Vidi awards 2010

Irony as a weapon against violence
Dr B.Y.A. (Brigitte) Adriaensen (f) 29-12-1975, Leuven (Belgium), Radboud University Nijmegen – Roman Languages and Cultures
In our society, the boundaries between irony and violence are increasingly being explored. This study examines how irony relates to violence in the contemporary Latin American novel. Here, the relationship of irony's historical, cultural and critical dimensions to violence is pivotal.

The power relationship between politicians and journalists
Dr P.J.I. (Peter) van Aelst (m) 18-03-1974, Borgerhout (Belgium), Leiden University – Political Science
Politicians and journalists need each other. They continuously seek each other out and try to influence each other. They are partners engaged in an intimate dance. This study examines who is the leading partner in which situation in various countries.

Fluctuations in the economy and the health of industrialised countries
Dr M. (Mauricio) Avendano (m) 28-01-1976, Bogota (Colombia), Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam– Department of Public Health
Economic cycles can have a profound impact on the health of populations. The researchers examine the mechanisms that link economic fluctuations during the last 50 years to the health of individuals in 17 European countries and the United States.

Hear with your ear, hear with your brain
Dr D. (Deniz) Başkent (f) 11-08-1973, Ankara (Turkey), University Medical Center Groningen – Otorhinolaryngology
The human brain restores degraded speech and enhances its intelligibility. This research project aims to use the restoration phenomenon to study the interactions between the brain and the ear, specifically for speech comprehension by hearing-impaired listeners and users of hearing devices.

Nanoscience in 3D
Prof. Dr K.J. (Joost) Batenburg (m) 15-08-1980, Rotterdam, CWI – Scientific Computing
Electron tomography is a mathematical technique for making three-dimensional images of microscopic particles (biological cells, nanoparticles), based on a number of photographs from varying directions. In this project, new mathematical models will be developed to improve the accuracy of these images.

Meningitis as a brain teaser
Dr D. (Diederik) van de Beek (m) 18-05-1974, Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam – Neurology
Meningitis (meningeal infection) is a fatal disease caused by a bacterium. Hereditary characteristics determine whether you get the disease and whether you die from it, but how this works is a mystery. This national survey will delve deep into the genetic material of humans and the bacterium in order to solve this challenging puzzle.

Who gets dementia from vascular damage?
Dr G.J. (Geert-Jan) Biessels (m) 07-02-1968, Oss, Utrecht University – Neurology
Vascular damage is a common cause of dementia. The research will examine who has the greatest chance of dementia due to vascular damage and how this vascular damage can be measured early. These insights are important for the development of treatment.

The power of the family
Dr H.A.J. (Hilde) Bras (f) 24-10-1968, Oosterhout, VU University Amsterdam – Methods and Techniques
In the last 160 years, the number of children in Europe has fallen sharply. There are considerable regional differences. The researchers will verify the influence of family on fertility behaviour. They will compare family influences between European regions with different types of family relationships.

Back to the book
Dr C.A.W. (Kiene) Brillenburg Wurth (f) 31-08-1966, Utrecht University – Humanities
As a paper art form, how can literature flourish in an era of digitisation? On the basis of three literary genres, this project will investigate why the predicted end of the book did not materialise between 1990 and 2010.

Computers with experience
Dr M. (Marleen) de Bruijne (f) 03-09-1972, Vlaardingen, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam– Radiology & Medical Informatics
Software to analyse medical images often works poorly when scanner settings are changed and must then be adjusted manually. This project enables computers to use previous experience for new analyses, which makes adjustment faster and easier.

How tissues stop growing
Dr T.R. (Thijn) Brummelkamp (m) 09-08-1975, Cambridge (US) – Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Why is our left hand as big as our right hand? It is not clear to biologists how tissues "know" precisely when to stop growing. Unravelling this fundamental mechanism may also explain how tumour cells evade this.

