; the covariance stemming from joint upward returns, joint downward returns, and two coming from returns with opposite signs. It investigates their theoretical and practical properties, which will provide new economic insights.

In a job, out of trouble?
Dr. A.A.T. (Anke) Ramakers (f), LU – Criminology
Based on the common belief that employment increases successful re-integration, policy efforts are directed towards connecting inactive ex-prisoners to jobs. This project helps to develop theory and evidence-based policies by examining (1) causes of joblessness, and (2) effects of different kinds of jobs and different kinds of joblessness on reoffending.

Vulnerable and unheard: Refugee children and their right to effective participation in asylum procedures
Dr. S.E. (Stephanie) Rap (f), LU – Department of Child Law
Refugee children have the right to be heard in asylum procedures. Through a combination of qualitative methods and legal analysis of children’s rights, this study provides an urgent  exploration of the conceptual and practical implications of their right to effective participation. It will result in guidelines for effectively hearing children.

The rich have money, the poor have children
Dr. P. (Pauline) Rossi (f), UvA – FEB – ASE
I explore how people make decisions on their number of children and on their expenses on children’s health in Africa. I discuss the implications for population growth.

EU Constitutional Order for Responding to Human Health Disasters   
Dr. A. (Anniek) de Ruijter LLM (f), UvA - Faculty of Law, Amsterdam Centre for European Law and Governance
Today, our interconnected world creates significant opportunities for the devastating effects of (deliberate) biological and chemical health threats. The EU is increasingly powerful in warding off these emergencies. This research aims to improve the EU constitutional order for responding to these major health threats.

Fairness of earnings and inequalities     
Dr. C.G. (Carsten) Sauer (m), RUN – Afdeling Sociologie  
The project investigates the development of citizens’ fairness perception of individual earnings and income inequality. The researcher focuses on households and families, organizations, and country characteristics as contexts in which people learn what they perceive as fair and unfair. He contributes to debates about legitimate inequalities in Europe.

Self-Control without the Self: The Numerical Aggregation System and Overconsumption
Dr. D.R. (Dan) Schley (m) EUR - Marketing Management  
People’s lives involve struggling with self-control. The trouble is that self-control requires a lot of motivation. This project researches a key component of self-control that does not rely on peoples’ motivations. By understanding the cognitive mechanisms underlying self-control, we can develop tools to improve individuals’ financial, health, and environmental decisions.

Religion, culture, and ethnicity in court procedures on children from minority families  
Dr. I.D.A. (Iris) Sportel (f), RUN – Centrum voor Migratierecht
Due to increasing diversity of Dutch society, courts and the child welfare system interact with a growing number of minority families. This project will focus on representations of religion, ethnicity, and culture in procedures on minority family children, investigating the role of parents as well as assumptions of professionals.

Fatal first impressions?
Dr. K.M. (Karen) Stegers-Jager (f), EUR
Within a split second assessors form a first impression of a trainee. How does this first impression influence the final rating? Is this the reason for poorer ratings for ethnic minority trainees? Unravelling this judgment process is essential for fair assessments for all students in our multicultural society.

Innovating Knowledge: Isidore’s Etymologiae in the Carolingian Period
Dr. E. (Evina) Steinova (f), Huygens ING - History
Intellectual networks are crucial in the spreading of innovations and their survival. By studying the first well-attested European intellectual network, that of the Carolingian period, through the lens of its first general encyclopedia, we can learn about common properties of such networks and the dynamics of innovation.

Restoring sensory unity  
Dr. N. (Nathan) van der Stoep (m), UU – Experimental Psychology   
Our brains combine what we see and hear, enhancing spatial perception. Hearing loss causes hearing and vision to be in conflict. In this project, the researchers will investigate whether the brain’s plasticity can be used to restore sensory unity, improve spatial perception, and rehabilitate people with hearing loss.

More than words: Uncovering the effects of talkers’ voices on real-life speech perception by cochlear implant users
Dr. T.N. (Terrin) Tamati (f), UMCG – Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Understanding speech in the real world, outside the clinic, can be challenging. This project investigates cochlear implant users’ perception of speech produced by talkers with different voices and accents. Findings will identify difficulties cochlear implant users encounter in their daily lives, to account for them in clinical settings.

