Vidi awards 2018

NWO has awarded 85 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.


Facts and figures for the 2018 round

Number of (admissible) submissions: 443
Gender ratio of submissions: 245 men, 198 women 
Number of grants awarded (award rate): 85 (19%) 
Gender ratio of awarded grants: 50 men, 35 women 
Award rate among men: 20% 
Award rate among women: 18%

Vidi 2018 number of (admissible) submissions

  Total Women % Men %
Science 109 40 37% 69 63%
SSH 187 96 51% 91 49%
AES 45 17 38% 28 62%
ZonMw 72 31 43% 41 57%
Cross-domain 30 14 47% 16 53%
Total 443 198 45% 245 55%

 

Vidi 2018 Grants awarded

  Total Women % Men %
Science 31 11 35% 20 65%
SSH 25 14 56% 11 44%
AES 8 2 25% 5 62%
ZonMw 14 3 21% 11 79%
Cross-domain 7 4 57% 3 43%
Total 85 34 40% 50 59%


Social Sciences and Humanities , AES = Applied and Engineering Sciences, Cross-domain


Sorted in alphabetical order

A

Harnessing immune cells to battle brain tumors
Dr. L. (Leila) Akkari (f), NKI – Netherlands Cancer Institute

Glioblastoma is a deadly cancer in the brain, which is highly challenging to treat. How can normal, immune cells that reside and are abundant in these tumors can be used to eradicate the disease? By combining different treatment modalities, this research aims to develop effective therapies for glioblastoma patients.

A personalized particle for every patient
Dr. L. Albertazzi (m)TU/e

In this project advanced microscopy will be used to make a map of cancer cell receptors and understand how to make drug nanocarriers “personalized” for the specific feature of individual patients. This will lead to nanoparticles that are more selective in cancer cells recognition and killing.

Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch
Dr. A. (Andreas) Alfons – Erasmus University Rotterdam

Rating data are everywhere – from political polls to psychological experiments to product ratings on Amazon. Modern technology makes data collection easier such that data sets are growing bigger, but also less reliable. Researchers will therefore develop new statistical methods for rating data that are not influenced by bad data points.

B

Novel data-driven approaches for depression analysis
Dr. N. (Nalan) Baștürk – Maastricht University

The researcher will develop new statistical methods that will help in understanding why some people recover quickly from mental disorders while others do not. These methods will incorporate information from earlier scientific studies and clinical practice to enhance diagnosis and personalized treatment decisions.

Econometric methods for incorrect models
Dr. F. (Francisco) Blasques – VU University Amsterdam

Econometric models offer simplistic and stylized representations of vastly complex economies. Statistical methods used in econometrics are designed to be reliable and efficient only when the model provides a perfect description of reality. This project investigates new econometric methods that are optimal in situations when the model is not perfect.

Glia of the bowel: landscapers in the second brain
Dr. W.R.M. (Werend) Boesmans (m), University Maastricht

The neural circuits of the enteric nervous system, the little brain in our gut that regulates digestive function, appear extremely chaotic and therefore are difficult to elucidate. I aim to unravel these circuits and I will study the role of enteric glia in their assembly and maintenance.

Chemical reactions to make complex sugars
Dr. T.J. Boltje (m) Institute for Molecules and Materials, RU

Complex sugars are very important molecules in the human body and are interesting for drug development. The researchers will develop new chemical reactions to make complex sugar molecules. These reactions will give access to long chain sugars that can active the immune system.

 ‘Strange’ families reunified?
Dr. S.A. (Saskia) Bonjour – University of Amsterdam

Which families belong in Europe? The right to family migration is highly contested for families which deviate from the norm, such as same-sex or polygamous families. This project analyses how migration law and politics deal with different kinds of families asking to be allowed to live together in Europe. 

Crafting future urban economies?
Dr. A.M.C. (Amanda) Brandellero – Erasmus University Rotterdam

Cities across the world are looking for ways to make their economies more circular, and localised production is seen as key to this process. This project comparatively examines how making locally is articulated and valued, in order to understand its potential role in sustainable urban futures.

High accuracy calculations for fundamental research with atoms and molecules
Dr. A. Borschevsky (f) Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity, Faculty of Science and Engineering, RUG

Atoms and molecules can act like tiny laboratories for sensitive experiments that probe the fundamental structure of matter and search for new laws of physics. Scientists will develop a novel method of unsurpassed accuracy and use high performance computing to calculate parameters needed to support and interpret these experiments.   

Play, stop, pause? Optimizing learning through effort regulation
Dr. A.B.H. (Anique) de Bruin – Maastricht University

Self-regulated learning is of increasing importance in an information-dense, digital world. Little is known, however, as to how students regulate cognitive effort during self-regulated learning. Through experimental studies incorporating individualized feedback, the researchers will unravel what role learning experiences play and how taking breaks optimizes effort regulation.

C

The harmony of operator algebras
Dr. M.P.T. Caspers (m) TUD, Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics

Operator algebras give the mathematical description of quantum mechanical observables, like the place and impulse of small particles. This research develops techniques from harmonic analysis (or wave analysis) to unravel the fine structure of these quantum systems. We expect that exactly these methods enable us classify them.

Detecting Gravitational Waves from Wobbling Black Holes
Dr. S.E. Caudill (f) Nikhef, gravitational-wave group

The orbits of binary black holes can move around like wobbling, spinning tops causing their signals to be modified so that we cannot find them with current searches. Using sophisticated data analysis techniques, I will develop a way to detect these signals and unlock their scientific secrets.

D

Art&Politics: Reimaging Institutions
Dr. C. (Chiara) de Cesari – University of Amsterdam

Many think that art can change the world and reinvent our institutions in crisis. But is it so and how does it work? This project studies how artistic practices provide a platform for institutional experimentation and innovation across and beyond Europe.

Heal the anastomosis
Dr. J.P.M. (Joep) Derikx, (m), Emma kinderziekenhuis -Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

In colorectal surgery, surgeons often create an anastomosis between bowel parts. Anastomoses leak in 1:10 patients, which can lead to peritonitis, sepsis and death. I want to prevent this by studying whether surgeons can pre-operatively predict anastomotic leakage or diagnose it early post-operative. Furthermore, I will investigate normal anastomotic healing.

Responsibility for resilience in climate adaptation
Prof. mr. dr. ir. N. (Neelke) Doorn – Delft University of Technology

This research is about the responsibility of citizens in climate adaptation policy. Citizens are increasingly expected to take responsibility for resilience to climate change. The researchers will develop an ethical theory to assess to what extent these responsibilities can be distributed in a way that is both fair and effective.

The BrainLayers of our thinking
Dr. L. (Linda) Douw (f), VUmc

The brain can be seen as a network that consists of layers, like the traffic network consists of both roads and cars traveling them. The investigators will explore whether a new brainlayer-analysis helps in understanding and predicting problems with thinking that often occurs in stroke, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors.

E

The fat perspective: High multi-resolution imaging of lipid metabolism
Dr. S.R. (Shane) Ellis (m), UM

Fats are all around us and play essential roles in health and disease. The functions of fats are determined by both the location in tissue and their chemical structure. This project will develop new imaging methods to simultaneously image and study the structure of lipids in detail never before possible.

Automata Transforming Streams
Dr. J. Endrullis (m) VU Amsterdam

Automata are of paramount importance in a wide range of fields. In industry, they are indispensable tools for parsing and text processing. While automata have been studied extensively, the power of automata for transforming streams is hardly understood. This project sets out to change this.

