Vidi Awards 2016

NWO has awarded 89 experienced researchers a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros. The grant enables them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group. You find a list with the names of the laureates and summaries of their research projects below.



Alphabetical list by researcher's surname

A

Increasing the Capacity of Optical Nonlinear Interfering Channels (ICONIC)

Dr A. (Alex) Alvarado (m), TUE

Optical fibers are strands of glass with the thickness of a human hair which carry nearly all the world Internet traffic. However, the installed fibers are running out of capacity. This project will use mathematics to increase the capacity of these fibers, which will guarantee faster future broadband connections.

Getting a hold on protein transport machines

Dr M.-E. (Marie-Eve) Aubin-Tam (f), Delft University of Technology- Bionanoscience

A variety of protein nanomachines sit in the membranes of our cells. Some of these nanomachines are extremely important for our metabolism as they transport proteins across compartments in the cell. With this project the researchers will develop a new method to understand how these transport machines exactly work.

B

Shining light on catalysts

Dr A. (Andrea) Baldi (m) 22-10-1979, DIFFER – Solar Fuels

Catalysts allow us to accelerate and modify chemical reactions and are therefore used in the manufacturing of almost every chemical product. Here researchers will use light to improve the catalytic performance of extremely small metal particles.

The origin of structure in the universe

Prof Dr D. (Daniel) Baumann (m) 02-08-1978, UvA – Natuurkunde

All structure in our universe is formed by the gravitational collapse of fluctuations in primordial matter. The physical origin of these fluctuations remains mysterious. Physicists explore the possibility that quantum effects in the early universe were the source of all structures.

Multiscale Modelling of Long-Distance Electronic Transport and Chiral-Induced Spin Selectivity in Supramolecular Nanostructures

Dr rer. nat. B. (Björn) Baumeier (m), TU Eindhoven - Mathematics and Computer Science

The aim of the project is to understand the mechanisms underlying long-distance and spin-selective electronic transport in complex molecular systems. Developed novel multiscale computer simulation techniques will provide unprecedented insight into how electrons travel through helical material and why – knowledge crucial for exploiting these effects in many technological applications.

Quantum dots shining their light on plasma charging

Dr ir J. (Job) Beckers (m), TUE

How particles only a few nanometers in size charge in plasma is extremely complex. Although considerable technological relevance, the principal mechanisms have never been investigated experimentally in a direct manner. This research utilizes quantum dots, changing color upon charging, to probe fundamental charging processes and the governing plasma physical processes.

Multidimensional mapping of spatio-thermochemical states

Dr A. (Alexis) Bohlin (m), Delft University of Technology – AWEP

Deep insight into multiscale chemical interactions can only be obtained from spectroscopic measurements garnered in spatial and temporal correlation. The aim of this research is to push forward new frontiers in optical coherent imaging: providing simultaneous space-, spectrum-, and time information, validated in gas-phase reactive- and soft condensed media.

Using real world data to assess cost-effectiveness

Dr J.E. (Judith) Bosmans (v), VU

Health economics  Healthcare budgets are restricted. How can society be sure that we spend the available healthcare resources efficiently? To answer this question decision-makers need information about the cost-effectiveness of care under routine conditions. This project will develop and evaluate advanced methods to do this.

Chemistry in exotic worlds

Dr J. (Jordy) Bouwman (m), Leiden University – Leiden Observatory

Thousands of planets have been detected outside of our solar system and some reside in the “habitable zone” around their star. Complex chemical processes take place in the atmospheres around these planets. The researchers will search for pathways that may yield building blocks of life in these foreign worlds.

Which processes cause errors in stem cell DNA?

Dr R. (Ruben) van Boxtel (m), UMC Utrecht  – Biomedical Genetics

Adult stem cells gradually accumulate DNA errors during life. Eventually, this can cause age-associated diseases, such as cancer. I will investigate what processes cause these errors and determine their consequences on stem cell function. This research is a critical step towards understanding age-associated disease onset and developing future preventive therapies.

Revealing causes of brain inflammation

Dr M.C. (Matthijs) Brouwer, (m), AMC, Neurologie 

With currently available diagnostic tests, it’s difficult for doctors to quickly identify the correct diagnosis in patients suspected of an infection of the brain. In this project I will evaluate new diagnostic tests to identify the cause of disease and speed up time to treatment in a large group of patients.

Understanding stability of walking – active control towards a passively stable pattern?

Dr S.M. (Sjoerd) Bruijn (M), VU – Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences

It is largely unclear how human manage to walk on two legs without falling. The hypothesis of the current project is that walking only requires active control in certain moments in the gait cycle. In this project, the way in which this control is exerted is investigated.

Satiric news: Razor-sharp wit or dull insult?

Dr C.F. (Christian) Burgers (m), VU – Communication Science

Satiric news is often controversial by challenging current politicians. The researchers model how, across media, language use in satire is different from ‘regular’ genres like news, and how these differences in media and language use impact the public’s perception of the topic under discussion.

C

Real-time forecasting of killer electrons on satellite orbits

Dr E.C. Camporeale (m), Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Satellites orbiting the Earth for telecommunication, logistics, and military purposes are in a hostile environment, being often bombarded by energetic electrons coming from the Sun, that can break down their electronic equipment. Here, we will study a technology that will allow forecasting such harmful events, with sufficient warning time so that countermeasures could be taken.

Convection inside the Earth - just like a lava lamp?

Dr L.J. (Laura) Cobden (f), UU – Earth Sciences

Volcanic eruptions allow heat and material to escape from the Earth's interior. But where does that material come from and how is it brought to the surface? In this project geophysicists will use pattern-recognition methods to determine whether convection proceeds via hot, upwelling "plumes", like a lava lamp.

Stagnating summer weather inside out

Dr D. (Dim) Coumou (m), VU/IVM & KNMI – Climate Research

Stagnating summer weather can cause severe impacts to society. This project will improve our understanding of the underlying drivers of such extremes, including the role of global warming, using machine learning techniques and state-of-the-art climate models. It will reduce societal risks by improving forecasts and early warning systems.

D

What is the future of infrastructures?

Prof D. Dalakoglou (m), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Since the outbreak of the 2008 debt-crisis is emerging a gap between our infrastructural needs and what the State and the market can provide. Infra-Demos project will study how society covers this gap via novel forms of civic participation and technological innovations.

Pieces of plastic with biological properties?

Dr P.Y.W. (Patricia) Dankers (f), TU Eindhoven – Biomedical Engineering

The researchers will use unique chemical interactions to controllably introduce bioactive signals in polymeric materials to respond to cells in a two-way process. It is proposed that load-bearing biomedical implants, composed of these controlled bioactive materials display superior life-like functions, and are therefore able to faster induce proper tissue formation.

Any Thing for Anyone?

Dr A.J.A.M. (Alexander) van Deursen (m), University of Twente - Communication Science

Behavioral factors necessary to understand the impact of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) have been ignored, and we know little about the key driver: user skills. To ensure more equal opportunities, the proposed research investigates inequalities in IoT skills both in performance tests and in the social context of the home.

Finding resolution for the Middle to Later Stone Age transition and the origin of indigenous South African people

Dr G.L. (Gerrit) Dusseldorp (m), UL - Humanities

During the Middle to Later Stone Age transition in South Africa stone tools similar  to Neanderthal tools disappear. Instead, characteristically modern tools appear. Because we  hardly know sites from this period, we do not understand this behavioural transition. Using forgotten sites, I will unlock the causes of this change.

E

What is the secret behind the new solar-cell miracle material?

Dr B. (Bruno) Ehrler (m) 03-01-1985, AMOLF - Center for Nanophotonics

A new solar cell material, metal-halide perovskite, has stirred up the research community because of its high efficiency. It absorbs light well and slows down charge-carrier recombination – a rare combination. Researchers will investigate why that is the case and how the underlying mechanism can best be utilized in solar cells.

NextView: Many Views of Virtual Worlds

Prof Dr E. (Elmar) Eisemann (m), Delft University of Technology – Computer Graphics and Visualization

Computer Graphics is important for many domains including geoscience, medicine, and entertainment. Traditional graphics methods are particularly costly when used for novel display devices (e.g., virtual reality) and in applications with many users (e.g., games). We will develop a novel many-view pipeline resulting in high-performance solutions for these scenarios.

