A total of 965 researchers applied for a Veni grant from NWO this year. The applications were assessed by scientists from the Netherlands and abroad. The Veni researchers are at the start of their careers, but have already demonstrated a remarkable talent for doing scientific research. They belong to the international top in their field. This year 159 researchers have been awarded a Veni grant. That means that 16.5 percent of the researchers who submitted a proposal in this funding round were actually awarded a Veni grant. However, the number of very good proposals that NWO received was far higher.
Intestinal bacteria as the cause of rheumatism
Dr S. (Shahla) Abdollahi-Roodsaz (f) Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre - Rheumatology
Rheumatism is a severe joint disease caused by the body's own immune system. Our immune system is strongly influenced by intestinal bacteria. The researchers will study the interaction between intestinal bacteria, the immune system and rheumatism, and analyse which bacteria via which process cause the disease.
Zipping proteins cause initial problems in Parkinson’s disease
Dr S. (Sanne) Abeln (f) 1982, VU University Amsterdam - IBIVU
Parkinson's disease is caused by proteins zipping together in long chains. Just like with real zips, joining up the first few teeth (proteins) is difficult but after that the zipping proceeds quickly. Avoiding the initial zipping can therefore prevent the disease. The mechanism of the starting protein zip will be unravelled using combined computer simulations and experiments.
What can we learn from old greenhouse rivers?
Dr H.A. Abels (m) 1980, Utrecht University – Earth Sciences
Global warming changes the temperature and precipitation on land. Clay and sand archives in North America that are 53 million years old contain information about climate changes during brief extremely warm periods. In this study we will investigate exactly what happened.
The psychological consequences of unconscious behaviour
Dr M.A. (Marieke) Adriaanse (f) 1983, Utrecht University – Clinical and Health Psychology
We cannot explain much of our behaviour as it starts unconsciously. The researchers will study the emotional consequences of this missing explanation and the efforts people make to explain their unconscious behaviour in retrospect.
Politicians and the media: who takes the lead?
Dr W.H. (Wouter) van Atteveldt (m) VU University Amsterdam – Communication Science Politicians need the media to reach their public, whereas journalists need politicians as a source of news. Who takes the lead: do the media dominate the political debate or are they merely a toy in the hands of deft politicians?
Inflammatory rheumatism: towards prevention
Dr E.G.M. (Lisa) van Baarsen (f) Amsterdam Medical Center/University of Amsterdam – Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
Some people have antibodies in their blood that are associated with an increased risk of developing inflammatory rheumatism. The molecular changes in joints and lymph glands of these people at risk will be investigated. Ultimately the aim is to develop a preventative therapy.
Invisible light helps plastic solar cells to work better
Dr A.A. (Artem) Bakulin (m) AMOLF
Being able to print plastic solar cells as easily as you can print a newspaper. It is a dream that could become a reality if electricity could be conducted by plastic without any barriers. The researchers will use infrared light to identify and remove these barriers.
Quantum transport in novel heterogeneous layered materials
Dr A. (Amelia) Barreiro (f) Delft University of Technology – Applied Physics
A new method to exploit the wide range of strongly layered materials and create novel 2D-materials is proposed. It will also provide a novel pathway for producing heterogeneous systems, as the layering structure can be used to control the electronic properties.
Strange materials in the body
Dr Y.M. (Yvonne) Bastiaansen-Jenniskens (f) Erasmus University Rotterdam Medical Center - Orthopaedics
Plastic, metal or ceramic materials can be used in the body to treat diseases. These materials can cause inflammation and/or pain. In this study a method will be developed to test materials and treatments for their reactions.
Predicting prehistoric landscapes
Dr R. (Roy) van Beek (m) Leiden University – Archaeology
Prehistoric humans lived in a continually changing landscape. With the help of computer simulations the researchers will map these changes. That will provide insights into the dynamics of previous living environments. The same knowledge is also important for the future protection of our archaeological heritage.
Placebo effects of marketing campaigns
Dr (Bram) van den Bergh (m) Erasmus University Rotterdam - Marketing Management
Simply the belief that expensive products are better than cheap ones can change the observed quality of the same product. Researchers will determine how long such placebo effects from marketing campaigns persist over time.
How bacteria are destroyed
Dr J. (Jovanka) Bestebroer (f) University Medical Center Utrecht – Cell biology
Bacteria are recognised by immune system cells, engulfed and destroyed. The researchers will analyse how bacteria in the cell are recognised so that a better destruction can be elicited. They will also examine how bacteria can avoid this process.
Shipping and financing
Dr C.J. (Christiaan) van Bochove (m) Utrecht University – Social and Economic History
The economy and society cannot survive without money transfer. Prior to industrialisation the Netherlands had no modern banks, however. This study will show how boat skippers organised the money transfers between towns. The many waterways and the strongly organised transportation of people and goods made this possible.
Protein nanopores as nanoreactors
Dr A.J. (Arnold) Boersma (m) University of Groningen - GBB
The researchers will construct a protein nanopore in a new manner so that these proteins can be used as nanoreactors. In the nanopores the most important chemical conversions will be studied and this will provide insights that cannot be obtained using existing techniques.
Smelling of obesity
Dr S. (Sanne) Boesveldt (f) Wageningen University and Research Centre
The smell of food, especially the fat it contains, plays an important role in eating behaviour. This project will investigate to what extent the brains of obese people respond differently to food smells. Then the researchers will try to influence the eating behaviour of slim people as a model for eating.
Deep recessions - dynamic multiple thresholds with endogeneity
Dr O. (Otilia) Boldea (f) University of Tilburg - Econometrics
'This is not your father's recession'- Paul Krugman, 2009. The aim of this project is to develop a statistical methodology for identifying and quantifying the key differences between the current recession and those in the recent past.
Family migration policy in Germany, France and the Netherlands
Dr S.A. (Saskia) Bonjour (f) Leiden University - Institute for History
Why have European countries allowed in many thousands of family migrants since the 1950s while stating that they did not want to be immigration countries? This research will look for the answer to this question in the archives of German, French and Dutch government ministries and parliaments.
How environmental factors shape life
Dr F. (Filipe) Branco dos Santos (m) VU University Amsterdam - Bioinformatics
Life develops in a continuously changing environment. Using mathematical models and more than 1000 generations of evolution experiments in the lab, the researcher will explore how changing environmental factors have shaped life.
Consciousness and our brain
Dr J.W. (Jan) Brascamp (m) University of Amsterdam - Cognitive Neuroscience
How does conscious observation arise from brain processes? Brain scientists investigate this using visual illusions in which the observation varies: the same image appears to keep changing slightly. Researchers measure which brain activity is associated with this changing observation to discover how the brain processes determine conscious observation.
