Below you find a list per round of researchers awarded funding with a provisional title and a brief summary of the research project, the current employer or the last place where the researcher worked and the host Institute at which the Rubicon research will be carried out.
  • Round 1

    Facts and figures

    Total (eligible) applicants:: 99
    Award ratio women/ man: 44 woman / 55 man
    Overall award rate: 16,2%
    Award rate women: 18,2%
    Award rate men: 14,5%

    Seven laureates are going to the United States
    Four laureates are going to the United Kingdom
    Two laureates are going to Germany
    A laureate is going to France
    A laureate is going to Australia
    A laurate is going to Israel

    Public summaries (alphabetical according to surname)


    Born to be shy?

    PhD J.M. (Janna Marie) Bas-Hoogendam (f), Leiden University -> United States of America, National Institute of Mental Health, Section on Development and Affective Neuroscience 15 months (0.8 fte)

    Children with the innate tendency to avoid new situations are at risk for developing social anxiety later in life. The researcher explores, using a unique large collection of brain scans, which brain characteristics are associated with this risk.

    Symbiosis of liquid and solid to amplify the capabilities of biosensors

    Dr L.A. (Liubov) Belyaeva (f), Leiden University -> United Kingdom, Imperial College London, Department of Chemical Engineering, 24 months

    Graphene-based sensors can achieve record values of sensitivity, but existing designs have inherently poor reproducibility, limited scalability and high manufacturing costs. This project aims to create novel architectures that avoid these disadvantages while maximizing the sensitivity and adding more functionality.

    Revolutionary pills?

    Dr L (Lucía) Berro Pizzarossa (f), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen -> United States, Georgetown University, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, 24 months

    Medication abortion is safer than many drugs, can be done at home and contributes to reduced deaths for unsafe abortion worldwide. This project uses human rights to explore how these pills can change the legal and policy landscape of abortion.

    No improvement without learning: optimizing therapy skill acquisition in depression

    S.J.E. (Sanne) Bruijniks MSc (f), VU Amsterdam -> Germany, University of Freiburg, Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 24 months

    Learning during psychotherapy is important for reducing depression, but is often hindered by cognitive problems that are an inherent part of this depression. This project will investigate how and for whom the acquisition of cognitive behavioural skills in psychotherapy can be optimised.


    “To differentiate or die – cellular decisions in aging”.

    Dr J. (Sijia) Chen (f), Universiteit van Amsterdam -> USA, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity, 24 months

    DNA-sensing is a fundamental mechanism for detecting cellular stress. This project aims to clarify how a DNA-sensor makes important cellular decisions in mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) and contributes with age to loss of MSC function in the bone.


    Finding cancer cells hiding from the immune system

    Dr. K.K. (Krijn) Dijkstra (m), Netherlands Cancer Institute -> United Kingdom, The Francis Crick Institute, Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory, 24 months

    Even in one tumour, every cancer cell is different. The researcher will culture multiple different cancer cells from the same tumour to determine the differences between cancer cells that are killed by the immune system, and those that can escape.


    The magnetism behind future ferrofluids

    Dr. H. (Hebatalla) Elnaggar (f), Utrecht University, Debye institute for nanomaterials science -> France, Sorbonne University, Institute of Minerology, physics of materials and cosmochemistry, 24 months

    Imagine that we could engineer the properties of ferrofluids on demand: targeted drug delivery systems and responsive magneto-intelligent materials will become a reality. The researcher will study bimagnetic ferrofluids in-order to unravel the magnetic interactions required to realise such applications.


    Laying the plumbing of miniature kidneys

    Dr. R.C. (Ronald) van Gaal (m), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) -> USA, Harvard, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, 24 months

    Lab grown mini-kidneys will lead to advances in drug discovery, disease modeling, and ultimately replacement kidneys. The researcher will tackle a key limitation of kidney organoid platforms, namely their inability to generate and remove urine.

    Communication (and miscommunication) in ALS

    Dr (Elisa) Giacomelli (f), Leiden University Medical Center -> United States, Memorial Sloan Kettering Institute, 24 months

    ALS is a complex, non-autonomous disorder in which inflammation and aberrant activation of non-neuronal cell types play important roles. The researcher aims to understand how cells miscommunicate and which inflammatory pathways require modulation to ultimately prevent, or treat, ALS.


    Molecular stress memory in plants

    Dr J.G.W. (Sjon) Hartman (m), Utrecht University -> United Kingdom, University of Birmingham, School of Biosciences, 24 months

    Plants can protect themselves against recurring stress by ‘remembering’ environmental cues. How do plants do this? The researcher aims to uncover how the memory protein VRN2 uses flooding signals to improve flooding stress tolerance.


    Protecting Kidneys on the ICU

    Drs. A.H. (Bram) Hulst (m) - University of Amsterdam -> Australia, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Department of Intensive Care, 12 months

    Kidney injury often complicates a patients’ disease on the Intensive Care and impairs their future health. The researcher will study whether a specific gut-hormone can prevent damage to the kidneys in sheep and human patients with a life-threatening infection.


    Clearing the air on aviation emission policies

    Dr. G. (Gerben) de Jong (m), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Amsterdam -> Israel, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Operations Research Department, 18 months

    Policies to control aviation emissions differ widely at the local, national and supra-national levels. The researcher develops empirical and game-theoretic models to analyse airline responses to this patchwork of policies so that decision-makers can better understand and evaluate their impact.


    Breastfeeding, gut microbes and health

    S. (Stefany) Moreno-Gámez (f), University of Groningen -> United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Broad Institute, 24 months

    The researcher will study how breastfeeding affects the formation of gut bacterial communities in infants. The results will help develop prebiotics from human milk to promote the establishment of beneficial bacteria in the infant gut, which has long-term health advantages.


    Emerging intonation: how to plan speech melodies?

    J (Joe) Rodd, MA (m), Radboud University, Centre for Language Studies -> Germany, University of Cologne, Institute for Linguistics, 24 months

    Established theories explaining how intonation works are not consistent with recent experimental evidence. This project uses online citizen science to identify intonation patterns that are distinct at the cognitive level. This will clarify how intonation is planned and comprehended.


    De rol van cholesterol bij de ziekte van Alzheimer

    Dr. J. (Joao) Silva (m), Universiteit Utrecht -> Verenigde Staten, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Chemistry, 24 maanden

    De ziekte van Alzheimer wordt veroorzaakt door amyloïde-plaquevorming in de hersenen. Plaquevorming is gecorreleerd met de aanwezigheid van cholesterol, maar de betrokken moleculaire mechanismen zijn nog onbekend. Dit onderzoek zal de interactie tussen cholesterol en amyloïde precursoren beschrijven in atomair detail.


    Quantum Computing using pictures

    J.M.M. (John) van de Wetering (m), Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen → United Kingdom, Oxford University, Computer Science Department, 24 months

    This work uncovers a new way to describe quantum computations: with pictures. This allows the researcher to find simplifications that allow otherwise too complicated quantum programs to be run on the limited quantum computers that currently exist.

  • Soon announcement research projects Round 2 and 3