Quantifying disease severity
Dr. M. (Marc) Engelen (m), Emma kinderziekenhuis -Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

Quantifying disease severity is of the utmost importance in studies to determine efficacy of new treatments. This project aims to develop sensitive tools to quantify disease severity for use in clinical trials, for ALD and other degenerative conditions of the spinal cord.

Automatic Faster Learning for Artificial Intelligence
Dr. T.A.L. (Tim) van Erven (m), LEI — Statistics

Existing AI algorithms use a fixed strategy to learn from examples, but the best learning strategy often depends on the specifics of the learning task, which can only be discovered while learning. The researchers will develop new AI methods that automatically adapt themselves to the learning task to learn faster.

Immune cells under control of sugars
Dr. B. (Bart) Everts (m), LUMC – Leids Universitair Medical Center

Recent observations suggest that in immune cells certain sugars can change protein activity by binding to them, which can subsequently lead to changes in immune cell function. This project will investigate how this exactly works and explore whether that knowledge can be utilized for therapeutic purposes.

F

Breathe easy: adapting lung radiotherapy in a heartbeat
Dr. M. F. (Martin) Fast (m), Netherlands Cancer Institute

In radiotherapy, safely eradicating cancer is challenging since the tumour and the x-ray treatment beam are invisible. Fortunately, a new generation of treatment devices continuously observes internal anatomy using magnetic resonance imaging. In this project, software to simultaneously adapt lung cancer treatments to respiratory and cardiac motion will be developed.

Birth of a crystal nucleus

Dr. L.C. Filion (f) Soft Condensed Matter and Biophysics Group, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Department of Physics, UU

The transformation from a liquid to a crystal starts with the spontaneous formation of a tiny crystal nucleus. In order to improve our control over this process, the researcher will develop computer algorithms to explore how hidden structure in the liquid can be controlled to guide the nucleation process.  

Hidden Talents in Harsh Environments
Dr. W.E. (Willem) Frankenhuis – Radboud University Nijmegen

It is well-know that growing up in adverse conditions can undermine development, learning, and health. However, people also develop intact, or even enhanced, mental abilities that are adapted to stressful conditions. Little is known about these “hidden talents”. This research examines whether two mental abilities are enhanced among high-adversity youth.

G

Cerebro-cerebellar circuits for motor planning
Dr. Z. Gao Erasmus MC

Think before you act. An important feature of voluntary movements is that we can decide about an optimal strategy before execution. It is currently unclear how the brain determines an action plan that guides future movement. The researcher will study how the cerebellum (little brain) helps by making a decision.

Optimized treatment of thrombophlebitis by individualizing risk prediction
Dr. G.J. (Geert-Jan) Geersing (m), UMCU – University Medical Center Utrecht

Patients with thrombophlebitis (clots in superficial veins) are at risk for clot-progression to deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Doctors currently don’t know in whom this occurs. This project uses general practice databases to individualize risk prediction for clot-growth in thrombophlebitis patients, yielding optimized treatment.

Innate knowledge for Deep Learning
Dr. J.C. van Gemert (m) TUD, faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science, Pattern Recognition and Bioinformatics group

“Deep learning" is the engine behind the world's arms race on artificial intelligence. Deep learning allows a computer to learn from expensive, huge, datasets. I will add innate knowledge to deep learning: what is built-in no longer has to be learned, saving valuable training data.

The behavior of geomagnetic anomalies
Dr. L.V. de Groot (m) Paleomagnetic laboratory, Faculty of Geosciences / dept. Earth Sciences, UU

The Earth’s magnetic field protects us against cosmic radiation that interferes with wireless communication systems. Regional anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field allow excess radiation to reach the Earth’s surface. How these anomalies evolve through time is enigmatic. I propose to systematically unravel their behaviour for the very first time.

H

ADMIRE: Large-scale energy storage in geological formations
Dr. H. (Hadi) Hajibeygi (m), TUD - Technische Universiteit Delft

Renewable energy (e.g. solar and wind) can be converted to green fuels (e.g. H2 and CH4) to be stored in large amounts (TWh) in subsurface geological formations. I provide a predictive simulation method for safe utilization of subsurface formations under cyclic injection and production of green fuels.

A struggle for control
Dr. G.J. van der Heden-van Noort (m) Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), LEI

The localization and activity of cellular proteins is regulated by dynamic posttranslational modifications. It turns out these modifications are also modified themselves, leading to a novel hidden layer of control. The researchers aim to develop chemical tools to study these complex processes in detail.     

Shedding light on cloud shadows
Dr. ir. C.C. van Heerwaarden (m) WUR, Meteorology and Air Quality Group

Cloud shadows drive large local fluctuations in incoming sunlight. In places with solar power production this can threaten the stability of the electrical grid. This project aims for a deeper understanding of cloud shadows from innovative field observations and cloud simulations, in order to improve weather forecasts of solar irradiance.

The fate of electrons in biofilms
Dr.ir. A. (Annemiek) ter Heijne (v), WUR - Wageningen University & Research

To better control biological conversions, for example in wastewater treatment, insight in how electrons move through biofilms is crucial. Researchers are going to measure precisely how electrons are stored in biofilms, and how the conditions can be tuned so that these biofilms reach the desired and most efficient performance.

Inventing Public Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe
Dr. H.J. (Helmer) Helmers – University of Amsterdam

How do communication revolutions shape international relations? This project adopts a historical approach to find new answers to this acute and topical question. Investigating diplomatic uses of the new medium of print between 1568 and 1713, it shows how new media in the past transformed European politics.

Voicing the Colony
Dr. R.A.M. (Rick) Honings – Leiden University

This project studies travel writing about the Dutch East Indies written between 1800 and the end of the Second World War. By analyzing both Dutch travel texts and Indigenous travel texts in Javanese and Malay, it presents a new, double-voiced perspective on (the historiography of) the Dutch colonial past.

Young adult and cancer?!
Dr. O. (Olga) Husson (f), NKI

Young adult cancer patients (18-39 years) form a unique group. While they try to achieve developmental milestones, they are confronted with a life-threatening, for their age rare disease, and its aggressive treatment. This study will examine which young adult cancer patients are at risk for poor health outcomes and why.

I

Making a martyr in medieval Spain
Dr. K. (Kati) Ihnat – Radboud University Nijmegen

What makes a martyr? This project explores how martyrdom was culturally constructed in early medieval Spain. Here, a new wave of martyrs was ‘created’ in the ninth-century, and this project will investigate how this happened and how it affected inter-religious relations in a multicultural context.

J

Democratic innovations & populism: For better or worse?
Dr. K. (Kristof) Jacobs – Radboud University Nijmegen

Populism is on the rise, and populist citizens are angry. They feel politicians do not listen to them. This project investigates if and how democratic innovations (e.g. citizen-initiated referendums, citizens’ assemblies) can help to address this.

When the heart gets nervous
Dr. M.R.M. (Monique) Jongbloed (f), LUMC – Leids Universitair Medical Center

After myocardial infarction the number of nerves in the heart can increase significantly and cause life-threatening arrhythmias. Cells from the outer layer of the heart, the epicardium, may cause this increase. This research aims to study mechanisms and identify patients at risk providing a basis for future prevention and/or treatment.

The malaria parasite’s fight against our immune system
Dr. M.M. Jore (m) Radboudumc, Department of Medical Microbiology

Malaria is caused by unicellular parasites that are transmitted by mosquitoes. This research project studies at a molecular level how malaria parasites can evade the human immune system. The obtained insight will be used to develop novel drugs and vaccines against malaria.