Embedding sustainable diversity in organisations
Dr M.C.L. (Marieke) van den Brink (f) Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Management Research
Diversity policy in Dutch organisations is hardly effective in the longer term. This study will build a theoretical framework for organisational change by studying several successful initiatives. Which strategies, networks and sources do individual initiators of change use to ensure that their own learning process about diversity is sustainably embedded in organisations?
Bombardments of cosmic neutrinos on the moon
Dr S. Buitink, University of Groningen – Nuclear Physics Accelerator Institute (KVI)
The earth is continually subjected to bombardments of cosmic particles. Where do these come from and how are they produced? These are important questions in astrophysics and new detection methods are needed to find the answers. In this study a technique will be developed to measure the bombardment of cosmic neutrinos on the moon using the revolutionary Dutch radio telescope LOFAR.
Nazarius' eulogy of Constantine the Great
Dr D.W.P. (Diederik) Burgersdijk (m) Radboud University Nijmegen – Institute for Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies
During the rule of Constantine the Great the Gallic orator Nazarius held an official speech to the emperor. The speech contains important information about the state of the Roman empire in the early fourth century, when Christianity started to make rapid advances. This project will investigate the carefully crafted speech as a literary product and a reflection of its time.
Dr B.E. (Bram) Büscher (m) Erasmus University Rotterdam - Institute of Social Studies
Interactive ‘web 2.0’ and social media are increasingly being used to get people involved in nature conservation. People are encouraged to create nature online and in so doing to support nature conservation organisations and their interventions. This project will investigate the new phenomenon of Nature 2.0 and how this relates to local nature conservancy and development issues in Southern Africa.
Climate change, extreme droughts and biodiversity conservation
Dr J. (Jofre) Carnicer (m) University of Groningen - Community and Conservation Ecology Group (COCON)
Climate change is causing more frequent and warmer extreme drought events that impact European biodiversity. The researchers will quantify the response of forests, birds and butterflies to extreme droughts using demographic and genetic techniques.
Software-defined radio: dream to reality
Dr Y. (Youngcheol) Chae (m) Delft University of Technology - Microelectronics
Software-Defined Radio (SDR) uses digital signal processing for flexible wireless communication, but the lack of a suitable analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) is hindering the realisation of SDR. A flexible ADC for SDR could be realised using large-scale parallel, energy-efficient 'oversampling' ADCs.
Helping surgeons during operations by lighting up tumours with nanoparticles
Dr P.T.K. (Patrick) Chin (m) Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek Hospital – Radiology
Very small particles of conductors or semiconductors can emit various colours of light. In this study it will be investigated how these particles can be made and used to light up cancer tumours so that surgeons can see these better during operations.
Restricting the free market
Dr R.J.G. (Rutger) Claassen (m) Leiden University– Political Science
Free market forces are objected to in many contexts. Consequently markets are often regulated to protect vulnerable public interests. That does not always happen in a consistent and convincing manner, however. This research will study the underlying normative criteria for regulation with the aim of realising a politico-philosophical theory to legitimise interventions in the free market.
Beyond New Jerusalem
Dr S. (Stefan) Couperus (m) Utrecht University - History
Following their destruction by bombs, Rotterdam, Coventry and Le Havre became post-war icons of welfare and reconstruction. These cities were rebuilt after 1945 according to the idealistic images of planners, at least that is the prevailing view. Yet this research will reveal that a systematic approach to changing urban spaces already existed well before 1945. Bombs and planners were not decisive factors in this respect.
Blood stem cells and their neighbours
Dr M. (Mihaela) Crisan (f) Erasmus University Medical Center - Erasmus Stem Cell Institute (ESI), Cell Biology
Blood stem cells develop in the embryo under the influence of special helper cells in their vicinity but the role of these helper cells is unclear. By selectively removing helper cells the researchers will analyse their effect on the blood stem cells.
Social climate and prosociality in chimpanzees
Dr K. (Katherine) Cronin (f) Max Planck Institute - Comparative Cognitive Anthropology Group
Scientists will study the natural behaviour of four semi-wild chimpanzee populations to determine how the social climate affects the expression of helping behaviour in one of our closest relatives.
Information tracking system for mirror neurons in the brain
Dr E.S. (Emily) Cross (f) Radboud University Nijmegen - Donders Institute for Brain Cognition and Behaviour
Our own physical experience facilitates our understanding of other people's actions. Yet how do we understand unknown actions? This project will test a reformulation of the theory about mirror neurons in order to provide a better explanation of the interaction between action and perception.
How do molecules crystallise?
Dr A.J. (Aurora) Cruz-Cabeza (f) University of Amsterdam – Computational Chemistry
Drug molecules are usually delivered as crystals in tablets. Molecules can often crystallise in different crystal structures, with different properties, and these crystal structures are often achieved through changes in crystallisation conditions. Using molecular modelling, this research project aims to understand the pathways by which molecules crystallise.
Balancing social and economic rights in the EU
Dr M. (Mark) Dawson (m) Maastricht University - International and European Law
In recent years, EU law has faced increasing conflict between social rights (such as universal healthcare and education) and economic rights (such as free movement of goods, workers and services in the EU). This research project will examine how courts and policy makers interact in balancing these rights.
Searching for inflammatory proteins that cause diabetes
Dr A. (Abbas) Dehghan (m) Erasmus University Rotterdam Medical Center – Epidemiology
One-third of the cases of diabetes are caused by chronic inflammation. However, which inflammatory proteins are responsible is not known. This research project will use new genetic techniques to identify the inflammatory proteins that cause diabetes.
Mapping galactic lighthouses
Dr A.T. (Adam) Deller (m) ASTRON
Radio pulsars act as galactic lighthouses. Their powerful, rapidly rotating beams of radiation are observed over enormous distances as 'pulses'. This project will combine signals from radio telescopes across the world to produce an accurate 3-D map of the galactic lighthouse network.
Mobile virulent DNA in fungi
Dr H.C. (Lotje) van der Does (f) University of Amsterdam – Phytopathology
A chromosome with virulent genes has been discovered in the fungus that causes tomato wilt. This chromosome can be transferred to other fungal strains, giving rise to new pathogens. The researcher will determine to what extent the 'normal' chromosomes collaborate with the wandering chromosome.
EU foreign affairs: influencing things at home
Dr C. (Christina) Eckes (f) University of Amsterdam – Public International Law and European Law
The European Union is increasingly becoming an independent player on the international scene. This research will examine the unintended and indirect effects of this performance on the EU's fundamental rights, basic principles and internal balances of power.
Every cloud has a silver lining
Dr S. (Stefan) Engels (m) VU University Amsterdam – Earth Sciences
The climate is changing. This is happening because both humans and the sun are influencing the climate. Using small fossils such as those of insects the researcher will investigate how much sun spots influence both temperature and precipitation.