G

Crime and Time: How short-term mindsets encourage crime and how the future self can prevent it

Dr J. L.(Jean-Louis)  van Gelder, (m), NSCR - Law

Delinquents are shortsighted and fail to consider the long-term consequences of their behavior. This research program develops and test a new theory explaining this shortsightedness by integrating sociogenic and individual perspectives on crime. It uses virtual reality and a smartphone-application to instill a future-oriented mindset and reduce delinquent involvement.

Welfare – dependency from parent to child

Dr A.C. (Anne) Gielen (f), EUR – Economics

This study investigates how welfare receipt during childhood impacts socio-economic outcomes in adulthood. Are positive effects from income protection offset by transmission of a culture of dependency from one generation to the next? What are the underlying mechanisms? And does this have long-term impacts on an individual and on society?

Integrating Metabolomics and Genomics for understanding human Disease

Dr C.F.H.A. (Christian) Gilissen (m), Radboudumc, g Human Genetics

The identification of disease-causing errors in the DNA is difficult and provides us with limited insights into the workings of the disease. Through bioinformatics methods and data integration of metabolite and DNA data I will improve the identification of genetic causes of disease and find novel leads for therapies.

Engineering artificial signalling cascades using a cell-free synthetic biology approach

Dr T.F.A. (Tom) de Greef (m), TU Eindhoven – Biomedical Engineering

The cell uses sophisticated molecular networks to process biochemical information. Inspired by signalling pathways in the cell, the researchers design and build simplified molecular networks under cell-free conditions that are able to process biomolecular information in an efficient manner.

Eliminate a trial fibrillation

Dr N.M.S. (Natasja)  de Groot, (v), Erasmus MC, Cardiologie

Progression of atrial fibrillation (AF) is caused by abnormalities in electrical conduction (‘electropathology’) which can be uncovered by applying a dedicated electrical stimulation technique. The severity of electropathology is indicated by the level of electrical biomarkers which can be used to individualize diagnosis and therapy of AF.

H

High-tech for healthy bones

Prof dr P. (Pamela) Habibovic (f), UM – MERLN Institute

Millions of patients with damaged bone are treated by transplantation of bone from elsewhere in their body. The available amount is limited and harvesting leads to complications. The researchers will produce and study thousands of potential artificial implants, to find a perfect, inexpensive replacement for a patient’s own bone.

Clocks in the human brain

Dr B.M. (Ben) Harvey (m), UU - Psychology

Our sense of time helps us interact with events in the world around us. It changes with age and some mental illnesses. At present, psychologists don’t understand how the brain processes time. This research uses brain scanning to show the brain processes and integrates time information from our different senses.

SearchX to the rescue

Dr C. (Claudia) Hauff (v), TUD — EEMCS

Bringing higher education to millions of people for little to no cost is a vision that massive open online courses

aim to fulfil. This vision though is right now very far from reality - too few people succeed in learning this way.

This project attempts to change that.

The speaker in speech

Dr W.F.L. (Willemijn) Heeren (v), UU – Linguistics

Different speakers may sound alike, and the same speaker may sound very differently. Where in the speech signal is the information that captures an individual speaker, and does that information depend on what the speaker says? By researching large speech databases investigators intend to discover how speakers are characterized.

White blood cells with broken antennae

Dr J.W.J. (Jeroen) van Heijst, (m) AMC, Experimental Immunology

In the battle against infections some white blood cells lose their antennae that are needed to detect the disease-causing organisms. The researcher aims to understand how this occurs and whether the antennae can be restored, to enable better protection against infectious diseases.

Physics in the freezer

Dr ir. I. (Iddo) Heller (m) 2-10-1979, VU – Physics of Living Systems

Many lifeforms can survive freezing conditions with the help of antifreeze proteins. The researchers will image individual antifreeze proteins in action to discover how they control ice growth. New insights can benefit applications like crop protection and cryopreservation.

I am gigging my way through the day

Dr A.M. (Andrea) Herrmann (f) Utrecht University – Innovation Studies Group

The ‘gig economy’ - enabling the hiring of service workers via internet-based platforms -is revolutionizing work. While being accessible for workers around the world, gig-jobs are not covered by traditional employment legislation. To enable a meaningful regulation, this project analyses the activities of gig-workers in seven Western economies.

Decoding Infinities of Feynman Graphs

Dr F. (Franz) Herzog (m) 7-5-1984, Nikhef – theory group

Data taken by CERN’s Large Hadron Collider holds the answers to some of our most fundamental questions about nature. To unlock its secrets I shall harness the power of mathematics and computing to overcome the problem of infinities present in Feynman graphs, and allow highly precise predictions to be made.

Vulnerability and plasticity in obsessive-compulsive disorder, a lifespan approach

Prof dr O.A. (Odile van den Heuvel (v) VUMC, Psychiatry

The vision is that we need to study mental disorders using a lifespan perspective. I will study how abnormal brain maturation leads to mental disease, and vice versa how chronic abnormal behaviours change the brain. I will test how magnetic brain stimulation potentiates training of healthy behaviour in chronic patients.

J

Systems with infinite dimensional symmetries

Dr B. (Bas) Janssens (m) (UU)

Think of one iron cube, and one made of water. The iron cube can only be transformed into itself in finitely many ways (48), whereas the cube of water admits in finitely many transformations. This project is about the quantum mechanical discription of the latter systems.

Small changes, big effects

Dr I.H. (Iris) Jonkers (f), UMCG – Genetics

Immune-mediated diseases are  partially caused by small genetic mistakes in patients. However, it is unclear how these mistakes in DNA lead to disease. Therefore, I aim to determine the consequences of these mistakes because a better understanding of this link between genetics and immune-mediated disease will provide new treatment strategies.

Getting to know Homo erectus in Trinil

Dr J.C.A. (Josée) Joordens (f), Leiden University – Archaeology/Earth Sciences

One of humankind’s major questions is “what made us human?” In this geo-archaeological project we study the age, ecology and lifestyle of our extinct relative Homo erectus on Java. We will re-excavate the site of Trinil, where in in 1891 the first fossils of this species were found.

K

Tailored parenting advice

Dr L. (Loes) Keijsers (f), TiU – Developmental Psychology

Parenting a teen can be a challenge. In the ADAPT-program, psychologists will assess how parenting affects every child’s well-being in a different way, using smart phone applications with micro-questionnaires. These new theoretical insights can help to tailor future parenting advice to the family’s specific needs and strengths.

Dads, dimes, and quarters

Prof Dr R. (Renske) Keizer (v) EUR - Sociology

There is a Dutch saying: who is born for a dime, will never be worth a quarter. In this project, the researcher investigates whether this is true and specifically how fathers may influence this. Attention is also given to the role of context: the extended family, peers and country characteristics.

How to mix the perfect high entropy alloy cocktail?

Dr F.H.W. (Fritz) Körmann (m), TU Delft - Materials Science and Engineering (3ME)

High entropy alloys follow a new alloying strategy by mixing many elements in nearequal fractions. Some of these “alloy-cocktails” reveal unanticipatedly excellent materials properties, but the underlying reasons are not understood. New alloy design principles towards outstanding properties without scarce elements will be explored through computer simulations.

L

Increasing the Reliability and Efficiency of Psychological Science

Dr D. (Daniel) Lakens, (m), TUE - Sociology

How can psychologists generate reliable empirical knowledge most efficiently while taking into account statistical aspects of performing empirical research, as well as the resources and goals researchers have? This project will examine best practices and develop recommendations that will make psychological research more reliable and efficient.

How do protein networks affect the evolution of organisms?

Dr Ir. L. (Liedewij) Laan (f), TU Delft – Bionanoscience

How organisms evolve is a large unanswered question, while the answer is essential to understand evolutionary processes such as cancer progression. The researchers will investigate how evolutionary processes are affected by the protein networks, which make up an organism.

Shattering the glass mystery

Dr E. (Edan) Lerner (m) 20-12-1978, UvA - Institute for Theorerical Physics

Glasses are solids whose atoms or molecules are organized in a messy arrangement. These materials are all around us: from DVDs to car windshields. Despite their wide prevalence, scientists still do not agree about how these materials form, and what happens when they break. Computer simulations and statistical theories will unravel the mysteries of glass.

