Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy

Vidi grant awarded to nine UvA and AMC-UvA researchers

30 May 2017

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros to nine researchers from the University of Amsterdam and Academic Medical Center (AMC). The grant will enable them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group.

In the current allocation round, the NWO awarded a grant for a total of 89 research proposals; 572 researchers submitted a research proposal for funding. Vidi grants enable researchers to do research for five years. NWO awards Vidi grants every year.

The Vidi laureates will do research on a variety of subjects including on the origin and structure of the universe, the cause of brain inflammation, the representation of diversity in politics, and conflict management in early medieval and early modern commercial cities in Northern Europe.

Recipients

Prof Daniel Baumann (Physics): The origin of structure in the universe

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

Dr Matthijs Brouwer (Neurology): Revealing causes of brain inflammation

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

Dr Jeroen) van Heijst, (Experimental Immunology): White blood cells with broken antennae

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

Dr Edan Lerner (Physics): Shattering the glass mystery

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

Dr Selma. de Mink (Physics/Astronomy): The origin of binary black holes

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

Dr Liza Mügge (Political Science): Misrepresenting Diversity? Identity in politics

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

Dr Justus Uitermark (Sociology)

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

Dr Joël van der Weele (Economics): Selective Attention and Economic Decisions 

People often 'look the other way' when it comes to the consequences of their economic choices for others. As part of his propject, Joël van der Weele will investigate how such strategies of selective attention impacts markets for ethical products and the development of social norms related to sustainable consumption.

Dr Justyna) Wubs-Mrozewicz (History): Managing Multi-level Conflicts in Commercial Cities in Northern Europe (C 1350-1570)

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

 

Renske Keizer, associate professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam and professor by special appointment of Child Development at the UvA, also received a Vidi grant for her project 'Dads, dimes, and quarters'.

NWO Talent Scheme

Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. Together with Veni and Vici, Vide is part of the NWO Talent Scheme. Researchers in the NWO Talent Scheme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use.

Published by  UvA Persvoorlichting