Changing climate – changing behaviour
Dr T. (Tatiana) Filatova (f) University of Twente - CSTM
The risk of catastrophic floods increases dramatically with climate change, impacting people’s choices of where to live. This project will combine computer simulations of adaptive behaviour in land markets with the observation of real human choices in risky situations to support policy making.
Do we think in our mother tongue?
Dr M.E.P. (Monique) Flecken (f) Radboud University Nijmegen - DCC
Everyday situations are discussed in different ways in different languages. Certain sentence constructions and verb forms are language dependent. We will investigate the influence of another language on how monolingual and bilingual people think about certain situations: do bilingual people think in their first or in their second language?
How psychological and social factors influence the evolution of language
Dr M. (Michael) Franke (m) University of Amsterdam – Institute for Logic, Language and Computation
Language has been able to evolve because humans started to use sounds in a regular manner for various social purposes. This project will investigate the effect of psychological and social factors on the evolution of language, with a particular emphasis on differences in the meaning of adjectives.
The boundaries of the unconscious
Dr S. (Simon) van Gaal (m) Neurospin Center - Neuroimaging Unit (Gif-sur-Yvette, France)
To what extent do unconscious processes influence our behaviour and decisions? And when do conscious processes play a crucial role in this? The researchers will answer these questions by looking for the boundaries of unconscious processes in the brain and in our behaviour.
Health and work, which policies are effective?
Dr P. (Pilar) García-Gómez (f) Erasmus University Rotterdam - Erasmus School of Economics
Several policies are in place in the EU to help the disabled to participate in the labour market. The researcher will investigate how successful these policies have been in achieving this goal with a specific focus on the last reforms implemented in the Netherlands.
Islamic biomedical ethics between two worlds
Dr M. ( Mohammed) Ghaly (m) Leiden University - Theology, Islamic Theology
Recent biomedical developments necessitate an in-depth discussion about the ethical and unethical aspects of these rapid developments. This research will provide an analysis of this modern discussion within the Islamic tradition in both the Islamic world and here in the West.
From a binary to a single star
Dr E. (Evert) Glebbeek (m) Radboud University Nijmegen - Institute for Mathematics, Astrophysics and Particle Physics
Sometimes a binary star merges into a single star. This star has unusual properties and can be the forerunner of a powerful explosion, for example a gamma flash or supernova. The researchers will develop a new method to investigate these stars.
Threats and conflicts within management teams
Dr L.L. (Lindred) Greer (f) University of Amsterdam – Work and Organisational Psychology
Teams with considerable power, such as management teams or task groups of world leaders, have an enormous impact on society. However they often experience problems due to conflicts about power. This study will determine which socio-psychological process is responsible for this.
Quest for new antibiotics
Dr J. (Jacob) Gubbens (m) Leiden University – Molecular Biotechnology
The number of bacterial infections that cannot be treated with current antibiotics is increasing rapidly. The researchers will develop new strategies to more easily identify antibiotics and enzymes in soil bacteria. This will provide new solutions for an urgent problem.
Dr M.A.J. (Mark) Heerink (m) Leiden University – Greek and Latin Languages and Cultures
The epic poem Argonautica by the Roman poet Valerius Flaccus is currently viewed as an imitation of the famous epic poem Aeneis by Vergilius. Using a metapoetic reading this project will demonstrate the contrary, namely that Valerius reacted against his supposed model.
Green policy for the construction sector
Dr J.J. (Jeroen) van der Heijden (m) Delft University of Technology – Technology, Policy and Management
The construction sector is one of the most polluting industries that we know. Nevertheless, construction firms are voluntarily realising sustainable and ‘green’ buildings without the government requiring them to do so. This research project will investigate why and how these companies are doing that.
Evolution in heterogeneous environments
Dr R. (Rutger) Hermsen (m) Delft University of Technology - Bionanoscience
Spatial aspects can play a vital role in biological evolution. Yet they are often not considered in mathematical models. This research will use mathematics, simulations and experimental data to understand how a heterogeneous environment can influence or accelerate evolutionary processes.
How reward guides vision
Dr C. (Clayton) Hickey (m) VU University Amsterdam - Cognitive Psychology
Vision is biased towards objects that have obtained reward in prior experience, suggesting that neural systems signalling outcomes can change how the brain deals with visual input. This project will investigate the neurocognitive principles underlying this interaction.
Words are not unequivocal
Dr L. (Lotte) Hogeweg (f) Radboud University Nijmegen - Linguistics
Words are incredibly flexible in their meaning. For example, in Dutch the word ‘strong’ can have very different interpretations in ‘strong as an ox’, ‘strong coffee’ or ‘a strong (tall) story’. This research project will investigate how we can understand each other's words so well despite this flexibility in meaning.
Looking for the genetic cause of miscarriages
Dr A. (Alexander) Hoischen (m) Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre - Anthropogenetics
Using a revolutionary genome technique researchers will look for DNA variation that causes serious miscarriages. Besides gaining a better understanding of its causes, the researchers also hope to trace crucial development genes.
Representation of music
Dr A.K. (Aline) Honingh (f) University of Amsterdam – ILLC
The best way of representing music (e.g. musical notation, mp3) depends upon the use. This project will seek the optimal representation for music classification (e.g. jazz, rock). The research will lead to a better understanding of how people classify music and to applications such as music search engines.
Valuable implementation with information about care
Dr T. (Ties) Hoomans (m) University of Chicago – Section of Hospital Medicine
Research and implementation are needed to improve patient care. This study will investigate how the effect of investments in these activities can be analysed in an integral manner. The value of implementation strategies can depend upon the research results of possible care interventions.
Salt and high blood pressure: the role of the kidney
Dr E.J. (Ewout) Hoorn (m) Erasmus University Medical Center – Internal Medicine
After smoking and obesity, salt appears to be the new risk to public health. Salt increases the blood pressure and how it does so is not clear. The researchers think that a special salt channel in the kidney is the missing link between salt and blood pressure. How and why our kidneys activate this salt channel will be investigated.
Good cholesterol embedded in genes
Dr G.K. (Kees) Hovingh (m) Amsterdam Medical Center/University of Amsterdam, Department of Vascular Medicine
A low HDL cholesterol results in an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. The researchers will use genetic analysis to determine how the variation in HDL arises so that they can better understand its formation and breakdown.
Adaptive radio, a solution for future smart phones
Dr C. (Cong) Huang (m) 26-03-1980, Delft University of Technology – Delft Institute of Microsystems and Nanoelectronics (DIMES)
Adaptive radios will allow future mobile phone users to extend their network connectivity and services without any hardware replacement. These new adaptive handsets will become cheaper, more functional, power efficient and compact. This research will develop a novel technology platform that resolves any remaining bottlenecks to adaptive radios.