Panel data and causality
Dr M.J.G. (Maurice) Bun (m) 10-12-1971, Haarlem, University of Amsterdam – Quantitative economics
Economic policy evaluations are often based on non-experimental data. This hinders the statistical analysis of policy effects because policy changes are influenced by the target variables. The researchers will use the multidimensionality of panel data to map the causal relationship between policy and policy effects.

Regulation of plant disease memory further unravelled
Dr H.A. (Harrold) van den Burg (m) 28-03-1974, Kampen, Wageningen University and Research Centre – Laboratory for Phytopathology
Plants exhibit increased resistance after an initial infection. This is registered around genes without these genes being activated. The researchers have discovered a protein that regulates these genes. This research will further unravel the memory behind plants' immune response to infection.

Quantum matter: new forms of magnetism and quantum information
Dr C. (Claudio) Castelnovo (m) 12-08-1976, University of Amsterdam – ITFA
The proposed research focuses on materials in which opposing forces give rise to unusual forms of magnetism and to new quantum mechanical phenomena. It also explores the possibility of using such materials for storing and processing quantum information.

What chemistry shapes the universe?
Dr S.M. (Stéphanie) Cazaux (f) 02-05-1973, La Rochelle (France), University of Groningen – Astronomy
Stars are formed in an environment consisting of gas and solid particles. The chemistry that occurs in these particles affects the formation of stars and is also responsible for the presence of molecules necessary for the origin of life. This research focuses on the origins of stars and life using laboratory experiments, theory and (astronomical) observations.

Say it with prosody
Dr A. (Aoju) Chen (f) 28-07-1972, Binxian (China), Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics – Language Acquisition
To get a message across, new information should be emphasised in a sentence. In many languages, prosody is used here, but in differing ways. This project investigates how young children acquire this prosody function in typologically different languages and how children with the same language background can differ from each other in this aspect.

Movement in fixed layers
Dr H.M. (Herma) Cuppen (f) 17-06-1977, Nijmegen, Radboud University Nijmegen – Theoretical chemistry
Molecules can move within solids and sometimes over large distances. These movements trigger processes that could be important for forming building blocks for life in space or for the life cycle of medicines. The researchers will map and possibly influence these movements.

Global policy for biodiversity
Dr M.D. (Marc) Davidson (m) 26-07-1966, Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam - Philosophy
This research will develop policies to counter the reversal in global biodiversity. Which economic instruments can be used? How can we measure the result? Who should bear the costs of protection?

Successful innovations and the growing power of retailers
Dr B. (Barbara) Deleersnyder (f) 22-01-1977, Leuven (Belgium), Tilburg University – Marketing
Food manufacturers invest substantial resources in developing and improving their products, which they then sell through retail outlets. The researchers will study how and to what extent powerful international retailers influence the success of these innovations.

Positive design
Dr P.M.A. (Pieter) Desmet (m) 03-05-1972, Izegem (Belgium), Delft University of Technology – Industrial Design
People can experience positive and negative emotions while using consumer products. This study will analyse how products elicit various positive emotions such as pride, pleasure and fascination and the influence of these emotions on the use of the product.

Realising feedback control in quantum circuits
Dr L. (Leonardo) DiCarlo (m) 16-02-1976, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Delft University of Technology – Quantum Nanoscience
The measurement and feedback control of individual quantum systems is critical to the continued development of quantum-enhanced information technologies. The researchers will realise quantum-limited measurement and closed-loop control of superconducting integrated circuits to achieve quantum error correction in the solid state.

Looking over the painter's shoulder with T-rays and X-rays
Prof. J. (Joris) Dik (m) 08-05-1974, Amsterdam, Delft University of Technology – Materials science
Layers of paint are hidden below the visible surfaces of old masters, which provide information about how these were produced and their restoration history. This project concerns the development and application of innovative imaging techniques to render these layers visible, both spatially and in colour.