The NOTCH3 disease spectrum: is CADASIL the tip of the iceberg?

Dr S.A.J. (Saskia) Lesnik Oberstein, (v), LUMC, Humane Genetica

Recently, the research group discovered that gene mutations which cause a hereditary dementia called CADASIL, are quite common in the general population. We want to study whether these mutations may be a cause of cognitive decline in 60+ year old individuals in whom CADASIL would normally never be considered.

Virtual fingerprint of the damaged heart

Dr ir. J. (Joost) Lumens (m), Maastricht University, Cardiovascular Diseases 

Sudden cardiac arrest  following ventricular arrhythmia often arises from unrecognized cardiac tissue damage. The researchers will combine common echocardiographic imaging with computer simulation to obtain an electro-mechanical “fingerprint” of the heart. This diagnostic approach will enable early recognition and characterization of pro-arrhythmic tissue damage and thereby improve arrhythmic risk management.

M

Lipids in neuronal communication

Dr H.D. (Harold) Mac Gillavry (m), UU – Cell Biology

In the brain, neurons communicate across highly specialized contacts, synapses. The researchers will develop advanced microscopy techniques to visualize lipids in the synapse, and investigate how these cellular components contribute to synaptic communication. Disruptions in synapses underlie brain disorders, these studies will reveal insights in the development of these diseases.

Light and sound-based signal processing in silicon nitride

Dr D.A.I (David) Marpaung (m), UT

This project will develop an advanced signal processing technology based on the exquisite light and hypersound interactions in a silicon nitride photonic circuit. This so-called Brillouin integrated signal processor will serve as a critical technology for spectrum management and utilization in future wireless and optical networks.

The Cosmic Laboratory

Dr P. D. (Daan) Meerburg (m), Kapteyn-VSI, Ster-en-natuurkunde

The conditions in the early Universe present a unique natural event; the ultimate cosmic collider experiment. Signatures from this event provide the opportunity to empirically

test the fundamental properties of nature. By identifying observables which optimally utilize big cosmological data, the research aims to find evidence for new physics.

When the good gets bad…and sticks! Understanding and challenging (the spreading of) pain-related avoidance behavior

Dr A. (Ann) Meulders (f), Maastricht University – Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience

Pain-related avoidance is adaptive when averting bodily harm, but excessive spreading to safe behavior becomes maladaptive, culminating into chronic pain disability. Avoidance behavior is also selfreinforcing, making it difficult to treat. This project aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying (altering) (over)generalization and persistence of avoidance in the absence of fear.

The origin of binary black holes

Dr S. E. de Mink, UvA – Department of Physics and Astronomy

“How did they form?” is the question asked by many when the detection of gravitational waves originating merging black holes was announced, with masses much greater than those of known black holes of stellar-origin. This project addresses the crucial open questions concerning the physical processes involved in their formation.

Misrepresenting Diversity? Identity in politics

Dr (Liza M.) Mügge (f), UvA- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Ideal democracies should accommodate the citizenry’s full diversity. This especially matters for structurally underrepresented persons, such as ethnic minorities with a migration background. But how do minority politicians and citizens themselves believe personal identities should be represented in politics? Do their expectations and assessments of representation diverge or overlap?

Statistical Analyses of Dynamic Social Networks Using Time-Stamped Interactions

Dr Ir. J. (Joris) Mulder (m) – Tilburg University, Methodology and Statistics

The world consists of social networks that constantly change as time goes by. To understand this dynamic process, researchers need to analyze sequences of timestamped interactions from past history. This project will develop a statistical framework for analyzing these interaction sequences to better understand complex social interaction processes.

N

Are we techno-sapiens?

Dr S.K. (Saskia) Nagel (v), Universiteit Twente, Philosophy

Technologies are deeply enmeshed in our lives. Some serve as extensions of our minds outside our bodies. Our intimate relationship with technologies demands inquiry of who we are and who we want to be. This research studies the positive and negative implications of intimate human-technology-relations and suggests ways for evaluation.

From Gesture to Language

Dr V.A.S. (Victoria) Nyst (v), Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

I will compare the gesturing of hearing speakers with the sign languages that emerged in villages with a high incidence of deafness in West Africa, to establish whether grammatical differences in sign languages can be traced to cross-cultural differences in gesture.

O

From data to smart machines

Dr ir. T.A.E. (Tom) Oomen (m), TU/e, Mechanical Engineering

Future high-tech machines will be highly complex with many actuators and sensors. The proposed framework will exploit learning from the abundance of data to allow machines to self-adapt. This will enable a new generation of machines with unparalleled accuracy, speed, and cost for future manufacturing and scientific instruments.

Sugar: a jumpstart for cancer

 Dr ir. M.H. (Maaike) Oosterveer (v), UMCG, Nutrition/ Physiology 

Metabolic diseases can cause cancer. The researchers have found that high sugar levels can disturb cell division. In this project they will establish how cell division can go wrong when sugar accumulates, and how the normal process can be restored to prevent cancer development.

Getting things done: Finding the balance between deciding fast, and deciding well.

Dr H.E.M. (Hanneke) den Ouden (f), Radboud University – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour

"Don't rush decisions!" Good advice, but too much deliberation leads to missed opportunities. Researchers will investigate how our brains help us to switch between impulsive and thoughtful decision-making strategies, and how getting stuck in one particular strategy may be related to negative consequences such as addiction and burn-out.

P

The individuality of stem cells

Dr J.T.M.L. (Judith) Paridaen (f), UMCG – Ageing Biology

Stem cells produce all specialised cells in our body. Therefore, stem cells undergo repeated divisions to produce progeny. The number and type of produced cells varies between individual stem cells. To allow better predictions of stem cell progeny, the researchers will study how individual stem cells determine their division outcomes.

Monitoring fetal hormones by measurements in maternal serum

Prof dr R.P. (Robin) Peeters (m), Erasmus MC, Endocrinology

Low maternal thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy result in a decreased child IQ, autism, ADHD and schizophrenia. To improve treatment of hypothyroid mothers (and brain development of their children), this study will develop a method to monitor fetal thyroid status via measurements in maternal serum.

How much faster, how much better can we map the human brain?

Dr A.B. (Benedikt) Poser (m), Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology

Unraveling the mysteries of our brain has long been the Holy Grail in medical and psychological sciences. To ever achieve this, we must further develop our latest MRI technology in order to be able to measure the brain’s structure and processes with very high spatial and temporal precision.

R

Enabling volume-restricted metabolomics using next-generation microscale analytical tools

Dr R. (Rawi) Ramautar (m), Leiden University - LACDR

The analytical toolbox used in modern metabolomics encounters difficulties for the analysis of volume-restricted biological samples. Therefore, a significant number of crucial biomedical/clinical questions cannot be addressed by the current approach. To enable volume-restricted metabolomics, the researchers will develop novel microscale technologies for in-depth metabolic profiling of severely limited sample amounts.

DNA mutations in three dimensions

Dr J. de Ridder (m), UMC Utrecht

In the search for human disease-causing mutations it is often assumed that DNA is a straight line. In reality, DNA is three-dimensional. Therefore important mutations go unnoticed. The researchers will create an atlas of the shape of DNA to enable improved discovery of diseasecausing mutations.

Patient engagement of patients with advanced cancer

Dr J.A.C. Rietjens (v), EMC – department of Public Health

Patients with advanced cancer increasingly need to uptake a significant role in managing their healthcare. Many patients and their family caregivers are ill-prepared for this complex task. The researchers will examine who has more difficulties with selfmanagement, why this is the case, and how they can best be supported.

Nature’s weapon against viral infections

Dr H.J. (Jelger) Risselada (m), Utrecht University – Bijvoet Center

IFITMs are small proteins which are recently known to very effectively inhibit viral infections. This project will clarify the molecular mechanisms which IFITMs exploit. These insights may lead to the development of novel and improved therapies against viral infections.