Waves versus gaps
Dr H.J. (Hermen Jan) Hupkes (m) University of Missouri – Department of Mathematics
The insulation material around nerves in the body is regularly interrupted by gaps that are often ignored for the ease of calculation. Mathematicians will investigate what happens to electrical waves that have to cross such gaps.
Puzzling out evolution
Dr L.J.J. (Leo) van Iersel (m) Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science) - Life Sciences
Far back in time, people, animals, plants and bacteria are all family of each other. The relationships between all of these species form a complex network. Mathematicians will now use DNA data to puzzle out this network.
Small blood vessels, major consequences
Dr M.K. (Kamran) Ikram (m) Erasmus University Rotterdam Medical Center – Epidemiology & Ophthalmology
Children with a low birth weight have a high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases at a later age. The small blood vessels in the body might play a role in this. With the aid of measurements of small blood vessels in the retina, the researchers shall determine the role played by these vessels in the development of the cardiovascular system during childhood and eventually disease at a later age.
Partners against multiple sclerosis
Dr J. (Juan) Ilarregui (m) VU University Amsterdam Medical Center - Immunology
Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system attacks the brain. Using two proteins researchers want to develop a therapy to inhibit the harmful immune cells in order to slow down the disease’s progression.
The water tower of Asia
Dr W.W. (Walter) Immerzeel (m) Utrecht University- Physical Geography
The mountain chains of Asia and the Tibetan plateau are the source of water for millions of people. Due to climate change the snow coverage is decreasing, the glaciers are becoming smaller but rainfall is also increasing. This has major consequences for the ability of this 'water tower' to provide water. This research will map these changes at different scales.
Scaling up online games through cloud computing
Dr A. (Alexandru) Iosup (m) Delft University of Technology - EEMCS, Parallel and Distributed Systems Group
Online games entertain millions of players worldwide, but cannot scale up further. Computer scientists aim to scale up online games by replacing current IT infrastructure (owned) with cloud computing (leased), and by reducing the impact of variability in IT demand and service.
Causes and consequences of negative interethnic conflict
Dr E. (Eva) Jaspers, (f) Utrecht University
When different groups live together, unpleasant encounters always take place between members of these different groups. This project will investigate who has a greater chance of such negative interethnic experiences and what the consequences of this are for relationships with the other group. Furthermore, it will be investigated if the effect of negative experiences is dependent upon the diversity of the context in which these take place.
Archaeology of the Milky Way galaxy
Dr S. (Shoko) Jin (f) University of Groningen - Astronomy
The outskirts of our Milky Way galaxy host streams of stars and gas that were stripped from smaller galaxies during fatal, close encounters. By studying their motions, this project aims to determine the distribution of the invisible dark matter around our galaxy.
New techniques, improved 3D protein models
Dr R.P. (Robbie) Joosten (m) Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital - Biochemistry
Life scientists need crystallographic 3D protein models to understand life in a cell and to be able to develop medicines. In this research new, fully automatic, computer techniques will be developed to translate a crystallographic experiment more efficiently into a high-quality 3D protein model.
The language of politics
Dr H.G.J. (Harm) Kaal (m) Radboud University Nijmegen - History
The language of politicians is more than a means of conveying their political viewpoints. Language also carries identity-forming concepts and representations that are used by politicians to bind voters to their political party. This research will study the development of this language of political movements in the Netherlands from the start of the 19th century.
Favourable developments for numbers
Dr C.C.C.J. (Charlene) Kalle (f) Leiden University - Mathematics
The tossing of an infinite number of coins is a mysterious probability experiment that is related to different ways of writing down numbers, such as binary developments. It therefore has cryptographic and technological applications. This research will analyse this relationship from a new perspective.
Exposing the flu virus
Dr B. (Bernike) Kalverda (f) Netherlands Cancer Institute/Erasmus University Rotterdam Medical Center - Virology
In our bodies the body flu virus is attacked by the immune system. The first essential step in this process is the detection of the virus as an invader by our immune cells. The researchers will unravel how this process works.
Cooperation in contracts
Dr Y.P. (Peter) Kamminga (m) VU University Amsterdam – Private Law
Conflicts are an important cause of delays and excessive costs in infrastructure projects. The key to a successful realisation of such a project is a more effective cooperation between the contracting parties. The researcher will analyse how contracts can be designed to better support cooperation than is the case with current contracts.
Influence of randomness in abstract networks
Dr R.J. (Ross) Kang (m) Centre for Mathematics and Computer Science - Probability Networks and Algorithms
A striking phenomenon in mathematics is that introducing some randomness can often reveal intricate (non-random) structures. This project explores this phenomenon in relation to graphs (abstract networks) and, in particular, structured partitions of graphs into hereditary properties.
Networking in the tomato fruit
Dr R. (Rumyana) Karlova (f) Wageningen University and Research Centre - Molecular Biology
In tomato fruits ripening is regulated by a number of transcription factors in conjunction with the plant hormone ethylene. This study will investigate the regulatory networks controlling fruit ripening.
A major source of nitrogen for our atmosphere: molecular mechanism of anaerobic ammonium oxidation
Dr (Boran) Kartal (m) Radboud University Nijmegen - Microbiology
Anaerobic ammonium oxidising bacteria are among the most amazing chemists. They combine the water pollutants ammonium and nitrite into hydrazine and then break this down to synthesise most of the dinitrogen gas in our atmosphere. This project aims to detail these remarkable biochemical reactions.
A closer look at fatherhood
Dr R. (Renske) Keizer (f) Erasmus University Rotterdam - Sociology
Some men are active, involved fathers whereas others are not. What causes these differences in the behaviour of fathers? And what consequences do these differences have for the well-being of all family members? The researcher will attempt to answer these questions by following fathers and members of their family over time.
Origami with DNA
Dr J. (Jop) Kind (m) Netherlands Cancer Institute – Gene regulation
DNA lies as long folded-up threads in the nucleus of a cell. The inactive part of the DNA is draped against the wall of the nucleus. How the structure is organised and remains so over time is the subject of this study.
Do older readers become careless readers?
Dr A.W. (Arnout) Koornneef (m) Utrecht Un iversity - Linguistics
If over-65s read a text their eyes jump backwards and forwards more often than those of younger readers. The aim of this study is to discover why older readers use this reading strategy and how this affects their understanding of the text. The results can be used to optimise texts for our ageing population.
Circadian rhythms in the heart
Dr L.W. (Linda) van Laake (f) University Medical Center Utrecht - Cardiology
The functioning of heart and blood vessels varies considerably during the circadian cycle. Even isolated heart muscle cells in a petri dish maintain a 24-hour rhythm. The researchers will use stem cells to analyse how circadian rhythms develop in heart muscle cells and how they influence recovery after a heart infarct.