Bye-bye gender injustice
Dr. A.S.H. (Alexandra) Timmer (f), UU – Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM)
Europe persistently suffers from gender injustice. The main legal mechanism seeking to achieve gender justice – human rights law and particularly equality law – falls short. This project analyzes why, using an original combination of historical and legal analysis, and advances proposals for change.

The Family Business of Power
Dr. J.A. (Jasper) van der Steen (m), UL – History
This project approaches the Nassau family between 1550 and 1815 as a family business and explores how the Nassaus organized their family and attempted to maintain continuity and expand their power. It demonstrates that dynasties functioned more logically and consistently than historians have previously assumed.

Unraveling the mystery of stories: How linguistic viewpoint markers influence Theory of Mind
Dr. K.W.M. (Kobie) van Krieken (f), RUN – Centre for Language Studies
Reading stories improves our ability to read the minds of others in the real world. How is this possible? To answer this question, this project develops a model to examine the extent to which the language of stories and identification with narrative characters facilitate this process.

Ibn ʿArabī’s Reshaping of the Muslim Imagination
Dr. L.W.C. (Eric) van Lit (m), UU
Imagination had a central place in the thought of the Sufi Ibn Arabi (d. 1240). It is suggested that his notion of the imagination permeated Muslim culture at large. This project investigates the nature of this impact as well as its consequences that remain valid today.

Like parent, like child?
Dr. M.L. (Marije) Verhage (f), VU, Clinical Child and Family Studies
Studies have shown that the quality of parent-child relationships is often transmitted across generations. By using data from 100 existing studies on this topic in a novel way, this intergenerational transmission can be understood in more detail. This knowledge will ultimately improve intervention methods to stimulate secure parent-child relationships.

Are people egocentric when they talk?
Dr. J. (Jorrig) Vogels (m), RUG – Center for Language and Cognition Groningen
This research addresses the question whether people take the perspective of the listener into account when they talk. By studying choices in language use (do I say ‘the girl’ or ‘she’, for example), researchers try to figure out when people speak in an egocentric way and when they do not.

Epic Pasts: pre-Islam through Muslim eyes
Dr. P.A. (Peter) Webb (m), UL – LIAS
Since Islam’s rise, Muslims have been interested in pre-Islamic history, and contrary to much current opinion, they have not simply rejected all pre-Islamic heritages as incompatible with Islam. EPIC PASTS explores how Muslims confront their pre-history, and reveals how changing impressions of pre-Islam have reshaped the definition of Islam itself.

Detrimental or beneficial effects of imprisonment?
Dr. H.T. (Hilde) Wermink (f), UL, afdeling Criminologie
Imprisonment is typically the most severe sentence that can be imposed. Nevertheless, it is unknown whether sentencing goals are achieved through imprisonment. This study examines whether imprisonment works to reduce re-offending, for whom it works, and how consequences can be understood. This knowledge is necessary for more effective correctional intervention.

Democratising Europe Through Transnational Partisanship
Dr. F. (Fabio) Wolkenstein (m), UvA – Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen
How can citizens overcome the power of elites? By organising, of course. This project explores a mode of popular organisation which promises to help ordinary citizens gain democratic control of the EU — transnational partisanship. The project clarifies what transnational partisanship is, why it matters, and how it may succeed.

Under Pressure!? Reform stress in the public sector
Dr. J.L.C. (Jan) Wynen (m), UvT – School of Governance
Public organizations are subject to a multitude of reforms. Yet, little is known on the precise effects of such continuous reforms. This research analyses the effect of such repeated structural reforms on the entrepreneurial nature of public sector organizations.

Listening to Modernity in Southeast Asian early recordings
Dr. m. (melê) yamomo (m), UvA – ASCA
The experience and understanding of modernity are often thought of as something seen or read. This project considers how modernity was heard and listened to in Southeast Asia through the arrival of early sound technologies from 1890 to 1950.