S

CrossRoads: European cultural diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine

Dr K.M.J. Sanchez (v), LU, LUCL

Culture was one of the key instruments used by European Powers, the Vatican and the Orthodox Church to enhance their influence in Palestine between 1920 and 1950. This project investigates the way in which this impacted the cultural identity of two Arab

Microscopic lifeguards save drowning plants

Dr R. (Rashmi) Sasidharan (f), UU – Plant Sciences

Plants have microscopic pores called stomata regulating gas exchange and pathogen entry. Regulation of stomatal opening is critical to survive environmental adversities. I will use high-resolution molecular-genetics tools to understand how stomatal adjustment facilitates plant recovery following flooding. In an increasingly wetter world, this knowledge can lead to flooding-tolerant crops.

A snapshot of human metabolism: novel non-invasive information by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Dr V.B. Schrauwen-Hinderling (v) MUMC, Radiology

For metabolic disease, such as diabetes, knowledge of underlying molecular mechanisms is largely obtained from cell- and animal models. However, translating this information to humans is urgently required. I propose to develop new Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy methods to gain novel non-invasive information of metabolic health thus truly advancing translational research.

Christian communities: the Orthodox and the Melkite.

Institutional memory and colonial culture

Dr A.F. (Alicia) Schrikker, UL, Institute for History

How did Dutch colonial officials justify their work? This project examines previously underutilized colonial sources to answer this question. The hypothesis is that this interplay between local practice and political thought was crucial to the development of

Big Data Analytics for Economic Time Series

Dr S.J.M. (Stephan) Smeekes (m), Maastricht University – Quantitative Economics

In economics large and complex datasets are collected ever more frequently over longer timespans. In this project the researchers develop appropriate methods for correct and reliable analysis of this kind of data, with emphasis on methods that can accurately as-sess the certainty of findings and predictions.

Building molecular structures with a template

Dr ir. J. (Joris) Sprakel (m), Wageningen University & Research - Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter

Nature often builds her delicate structures along a template that serves not only as a blueprint, but which also plays a complex role in regulating molecular interactions. In this project, the researchers will unravel how this process works; for example to learn how the design of new materials can be made smarter.

T

Protecting quantum computations

Dr T. H. (Tim) Taminiau (m) 26-01-1981, Delft University of Technology - Physics

The laws of quantum mechanics enable a powerful new way to understand and process information. However, the quantum states required are extremely prone to errors. The researchers will make quantum states stored in diamonds tolerate errors by actively correcting them.

Analysis and Control of Switched Differential Algebraic Equations

Dr S.(Stephan) Trenn (m)  - University of Groningen, Johann Bernoulli Institut for Mathematics and Computer Science

Disconnecting power lines leads to large sparks (arc of light) at the circuit breakers. Occurrences of these sparks at the wrong place or at the wrong time can lead to disastrous effects. The novel mathematical modeling framework of switched differential algebraic equations allows to describe, analyze and prevent these sparks.

U

Between collectivization and enclosure

Dr. Justus L. Uitermark (m), Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam

Why do residents in rapidly growing cities succeed or fail to secure amenities for their health, dignity, and comfort? Using a novel theoretical approach and an innovative combination of methods, this project maps and explains the uneven provision of water, waste disposal, and public space.

V

Matching therapy and bladder cancer patient 

Dr ir. S.H. (Sita) Vermeulen (v) Radboudumc, Health Evidence 

A good therapy choice in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer requires a test that can predict who will and who will not respond to immunotherapy. The researchers measure changes in the genes of the patient and the bladder tumor to facilitate the development of such a test.

New Light for Nanolithography

Dr O.O. (Oscar) Versolato  (m) Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL)

Nanolithography with extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light will save Moore’s law, and shrink chips to ever smaller sizes. However, the generation of EUV light remains a challenge. I will meet this challenge by building a strong scientific base that will underpin more stable and powerful laser-produced plasma sources of EUV light.

W

Why do the less educated distrust institutional professionals?

Dr J. (Jeroen) van der Waal (m), EUR – Public Administration & Sociology

The less educated distrust politicians, judges and scientists more than their more educated counterparts. This project develops a theory and method to uncover the role of institutional knowledge and colliding lifestyles and attitudes.

How salience determines grammar

Dr G. J. (Jenneke) van der Wal (f), Harvard University - Linguistics

Languages differ in their grammar. Many European languages use grammatical roles like subject and object, forming the basis of current universal models of grammar. However,

Bantu languages don’t fit these models. How is their grammar organised? Together with African linguists, this project develops a more encompassing model based on salience.

Selective Attention and Economic Decisions

Dr J.J. (Joël) van der Weele (m) - University of Amsterdam (UvA)

People often “look the other way” when it comes to the consequences of their economic choices for others. This research investigates how such strategies of selective attention impacts markets for ethical products and the development of social norms related to sustainable consumption.

Roads to Recovery

Dr V.G.M. (Vivian) Weerdesteyn, (v), Radboudumc, - Kinesiology/ Rehabilitation medicine

It is yet unknown how various pathways in the brain interact in recovering balance and gait abilities after stroke. The researchers aim to provide insight into this matter. In addition, they will study whether a new training program may enhance balance and gait control, and thereby functioning in daily life.

A quest to find the largest particle accelerators in our Universe

Dr R. J. (Reinout) van Weeren (m), UL, Leiden Observatory

How do the largest particle accelerators in our Universe work? What is the origin of cosmic magnetic fields? These questions are intimately related to the properties of shocks waves in galaxy clusters and filaments. The researchers will use the world’s largest radio telescopes, including LOFAR, to answer these questions.

The Walking Dead at Saqqara

Dr L. Weiss (v), UL, LIAS

In ancient Egypt, as today, religion was subject to constant change. Changing religion will be scrutinized in the Saqqara necropolis in terms of individual/group practices,

transmission of texts/decoration as well as the changing landscape. Thereby the project adds historical depth to the question of how traditions are shaped, modified or even invented.

The striking enigma of stroke in women with migraine

Dr M.J.H. (Marieke) Wermer (v) LUMC, Neurology

Women have a higher life-time risk of stroke and a worse outcome compared with men. Migraine is an important risk factor for stroke in women. I will investigate the migrainestroke relationship in clinical datasets and experimental vessel models to better identify women at high risk and to develop new therapies.

How should automated vehicles communicate with other road users?

Dr J.C.F. de Winter (m), TU Delft, Department of BioMechanical Engineering

The coming decades, road users will share the roads with automated vehicles (AVs). Contemporary AVs are intelligent, but don’t communicate to other traffic. The researchers will investigate whether AVs should communicate in a human-like or mechanistic, and in an implicit or explicit manner, to bicyclists, pedestrians, and manually controlled cars.

Disentangling ice loss of mountain glaciers and ice caps

Dr Ir. B. (Bert) Wouters (m), UU/Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) – Glaciology

Glaciers and ice caps have been responsible for a substantial part of sea-level rise in the past century, exceeding the contributions of Greenland and Antarctic ice. The research team will use satellite observations to map their present-day ice loss with an unprecedented accuracy and resolution, and unravel the driving processes.

Managing multi-level conflicts in commercial cities in Northern Europe (C. 1350-1570)

Dr J.J. (Justyna) Wubs-Mrozewicz (v), UvA – Geesteswetenschappen

We all want to know how to end conflicts, but the current challenge is to be able to manage them effectively. In this project, ‘conflict managers’ in premodern commercial cities in northern Europe open a new door to understanding how complex conflicts were dealt with in the past.

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Breast milk as a missing link between mothers and their babies’ health

Dr A. Zhernakova (v), UMCG, Department of Genetics

Breast milk may play a significant role in establishing a baby’s gut microbiome. I will study the breast milk microbiome − the nutritional and maternal factors that influence its composition, its role in the development of babies’ gut microbiome and its link to infant health.

How strange are inefficient viruses?

Dr M.P. (Mark) Zwart (m), WUR – Plant Virology

Many viruses have segmented genomes, but some viruses go a step further and package these different genome segments into separate virus particles. These viruses defy our understanding – they are in theory so inefficient they should not exist. I will investigate what the benefits of this strange virus lifestyle are.

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Sorted by NWO-division

 

As of January 2017 the NWO-divisions have been brought under the umbrella of different NWO-domains. Read more about new NWO.

Earth and Life Sciences

Which processes cause errors in stem cell DNA?