Improved treatment for diabetes
Dr H.J. (Hiddo) Lambers Heerspink (m) University Medical Center Groningen – Clinical Pharmacology
Despite current drugs, patients with type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. One reason for this is that the therapy given is insufficiently tailored to the individual patient. The researchers will study why patients respond differently to medicines so that the effectiveness of the treatments can be increased.
Using miscospores to trace prehistoric plant use
Dr G.H.J (Geeske) Langejans (f) Leiden University – Faculty of Archaeology
Archaeologists know little about the use of plants during early prehistory. This study will focus on grinding stones and scrapers from South Africa. The researcher will look for microscopic traces such as starch grains, which throw a new light on prehistoric diets.
Inextricably linked in the brain
Dr C.S. (Carien) Lansink (f) University of Amsterdam - Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences
When we see a teacup smash to pieces and simultaneously hear china break, we experience a single event. This is because our brain seamlessly integrates the different flows of sensory information. Researchers will examine how areas in the brain collaborate to realise that.
Languages without classes of words?
Dr E.H. (Eva) van Lier (f) University of Amsterdam - Linguistics
European languages have classes of words: verbs (for actions) and nouns (for objects). Some Oceanic languages seem not to make this distinction. The linguist will investigate whether these languages have alternative classes of words and what that says about categorisation in human language and thought.
Dealing with imprecision and unpredictability in mobile applications
Dr M. (Maarten) Löffler (m) University of California – Computer Science
Pieces of equipment that we use every day are increasingly aware of their location. Interactive applications make use of this information but often struggle to cope with the imprecise and unpredictable character of the data. This research project will study to what extent it is still possible to allow such applications to work in a stable and reliable manner.
Monitoring an aneurysm with an ultrasonogram
Dr R.G.P. (Richard) Lopata (m) Eindhoven University of Technology – Biomedical Technology
The abdominal artery can develop a local widening (aneurysm) that can become life-threatening if it continues to grow. In the end an operation must be performed to prevent a tear. The researchers will develop methods to predict the growth rate of the aneurysm using 3D ultrasonography.
DNA repair: get undressed first!
Dr M.S. (Martijn) Luijsterburg (m) Leiden University Medical Center - Toxicogenetics
The repair of damage to our chromosomal DNA is hindered by the fact that the DNA is packaged in various proteins. The researchers will examine in living cells how DNA is unpacked during the repair process and how that contributes to the maintenance of chromosome stability and prevention of cancer.
A dangerous enzyme revealed
Dr C. (Coen) Maas (m) University Medical Center Utrecht- Laboratory for Clinical Chemistry and Haematology
The blood enzyme Factor XII causes the formation of plugs that block blood vessels and is also the cause of inflammations. By distinguishing and inhibiting two differently functioning variants of Factor XII the researchers hope to prevent the diseases that these variants can cause.
Memory detection in criminal networks
Dr E.H. (Ewout) Meijer (m) Maastricht University – Forensic Psychology
Current security risks mainly come from groups of people such as terrorist networks or criminal organisations. This research project will examine whether information can be obtained from such a group, using measurements of physical responses. An example is information about a future terrorist attack.
Learning in networks
Dr F. (Friederike) Mengel (f) Maastricht University - Economics
Economic decision makers interact in social networks. The researchers will study how people learn from each other and how they process information received from their social contacts.
Distribution of fungi and plants
Dr V.S.F.T. (Vincent) Merckx (m) NCB Naturalis – The National Herbarium of the Netherlands
Plants and soil fungi exchange nutrients with each other. Various rare plants have become completely dependent on this interaction with fungi during the course of evolution. The researchers will study whether the distribution of fungi determines the rarity of these plants.
Smart constitutional law
Dr A.C.M. (Anne) Meuwese (f) Tilburg University – Department of Public Law, Jurisprudence and Legal History
To keep government actions within certain boundaries we are often inclined to create hierarchal structures furnished with competencies that government bodies can use to call each other to account. This research will examine the extent to which less coercive measures that have proven to be effective in given areas can play a role in regulating government behaviour.
Coldwater coral reefs form a carbon sink in the deep sea
Dr F. (Furu) Mienis (f) Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research - Marine Geology
Coldwater coral reefs form an oasis of life in the deep sea. The coral structure affects the current as a result of which the reef functions as a sediment trap, storing particles which for a long period of time. The researchers want to establish the role of coldwater coral reefs in the global carbon cycle.
Harvesting electricity from bacteria
Dr D. (Diego) Millo (m) VU University Amsterdam- Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Some bacteria are able to convert waste into electricity and deliver it directly to electrodes. The bacteria are connected to the electrodes by proteins which act as wires. By probing these proteins the researcher will learn how to optimise the entire process.
Experimenting with drugs: What do clinical trials do?
Dr C.M. (Catherine) Montgomery (f) University of Amsterdam - Anthropology
Scientific methods not only tell us something about the world but they also help us to shape a particular version of it. This research project will investigate this process across cultures by studying how transnational clinical drug trials are carried out in Europe and Africa.
Formation of synthetic fuel: new insights!
Dr (Violeta) Navarro Paredes (f) Leiden University - Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory
Synthetic fuel can be produced from coal and vapour by a catalytic chemical reaction. The researchers will study the molecular aspects of this reaction. A recent discovery points towards the formation of graphene - material of the 2010 Nobel Prize - during the reaction, which opens up a new insight into this important process.
Help, we are all becoming a cyborg?!
Dr F. (Femke) Nijboer (f) University of Twente - Human Media Interaction
Technology is becoming increasingly merged with our bodies and even with our brains. This project will try to stimulate the currently somewhat slow public and ethical debate about neurotechnologies. The future will be made visible, tangible and discussable by using activities like interactive theatre performances.
Detours for the blood
Dr A.Y. (Yaël) Nossent (f) Leiden University Medical Center – Surgery, Vascular Surgery
If an artery becomes blocked, our body is capable of making detours in the circulation to restore the blood supply to organs. The researchers will develop ways of enhancing this process so that patients make a better recovery after a heart attack, brain infarct or peripheral vascular disease.
Shedding light on addictive behaviour
Dr M.C. (Michel) van den Oever (m) VU University Amsterdam - Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, CNCR
Among ex-drug addicts, a relapse into drug use is often caused by environmental factors that elicit memories about previous drug use. The researchers will use laser light to switch nerve cells on and off to determine which brain networks are involved in these memories and therefore in the relapse.
Shedding light on cancer: to guide and to treat
Dr S. (Sabrina) Oliveira (f) Utrecht University – Biology
Photodynamic therapy uses light to activate certain drugs to treat cancer. The challenges are to target these drugs specifically at cancer cells and to apply the light in the right place at the right time. This research will develop new targeted drug-conjugates that can be imaged to guide the therapy.