Preference sorting and labour market success
Dr T.J. (Thomas) Dohmen (m) 05-09-1972, Heinsberg (Duitsland), Maastricht University – School of Business and Economics
Individuals differ in many ways. They have different capabilities, skills, resources, and tastes. They also differ in key economic preferences such as risk preferences, time preferences, and social preferences. This research project will analyse how these differences lead to the observed diversity in educational and career choices and labour market outcomes, when different individuals are attracted by different incentive structures.

Finite thanks to symmetry
Dr J. (Jan) Draisma (m) 29-07-1975, Lundazi (Zambia), Eindhoven Technical University – Mathematics
Infinite-dimensional surfaces are found in various scientific disciplines and due to their huge symmetry, these can be described with a finite number of equations. However, a universal explanation for this phenomenon has yet to be found. Mathematicians will look or this explanation using new symmetry-imbued algebra.

Designing nanoporous materials with the computer
Dr D. (David) Dubbeldam (m) 10-02-1971, Krimpen a/d Lek, University of Amsterdam – Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences
Metal-organic frameworks are porous materials that can be designed on a drawing board before they are made for real in a laboratory. Computer simulation can efficiently analyse and optimise the design for the storage and separation of gases.

The roots of deduction
Dr C. (Catarina) Dutilh Novaes (f) 14-02-1976, Sao Paulo (Brazil), University of Amsterdam – Philosophy
In a deductive argument, the conclusion is drawn on the basis of the premises, without the interference of external information. But what are we actually doing when we reason deductively? This study examines the philosophical, psychological and historical aspects of deduction in their interdependence.

Behind the scenes of painted rooms
Dr M.H. (Margriet) van Eikema Hommes (f) 21-05-1969, Bussum, University of Amsterdam – Art History & Conservation and Restoration
In previous centuries, many paintings were made for a specific location. These historic interiors are an important source. They tell us about the clients' ideas and their visual translation by artists. This project presents the original appearance, visual consistency and historical context of this cultural heritage for the first time.

Ageing in autism
Dr H.M. (Hilde) Geurts (f) 24-02-1972, Nijmegen, University of Amsterdam – Psychology
People who age often get slower and find it more difficult to do several things at once. People with autism experience this when they are young. What happens when people with autism age?

Strong, smart grids
Dr J. (Jasper) van der Gucht (m) 13-01-1976, Hulst, Wageningen University and Research Centre – Laboratory of Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science
Nature produces the most fantastic materials: super strong, but also able to recover from damage. The researchers will look for ways to make artificial materials that are as strong and smart as biological materials.

Time for change
Dr E.L. (Ellen) Hamaker (f) 13-02-1974, Delft, Utrecht University – Methods and Techniques
Psychologists and educators are often interested in processes. Examples include the regulation of emotions and the interaction between mother and child or partners. The researchers will develop new models that better describe such processes.

Light on the separation of foreground and background
Dr J.A. (Alexander) Heimel (m) 21-03-1975, Utrecht, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Objects can only be picked up or recognised if they can be distinguished from the background. How does the brain do this? The researchers will answer this question by measuring and manipulating the activity of the associated neurones with optical techniques.

Parameter spaces in the Langlands program
Dr J. (Jochen) Heinloth (m) 12-12-1973, Hamburg (Germany), University of Amsterdam – Mathematics
In most symmetrical objects, parameter spaces for geometric objects always have a special fine structure. This project will investigate this fine structure to find new clues for the Langlands conjecture that postulates a mysterious connection between arithmetic and analytic properties.

Every disadvantage has its advantage
Dr J.R. (Judith) Homberg (f) 14-05-1976, Purmerend, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Cognitive Neurosciences
Under the influence of stress in early life, genetic variations can have both a negative (depression) and a positive impact (improved cognition). The study aims to elucidate the (epigenetic) mechanism of such gene-environment interactions.