K

Self-control or just self-manipulation?
Dr. A. (Annemarie) Kalis – Utrecht University

Most people unfortunately have little willpower. Are nudging and self-manipulation by means of smart tricks, the only strategies left? This project will develop a situated account of self-control, and will show how we can exercise genuine self-control by shaping our own action space.

Unravelling health inequalities using systems thinking
Dr. C.B.M. (Carlijn) Kamphuis (v), UU

Socioeconomic inequalities in health are striking. How these originate from an interplay between environmental circumstance and individual factors is unravelled using a systems approach. Crucial information to build the system model is acquired by interviews, data analyses, and experiments. The model calculates the potential impact of policies on health inequalities.

Decoding genetic disease by decoding gene regulation
Dr. K.P. (Kevin) Kenna (m), UMCU – Universitair Medical Center Utrecht

Our genetics determines our susceptibility to a range of diseases. Much of this relates to DNA mutations that disrupt the mechanisms controlling gene activity. This project seeks to develop new methods to identify such DNA mutations and will apply them to discover genetic causes for an incurable neurodegenerative disease (ALS).

Natural weapon against chronic inflammation
Dr. G. (Gijs) Kooij (m), Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

Chronic inflammation occurs if the natural process to restrain inflammation (resolution) is not functioning properly. The researcher wants to know how this natural protection mechanism works in order to exploit it in the combat against chronic inflammatory disorders like multiple sclerosis.

The missing link in bubble therapy
Dr. K. (Klazina) Kooiman (v), EUR - Erasmus MC
Miniature gas bubbles have the potential to locally deliver high dosages of drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer which reduces side-effects. This project addresses the exact mechanisms between miniature gas bubbles, drugs, and diseased cells so we can bring this bubble therapy to patients.

Vector bundles on curved spaces
Dr. M. Kool Mathematical Institute, UU

Manifolds are curved spaces such as the surface of a donut. Vector bundles are linear objects on manifolds, e.g. the collection of tangent planes to a donut. This proposal gives novel applications of \parameter spaces of vector bundles". These have unexpected relations to other fields of mathematics and physics 

L

Smart bio inks to engineer functional tissues
Dr. J.C.H. (Jeroen) Leijten (m), UT - Universiteit Twente

Engineered organs could replace or repair a patient’s damaged or worn-out organs. However, creating the complex structures that provide tissues with their function is an unresolved challenge. In this project, the researchers will develop a smart biological ink that will enable the straightforward creation of important tissue structures.

The exception to the rule?
Dr. E.H. (Eva) van Lier – University of Amsterdam

Language consists of general grammar rules applied to specific words. But every rule has its exceptions. In this project, linguists investigate how speakers of various languages use their knowledge about such exceptions when constructing sentences.

Bystander actions in conflict situations
Dr. M.R. (Marie) Lindegaard – Dutch Study Centre for Crime and Law Enforcement

What do bystanders do when they become witnesses to potentially violent conflict? How can their different responses be explained? How do bystander actions influence risks of escalation and injury? The detailed analysis of footage of potentially violent conflicts recorded by surveillance cameras will provide answers.

A different perspective on the stiffening of aneurysms
Dr.Ir. R.G.P. (Richard) Lopata (m), TUE - Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

Risk of rupture makes aortic aneurysms a life-threatening condition. Currently, we perform ‘watchful waiting’ and intervene at a certain aneurysm size. With new ultrasound techniques we will accurately map the process of stiffening. This will improve risk assessment and ultimately lead to less premature rupture or overtreatment in patients.

Parliamentary cooperation between government and opposition
Dr. T.P. (Tom) Louwerse – Leiden University

In a representative democracy, opposition parties offer citizens the opportunity to vote for an alternative. In this project the researchers study the extent to which opposition and government parties actually behave differently in parliament. Does a change in the level of cooperation lead to changes in turnout and democratic satisfaction?

Collaborating Across Cultures and Deep Differences
Dr. D.J. (David) Ludwig – Wageningen University & Research

Climate change and environmental destruction affect everyone in the world and can only be addressed if people with very different backgrounds work together. The project investigates how people – from Indigenous communities to academically trained scientists - can collaborate even if they have very different perspectives and values.

M

Watching nanomaterials respond to light
Dr. G. F. Mancini (f), RUG- Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials Nanophysics/technology

Intriguing properties of materials can be understood watching their building blocks interact with light. Experimental scientists create new powerful microscopes to watch and control such very small and very fast movements to develop novel materials for sensing, switching and optoelectronics.    

Breast CT to improve clinical care for women with (suspected) breast cancer
Dr. R.M. (Ritse) Mann (m), Radboudumc – Radboud University Medical Center

Contrast-enhanced breast CT is a novel high resolution and fully 3D imaging method to document abnormalities within the breast. I will establish its value in the work-up of patients presenting with calcifications, in staging breast cancers, and in monitoring therapy in a multi-center setting.

Spinning logic at the speed of light
Dr. R.V. Mikhaylovskiy (m) RU

Spins (elementary magnets) in antiferromagnetic materials precess within one trillionth of a second. We aim to develop methods to utilize these rotations to develop the fastest and most energy efficient schemes for logic operations.    

A vapour heat-shield for fusion
Dr. T.W. (Thomas) Morgan (m), DIFFER

Developing nuclear fusion energy would enable continuous green electricity production, but a big challenge is stopping the generated heat from damaging the inside of the reactor. The researchers will investigate a new solution: a vapour cushion that can protect the vessel walls.

Global points via locally analytic functions
Dr. J.S. Müller (m) Bernoulli Institute, Faculty of Science and Engineering, RUG

An equation given by a polynomial in two variables with integral coefficients looks simple, but how many rational solutions does it have? This problem has been at the heart of number theory for millenia. The project will develop new methods to understand many of these equations in theory and practice.

N

Bones of Contention: Technologies of Identification and Politics of Reconciliation in Vietnam
Dr. T. (Tâm) Ngô - Radboud University Nijmegen

To find and identify missing war dead is crucial to the process of postwar normalization and reconciliation. This anthropological study investigates the use of spiritual and DNA forensics in postwar Vietnam to shed light on the relations between technologies of identification and technologies of remembering, and between spiritualism and science.

From wastewater to rocket fuel
Dr. L.A.M.P. van Niftrik (f) Department of Microbiology, Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Faculty of Science, RU

Anammox bacteria are the only microbes that produce the rocket fuel hydrazine as a free intermediate during their metabolism. They do this via a unique enzyme called hydrazine synthase. The researchers will use this remarkable anammox enzyme to convert wastewater nitrogen compounds into commercially valuable hydrazine.

Unmasking BRCA1’s Janus face in preventing tumour formation
Dr. S.M. Noordermeer (f) Leiden University Medical Center

Faulty activities of the BRCA1-protein lead to tumour formation. BRCA1-acitivity depends on binding to many other proteins. However, it remains unclear how this is regulated. The researcher proposes to study why, when and where BRCA1 binds to those proteins and what effect disruption of the interactions has on tumour formation.

Clouds blowing in the wind
Dr. A.A. Nuijens (f) TUD

Clouds often visualize how the wind blows, but rarely are cloud measurements used to understand how clouds themselves change winds. This project will combine unique measurements with fine-scale simulations to unravel the patterns of wind in many diverse cloud fields. This insight is used to improve weather prediction models.

O

A validity sieve for digital traces
Dr. D.L. (Daniel) Oberski – Utrecht University

Everyone leaves digital traces, which social scientists would like to use to investigate their theories. But discovering valid measurements in this sandstorm of data has proven to be a major obstacle. This project develops innovative statistical methods that work as a validity sieve for digital traces, enabling novel social-scientific research.