Dr. R. (Ruben) van Boxtel (m), UMC Utrecht  – Biomedical Genetics

Adult stem cells gradually accumulate DNA errors during life. Eventually, this can cause age-associated diseases, such as cancer. I will investigate what processes cause these errors and determine their consequences on stem cell function. This research is a critical step towards understanding age-associated disease onset and developing future preventive therapies.

Convection inside the Earth - just like a lava lamp?

Dr L.J. (Laura) Cobden (f), UU – Earth Sciences

Volcanic eruptions allow heat and material to escape from the Earth's interior. But where does that material come from and how is it brought to the surface? In this project geophysicists will use pattern-recognition methods to determine whether convection proceeds via hot, upwelling "plumes", like a lava lamp.

Stagnating summer weather inside out

Dr. D. (Dim) Coumou (m), VU/IVM & KNMI – Climate Research

Stagnating summer weather can cause severe impacts to society. This project will improve our understanding of the underlying drivers of such extremes, including the role of global warming, using machine learning techniques and state-of-the-art climate models. It will reduce societal risks by improving forecasts and early warning systems.

Small changes, big effects

Dr. I.H. (Iris) Jonkers (f), UMCG – Genetics

Immune-mediated diseases are  partially caused by small genetic mistakes in patients. However, it is unclear how these mistakes in DNA lead to disease. Therefore, I aim to determine the consequences of these mistakes because a better understanding of this link between genetics and immune-mediated disease will provide new treatment strategies.

Getting to know Homo erectus in Trinil

Dr J.C.A. (Josée) Joordens (f), Leiden University – Archaeology/Earth Sciences

One of humankind’s major questions is “what made us human?” In this geo-archaeological project we study the age, ecology and lifestyle of our extinct relative Homo erectus on Java. We will re-excavate the site of Trinil, where in in 1891 the first fossils of this species were found.

How do protein networks affect the evolution of organisms?

Dr. Ir. L. (Liedewij) Laan (f), TU Delft – Bionanoscience

How organisms evolve is a large unanswered question, while the answer is essential to understand evolutionary processes such as cancer progression. The researchers will investigate how evolutionary processes are affected by the protein networks, which make up an organism.

Lipids in neuronal communication

Dr H.D. (Harold) Mac Gillavry (m), UU – Cell Biology

In the brain, neurons communicate across highly specialized contacts, synapses. The researchers will develop advanced microscopy techniques to visualize lipids in the synapse, and investigate how these cellular components contribute to synaptic communication. Disruptions in synapses underlie brain disorders, these studies will reveal insights in the development of these diseases.

The individuality of stem cells

Dr. J.T.M.L. (Judith) Paridaen (f), UMCG – Ageing Biology

Stem cells produce all specialised cells in our body. Therefore, stem cells undergo repeated divisions to produce progeny. The number and type of produced cells varies between individual stem cells. To allow better predictions of stem cell progeny, the researchers will study how individual stem cells determine their division outcomes.

Microscopic lifeguards save drowning plants

Dr. R. (Rashmi) Sasidharan (f), UU – Plant Sciences

Plants have microscopic pores called stomata regulating gas exchange and pathogen entry. Regulation of stomatal opening is critical to survive environmental adversities. I will use high-resolution molecular-genetics tools to understand how stomatal adjustment facilitates plant recovery following flooding. In an increasingly wetter world, this knowledge can lead to flooding-tolerant crops.

Disentangling ice loss of mountain glaciers and ice caps

Dr. Ir. B. (Bert) Wouters (m), UU/Institute for Marine and Atmospheric research Utrecht (IMAU) – Glaciology

Glaciers and ice caps have been responsible for a substantial part of sea-level rise in the past century, exceeding the contributions of Greenland and Antarctic ice. The research team will use satellite observations to map their present-day ice loss with an unprecedented accuracy and resolution, and unravel the driving processes.

How strange are inefficient viruses?

Dr. M.P. (Mark) Zwart (m), WUR – Plant Virology

Many viruses have segmented genomes, but some viruses go a step further and package these different genome segments into separate virus particles. These viruses defy our understanding – they are in theory so inefficient they should not exist. I will investigate what the benefits of this strange virus lifestyle are.

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Chemical Sciences

Getting a hold on protein transport machines

Dr. M.-E. (Marie-Eve) Aubin-Tam (f), Delft University of Technology- Bionanoscience

A variety of protein nanomachines sit in the membranes of our cells. Some of these nanomachines are extremely important for our metabolism as they transport proteins across compartments in the cell. With this project the researchers will develop a new method to understand how these transport machines exactly work.

Multiscale Modelling of Long-Distance Electronic Transport and Chiral-Induced Spin Selectivity in Supramolecular Nanostructures

Dr. rer. nat. B. (Björn) Baumeier (m), TU Eindhoven - Mathematics and Computer Science

The aim of the project is to understand the mechanisms underlying long-distance and spin-selective electronic transport in complex molecular systems. Developed novel multiscale computer simulation techniques will provide unprecedented insight into how electrons travel through helical material and why – knowledge crucial for exploiting these effects in many technological applications.

Chemistry in exotic worlds

Dr. J. (Jordy) Bouwman (m), Leiden University – Leiden Observatory

Thousands of planets have been detected outside of our solar system and some reside in the “habitable zone” around their star. Complex chemical processes take place in the atmospheres around these planets. The researchers will search for pathways that may yield building blocks of life in these foreign worlds.

Pieces of plastic with biological properties?

Dr. P.Y.W. (Patricia) Dankers (f), TU Eindhoven – Biomedical Engineering

The researchers will use unique chemical interactions to controllably introduce bioactive signals in polymeric materials to respond to cells in a two-way process. It is proposed that load-bearing biomedical implants, composed of these controlled bioactive materials display superior life-like functions, and are therefore able to faster induce proper tissue formation.

Engineering artificial signalling cascades using a cell-free synthetic biology approach

Dr. T.F.A. (Tom) de Greef (m), TU Eindhoven – Biomedical Engineering

The cell uses sophisticated molecular networks to process biochemical information. Inspired by signalling pathways in the cell, the researchers design and build simplified molecular networks under cell-free conditions that are able to process biomolecular information in an efficient manner.

Enabling volume-restricted metabolomics using next-generation microscale analytical tools

Dr. R. (Rawi) Ramautar (m), Leiden University - LACDR

The analytical toolbox used in modern metabolomics encounters difficulties for the analysis of volume-restricted biological samples. Therefore, a significant number of crucial biomedical/clinical questions cannot be addressed by the current approach. To enable volume-restricted metabolomics, the researchers will develop novel microscale technologies for in-depth metabolic profiling of severely limited sample amounts.

Nature’s weapon against viral infections

Dr. H.J. (Jelger) Risselada (m), Utrecht University – Bijvoet Center

IFITMs are small proteins which are recently known to very effectively inhibit viral infections. This project will clarify the molecular mechanisms which IFITMs exploit. These insights may lead to the development of novel and improved therapies against viral infections.

Building molecular structures with a template

Dr. ir. J. (Joris) Sprakel (m), Wageningen University & Research - Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter

Nature often builds her delicate structures along a template that serves not only as a blueprint, but which also plays a complex role in regulating molecular interactions. In this project, the researchers will unravel how this process works; for example to learn how the design of new materials can be made smarter.
 

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Physical Sciences

NextView: Many Views of Virtual Worlds

Prof. Dr. E. (Elmar) Eisemann (m), Delft University of Technology – Computer Graphics and Visualization

Computer Graphics is important for many domains including geoscience, medicine, and entertainment. Traditional graphics methods are particularly costly when used for novel display devices (e.g., virtual reality) and in applications with many users (e.g., games). We will develop a novel many-view pipeline resulting in high-performance solutions for these scenarios.

SearchX to the rescue

Dr. C. (Claudia) Hauff (v), TUD — EEMCS

Bringing higher education to millions of people for little to no cost is a vision that massive open online coursesaim to fulfil. This vision though is right now very far from reality - too few people succeed in learning this way.This project attempts to change that.

Systems with infinite dimensional symmetries

Dr. B. (Bas) Janssens (m) (UU)

Think of one iron cube, and one made of water. The iron cube can only be transformed into itself in finitely many ways (48), whereas the cube of water admits in finitely many transformations. This project is about the quantum mechanical discription of the latter systems.