Where is anti-matter?
Dr O.B. (Olga) Igonkina (f) 08-08-1973, National Institute for Subatomic Physics
What happened to all the antimatter created during the Big Bang? Why does the universe consist of just matter? Scientists are looking for an explanation by studying collisions of elementary particles at the LHC, the world's largest microscope.

What makes someone a good listener?
Dr E. (Esther) Janse (f) 23-11-1973, Radboud University Nijmegen – Language science
Under difficult listening circumstances with lots of background noise, distraction or an unclear speaker, some people can comprehend speech better than others. This study examines which cognitive skills might explain these individual differences between listeners.

The Dutch identity in war and peacetime literature
Dr L.E. (Lotte) Jensen (f) 13-01-1972, Hillerød (Denmark), Radboud University Nijmegen – Dutch
In times of war, national feelings come to the fore. Previously, these were disseminated mainly through literature, since literature was one of the key opinion makers. This study will examine the role of war and peacetime literature in the creation of an early modern Dutch identity.

Simulating the iridescent colours of scarabs
Dr N. (Nathalie) Katsonis (f) 22-02-1978, Vienna (Austria), University of Groningen – Chemistry
The colours of scarabs are caused by complex structures based on the shape of a spiral. Inspired by these structures, the researchers will create new materials that reflect light and energy as scarabs do. These materials will be used to save energy.

Decoding cell identities
Dr K. (Kerstin) Kaufmann (f) 19-07-1977, Salzwedel (Germany), Wageningen University and Research Centre – Molecular Biology
Plants and animals consist of many different cell types which express different sets of genes. Using flower development as a model system, scientists will investigate how interactions between proteins and DNA regulate gene expression to specify cell identities during development.

Cooperation in a changing world
Dr E.T. (Toby) Kiers (f) 09-09-1976, New York (USA), VU University Amsterdam – Animal Ecology
I help you, you help me. In nature, organisms work together to share resources. The world is changing: resources are drying up, partners are dying out. The researchers will examine how cooperation develops or perishes in a changing world.

Repairing dangerous DNA damage
Dr P. (Puck) Knipscheer (f) 04-12-1974, Nijmegen, Hubrecht Institute
DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) are toxic DNA lesions. How ICLs are repaired is poorly understood but it involves the genes impaired in Fanconi anaemia, a cancer predisposition syndrome. Researchers will study the role of the FA pathway in ICL repair.

Giant molecules of ultra-cold atoms
Dr S. (Steven) Knoop (m) 27-02-1979, Leeuwarden, VU University Amsterdam – Laser Centre
Quantum mechanics predicts the existence of an infinite number of three-particle states where the interaction between two particles is very large. These giant molecules can be demonstrated in experiments with ultra-cold atoms. In this study, the special properties of these molecules will be studied to test the fundamental prediction.

How languages differ
Dr J.M. (Marjo) van Koppen (f) 08-05-1976, Rotterdam, Utrecht University – Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS
Languages differ, but less than you might think. The language of Limburg, for instance, shows some similarities with Arabic. This project will investigate how languages differ. We will examine whether these differences are the same for closely related languages like those of Drenthe and Limburg or Middle Dutch and modern Dutch, and non-related languages such as Dutch and Swahili.

Quality guarantees for case law in Europe
Dr X.E. (Xandra) Kramer (f) 24-04-1971, Warmond, Erasmus University Rotterdam – Private international law and comparative law
Increasingly, legal disputes between citizens and businesses cross borders. The European Union wants to make the passing of judicial verdicts easier. The researchers will formulate rules that contribute to a 'borderless' implementation, while ensuring the quality of judicial verdicts.

Fighting cancer cells with the immune system
Dr J. (Jürgen) Kuball (m) 07-05-1969, Würzburg (Germany)
The immune system plays an important role in preventing or fighting cancer. The researchers will analyse which immune cells play a role here and whether the targeted alteration of immune cells can support cancer treatment in practice.