Solar energy in the right place
Dr B. (Bart) van Oort (m) VU University Amsterdam– Biophysics
Sunlight provides the energy that plants need to grow as long as the solar energy reaches the right place in the plant. The researchers will build a new microscope to study how plants point the way to solar energy. They will study the effect of growth conditions on this.
Why large packages seem smaller
Dr N. (Nailya) Ordabayeva (f) Erasmus University Rotterdam - Marketing Management
Supersized packages lead us to consume more, partly because we do not realise just how large these packages really are. The researchers will examine why large packages seem smaller than they are and propose strategies for improving our package size perceptions so as to prevent overconsumption.
Handy connections between signing and speaking
Dr E. (Ellen) Ormel (f) Radboud University Nijmegen - Linguistics
Fluency in several spoken languages is considered to be a form of mental exercise. However, not all languages are spoken languages. This research project will determine how languages cooperate and the cognitive advantages this yields if one of the languages concerned is a sign language.
Oxygen as a building block
Dr E. (Edwin) Otten (m) Heerenveen, University of Groningen - Molecular inorganic chemistry
The incorporation of oxygen atoms into molecules is an important step in the production of medicines, for example. Using oxygen (O2) directly from the atmosphere has advantages, but it is problematic as undesirable reactions occur. The researchers will develop new ways of making it possible to use O2 as a building block in synthesis reactions.
How our brain learns from reward and punishment
Dr H.E.M. (Hanneke) den Ouden (f) Radboud University Nijmegen – Donders Institute for Cognitive Neurosciences
Being able to flexibly adapt ourselves to a continuously changing environment requires us to learn the positive and negative consequences of our behaviour. This research project will explore which connections in the brain change during this process and the role played by the brain substance dopamine.
Give premature babies a better start
Dr A.B. (Arjan) te Pas (m) Leiden University/Leiden University Medical Center – Neonatology
Children who are born too early experience difficulties in breathing after birth. Artificial respiration is then life-saving, but also harmful for the still immature lungs. The researchers will solve this problem with a more effective and less harmful non-invasive form of artificial respiration.
Unequal access to health care in developing countries
Dr E. (Ellen) van de Poel (f) Erasmus University Rotterdam – Institute of Health Policy and Management
In developing countries it is often very difficult for poor people to gain access to health care if they are confronted with an illness. The researchers will develop indicators for accessibility to care so that the effectiveness of policy programmes can be carefully monitored.
Electrons dance in a line
Dr V.S. (Vlad) Pribiag (m) Delft University of Technology - Kavli Institute of Nanoscience
Quantum mechanics results in fascinating correlations between particles. The researcher proposes detecting these quantum correlations in a semiconducting nanowire, where the sideways movement of an electron controls the spin.
How people respond to absurdity
Dr T.B. (Travis) Proulx (m) Tilburg University
When people have experiences that do not make sense, this provokes a unique feeling. In this project, we aim to explore the neurocognitive origins of this feeling. We also aim to identify the positive behaviours that may follow, like enhanced creativity.
The consequences of fighting home-grown terrorism
Dr F.P.S.M (Francesco) Ragazzi (m) Leiden University – Political Science
The fight against terrorism is increasingly geared towards surveillance and the curtailing of Islamic 'radicalisation'. Beyond the question of their efficiency, what is the broader social and political impact of these policies? The project will compare the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom.
National identity as a social binding factor?
Dr T. (Tim) Reeskens (m) Tilburg University – Department of Sociology
There is a fear that immigration is damaging social coherence. This project will determine if a pronounced national identity can contribute to the strengthening of social connections between people as well as the connection between citizens and the state.
Taking muscle to heart
Dr A.H.V. (Alex) Remels (m) Maastricht University – Pulmonology
A reduced exertion capacity of the heart muscle and skeletal muscle (leg muscle) results in severe physical limitations in various chronic conditions. Researchers will examine what the cause of this is and explore if this concurs with a poorly functioning heart muscle and skeletal muscle.
Dealing with evidence
Dr B.P. (Bryan) Renne (m) University of Groningen – Faculty of Philosophy
If you are confronted with evidence then sometimes your convictions about what is true change. In this project a theory will be developed concerning how you can best achieve this.
The constructive nature of hearing
Dr L. (Lars) Riecke (m) Maastricht University - Cognitive Neuroscience
We can hear sounds as stable even they are briefly interrupted by louder sounds. This research project combines different imaging techniques to find out how the auditory system in the brain enables this robustness against noise.
Dr J. (Joost) te Riet (m) Radboud University Nijmegen– Tumour Immunology
White blood cells from the human immune system communicate with each other while they are exposed to forces caused, for example, by blood flow. The researchers will investigate how these cells cope with that mechanical stress using a combined light-force microscope.
Dr E.M. (Eva) van Rikxoort (f) Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Radiology
COPD is a chronic lung disease that cannot be cured at present. In this study computers will be taught to detect abnormalities in 4D-images of the lungs of COPD patients in order to predict which treatment works best.
Interpretation of questions
Dr F. (Floris) Roelofsen (m) University of Amsterdam - Institute for Logic, Language, and Computation
How does the meaning of a question arise? How do small differences in the order of words or intonation sometimes lead to dramatic differences in interpretation? Researchers will develop a mathematical model that automatically detects what the meaning of a question is.
How a virus manipulates behaviour
Dr V.I.D. (Vera) Ros (f) Wageningen University and Research Centre – Virology
A virus can increase its own transmission by manipulating the behaviour of the host. You can see that, for example, in caterpillars which walk faster and climb higher in plants after they have been infected by a virus. This research will study the molecular mechanism underlying this manipulation.
The best regulators of fluid balance
Dr M.G. (Guy) Roukens (m) Hubrecht Institute
Lymph vessels control the fluid balance in the body. The development of this vessel system is regulated by various genes. The researchers will identify new genes and investigate how these collaborate to realise the growth of lymph vessels.
Imaging the reward system for therapy-resistant depressions
Dr H.G. (Eric) Ruhé (m) Amsterdam Medical Center/ University of Amsterdam - Psychiatry
The learning of positive events is disrupted during a depression. In two groups of patients (with/without therapy resistance) the researchers will use MRI scans to measure how links between signal and reward (conditioning) are learned. They will subsequently determined how treatment with antidepressants affects this reward system.
Dr P. (Pedro) San-Cristobal (m) Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre - Physiology
The kidney regulates long-term blood pressure. This is achieved by the coordinated actions of several hormones that promote or prevent salt and volume wasting. The researcher will explore the role of a novel salt transporter at the cellular and body level. The outcome will improve the treatment of arterial hypertension.