The Cosmic Laboratory

Dr. P. D. (Daan) Meerburg (m), Kapteyn-VSI, Ster-en-natuurkunde

The conditions in the early Universe present a unique natural event; the ultimate cosmic collider experiment. Signatures from this event provide the opportunity to empirically test the fundamental properties of nature. By identifying observables which optimally utilize big cosmological data, the research aims to find evidence for new physics.

The origin of binary black holes

Dr. S. E. de Mink, UvA – Department of Physics and Astronomy

“How did they form?” is the question asked by many when the detection of gravitational waves originating merging black holes was announced, with masses much greater than those of known black holes of stellar-origin. This project addresses the crucial open questions concerning the physical processes involved in their formation.

Analysis and Control of Switched Differential Algebraic Equations

Dr. S.(Stephan) Trenn (m)  - University of Groningen, Johann Bernoulli Institut for Mathematics and Computer Science

Disconnecting power lines leads to large sparks (arc of light) at the circuit breakers. Occurrences of these sparks at the wrong place or at the wrong time can lead to disastrous effects. The novel mathematical modeling framework of switched differential algebraic equations allows to describe, analyze and prevent these sparks.

A quest to find the largest particle accelerators in our Universe

Dr. R. J. (Reinout) van Weeren (m), UL, Leiden Observatory

How do the largest particle accelerators in our Universe work? What is the origin of cosmic magnetic fields? These questions are intimately related to the properties of shocks waves in galaxy clusters and filaments. The researchers will use the world’s largest radio telescopes, including LOFAR, to answer these questions.

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Humanities

Satiric news: Razor-sharp wit or dull insult?

Dr. C.F. (Christian) Burgers (m), VU – Communication Science

Satiric news is often controversial by challenging current politicians. The researchers model how, across media, language use in satire is different from ‘regular’ genres like news, and how these differences in media and language use impact the public’s perception of the topic under discussion.

Finding resolution for the Middle to Later Stone Age transition and the origin of indigenous South African people

Dr. G.L. (Gerrit) Dusseldorp (m), UL - Humanities

During the Middle to Later Stone Age transition in South Africa stone tools similar  to Neanderthal tools disappear. Instead, characteristically modern tools appear. Because we  hardly know sites from this period, we do not understand this behavioural transition. Using forgotten sites, I will unlock the causes of this change.

The speaker in speech

Dr. W.F.L. (Willemijn) Heeren (v), UU – Linguistics

Different speakers may sound alike, and the same speaker may sound very differently. Where in the speech signal is the information that captures an individual speaker, and does that information depend on what the speaker says? By researching large speech databases investigators intend to discover how speakers are characterized.

Are we techno-sapiens?

Dr. S.K. (Saskia) Nagel (v), Universiteit Twente, Philosophy

Technologies are deeply enmeshed in our lives. Some serve as extensions of our minds outside our bodies. Our intimate relationship with technologies demands inquiry of who we are and who we want to be. This research studies the positive and negative implications of intimate human-technology-relations and suggests ways for evaluation.

From Gesture to Language

Dr. V.A.S. (Victoria) Nyst (v), Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

I will compare the gesturing of hearing speakers with the sign languages that emerged in villages with a high incidence of deafness in West Africa, to establish whether grammatical differences in sign languages can be traced to cross-cultural differences in gesture.

CrossRoads: European cultural diplomacy and Arab Christians in Palestine

Dr. K.M.J. Sanchez (v), LU, LUCL

Culture was one of the key instruments used by European Powers, the Vatican and the Orthodox Church to enhance their influence in Palestine between 1920 and 1950. This project investigates the way in which this impacted the cultural identity of two Arab

Christian communities: the Orthodox and the Melkite. Institutional memory and colonial culture

Dr. A.F. (Alicia) Schrikker, UL, Institute for History

How did Dutch colonial officials justify their work? This project examines previously underutilized colonial sources to answer this question. The hypothesis is that this interplay between local practice and political thought was crucial to the development of

How salience determines grammar

Dr. G. J. (Jenneke) van der Wal (f), Harvard University - Linguistics

Languages differ in their grammar. Many European languages use grammatical roles like subject and object, forming the basis of current universal models of grammar. However, Bantu languages don’t fit these models. How is their grammar organised? Together with African linguists, this project develops a more encompassing model based on salience.

The Walking Dead at Saqqara

Dr. L. Weiss (v), UL, LIAS

In ancient Egypt, as today, religion was subject to constant change. Changing religion will be scrutinized in the Saqqara necropolis in terms of individual/group practices, transmission of texts/decoration as well as the changing landscape. Thereby the project adds historical depth to the question of how traditions are shaped, modified or even invented.

Managing multi-level conflicts in commercial cities in Northern Europe(C. 1350-1570)

Dr. J.J. (Justyna) Wubs-Mrozewicz (v), UvA – Geesteswetenschappen

We all want to know how to end conflicts, but the current challenge is to be able to manage them effectively. In this project, ‘conflict managers’ in premodern commercial cities in northern Europe open a new door to understanding how complex conflicts were dealt with in the past.

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Social Sciences

What is the future of infrastructures?

Prof. D. Dalakoglou (m), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Since the outbreak of the 2008 debt-crisis is emerging a gap between our infrastructural needs and what the State and the market can provide. Infra-Demos project will study how society covers this gap via novel forms of civic participation and technological innovations.

Any Thing for Anyone?

Dr. A.J.A.M. (Alexander) van Deursen (m), University of Twente - Communication Science

Behavioral factors necessary to understand the impact of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) have been ignored, and we know little about the key driver: user skills. To ensure more equal opportunities, the proposed research investigates inequalities in IoT skills both in performance tests and in the social context of the home.

Crime and Time: How short-term mindsets encourage crime and how the future self can prevent it

Dr. J. L.(Jean-Louis)  van Gelder, (m), NSCR - Law

Delinquents are shortsighted and fail to consider the long-term consequences of their behavior. This research program develops and test a new theory explaining this shortsightedness by integrating sociogenic and individual perspectives on crime. It uses virtual reality and a smartphone-application to instill a future-oriented mindset and reduce delinquent involvement.

Welfare – dependency from parent to child

Dr. A.C. (Anne) Gielen (f), EUR – Economics

This study investigates how welfare receipt during childhood impacts socio-economic outcomes in adulthood. Are positive effects from income protection offset by transmission of a culture of dependency from one generation to the next? What are the underlying mechanisms? And does this have long-term impacts on an individual and on society?

Clocks in the human brain

Dr. B.M. (Ben) Harvey (m), UU - Psychology

Our sense of time helps us interact with events in the world around us. It changes with age and some mental illnesses. At present, psychologists don’t understand how the brain processes time. This research uses brain scanning to show the brain processes and integrates time information from our different senses.

I am gigging my way through the day

Dr. A.M. (Andrea) Herrmann (f) Utrecht University – Innovation Studies Group

The ‘gig economy’ - enabling the hiring of service workers via internet-based platforms -is revolutionizing work. While being accessible for workers around the world, gig-jobs are not covered by traditional employment legislation. To enable a meaningful regulation, this project analyses the activities of gig-workers in seven Western economies.

Tailored parenting advice

Dr. L. (Loes) Keijsers (f), TiU – Developmental Psychology

Parenting a teen can be a challenge. In the ADAPT-program, psychologists will assess how parenting affects every child’s well-being in a different way, using smart phone applications with micro-questionnaires. These new theoretical insights can help to tailor future parenting advice to the family’s specific needs and strengths.

Dads, dimes, and quarters

Prof. Dr. R. (Renske) Keizer (v) EUR - Sociology

There is a Dutch saying: who is born for a dime, will never be worth a quarter. In this project, the researcher investigates whether this is true and specifically how fathers may influence this. Attention is also given to the role of context: the extended family, peers and country characteristics.

Increasing the Reliability and Efficiency of Psychological Science

Dr. D. (Daniel) Lakens, (m), TUE - Sociology

How can psychologists generate reliable empirical knowledge most efficiently while taking into account statistical aspects of performing empirical research, as well as the resources and goals researchers have? This project will examine best practices and develop recommendations that will make psychological research more reliable and efficient.