How do mushrooms defend themselves against disease?
Dr. R. A. Ohm (m) UU

Mushrooms can get sick too, just like animals and plants. This is a major problem during the cultivation of edible mushrooms. The aim of this study is to get more insight into the immune system of mushrooms. This will eventually lead to mushrooms that are more resistant to disease.

Quantum math
Dr Maris Ozols (m) Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI),Institute of Physics (IoP), UvA, QuSoft (Research Center for Quantum Software), Amsterdam

Quantum computers can solve certain problems much faster, but finding new quantum algorithms is difficult. Using advanced mathematical techniques, we will find new quantum algorithms and implement them in software.

P

Drug repurposing for treating hepatitis E
Dr. Q. (Qiuwei) Pan (m), Erasmus MC

Hepatitis E virus has emerged as a true global health issues, with particular threatens to pregnant women and organ transplantation patients. This project aims to identify treatment from existing FDA-approved medications that are safe, cheap and effective to combat this disease in developing and developed counties.

What is the impact of climate change on monsoon precipitation?
Dr. F. Peterse (f) Department of Earth Sciences, UU

Climate models predict that global warming will lead to increased monsoon precipitation. However, instrumental records indicate that the strength of the Asian monsoon is actually weakening. The applicant will determine the influence of temperature change on monsoon precipitation based on climate shifts in the past.

R

Torn between love and contempt: Ambivalence in close relationships
Dr. F. (Francesca) Righetti – VU University Amsterdam

We often experience simultaneously positive and negative affect toward our romantic partners, a state called ‘Ambivalence’. This project examines how ambivalence affects people’s well-being and relationship dynamics and dissolution. It also tests an intervention to dissipate the negative effects of ambivalence.

Insects’ invisible viruses
Dr. ir. V.I.D. Ros (f) Laboratory of Virology, Plant Science Group, WUR

In insects, an increasing number of viruses are discovered that are present in a covert state in which they do not cause disease. The researchers aim to understand how these viruses are transmitted and remain ‘undercover’, and how they impact their host. This research is relevant for mass rearing of insects.

S

Are you ready? Predicting anxiety reduction in treatment
Dr. E. (Elske) Salemink – Utrecht University

Anxiety treatments are only effective for roughly half of patients and predicting who will benefit has been largely unsuccessful. I will test individual reactivity signals indicators of readiness for change. This could improve the prediction of anxiety reduction in treatment and guide the development of new interventions.

Finding the Achilles heel of Hepatitis C virus
Dr. C.J. (Janke) Schinkel (f), Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

Each year, 500.000 people die from liver disease caused by hepatitis C virus. To reduce the burden if this disease, a vaccine is needed which prevents further spread. Understanding why some people, despite frequent exposure, never become chronically infected, is an important step in the design of a vaccine.

What is so special about deep learning?
Dr. A.J. Schmidt-Hieber (m) UT

Despite the recent practical successes of deep learning it remains unclear why this method works often so well in applications. The research proposal will be a first step towards building a mathematical theory analysing the statistical properties of deep neural networks.

Sharing responsibly on the on-demand economy
Dr. S. (Shaul) Shalvi - University of Amsterdam

The collaborative economy circulates billions of euros annually. Emphasizing the benefits of trust, collaborative platforms link providers and users. The project will identify ways to promote responsible sharing by investigating the negative ethical side-effects of focusing on trust when trading on the collaborative economy.

Lighting up Einstein’s Dark Universe
Dr. A. Silvestri (f) Instituut Lorentz, LEI

Two decades after the discovery of cosmic acceleration, we are still facing the challenge of unlocking the theory of gravity governing the universe on large scales. My research addresses this issue combining theoretical, numerical and data analysis methods into a framework for the successful interpretation of data from cosmological missions.

Sugary lipids impede proteins
Dr. R.M. (Robbert) Spaapen (m), Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

Cells in the body talk to each other through proteins. The researcher will unravel how sugary lipids disrupt communication between proteins. Next, he will determine whether tumor cells utilize such sugary lipids to escape the immune system by interfering with protein communication.

Measuring poverty with envelopes
Dr. J.T.R. (Jan) Stoop - Erasmus University Rotterdam

This project deepens our knowledge on poverty using novel field experiments requiring rich and poor households to return envelopes. The experiments mimic daily chores, and the impact of financial stress on their implementation. The results are important for future implementations of government policies.

T

Restoring the immune system to prevent cancer from spreading
Dr. D.V.F. (Daniele), Tauriello (m), Radboud University Nijmegen

White blood cells can kill spreading cancer cells but are frequently sidelined by the tumour. The researchers will dissect this process of immune evasion in cultured minitumours to then block it in colon cancer in mice. With this treatment option, they may be able to prevent or cure metastasis.

How Intelligent is the Immune System?
Dr. J.C. Textor (m) Radboudumc, Nijmegen

Like our brain, our immune system can learn. The researchers will build computer models of the immune system and train these to recognize text and images to understand how the system learns, forgets, and gets confused. This will help to design therapies that use the immune system, such as vaccines.

V

ANTICIPLAY: using games to experiment with future-smart governance
Dr. J.M. (Joost) Vervoort – Utrecht University

The ANTICIPLAY project investigates how people can use games as tools to experiment  with new ways to organize sustainable future societies. Games are specifically suitable for this because they are often made up of ‘rules’ and ‘roles’. ANTICIPLAY researches how game-based experimentation can be connected to present day action.

Insightful analysis of software logs
Dr.Ir. S.E. (Sicco) Verwer (m), TUD - Technische Universiteit Delft

Software problems have severe effects on our society. Fortunately, software leaves many traces that can be used to uncover these problems. Software traces are therefore stored in massive log databases. Unfortunately, the tools that provide the insight required to analyze this data do not yet exist. This proposal rectifies this.

Guiding human settlements towards sustainable development
Dr. ir. J. (Jasper) van Vliet (m), VU

A rapidly increasing share of the land is used by settlements, but we hardly know how and where settlements change. This project will use large-scale satellite data to map these processes and use this data to generate computer models to guide sustainable land use development.

W

Teaching synthetic molecules how to communicate
Dr. S.J. Wezenberg (m), UL, Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Living organisms have complex chemical communication networks in which external signals are received and passed along. The researchers will integrate such kind of networks into synthetic molecular systems, which will lead to the development of new intelligent materials and medicine in the future.

How flexible is photosynthesis?
Dr. I.E. Wientjes (f) WUR, Laboratory of Biophysics

Plants use light to make sugars. However, the quantity and quality of light vary during the day. The researchers use molecular techniques and advanced microscopy to understand how plants adjust their photosynthetic machinery to cope with those changes. This knowledge can contribute to the improvement of photosynthesis in crops.

Active wake steering within densely spaced wind farms
Prof.Dr.Ir. J.W. (Jan-Willem) van Wingerden (m), TUD - Technische Universiteit Delft

Wind turbines in packed offshore ‘farms’ hinder each other, which lowers their efficiency. Researchers will develop robust control algorithms which actively steers each turbine’s wake away from other turbines. A novel integrated design will simultaneously optimize the operation strategy and farm topology, considerably reducing the cost of wind energy.

Y

Mimicking nature in heterogeneous catalyst design
Dr. N. Yan (m) Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, UvA

Inspired by the elegant “active center” of enzymes, researchers will develop a bi-atom heterogeneous catalyst in this project. This new catalytic material is fully inorganic, featuring bi-atom pairs as the active sites on the support. It promises to open bona fide opportunities for the catalysis and materials science communities.        