Building pictures between statistics and actual research
Dr A.G.J. (Rens) van de Schoot (m) Utrecht University - Methodology & Statistics
After a shocking experience post-traumatic stress can occur. The researchers will build a statistical model to model the individual development of these victims over time. This model will include as much prior knowledge as possible so that the method is ideally suited for small datasets.
News, media, emotions and political participation
Dr A.R.T. (Andreas) Schuck (m) University of Amsterdam – Communication Science
How the media present news about politics can affect the emotions of citizens. This project will investigate which emotions are elicited by the political news and to what extent this affects the political participation of citizens.
Image-guided treatment of cancer
Dr P. (Peter) Seevinck (m) University Medical Center Utrecht – Image Sciences Institute
The researcher will develop an MRI method with which small medical instruments can be quickly and accurately imaged. As tumours are also clearly visible on an MRI scan, doctors will then be able to locally treat tumours under image guidance using these small instruments without the need to make any incisions.
Detecting safety problems in organisations
Dr O.A. (Alexei) Sharpanskykh (m) VU University Amsterdam – Computer Science
Modern organisations (such as air traffic control) are becoming increasingly complex. As a result of this various safety problems can remain hidden from view until these cause serious incidents. This research project will focus on the development of instruments for the early detection of safety problems.
Cheap offshore wind energy
Dr C. (Carlos) Simão Ferreira (m) Delft University of Technology – Wind Energy/DUWind
Cost-efficient offshore wind energy requires new concepts for extracting energy from the wind. In this research project the aerodynamic phenomena of vertical axis wind turbines will be simulated and measured in a wind tunnel to gain a better understanding of how these phenomena affect the extraction of energy.
Tracking of many similar objects in time
Dr I. (Ihor) Smal (m) Erasmus University Rotterdam Medical Center - Medical Informatics and Radiology
Vision problems like detection and tracking of objects, which humans solve so automatically, can be surprisingly difficult for a computer. The researchers will improve image understanding and motion interpretation capabilities of modern tracking systems by making extensive use of prior knowledge.
A closer look at adhesion
Dr J. (Joris) Sprakel (m) Wageningen University and Research Centre - Physical Chemistry and Colloid Science
Adhesive compounds play a vital role in countless biological and technological situations. This research will determine the limitations of adhesion in order to understand when a sticky surface lets go. High resolution and ultrafast optical microscopy will be used to take a closer look at how this adhesive failure occurs.
Ultrafast matching of medical images
Dr M. (Marius) Staring (m) Leiden University Medical Center - Radiology
In radiotherapy it is important that the radiation dose remains properly targeted at the tumour. As the patient moves somewhat due to breathing or intestinal activity then real-time matching is needed to realise the planned radiation treatment of the patient. In this research the currently slow matching will be considerably accelerated by using advanced mathematical techniques.
Who reads the DNA's manual?
Dr I.J.E. (Iris) Stulemeijer (f) Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital – Gene Regulation
DNA, the genetic code of the cell, is supplied with a manual in an unknown language which determines when the DNA is read. By investigating which proteins can read this language, the researchers will be able to understand and translate it.
Short and small
Dr I. (Ingmar) Swart (m) Utrecht University - Debye Institute
Many processes in the world of atoms and molecules take place over very small timescales. The researchers will build a microscope that can be used to study very small objects over very short timescales.
How to design effective and efficient law enforcement
Dr D. (Dimiter) Toshkov (m) Leiden University - Public Administration
The Member States of the European Union (EU) often fail to comply with EU law in a timely and proper manner. Enforcement in multilevel politics, such as the EU, is difficult. The research project aims to theoretically analyse the effects of different enforcement mechanisms, and to study the real-world workings of law implementation and enforcement in the EU.
Data-driven model learning for non-linear dynamic systems
Dr R. (Roland) Toth (m) Delft University of Technology - 3mE
A data-driven modelling approach will be developed for handling the non-linear dynamic behaviour of high-tech mechatronic and process systems. This will allow high-performance operation of these systems to be achieved under varying operating conditions.
Ressentiment and democracy: a critical re-interpretation and re-evaluation
Dr S. (Sjoerd) van Tuinen (m) Erasmus University Rotterdam – Philosophy
With the ascendance of populism, the complaint and claim culture, and radicalising fundamentalism it would appear that the problem of ressentiment is making a comeback. My research project proposes a new affect theory of political culture in which the relationship between ressentiment and democracy is fundamentally reconsidered and conclusions are drawn for our way of thinking about citizenship.
Making customary law work for women
Dr J.M. (Janine) Ubink (f) Leiden University - Law
Customary law often discriminates against women in favour of men. Yet how do you reform a legal system that is unwritten and where each elder can act as a judge? This research will analyse the approach of a large legal reform programme in Rwanda and the impact of this on the ownership rights of women.
The universe: you can’t believe your eyes!
Dr W (Wessel) Valkenburg (m) Utrecht University - ITF
The universe is expanding and we believe we know the rate at which this is happening. However, as much of the material in the universe is invisible then just how certain can we be about the rate of expansion? This research will determine that level of certainty.
Motivation for society measured
Dr W.V. (Wouter) Vandenabeele (m) Utrecht University - Utrecht University School of Governance (USG)
Employees in the public sector derive a large part of their labour motivation from the contribution they make to society. This study will investigate how this can be objectively measured and compared between different sectors and different countries.
Family members of the fever protein
Dr F.L. (Frank) van de Veerdonk (m) Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre - The Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Inflammation and Immunity (N4I)
Several decades ago it was discovered that fever is caused by the protein interleukin-1. Years later it transpired that related proteins exist that together form the interleukin-1-family. This project will unravel how important these family members are in the resistance against infections.
Psychosis in a virtual café
Dr W.A. (Wim) Veling (m) Maastricht University – Psychiatry and Neuropsychology
The researchers have constructed a virtual cafe terrace and with three experiments they will examine how psychotic symptoms develop in social environments. The physical and psychological responses to busyness, other ethnic groups and enmity will be analysed for people who have various degrees of sensitivity for psychosis.
How do bilingual toddlers learn grammar?
Dr J. (Josje) Verhagen (f) Utrecht University– Centre for Teaching and Learning
Children who grow up bilingually have to learn to different grammars. In this project we will investigate how this happens in very young children. Do bilingual children learn grammar in the same way as monolingual children or is their approach completely different?
Efficient modelling of bone fractures
Dr C.V. (Clemens) Verhoosel (m) Eindhoven University of Technology – Mechanical Engineering
A good description of the microscopic fracture behaviour of bone is vitally important for the development of treatments for osteoporosis. In this research an innovative numerical method will be developed that makes it possible to model fracture behaviour in a realistic, accurate and efficient manner.