When the good gets bad…and sticks! Understanding and challenging (the spreading of) pain-related avoidance behavior

Dr. A. (Ann) Meulders (f), Maastricht University – Faculty of Psychology & Neuroscience

Pain-related avoidance is adaptive when averting bodily harm, but excessive spreading to safe behavior becomes maladaptive, culminating into chronic pain disability. Avoidance behavior is also selfreinforcing, making it difficult to treat. This project aims to investigate the mechanisms underlying (altering) (over)generalization and persistence of avoidance in the absence of fear.

Misrepresenting Diversity? Identity in politics

Dr. (Liza M.) Mügge (f), UvA- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Ideal democracies should accommodate the citizenry’s full diversity. This especially matters for structurally underrepresented persons, such as ethnic minorities with a migration background. But how do minority politicians and citizens themselves believe personal identities should be represented in politics? Do their expectations and assessments of representation diverge or overlap?

Statistical Analyses of Dynamic Social Networks Using Time-Stamped Interactions

Dr. Ir. J. (Joris) Mulder (m) – Tilburg University, Methodology and Statistics

The world consists of social networks that constantly change as time goes by. To understand this dynamic process, researchers need to analyze sequences of timestamped interactions from past history. This project will develop a statistical framework for analyzing these interaction sequences to better understand complex social interaction processes.

Getting things done: Finding the balance between deciding fast, and deciding well.

Dr. H.E.M. (Hanneke) den Ouden (f), Radboud University – Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour

"Don't rush decisions!" Good advice, but too much deliberation leads to missed opportunities. Researchers will investigate how our brains help us to switch between impulsive and thoughtful decision-making strategies, and how getting stuck in one particular strategy may be related to negative consequences such as addiction and burn-out.

Big Data Analytics for Economic Time Series

Dr. S.J.M. (Stephan) Smeekes (m), Maastricht University – Quantitative Economics

In economics large and complex datasets are collected ever more frequently over longer timespans. In this project the researchers develop appropriate methods for correct and reliable analysis of this kind of data, with emphasis on methods that can accurately as-sess the certainty of findings and predictions.

Between collectivization and enclosure

Dr. Justus L. Uitermark (m), Department of Sociology, University of Amsterdam

Why do residents in rapidly growing cities succeed or fail to secure amenities for their health, dignity, and comfort? Using a novel theoretical approach and an innovative combination of methods, this project maps and explains the uneven provision of water, waste disposal, and public space.

Why do the less educated distrust institutional professionals?

Dr. J. (Jeroen) van der Waal (m), EUR – Public Administration & Sociology

The less educated distrust politicians, judges and scientists more than their more educated counterparts. This project develops a theory and method to uncover the role of institutional knowledge and colliding lifestyles and attitudes.

Selective Attention and Economic Decisions

Dr. J.J. (Joël) van der Weele (m) - University of Amsterdam (UvA)

People often “look the other way” when it comes to the consequences of their economic choices for others. This research investigates how such strategies of selective attention impacts markets for ethical products and the development of social norms related to sustainable consumption.

 

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Physics

Shining light on catalysts

Dr. A. (Andrea) Baldi (m) 22-10-1979, DIFFER – Solar Fuels

Catalysts allow us to accelerate and modify chemical reactions and are therefore used in the manufacturing of almost every chemical product. Here researchers will use light to improve the catalytic performance of extremely small metal particles.

The origin of structure in the universe

Prof. Dr. D. (Daniel) Baumann (m) 02-08-1978, UvA – Natuurkunde

All structure in our universe is formed by the gravitational collapse of fluctuations in primordial matter. The physical origin of these fluctuations remains mysterious. Physicists explore the possibility that quantum effects in the early universe were the source of all structures.

Decoding Infinities of Feynman Graphs

Dr. F. (Franz) Herzog (m) 7-5-1984, Nikhef – theory group

Data taken by CERN’s Large Hadron Collider holds the answers to some of our most fundamental questions about nature. To unlock its secrets I shall harness the power of mathematics and computing to overcome the problem of infinities present in Feynman graphs, and allow highly precise predictions to be made.

Protecting quantum computations

Dr. T. H. (Tim) Taminiau (m) 26-01-1981, Delft University of Technology - Physics

The laws of quantum mechanics enable a powerful new way to understand and process information. However, the quantum states required are extremely prone to errors. The researchers will make quantum states stored in diamonds tolerate errors by actively correcting them.

What is the secret behind the new solar-cell miracle material?

Dr. B. (Bruno) Ehrler (m) 03-01-1985, AMOLF - Center for Nanophotonics

A new solar cell material, metal-halide perovskite, has stirred up the research community because of its high efficiency. It absorbs light well and slows down charge-carrier recombination – a rare combination. Researchers will investigate why that is the case and how the underlying mechanism can best be utilized in solar cells.

Shattering the glass mystery

Dr. E. (Edan) Lerner (m) 20-12-1978, UvA - Institute for Theorerical Physics

Glasses are solids whose atoms or molecules are organized in a messy arrangement. These materials are all around us: from DVDs to car windshields. Despite their wide prevalence, scientists still do not agree about how these materials form, and what happens when they break. Computer simulations and statistical theories will unravel the mysteries of glass.

Physics in the freezer

Dr. ir. I. (Iddo) Heller (m) 2-10-1979, VU – Physics of Living Systems

Many lifeforms can survive freezing conditions with the help of antifreeze proteins. The researchers will image individual antifreeze proteins in action to discover how they control ice growth. New insights can benefit applications like crop protection and cryopreservation.

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Technology foundation STW

Increasing the Capacity of Optical Nonlinear Interfering Channels (ICONIC)

Dr. A. (Alex) Alvarado (m), TUE

Optical fibers are strands of glass with the thickness of a human hair which carry nearly all the world Internet traffic. However, the installed fibers are running out of capacity. This project will use mathematics to increase the capacity of these fibers, which will guarantee faster future broadband connections.

Quantum dots shining their light on plasma charging

Dr. ir. J. (Job) Beckers (m), TUE

How particles only a few nanometers in size charge in plasma is extremely complex. Although considerable technological relevance, the principal mechanisms have never been investigated experimentally in a direct manner. This research utilizes quantum dots, changing color upon charging, to probe fundamental charging processes and the governing plasma physical processes.

Multidimensional mapping of spatio-thermochemical states

Dr. A. (Alexis) Bohlin (m), Delft University of Technology – AWEP

Deep insight into multiscale chemical interactions can only be obtained from spectroscopic measurements garnered in spatial and temporal correlation. The aim of this research is to push forward new frontiers in optical coherent imaging: providing simultaneous space-, spectrum-, and time information, validated in gas-phase reactive- and soft condensed media.

High-tech for healthy bones

Prof. dr. P. (Pamela) Habibovic (f), UM – MERLN Institute

Millions of patients with damaged bone are treated by transplantation of bone from elsewhere in their body. The available amount is limited and harvesting leads to complications. The researchers will produce and study thousands of potential artificial implants, to find a perfect, inexpensive replacement for a patient’s own bone.

How to mix the perfect high entropy alloy cocktail?

Dr. F.H.W. (Fritz) Körmann (m), TU Delft - Materials Science and Engineering (3ME)

High entropy alloys follow a new alloying strategy by mixing many elements in nearequal fractions. Some of these “alloy-cocktails” reveal unanticipatedly excellent materials properties, but the underlying reasons are not understood. New alloy design principles towards outstanding properties without scarce elements will be explored through computer simulations.

Light and sound-based signal processing in silicon nitride

Dr. D.A.I (David) Marpaung (m), UT

This project will develop an advanced signal processing technology based on the exquisite light and hypersound interactions in a silicon nitride photonic circuit. This so-called Brillouin integrated signal processor will serve as a critical technology for spectrum management and utilization in future wireless and optical networks.

From data to smart machines

dr. ir. T.A.E. (Tom) Oomen (m), TU/e, Mechanical Engineering

Future high-tech machines will be highly complex with many actuators and sensors. The proposed framework will exploit learning from the abundance of data to allow machines to self-adapt. This will enable a new generation of machines with unparalleled accuracy, speed, and cost for future manufacturing and scientific instruments.