Z

New dimensions in cerebellar imaging
Dr. W. (Wietske) van der Zwaag (f), Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging

The cerebellum, or little brain, is a densely structured brain region positioned behind the brainstem. It is important for tasks ranging from finger movements to controlling emotions. The researchers will develop new, advanced MRI techniques and processing strategies to better visualize cerebellar function.

UP

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Cross-domain

The BrainLayers of our thinking
Dr. L. (Linda) Douw (f), VUmc

The brain can be seen as a network that consists of layers, like the traffic network consists of both roads and cars traveling them. The investigators will explore whether a new brainlayer-analysis helps in understanding and predicting problems with thinking that often occurs in stroke, multiple sclerosis and brain tumors.

The fat perspective: High multi-resolution imaging of lipid metabolism
Dr. S.R. (Shane) Ellis (m), UM

Fats are all around us and play essential roles in health and disease. The functions of fats are determined by both the location in tissue and their chemical structure. This project will develop new imaging methods to simultaneously image and study the structure of lipids in detail never before possible.

Young adult and cancer?!
Dr. O. (Olga) Husson (f), NKI

Young adult cancer patients (18-39 years) form a unique group. While they try to achieve developmental milestones, they are confronted with a life-threatening, for their age rare disease, and its aggressive treatment. This study will examine which young adult cancer patients are at risk for poor health outcomes and why.

Unravelling health inequalities using systems thinking
Dr. C.B.M. (Carlijn) Kamphuis (v), UU

Socioeconomic inequalities in health are striking. How these originate from an interplay between environmental circumstance and individual factors is unravelled using a systems approach. Crucial information to build the system model is acquired by interviews, data analyses, and experiments. The model calculates the potential impact of policies on health inequalities.

A vapour heat-shield for fusion
Dr. T.W. (Thomas) Morgan (m), DIFFER

Developing nuclear fusion energy would enable continuous green electricity production, but a big challenge is stopping the generated heat from damaging the inside of the reactor. The researchers will investigate a new solution: a vapour cushion that can protect the vessel walls.

Guiding human settlements towards sustainable development
Dr. ir. J. (Jasper) van Vliet (m), VU

A rapidly increasing share of the land is used by settlements, but we hardly know how and where settlements change. This project will use large-scale satellite data to map these processes and use this data to generate computer models to guide sustainable land use development.

New dimensions in cerebellar imaging
Dr. W. (Wietske) van der Zwaag (f), Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging

The cerebellum, or little brain, is a densely structured brain region positioned behind the brainstem. It is important for tasks ranging from finger movements to controlling emotions. The researchers will develop new, advanced MRI techniques and processing strategies to better visualize cerebellar function.

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Science

A personalized particle for every patient
Dr. L. Albertazzi (m)TU/e

In this project advanced microscopy will be used to make a map of cancer cell receptors and understand how to make drug nanocarriers “personalized” for the specific feature of individual patients. This will lead to nanoparticles that are more selective in cancer cells recognition and killing.

Chemical reactions to make complex sugars
Dr. T.J. Boltje (m) Institute for Molecules and Materials, RU

Complex sugars are very important molecules in the human body and are interesting for drug development. The researchers will develop new chemical reactions to make complex sugar molecules. These reactions will give access to long chain sugars that can active the immune system.

High accuracy calculations for fundamental research with atoms and molecules
Dr. A. Borschevsky (f) Van Swinderen Institute for Particle Physics and Gravity, Faculty of Science and Engineering, RUG

Atoms and molecules can act like tiny laboratories for sensitive experiments that probe the fundamental structure of matter and search for new laws of physics. Scientists will develop a novel method of unsurpassed accuracy and use high performance computing to calculate parameters needed to support and interpret these experiments.

The harmony of operator algebras
Dr. M.P.T. Caspers (m) TUD, Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics

Operator algebras give the mathematical description of quantum mechanical observables, like the place and impulse of small particles. This research develops techniques from harmonic analysis (or wave analysis) to unravel the fine structure of these quantum systems. We expect that exactly these methods enable us classify them.

Detecting Gravitational Waves from Wobbling Black Holes
Dr. S.E. Caudill (f) Nikhef, gravitational-wave group

The orbits of binary black holes can move around like wobbling, spinning tops causing their signals to be modified so that we cannot find them with current searches. Using sophisticated data analysis techniques, I will develop a way to detect these signals and unlock their scientific secrets.

Automata Transforming Streams
Dr. J. Endrullis (m) VU Amsterdam

Automata are of paramount importance in a wide range of fields. In industry, they are indispensable tools for parsing and text processing. While automata have been studied extensively, the power of automata for transforming streams is hardly understood. This project sets out to change this.

Automatic Faster Learning for Artificial Intelligence
Dr. T.A.L. (Tim) van Erven (m), LEI — Statistics

Existing AI algorithms use a fixed strategy to learn from examples, but the best learning strategy often depends on the specifics of the learning task, which can only be discovered while learning. The researchers will develop new AI methods that automatically adapt themselves to the learning task to learn faster.

Birth of a crystal nucleus
Dr. L.C. Filion (f) Soft Condensed Matter and Biophysics Group, Debye Institute for Nanomaterials Science, Department of Physics, UU

The transformation from a liquid to a crystal starts with the spontaneous formation of a tiny crystal nucleus. In order to improve our control over this process, the researcher will develop computer algorithms to explore how hidden structure in the liquid can be controlled to guide the nucleation process.

Cerebro-cerebellar circuits for motor planning
Dr. Z. Gao Erasmus MC

Think before you act. An important feature of voluntary movements is that we can decide about an optimal strategy before execution. It is currently unclear how the brain determines an action plan that guides future movement. The researcher will study how the cerebellum (little brain) helps by making a decision.

Innate knowledge for Deep Learning
Dr. J.C. van Gemert (m) TUD, faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science, Pattern Recognition and Bioinformatics group

“Deep learning" is the engine behind the world's arms race on artificial intelligence. Deep learning allows a computer to learn from expensive, huge, datasets. I will add innate knowledge to deep learning: what is built-in no longer has to be learned, saving valuable training data.

The behavior of geomagnetic anomalies
Dr. L.V. de Groot (m) Paleomagnetic laboratory, Faculty of Geosciences / dept. Earth Sciences, UU

The Earth’s magnetic field protects us against cosmic radiation that interferes with wireless communication systems. Regional anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field allow excess radiation to reach the Earth’s surface. How these anomalies evolve through time is enigmatic. I propose to systematically unravel their behaviour for the very first time.

A struggle for control
Dr. G.J. van der Heden-van Noort (m) Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC), LEI

The localization and activity of cellular proteins is regulated by dynamic posttranslational modifications. It turns out these modifications are also modified themselves, leading to a novel hidden layer of control. The researchers aim to develop chemical tools to study these complex processes in detail.

Shedding light on cloud shadows
Dr. ir. C.C. van Heerwaarden (m) WUR, Meteorology and Air Quality Group

Cloud shadows drive large local fluctuations in incoming sunlight. In places with solar power production this can threaten the stability of the electrical grid. This project aims for a deeper understanding of cloud shadows from innovative field observations and cloud simulations, in order to improve weather forecasts of solar irradiance.

The malaria parasite’s fight against our immune system
Dr. M.M. Jore (m) Radboudumc, Department of Medical Microbiology

Malaria is caused by unicellular parasites that are transmitted by mosquitoes. This research project studies at a molecular level how malaria parasites can evade the human immune system. The obtained insight will be used to develop novel drugs and vaccines against malaria.