Brain development in motion
Dr J. (Jasper) Visser (m) Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre – Neurology
In Lesch-Nyhan disease a single gene mutation results in a range of movement disorders and abnormal behaviour. The researchers will examine how this disease disrupts the development of certain areas in the brain so that the origin of such neurological symptoms can be explained.
Complete non-invasive scan for imaging heart disease
Dr R. (Rozemarijn) Vliegenthart (f) CMINEN / University Medical Centre Groningen – Radiology
In patients with chest pain a new CT scanner can simultaneously image coronary artery narrowing and the blood flow to the heart muscle. It will be investigated if the decision to perform an invasive treatment can be taken solely on the basis of such a single combined non-invasive investigation.
The integration of Jordanian Muslim activists
Dr J. (Joas) Wagemakers (m) Radboud University Nijmegen – Islam & Arabic
Jordan is a country with many types of Muslim activists. In this project I will investigate the largest of these groups and how their vision with respect to the king, their country and their own role as citizens in it has changed.
Decomposition characteristics of fungi in the carbon cycle
Dr A. (Annemieke) van der Wal (f) The Netherlands Institute for Ecology – Microbial Ecology
The decomposition of wood is an important part of the carbon cycle in forests. Decomposer fungi are the primary agent responsible for this. This research project will determine to what extent variations in wood decomposition rates are caused by the type of decomposer fungi and their interactions with other microorganisms.
Shrinking or sinking of ice caps?
Dr W. (Wouter) van der Wal (m) Delft University of Technology – Astrodynamics and Space Missions
When the ice caps on Greenland and Antarctica melt the average sea level rises. Satellite measurements cannot directly draw a distinction between melting or sinking of the ice caps. The researcher will make the melting visible by calculating the sinking with the aid of computer models.
Flood risk: climate change or climate variability?
Dr P.J. (Philip) Ward (m) VU University Amsterdam – Institute for Environmental Studies
The flood risk is increasing. Is this the consequence of climate change or does climate variability, such as El Niño, play a greater role? The researcher will be the first in the world to study this question at a global scale with the ultimate aim of being able to limit flood damage.
A mathematical formula for agreement
Dr M.J. (Matthijs) Warrens (m) Tilburg University - MTO
Weighted kappa is a popular mathematical formula to numerically express the degree of agreement between two assessors. Usually weighted kappa gives a high number in the case of much agreement, but not always. The researcher will systematically study the mathematical formula.
How safe is a safe haven?
Dr M. (Michel) van der Wel (m) Erasmus University Rotterdam – Erasmus School of Economics
Government bonds from robust countries, such as the United States, serve as a safe haven for investors. However these government bonds are not entirely risk-free. This research project will seek to find improvements for measuring this risk, as current methods are not adequate enough.
Microbial sugars in the human gut
Dr T. (Tom) Wennekes (m) Wageningen University and Research Centre – Organic Chemistry
Unique sugars are found in both healthy and pathogenic microbes in our guts. The role of these microbial sugars is largely unknown. In this research project a synthesis process for these sugars and a molecular tool kit will be developed so that their role can be studied.
Infarct-associated discharges in the brain
Dr M.J.H. (Marieke) Wermer (f) Leiden University Medical Center - Neurology
in the event of brain damage massive discharges of nerve cells can arise that result in a decreased blood flow. This research project will investigate the extent to which these discharges are harmful during the acute phase of an infarct and whether the inhibition of these discharges results in a better recovery of patients after an infarct.
Self-positioning floating windmills
Dr J.W. (Jan-Willem) van Wingerden (m) Delft University of Technology - DCSC
Floating windmills are the future. These windmills can, unlike fixed windmills, jointly influence their position such that the yield and the lifespan are utilised as effectively as possible. Researchers will focus on finding an optimal strategy to realise this.
Self-organisation of unique silicon particles
Dr L.A. (Léon) Woldering (m) University of Twente - MESA+
Silicon is an important material for computers. New manufacturing processes will be needed in the near future to allow computers to work increasingly faster. In this research project the self-organisation of silicon particles will be investigated as this could provide the basis for a new manufacturing method.
Obesity and arteriosclerosis: what is the link?
Dr K. (Kristiaan) Wouters (m) Maastricht University – Internal Medicine
Obesity can lead to an increased risk of arteriosclerosis with a heart attack as a possible consequence. However, the mechanism behind this link remains unknown. The researchers will determine which processes of the aspecific and adaptive immune system in the adipose tissue are responsible for this.
How to spend public funds more cost-effectively on unemployed workers
Dr C. (Conny) Wunsch (f) VU University Amsterdam
This project will quantify the desired and undesired effects of policies targeted at unemployed workers. Both benefit payments and activation measures like training, job search assistance, wage subsidies, monitoring and sanctions will be considered. The results will be used to provide policy makers with specific recommendations for improving the cost-effectiveness of these policies.
Detecting hidden variation in our genome
Dr K. (Kai) Ye (m) Leiden University Medical Center – Bioinformatics
Current technology can only find small and simple genetic differences between people, not large and complex ones. These large and complex variants can help us understand as yet unexplained diseases. The researchers will develop software to detect those variants.
Language changes in Cairo in the nineteenth century
Dr E.W.A. (Liesbeth) Zack (f) University of Amsterdam – Arabic Language and Culture
Large social changes took place in Cairo during the 19th century including a wave of migration from the countryside to the city. In this project it will be investigated how these changes influenced the Arabic dialect of Cairo.
Computers come to help us age better
Dr A. (Amir) Zadpoor (m) Delft University of Technology - Biomechanical Engineering
Osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are among the most important aging-related skeletal diseases. An advanced computer simulation platform will be developed to help scientists and clinicians gain a better understanding of these diseases and to improve how osteoarthritic and osteoporotic patients are treated.
Genes that control adjustments to heat by moving leaves
Dr M. (Martijn) van Zanten (m) Utrecht University – Molecular Plant Physiology
The model plant Arabidopsis thaliana is found throughout the northern hemisphere. Individual populations are strongly adapted to the local temperature and control heat effects by adjusting the position of the leaves. Genes that can explain this variation will be characterised during this project.
Silicon transistors for quantum computers
Dr F.A. (Floris) Zwanenburg (m) University of Twente – Nanoelectronics
Transistors lie at the heart of computers. Computers can become even more powerful still if these transistors can perform quantum mechanical calculations. This research will focus on the realisation of quantum bits in a silicon switch that can be manufactured in a manner reasonably compatible with the current chip industry.
The blueprint for breast cancer
Dr W.T. (Wilbert) Zwart (m) Netherlands Cancer Institute/Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Molecular Pathology
The growth of 70% of all breast tumours is hormone-dependent. The hormones cause cancer cells to multiply. The researchers will accurately determine which proteins are involved in this process and how such a protein complex is organised. An understanding of this will speed up the development of new medicines.