New Light for Nanolithography

Dr. O.O. (Oscar) Versolato  (m) Advanced Research Center for Nanolithography (ARCNL)

Nanolithography with extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) light will save Moore’s law, and shrink chips to ever smaller sizes. However, the generation of EUV light remains a challenge. I will meet this challenge by building a strong scientific base that will underpin more stable and powerful laser-produced plasma sources of EUV light.

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Interdisciplinary Research

Understanding stability of walking – active control towards a passively stable pattern?

Dr. S.M. (Sjoerd) Bruijn (M), VU – Faculty of Behavioral and Movement Sciences

It is largely unclear how human manage to walk on two legs without falling. The hypothesis of the current project is that walking only requires active control in certain moments in the gait cycle. In this project, the way in which this control is exerted is investigated.

Real-time forecasting of killer electrons on satellite orbits

Dr. E.C. Camporeale (m), Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Satellites orbiting the Earth for telecommunication, logistics, and military purposes are in a hostile environment, being often bombarded by energetic electrons coming from the Sun, that can break down their electronic equipment. Here, we will study a technology that will allow forecasting such harmful events, with sufficient warning time so that countermeasures could be taken.

How much faster, how much better can we map the human brain?

Dr. A.B. (Benedikt) Poser (m), Maastricht University, Faculty of Psychology

Unraveling the mysteries of our brain has long been the Holy Grail in medical and psychological sciences. To ever achieve this, we must further develop our latest MRI technology in order to be able to measure the brain’s structure and processes with very high spatial and temporal precision.

DNA mutations in three dimensions

Dr. J. de Ridder (m), UMC Utrecht

In the search for human disease-causing mutations it is often assumed that DNA is a straight line. In reality, DNA is three-dimensional. Therefore important mutations go unnoticed. The researchers will create an atlas of the shape of DNA to enable improved discovery of diseasecausing mutations.

Patient engagement of patients with advanced cancer

Dr. J.A.C. Rietjens (v), EMC – department of Public Health

Patients with advanced cancer increasingly need to uptake a significant role in managing their healthcare. Many patients and their family caregivers are ill-prepared for this complex task. The researchers will examine who has more difficulties with selfmanagement, why this is the case, and how they can best be supported.

How should automated vehicles communicate with other road users?

Dr. J.C.F. de Winter (m), TU Delft, Department of BioMechanical Engineering

The coming decades, road users will share the roads with automated vehicles (AVs). Contemporary AVs are intelligent, but don’t communicate to other traffic. The researchers will investigate whether AVs should communicate in a human-like or mechanistic, and in an implicit or explicit manner, to bicyclists, pedestrians, and manually controlled cars.

Breast milk as a missing link between mothers and their babies’ health

Dr. A. Zhernakova (v), UMCG, Department of Genetics

Breast milk may play a significant role in establishing a baby’s gut microbiome. I will study the breast milk microbiome − the nutritional and maternal factors that influence its composition, its role in the development of babies’ gut microbiome and its link to infant health.

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Medical Sciences

Using real world data to assess cost-effectiveness

Dr. J.E. (Judith) Bosmans (v), VU

Health economics  Healthcare budgets are restricted. How can society be sure that we spend the available healthcare resources efficiently? To answer this question decision-makers need information about the cost-effectiveness of care under routine conditions. This project will develop and evaluate advanced methods to do this.

Revealing causes of brain inflammation

Dr. M.C. (Matthijs) Brouwer, (m), AMC, Neurologie 

With currently available diagnostic tests, it’s difficult for doctors to quickly identify the correct diagnosis in patients suspected of an infection of the brain. In this project I will evaluate new diagnostic tests to identify the cause of disease and speed up time to treatment in a large group of patients.

Integrating Metabolomics and Genomics for understanding human Disease

Dr. C.F.H.A. (Christian) Gilissen (m), Radboudumc, g Human Genetics

The identification of disease-causing errors in the DNA is difficult and provides us with limited insights into the workings of the disease. Through bioinformatics methods and data integration of metabolite and DNA data I will improve the identification of genetic causes of disease and find novel leads for therapies.

Eliminate a trial fibrillation

Dr. N.M.S. (Natasja)  de Groot, (v), Erasmus MC, Cardiologie

Progression of atrial fibrillation (AF) is caused by abnormalities in electrical conduction (‘electropathology’) which can be uncovered by applying a dedicated electrical stimulation technique. The severity of electropathology is indicated by the level of electrical biomarkers which can be used to individualize diagnosis and therapy of AF.

White blood cells with broken antennae

Dr. J.W.J. (Jeroen) van Heijst, (m) AMC, Experimental Immunology

In the battle against infections some white blood cells lose their antennae that are needed to detect the disease-causing organisms. The researcher aims to understand how this occurs and whether the antennae can be restored, to enable better protection against infectious diseases.

Vulnerability and plasticity in obsessive-compulsive disorder, a lifespan approach

Prof.dr. O.A. (Odile van den Heuvel (v) VUMC, Psychiatry

The vision is that we need to study mental disorders using a lifespan perspective. I will study how abnormal brain maturation leads to mental disease, and vice versa how chronic abnormal behaviours change the brain. I will test how magnetic brain stimulation potentiates training of healthy behaviour in chronic patients.

The NOTCH3 disease spectrum: is CADASIL the tip of the iceberg?

Dr. S.A.J. (Saskia) Lesnik Oberstein, (v), LUMC, Humane Genetica

Recently, the research group discovered that gene mutations which cause a hereditary dementia called CADASIL, are quite common in the general population. We want to study whether these mutations may be a cause of cognitive decline in 60+ year old individuals in whom CADASIL would normally never be considered.

Virtual fingerprint of the damaged heart

Dr.ir. J. (Joost) Lumens (m), Maastricht University, Cardiovascular Diseases 

Sudden cardiac arrest  following ventricular arrhythmia often arises from unrecognized cardiac tissue damage. The researchers will combine common echocardiographic imaging with computer simulation to obtain an electro-mechanical “fingerprint” of the heart. This diagnostic approach will enable early recognition and characterization of pro-arrhythmic tissue damage and thereby improve arrhythmic risk management.

Sugar: a jumpstart for cancer

 Dr.ir. M.H. (Maaike) Oosterveer (v), UMCG, Nutrition/ Physiology 

Metabolic diseases can cause cancer. The researchers have found that high sugar levels can disturb cell division. In this project they will establish how cell division can go wrong when sugar accumulates, and how the normal process can be restored to prevent cancer development.

Monitoring fetal hormones by measurements in maternal serum

Prof.dr. R.P. (Robin) Peeters (m), Erasmus MC, Endocrinology

Low maternal thyroid hormone levels during pregnancy result in a decreased child IQ, autism, ADHD and schizophrenia. To improve treatment of hypothyroid mothers (and brain development of their children), this study will develop a method to monitor fetal thyroid status via measurements in maternal serum.

A snapshot of human metabolism: novel non-invasive information by Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

Dr. V.B. Schrauwen-Hinderling (v) MUMC, Radiology

For metabolic disease, such as diabetes, knowledge of underlying molecular mechanisms is largely obtained from cell- and animal models. However, translating this information to humans is urgently required. I propose to develop new Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy methods to gain novel non-invasive information of metabolic health thus truly advancing translational research.

Matching therapy and bladder cancer patient 

Dr.ir. S.H. (Sita) Vermeulen (v) Radboudumc, Health Evidence 

A good therapy choice in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer requires a test that can predict who will and who will not respond to immunotherapy. The researchers measure changes in the genes of the patient and the bladder tumor to facilitate the development of such a test.

Roads to Recovery

Dr. V.G.M. (Vivian) Weerdesteyn, (v), Radboudumc, - Kinesiology/ Rehabilitation medicine

It is yet unknown how various pathways in the brain interact in recovering balance and gait abilities after stroke. The researchers aim to provide insight into this matter. In addition, they will study whether a new training program may enhance balance and gait control, and thereby functioning in daily life.

The striking enigma of stroke in women with migraine

Dr. M.J.H. (Marieke) Wermer (v) LUMC, Neurology

Women have a higher life-time risk of stroke and a worse outcome compared with men. Migraine is an important risk factor for stroke in women. I will investigate the migrainestroke relationship in clinical datasets and experimental vessel models to better identify women at high risk and to develop new therapies.

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