Fluorescent tumours
Dr F.W.B. (Fijs) van Leeuwen (m) 29-10-1977, Netherlands Cancer Institute – Diagnostic Oncology
In the current clinical situation it is difficult to identify tumour tissue during attempts to surgically remove it. The aim of this research is to get this tumour tissue to "light up" so that it can be easily detected.

Blood clotting repair of the liver
Dr J.A. (Ton) Lisman (m) 10-03-1976, Arnhem, University of Groningen – Surgery
When part of the liver is surgically removed, it soon grows back to its original size. Platelets manage the restoration of the damaged liver. This research will clarify how platelets fulfil this particular function.

The musculoskeletal system revised
Dr H. (Huub) Maas (m) 11-03-1976, Eindhoven, VU University Amsterdam – Kinesiology
The body contains a very large number of muscles. It is not known to what extent muscles function independently of each other. This study will examine the degree to which muscles affect each other directly, what our nervous system does with this and the consequences of this for motion.

Migraine in women, a real headache
Dr A. (Antoinette) Maassen van den Brink (f) 17-04-1971, Delft, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam – Internal Medicine
Fluctuations in female hormone levels can trigger migraine attacks. However, we still do not know why. The researchers will study how hormone fluctuations, along with genetic factors, lead to the emergence of migraine attacks in women.

Blood-forming proteins
Dr J.H.A. (Joost) Martens (m) 21-10-1974, Veghel, Radboud University Nijmegen – Molecular Biology
DNA-binding proteins play a crucial role in the formation of all the cell types found in blood. The researchers will make a detailed study of molecular regulation by these proteins during blood formation.

Molecular collisions in slow motion
Dr S.Y.T. (Bas) van de Meerakker (m) 30-05-1977, Radboud University Nijmegen – Molecular Physics
A collision experiment in which molecules are shot at each other is one of the most fundamental ways of learning about molecules and their interactions. In this research, physicists will develop methods to allow the molecules to collide with each other in a very carefully controlled manner. This will render the exact details of the quantum mechanical collision process visible.

The social cost of illiquidity
Dr A.J. (Albert) Menkveld (m) 27-12-1971, Doetinchem, VU University Amsterdam – Economics
Financial markets do not always work flawlessly, as can be seen from the recent crisis. Where do they go wrong? This study reconstructs trading in 2007 and 2008 in order to find answers. The available data allow the investigation of the role of various parties.

Calculating cell co-ordination during blood vessel growth
Dr R.M.H. (Roeland) Merks (m) 29-11-1972, Groningen, CWI – Life Sciences
Blood vessel growth is critical to wound healing and cancer. A key mechanism here is self-organisation: blood vessel cells coordinate their movements by deforming a surrounding protein network and depositing signalling compounds. The researchers will create computer simulations to understand the interplay between cells and the protein network.

Versatility of bile
Dr S.W.C. (Saskia) van Mil (f) 30-01-1975, Maasland, University Medical Center Utrecht – Metabolic and Endocrine Diseases
Bile is essential for digestion, the metabolism of sugar and fat and the inhibition of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. By unravelling the mechanisms of how bile functions in these processes, the researchers hope it will become possible to develop new drugs for diabetes, gall disorders and inflammation.

Is fertility in the genes?
Prof. Dr M. (Melinda) Mills (f) 26-09-1969, Red Deer (Canada), University of Groningen – Sociology
A comprehensive process of delay has taken place in the age that women have their first child, alongside the growth of involuntary infertility in Europe. This research will project focus on the role of genes, the environment and their interaction, with a view to causes and the development of interventions.

Decoding cellular communication
Dr S. (Shabaz) Mohammed (m) 14-07-1977, Utrecht University – Chemistry
Internal communication is key for cells to perform their function. Stem cells can become any cell type if the right signals are generated. This research aims to develop tools to decode the internal communication of stem cells during such a transition.