Vector bundles on curved spaces
Dr. M. Kool Mathematical Institute, UU

Manifolds are curved spaces such as the surface of a donut. Vector bundles are linear objects on manifolds, e.g. the collection of tangent planes to a donut. This proposal gives novel applications of \parameter spaces of vector bundles". These have unexpected relations to other fields of mathematics and physics

Watching nanomaterials respond to light
Dr. G. F. Mancini (f), RUG- Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials Nanophysics/technology

Intriguing properties of materials can be understood watching their building blocks interact with light. Experimental scientists create new powerful microscopes to watch and control such very small and very fast movements to develop novel materials for sensing, switching and optoelectronics.

Spinning logic at the speed of light
Dr. R.V. Mikhaylovskiy (m) RU

Spins (elementary magnets) in antiferromagnetic materials precess within one trillionth of a second. We aim to develop methods to utilize these rotations to develop the fastest and most energy efficient schemes for logic operations.

Global points via locally analytic functions
Dr. J.S. Müller (m) Bernoulli Institute, Faculty of Science and Engineering, RUG

An equation given by a polynomial in two variables with integral coefficients looks simple, but how many rational solutions does it have? This problem has been at the heart of number theory for millenia. The project will develop new methods to understand many of these equations in theory and practice.

From wastewater to rocket fuel
Dr. L.A.M.P. van Niftrik (f) Department of Microbiology, Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Faculty of Science, RU

Anammox bacteria are the only microbes that produce the rocket fuel hydrazine as a free intermediate during their metabolism. They do this via a unique enzyme called hydrazine synthase. The researchers will use this remarkable anammox enzyme to convert wastewater nitrogen compounds into commercially valuable hydrazine.

Unmasking BRCA1’s Janus face in preventing tumour formation
Dr. S.M. Noordermeer (f) Leiden University Medical Center

Faulty activities of the BRCA1-protein lead to tumour formation. BRCA1-acitivity depends on binding to many other proteins. However, it remains unclear how this is regulated. The researcher proposes to study why, when and where BRCA1 binds to those proteins and what effect disruption of the interactions has on tumour formation.

Clouds blowing in the wind
Dr. A.A. Nuijens (f) TUD

Clouds often visualize how the wind blows, but rarely are cloud measurements used to understand how clouds themselves change winds. This project will combine unique measurements with fine-scale simulations to unravel the patterns of wind in many diverse cloud fields. This insight is used to improve weather prediction models.

How do mushrooms defend themselves against disease?
Dr. R. A. Ohm (m) UU

Mushrooms can get sick too, just like animals and plants. This is a major problem during the cultivation of edible mushrooms. The aim of this study is to get more insight into the immune system of mushrooms. This will eventually lead to mushrooms that are more resistant to disease.

Quantum math
Dr Maris Ozols (m) Institute for Logic, Language and Computation (ILLC), Korteweg-de Vries Institute for Mathematics (KdVI),Institute of Physics (IoP), UvA, QuSoft (Research Center for Quantum Software), Amsterdam

Quantum computers can solve certain problems much faster, but finding new quantum algorithms is difficult. Using advanced mathematical techniques, we will find new quantum algorithms and implement them in software.

What is the impact of climate change on monsoon precipitation?
Dr. F. Peterse (f)Department of Earth Sciences, UU

Climate models predict that global warming will lead to increased monsoon precipitation. However, instrumental records indicate that the strength of the Asian monsoon is actually weakening. The applicant will determine the influence of temperature change on monsoon precipitation based on climate shifts in the past.

Insects’ invisible viruses
Dr. ir. V.I.D. Ros (f) Laboratory of Virology, Plant Science Group, WUR

In insects, an increasing number of viruses are discovered that are present in a covert state in which they do not cause disease. The researchers aim to understand how these viruses are transmitted and remain ‘undercover’, and how they impact their host. This research is relevant for mass rearing of insects.

What is so special about deep learning?
Dr. A.J. Schmidt-Hieber (m) UT

Despite the recent practical successes of deep learning it remains unclear why this method works often so well in applications. The research proposal will be a first step towards building a mathematical theory analysing the statistical properties of deep neural networks.

Lighting up Einstein’s Dark Universe
Dr. A. Silvestri (f) Instituut Lorentz, LEI

Two decades after the discovery of cosmic acceleration, we are still facing the challenge of unlocking the theory of gravity governing the universe on large scales. My research addresses this issue combining theoretical, numerical and data analysis methods into a framework for the successful interpretation of data from cosmological missions.

How Intelligent is the Immune System?
Dr. J.C. Textor (m) Radboudumc, Nijmegen

Like our brain, our immune system can learn. The researchers will build computer models of the immune system and train these to recognize text and images to understand how the system learns, forgets, and gets confused. This will help to design therapies that use the immune system, such as vaccines.

Teaching synthetic molecules how to communicate
Dr. S.J. Wezenberg (m), UL, Leiden Institute of Chemistry
Living organisms have complex chemical communication networks in which external signals are received and passed along. The researchers will integrate such kind of networks into synthetic molecular systems, which will lead to the development of new intelligent materials and medicine in the future.

How flexible is photosynthesis?
Dr. I.E. Wientjes (f) WUR, Laboratory of Biophysics

Plants use light to make sugars. However, the quantity and quality of light vary during the day. The researchers use molecular techniques and advanced microscopy to understand how plants adjust their photosynthetic machinery to cope with those changes. This knowledge can contribute to the improvement of photosynthesis in crops.

Mimicking nature in heterogeneous catalyst design
Dr. N. Yan (m) Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences, UvA

Inspired by the elegant “active center” of enzymes, researchers will develop a bi-atom heterogeneous catalyst in this project. This new catalytic material is fully inorganic, featuring bi-atom pairs as the active sites on the support. It promises to open bona fide opportunities for the catalysis and materials science communities.

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Social Sciences and Humanities

Don’t let a few bad apples spoil the bunch
Dr. A. (Andreas) Alfons – Erasmus University Rotterdam

Rating data are everywhere – from political polls to psychological experiments to product ratings on Amazon. Modern technology makes data collection easier such that data sets are growing bigger, but also less reliable. Researchers will therefore develop new statistical methods for rating data that are not influenced by bad data points.

Novel data-driven approaches for depression analysis
Dr. N. (Nalan) Baștürk – Maastricht University

The researcher will develop new statistical methods that will help in understanding why some people recover quickly from mental disorders while others do not. These methods will incorporate information from earlier scientific studies and clinical practice to enhance diagnosis and personalized treatment decisions.

Econometric methods for incorrect models
Dr. F. (Francisco) Blasques – VU University Amsterdam

Econometric models offer simplistic and stylized representations of vastly complex economies. Statistical methods used in econometrics are designed to be reliable and efficient only when the model provides a perfect description of reality. This project investigates new econometric methods that are optimal in situations when the model is not perfect.

‘Strange’ families reunified?
Dr. S.A. (Saskia) Bonjour – University of Amsterdam

Which families belong in Europe? The right to family migration is highly contested for families which deviate from the norm, such as same-sex or polygamous families. This project analyses how migration law and politics deal with different kinds of families asking to be allowed to live together in Europe. 

Crafting future urban economies?
Dr. A.M.C. (Amanda) Brandellero – Erasmus University Rotterdam

Cities across the world are looking for ways to make their economies more circular, and localised production is seen as key to this process. This project comparatively examines how making locally is articulated and valued, in order to understand its potential role in sustainable urban futures.