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Interdevisional


The magnetic brain: Alzheimer’s disease seen through iron
Dr. L. (Lucia) Bossoni (f), LUMC, Radiology Department – Biophysics
Abnormal accumulation of iron is found in the brains of patients suffering from several different neurodegenerative diseases, but its potential toxicity is still not understood. This research uses a new multidisciplinary approach to detect and characterize different forms of iron, also leading to new in vivo methods of visualization.

Identification, Isolation and Analysis of Single Cancer Stem Cells
Dr. M.P. (Miao-Ping) Chien (f), EUR – biophysics
To understand the molecular mechanisms driving oncogenesis it is imperative to study individual cells. I will create and use optical and chemical methods for the identification, isolation and analysis of single cancer stem cells, and investigate their role in the formation, progression and therapeutic resistance of tumors.

Nanoparticle-Based Gene Therapy of Hemoglobinopathies
Dr. C. (Christina) Eich (f), LUMC – Radiology
Sickle cell disease/β-thalassemia are deadly gene disorders disrupting erythrocyte function and greatly reducing the patient’s quality of life and expectance. Researchers aim to overcome the disadvantages of current therapies by developing a nanoparticle-based gene therapy using CRISPR/Cas9 to specifically modify erythrocyte precursors in the body to eliminate disease symptoms.

Unravelling the brain’s internal sensory and motor models of standing
Dr. P.A. (Patrick) Forbes (m), EUR, Department of Neuroscience
How is balance maintained automatically? Our brain uses internal sensory and motor models to control posture. Using novel robotics, these models will be uncoupled by modifying properties of our sensors, body mechanics and environment. This research will reveal causal relationships between the neural computations and compensatory responses required to stand.

Not only background noise: Multimodal investigations on the neural processing of unattended sounds in natural environments
Dr. L. (Lars) Hausfeld (m), MU – Neuroscience
Imagine yourself sitting in a noisy café talking to a good friend. Following your friend’s voice relies on actively ignoring noise. In this project, I examine the fate of the distracting sounds and aim to develop a device that lowers intensity of surrounding chatter to better follow your own conversation.

Did curiosity kill the cat?
Dr. R. (Ronnie) Hermens (m), RUG – philosophy
Schrödinger discovered that, if we take quantum mechanics literally, cats can be alive and dead at the same time. Though a non-literal reading seems preferable, recent research indicates that such a reading is untenable. In this project the precise implications of that research are investigated.

Folate in the intestine, more than just a gut feeling
Dr. ing. D.E.G. (Dieuwertje) Kok (f), WUR, Human nutrition
Some intestinal bacteria can produce essential vitamins such as folate. This research will determine whether local production of folate affect the DNA in the cells of the large intestine. The obtained information will be essential to better understand causes of common diseases like cancer of the large intestine.

Live, liver, life!
Dr. L. (Lucas) Lindeboom (m), MU – Medical Engineering, Physiology
One out of three people have stored unhealthy amounts of fat in their liver and it is currently unknown what drives this fat accumulation in the liver. I will develop innovative Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy techniques to non-invasively investigate the pathways of fat synthesis and fat disposal in the liver.

Building a digital pathologist for improved treatment of prostate cancer
Dr. Ir. G.J.S. (Geert) Litjens (m), RUMC – pathology
The treatment of prostate cancer patients is largely determined by a pathologist inspecting tumor tissue. Sadly, there can be large discrepancies between pathologists in this inspection, sometimes resulting in incorrect treatment for patients. The researcher develops an automated tissue analysis method based on ‘deep learning’ to better assess patient prognosis.

Making the health choice easier – role of the local food environment
Dr. J.D. (Joreintje) Mackenbach (f), VUmc – Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Real-life food choices are constrained by the availability and price of foods, and subject to individual food budgets and psychosocial resources. I will investigate whether we can make healthier choices easier by changing local food environments, especially for people with lower food budgets and those more sensitive to environmental cues.

Planning for the unknown
Dr. W. (Ward) Romeijnders (m), RUG – Economics and Business
Many practical decisions have to be made before key information is known. To support decision making in such situations, researchers will develop new algorithms for the underlying mathematical optimization problems, exploiting recently discovered properties of these problems. The new algorithms will be applied to investment decisions in electricity networks.

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