Regulated sugar for my sweetheart: Glycogen-targeting of AMP-activated protein kinase
Dr D. (Dietbert) Neumann (m) 17-12-1968, Dusseldorf (Germany), Maastricht University – Cardiovascular Research Institute
Muscle glucose uptake and storage exhibit dysfunction in diabetes. The researcher will attempt to interfere with the cellular localisation of the energy sensor AMP-activated protein kinase to affect glucose utilisation for the treatment of human disease.

So much skin cancer
Dr T. (Tamar) Nijsten (m) 06-11-1972, Nijmegen, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam – Dermatology
One in five Dutch people get skin cancer. The biggest risk factor for skin cancer is a previous case of it. The researchers will analyse the genetic differences between people who develop one case of skin cancer and people who develop more than one case of it.

Receptiveness to parenting
Dr G. (Geertjan) Overbeek (m) 27-07-1975, Schoonhoven, Utrecht University – Developmental Psychology
Certain genes may make some children more receptive to parenting. Negative parenting then leads more rapidly to behavioural problems; positive parenting, on the other hand, leads to extra pro-social behaviour. The researchers will therefore examine whether parent-training effects differ for children with and without 'receptivity genes'.

"Power naps" in Parkinson's disease
Dr S. Overeem (m) 20-05-1977, Nijmegen, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Neurology
After sleeping, many patients with Parkinson's disease have an easier time moving. In this research, the mechanism behind this strange phenomenon will be unravelled. The use of "power naps" as a novel treatment for Parkinson's will also be explored.

Zebrafish model systems for human disease
Dr N.M. (Magnus) Palmblad (m) 15-03-1973, Leiden, Leiden University Medical Center – Parasitology
The Zebrafish is a powerful model system in the biomedical sciences. The researchers will apply a combination of genomics and advanced proteomics to investigate how zebrafish models can help understand human diseases such as tuberculosis and cancer at the molecular level.

Gravitation, strings, and strongly interactive matter
Dr A.P. (Andrei) Parnachev (m) 22-11-1974, Leiden University
Many useful materials, such as high-temperature superconductors, have properties that arise from the strong interactions between elementary building blocks. This research will provide a theoretical description of such properties by making a connection with models that have weak gravitational interactions.

What are the chances?
Dr J.W. (Jan-Willem) Romeijn (m) 13-08-1975, University of Groningen – Faculty of Philosophy
Doctors, politicians, investors and researchers - in the dark, all make use of probability. But what do probabilities mean exactly? The researchers will formulate an answer to this question and, on the basis of this, improve the methods used to determine odds.

Bacterial ammunition against the human immune system
Dr S.H.M. (Suzan) Rooijakkers (f) 08-09-1978, Eindhoven, University Medical Center Utrecht – Medical Microbiology
Bacteria produce proteins that inhibit the human immune system. The researchers will use these unique proteins to increase our understanding of infectious diseases and the functioning of the immune system. The research will lead to new therapies for infectious and inflammatory diseases.

Unravelling chemotherapy resistance
Dr S. (Sven) Rottenberg (m) 26-11-1969, Rendsburg (Germany), Netherlands Cancer Institute – Molecular Biology
Resistance to chemotherapy is a major handicap in the fight against breast cancer. In this project, researchers will study new mouse models resembling breast cancer in humans to improve the prediction and control of resistance to chemotherapy.

Tinkering with vaccines
Dr R.W. (Rogier) Sanders (m) 25-12-1975, IJsselstein, Academic Medical Centre/ University of Amsterdam – Medical Microbiology
The interaction between vaccines and the immune system has many unknown aspects. The researchers will improve our understanding of the interactions between vaccines and immune systems so that improved vaccines can be designed that optimally stimulate the immune system.