Play, stop, pause? Optimizing learning through effort regulation
Dr. A.B.H. (Anique) de Bruin – Maastricht University

Self-regulated learning is of increasing importance in an information-dense, digital world. Little is known, however, as to how students regulate cognitive effort during self-regulated learning. Through experimental studies incorporating individualized feedback, the researchers will unravel what role learning experiences play and how taking breaks optimizes effort regulation.

Art&Politics: Reimaging Institutions
Dr. C. (Chiara) de Cesari – University of Amsterdam

Many think that art can change the world and reinvent our institutions in crisis. But is it so and how does it work? This project studies how artistic practices provide a platform for institutional experimentation and innovation across and beyond Europe.

Responsibility for resilience in climate adaptation
Prof. mr. dr. ir. N. (Neelke) Doorn – Delft University of Technology

This research is about the responsibility of citizens in climate adaptation policy. Citizens are increasingly expected to take responsibility for resilience to climate change. The researchers will develop an ethical theory to assess to what extent these responsibilities can be distributed in a way that is both fair and effective.

Hidden Talents in Harsh Environments
Dr. W.E. (Willem) Frankenhuis – Radboud University Nijmegen

It is well-know that growing up in adverse conditions can undermine development, learning, and health. However, people also develop intact, or even enhanced, mental abilities that are adapted to stressful conditions. Little is known about these “hidden talents”. This research examines whether two mental abilities are enhanced among high-adversity youth.

Inventing Public Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe
Dr. H.J. (Helmer) Helmers – University of Amsterdam

How do communication revolutions shape international relations? This project adopts a historical approach to find new answers to this acute and topical question. Investigating diplomatic uses of the new medium of print between 1568 and 1713, it shows how new media in the past transformed European politics.

Voicing the Colony
Dr. R.A.M. (Rick) Honings – Leiden University

This project studies travel writing about the Dutch East Indies written between 1800 and the end of the Second World War. By analyzing both Dutch travel texts and Indigenous travel texts in Javanese and Malay, it presents a new, double-voiced perspective on (the historiography of) the Dutch colonial past.

Making a martyr in medieval Spain
Dr. K. (Kati) Ihnat – Radboud University Nijmegen

What makes a martyr? This project explores how martyrdom was culturally constructed in early medieval Spain. Here, a new wave of martyrs was ‘created’ in the ninth-century, and this project will investigate how this happened and how it affected inter-religious relations in a multicultural context.

Democratic innovations & populism: For better or worse?
Dr. K. (Kristof) Jacobs – Radboud University Nijmegen

Populism is on the rise, and populist citizens are angry. They feel politicians do not listen to them. This project investigates if and how democratic innovations (e.g. citizen-initiated referendums, citizens’ assemblies) can help to address this.

Self-control or just self-manipulation?
Dr. A. (Annemarie) Kalis – Utrecht University

Most people unfortunately have little willpower. Are nudging and self-manipulation by means of smart tricks, the only strategies left? This project will develop a situated account of self-control, and will show how we can exercise genuine self-control by shaping our own action space.

The exception to the rule?
Dr. E.H. (Eva) van Lier – University of Amsterdam

Language consists of general grammar rules applied to specific words. But every rule has its exceptions. In this project, linguists investigate how speakers of various languages use their knowledge about such exceptions when constructing sentences.

Bystander actions in conflict situations
Dr. M.R. (Marie) Lindegaard – Dutch Study Centre for Crime and Law Enforcement

What do bystanders do when they become witnesses to potentially violent conflict? How can their different responses be explained? How do bystander actions influence risks of escalation and injury? The detailed analysis of footage of potentially violent conflicts recorded by surveillance cameras will provide answers.

Parliamentary cooperation between government and opposition
Dr. T.P. (Tom) Louwerse – Leiden University

In a representative democracy, opposition parties offer citizens the opportunity to vote for an alternative. In this project the researchers study the extent to which opposition and government parties actually behave differently in parliament. Does a change in the level of cooperation lead to changes in turnout and democratic satisfaction?

Collaborating Across Cultures and Deep Differences
Dr. D.J. (David) Ludwig – Wageningen University & Research

Climate change and environmental destruction affect everyone in the world and can only be addressed if people with very different backgrounds work together. The project investigates how people – from Indigenous communities to academically trained scientists - can collaborate even if they have very different perspectives and values.

Bones of Contention: Technologies of Identification and Politics of Reconciliation in Vietnam
Dr. T. (Tâm) Ngô - Radboud University Nijmegen

To find and identify missing war dead is crucial to the process of postwar normalization and reconciliation. This anthropological study investigates the use of spiritual and DNA forensics in postwar Vietnam to shed light on the relations between technologies of identification and technologies of remembering, and between spiritualism and science.

A validity sieve for digital traces
Dr. D.L. (Daniel) Oberski – Utrecht University

Everyone leaves digital traces, which social scientists would like to use to investigate their theories. But discovering valid measurements in this sandstorm of data has proven to be a major obstacle. This project develops innovative statistical methods that work as a validity sieve for digital traces, enabling novel social-scientific research.

Torn between love and contempt: Ambivalence in close relationships
Dr. F. (Francesca) Righetti – VU University Amsterdam

We often experience simultaneously positive and negative affect toward our romantic partners, a state called ‘Ambivalence’. This project examines how ambivalence affects people’s well-being and relationship dynamics and dissolution. It also tests an intervention to dissipate the negative effects of ambivalence.

Are you ready? Predicting anxiety reduction in treatment
Dr. E. (Elske) Salemink – Utrecht University

Anxiety treatments are only effective for roughly half of patients and predicting who will benefit has been largely unsuccessful. I will test individual reactivity signals indicators of readiness for change. This could improve the prediction of anxiety reduction in treatment and guide the development of new interventions.

Sharing responsibly on the on-demand economy
Dr. S. (Shaul) Shalvi - University of Amsterdam

The collaborative economy circulates billions of euros annually. Emphasizing the benefits of trust, collaborative platforms link providers and users. The project will identify ways to promote responsible sharing by investigating the negative ethical side-effects of focusing on trust when trading on the collaborative economy.

Measuring poverty with envelopes
Dr. J.T.R. (Jan) Stoop - Erasmus University Rotterdam

This project deepens our knowledge on poverty using novel field experiments requiring rich and poor households to return envelopes. The experiments mimic daily chores, and the impact of financial stress on their implementation. The results are important for future implementations of government policies.

ANTICIPLAY: using games to experiment with future-smart governance
Dr. J.M. (Joost) Vervoort – Utrecht University

The ANTICIPLAY project investigates how people can use games as tools to experiment  with new ways to organize sustainable future societies. Games are specifically suitable for this because they are often made up of ‘rules’ and ‘roles’. ANTICIPLAY researches how game-based experimentation can be connected to present day action.

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Applied and Engineering Sciences

Breathe easy: adapting lung radiotherapy in a heartbeat
Dr. M. F. (Martin) Fast (m), Netherlands Cancer Institute

In radiotherapy, safely eradicating cancer is challenging since the tumour and the x-ray treatment beam are invisible. Fortunately, a new generation of treatment devices continuously observes internal anatomy using magnetic resonance imaging. In this project, software to simultaneously adapt lung cancer treatments to respiratory and cardiac motion will be developed.

ADMIRE: Large-scale energy storage in geological formations
Dr. H. (Hadi) Hajibeygi (m), TUD - Technische Universiteit Delft

Renewable energy (e.g. solar and wind) can be converted to green fuels (e.g. H2 and CH4) to be stored in large amounts (TWh) in subsurface geological formations. I provide a predictive simulation method for safe utilization of subsurface formations under cyclic injection and production of green fuels.