Plant genome archaeology
Dr M.E. (Eric) Schranz (m) 19-10-1971, Denver (USA), University of Amsterdam – IBED
The vast majority of flowering plants have a genome that has been doubled. This process has contributed to the diversity of plants we see today. The aim of this research is to identify evolutionary processes and patterns associated with genome duplications that occurred millions of years ago.

Brain mechanisms underlying cognitive plasticity
Dr H. (Heleen) A. Slagter (f) 06-08-1976, University of Amsterdam – Psychology
Contrary to what has long been thought, the adult brain is still capable of reorganisation and renewal. This research examines how training specific cognitive skills changes brain functioning and could improve cognitive capacities.

Wholeness in damaged bodies
Dr J. (Jenny) Slatman (f) 29-08-1969, Maastricht University – Health, Ethics and Society
Damage to the body can result in a diminished sense of physical wholeness. But this need not be so. The researchers will analyse whether and how cancer patients can identify with their damaged body.

Dengue disease process unravelled
Dr J.M. (Jolanda) Smit (f) 15-04-1975, Uitwierde, University Medical Center Groningen – Medical Microbiology
Each year, between 50,000,000 and 100,000,000 people are infected with the dengue virus worldwide. Approximately 500,000 people develop a bloody fever. This study will examine which processes play a role in causing a severe disease.

Controlling wet and dry
Dr J.H. (Jacco) Snoeijer (m) 04-07-1975, University of Twente – Physics of Fluids
Drops usually move in random streams, not in straight lines. This research examines how such flows can be controlled in modern printing techniques and in the chip industry, where a perfect control between 'wet' and 'dry' is required.

Distribution of plant seeds
Dr M.B. (Merel) Soons (f) 20-12-1975, Zeist, Utrecht University – Ecology and Biodiversity
Plants do not walk around, but do spread their seeds. Seeds can float on the wind, float on the water or ride along with animals. The researchers will predict where and how far away seeds end up.

Legal foundations of post-conflict peace
Dr C. (Carsten) Stahn (m) 18-12-1971, Bonn (Germany), Leiden University – Public International Law
This project investigates how international law and the ethics of warfare can enhance the fairness and sustainability of the ending of conflict. It develops and tests principles of peacemaking, based on the study of post-conflict settlements, legal regimes and their application (Kosovo, Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan).

Dealing with contrasting interests
Dr T.P.S. (Trui) Steen (f) 08-04-1971, Roeselare (Belgium), Leiden University – School of Administration
In their work, public officials are confronted by conflicting interests. How do they deal with this? The researchers will analyse the interplay between motivation, engagement with the public interest, professionalism and the cultural background of a specific group, namely veterinarian inspectors in food security services.

Suffering and living with pneumonia and dementia
Dr J.T. (Jenny) van der Steen (f) 23-03-1969, De Bilt, VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre – EMGO Institute for Health and Care
Pneumonia causes much suffering and often death in people with dementia. Family and doctors choose what seems to be the best treatment, such as with or without antibiotics and morphine. The researchers will determine whether the treatments reduce suffering and affect survival.

Electron transport through polymeric nanostructures
Dr M.A. (Meike) Stöhr (f) 14-07-1971, Ludwigsburg (Germany), University of Groningen – Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
The use of low-dimensional conducting polymers as active materials in nanoelectronic devices is a promising alternative to conventional silicon-based materials. With the aid of a new modular concept, researchers will fabricate such polymers on surfaces and study their electronic and structural properties.

Modelling geographic information in 5D
Dr J.E. (Jantien) Stoter (f) 17-03-1971, Delft University of Technology – GIS technology
3D information about roads, buildings, properties at different times and different levels of scale are now stored separately. I will examine a way of registering 5D information in a single step and how it can be used in different ways later. This approach would allow continuous and consistent navigation through space, time and scale.

Scholarship in the margin
Dr M.J. (Mariken) Teeuwen (f) 08-11-1968, Eindhoven, Huygens Institute – Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Medieval manuscripts of classical texts are full of notes. The scholarship that has been added to this over the centuries has barely been researched. Still, there is much to be found - from discussions about the universe to philosophical ideas about the soul.

Dr G.M. Terwindt
A quarter of all migraine patients experience attacks almost every day. The use of headache medication and depression play a role in this. The research focuses on mechanisms, treatments and consequences of chronic migraine.

The ecology of healthy eggs
Dr B.I. (Irene) Tieleman (f) 15-06-1973, Groningen, University of Groningen – Animal Ecology
Eggs protect themselves from infection using bacteria from the nest. The risk of infection varies with habitat. The researchers will study eggs and nests in the tropics, deserts and other areas. This will provide insight into the evolution of birds' defence systems.

Repairing the heart's broken engine
Dr J. (Jolanda) van der Velden (f) 19-02-1971, VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre – Physiology
The so-called motor proteins of the heart muscle ensure proper pumping of the heart. Errors in the genetic material of the heart muscle change these proteins and lead to heart failure. This research examines how a broken protein leads to a diseased heart and offers a possible treatment for repairing this defect.

Globalisation of the art market
Dr O.J.M (Olav) Velthuis (m) 06-07-1972, Heerlen, University of Amsterdam – Sociology
The recent economic rise of Brazil, Russia, India and China also has cultural implications. For example, Chinese art is being sold internationally for millions of dollars. This study examines how contemporary art is sold in the BRIC countries and how that differs from the art market in the West.

What is my prognosis?
Dr Y. (Yvonne) Vergouwe (f) 01-09-1971, Bleskensgraaf, Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam – Medical Decision-Making
Doctors use predictive models to determine patients' prognoses. During model development, dependency on research data is wrongly ignored. Existing methods are therefore inadequate. The researchers will develop new methods for dependent data. This will lead to better forecasts and better treatment choices.

Hereditary differences without genetic differences?
Dr K.J.F. (Koen) Verhoeven (m) 21-01-1970, Sittard, The Netherlands Institute of Ecology – Terrestrial Ecology
Hereditary characteristics are fixed in genes but, through so-called epigenetic mechanisms, genes are not only inherited but can also have their 'on' or 'off' state determined. These mechanisms respond to environmental conditions. This research examines the ecological and evolutionary significance of this in plants.

Similarity in music
Dr A. (Anja) Volk (f) 09-08-1969, Chemnitz
There is no "Google for music" that lets us search for music on the Internet successfully. This project is a crucial step in that direction, examining how people experience similarity in music and how computers can model this.

Self-defence in plants
Dr S.C.M. (Saskia) van Wees (f) 30-04-1969, Utrecht University – Plant Microbe Interactions
Plants are plagued by diseases and pests. Plants defend themselves against these through an immune response that is regulated by an ingenious signalling network controlled by cooperating plant hormones. This study will unravel the signalling network and study its importance to plants.

Flexible robots
Dr M. (Martijn) Wisse (m) 16-02-1976, Delft University of Technology – Biomechanical Engineering
A factory robot moves stiffly and inefficiently. People do that, too, with new movements, but they quickly become more flexible and more effective thanks to the ability to learn and a sophisticated physique. In this research, robotic arms will also learn to move smoothly.

Communicating vessels in brain tumours
Dr T. Wurdinger (m), VU University Amsterdam Medical Centre – Neurosurgery
There is no cure for patients with malignant brain tumours. Genetic material from these tumours can manipulate the healthy brain and is secreted through small vesicles. This research examines how these communicating vessels and their genetic messages may be inhibited in order to counteract tumour growth.

HIV, Human Rights and Identity
Dr J. (Jarrett) Zigon (m) 14-08-1973, Philadelphia (USA), University of Amsterdam – Anthropology
Human rights are used worldwide as a motivation for the provision of services to people with HIV/AIDS. This project will study the consequences of such use rights on the identities of clients and staff of HIV/AIDS prevention and care centres.