The fate of electrons in biofilms
Dr.ir. A. (Annemiek) ter Heijne (v), WUR - Wageningen University & Research

To better control biological conversions, for example in wastewater treatment, insight in how electrons move through biofilms is crucial. Researchers are going to measure precisely how electrons are stored in biofilms, and how the conditions can be tuned so that these biofilms reach the desired and most efficient performance.

The missing link in bubble therapy
Dr. K. (Klazina) Kooiman (v), EUR - Erasmus MC
Miniature gas bubbles have the potential to locally deliver high dosages of drugs for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancer which reduces side-effects. This project addresses the exact mechanisms between miniature gas bubbles, drugs, and diseased cells so we can bring this bubble therapy to patients.

Smart bio inks to engineer functional tissues
Dr. J.C.H. (Jeroen) Leijten (m), UT - Universiteit Twente

Engineered organs could replace or repair a patient’s damaged or worn-out organs. However, creating the complex structures that provide tissues with their function is an unresolved challenge. In this project, the researchers will develop a smart biological ink that will enable the straightforward creation of important tissue structures.

A different perspective on the stiffening of aneurysms
Dr.Ir. R.G.P. (Richard) Lopata (m), TUE - Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

Risk of rupture makes aortic aneurysms a life-threatening condition. Currently, we perform ‘watchful waiting’ and intervene at a certain aneurysm size. With new ultrasound techniques we will accurately map the process of stiffening. This will improve risk assessment and ultimately lead to less premature rupture or overtreatment in patients.

Insightful analysis of software logs
Dr.Ir. S.E. (Sicco) Verwer (m), TUD - Technische Universiteit Delft

Software problems have severe effects on our society. Fortunately, software leaves many traces that can be used to uncover these problems. Software traces are therefore stored in massive log databases. Unfortunately, the tools that provide the insight required to analyze this data do not yet exist. This proposal rectifies this.

Active wake steering within densely spaced wind farms
Prof.Dr.Ir. J.W. (Jan-Willem) van Wingerden (m), TUD - Technische Universiteit Delft

Wind turbines in packed offshore ‘farms’ hinder each other, which lowers their efficiency. Researchers will develop robust control algorithms which actively steers each turbine’s wake away from other turbines. A novel integrated design will simultaneously optimize the operation strategy and farm topology, considerably reducing the cost of wind energy.

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ZonMw / Health Research and Development

Harnessing immune cells to battle brain tumors
Dr. L. (Leila) Akkari (f), NKI – Netherlands Cancer Institute

Glioblastoma is a deadly cancer in the brain, which is highly challenging to treat. How can normal, immune cells that reside and are abundant in these tumors can be used to eradicate the disease? By combining different treatment modalities, this research aims to develop effective therapies for glioblastoma patients.

Glia of the bowel: landscapers in the second brain
Dr. W.R.M. (Werend) Boesmans (m), University Maastricht

The neural circuits of the enteric nervous system, the little brain in our gut that regulates digestive function, appear extremely chaotic and therefore are difficult to elucidate. I aim to unravel these circuits and I will study the role of enteric glia in their assembly and maintenance.

Heal the anastomosis
Dr. J.P.M. (Joep) Derikx, (m), Emma kinderziekenhuis -Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

In colorectal surgery, surgeons often create an anastomosis between bowel parts. Anastomoses leak in 1:10 patients, which can lead to peritonitis, sepsis and death. I want to prevent this by studying whether surgeons can pre-operatively predict anastomotic leakage or diagnose it early post-operative. Furthermore, I will investigate normal anastomotic healing.

Quantifying disease severity
Dr. M. (Marc) Engelen (m), Emma kinderziekenhuis -Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

Quantifying disease severity is of the utmost importance in studies to determine efficacy of new treatments. This project aims to develop sensitive tools to quantify disease severity for use in clinical trials, for ALD and other degenerative conditions of the spinal cord.

Immune cells under control of sugars
Dr. B. (Bart) Everts (m), LUMC – Leids Universitair Medical Center

Recent observations suggest that in immune cells certain sugars can change protein activity by binding to them, which can subsequently lead to changes in immune cell function. This project will investigate how this exactly works and explore whether that knowledge can be utilized for therapeutic purposes.

Optimized treatment of thrombophlebitis by individualizing risk prediction
Dr. G.J. (Geert-Jan) Geersing (m), UMCU – University Medical Center Utrecht

Patients with thrombophlebitis (clots in superficial veins) are at risk for clot-progression to deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Doctors currently don’t know in whom this occurs. This project uses general practice databases to individualize risk prediction for clot-growth in thrombophlebitis patients, yielding optimized treatment.

When the heart gets nervous
Dr. M.R.M. (Monique) Jongbloed (f), LUMC – Leids Universitair Medical Center

After myocardial infarction the number of nerves in the heart can increase significantly and cause life-threatening arrhythmias. Cells from the outer layer of the heart, the epicardium, may cause this increase. This research aims to study mechanisms and identify patients at risk providing a basis for future prevention and/or treatment.

Decoding genetic disease by decoding gene regulation
Dr. K.P. (Kevin) Kenna (m), UMCU – Universitair Medical Center Utrecht

Our genetics determines our susceptibility to a range of diseases. Much of this relates to DNA mutations that disrupt the mechanisms controlling gene activity. This project seeks to develop new methods to identify such DNA mutations and will apply them to discover genetic causes for an incurable neurodegenerative disease (ALS).

Natural weapon against chronic inflammation
Dr. G. (Gijs) Kooij (m), Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc

Chronic inflammation occurs if the natural process to restrain inflammation (resolution) is not functioning properly. The researcher wants to know how this natural protection mechanism works in order to exploit it in the combat against chronic inflammatory disorders like multiple sclerosis.

Breast CT to improve clinical care for women with (suspected) breast cancer
Dr. R.M. (Ritse) Mann (m), Radboudumc – Radboud University Medical Center

Contrast-enhanced breast CT is a novel high resolution and fully 3D imaging method to document abnormalities within the breast. I will establish its value in the work-up of patients presenting with calcifications, in staging breast cancers, and in monitoring

therapy in a multi-center setting.

Drug repurposing for treating hepatitis E
Dr. Q. (Qiuwei) Pan (m), Erasmus MC

Hepatitis E virus has emerged as a true global health issues, with particular threatens to pregnant women and organ transplantation patients. This project aims to identify treatment from existing FDA-approved medications that are safe, cheap and effective to combat this disease in developing and developed counties.

Finding the Achilles heel of Hepatitis C virus
Dr. C.J. (Janke) Schinkel (f), Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

Each year, 500.000 people die from liver disease caused by hepatitis C virus. To reduce the burden if this disease, a vaccine is needed which prevents further spread. Understanding why some people, despite frequent exposure, never become chronically infected, is an important step in the design of a vaccine.

Sugary lipids impede proteins
Dr. R.M. (Robbert) Spaapen (m), Amsterdam UMC, Location AMC

Cells in the body talk to each other through proteins. The researcher will unravel how sugary lipids disrupt communication between proteins. Next, he will determine whether tumor cells utilize such sugary lipids to escape the immune system by interfering with protein communication.

Restoring the immune system to prevent cancer from spreading
Dr. D.V.F. (Daniele), Tauriello (m), Radboud University Nijmegen

White blood cells can kill spreading cancer cells but are frequently sidelined by the tumour. The researchers will dissect this process of immune evasion in cultured minitumours to then block it in colon cancer in mice. With this treatment option, they may be able to prevent or cure metastasis.

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