Katrijn Van Deun awarded prestigious NWO Vici grant to develop new data science methods

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Katrijn Van Deun, professor of ’Data Science for the Social and Behavioral Sciences’ at Tilburg University, has been awarded a Vici grant of 1.5 million euros from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). With this subsidy, she aims to develop research methods that can contribute to complex developments in the field of data within our society. Katrijn Van Deun joins the ranks of 35 scientists across the Netherlands who will be receiving a Vici grant today.

Digitalization not only permeates human behavior but also transforms the methodologies employed in studying behavior and the research methods utilized by scientists. Therefore, Katrijn Van Deun focuses her research on developing methods for social and behavioral scientists who deal with large amounts of complex data.

Current methods in social and behavioral scientific research are not suitable for the complexity of contemporary research practices, which involve the use of large datasets ("big data") to map various disciplinary perspectives. There is also an increasing demand for a personalized approach, for example, to develop personalized treatment plans. Van Deun is thus also developing the next generation of methods and models to address the challenges of contemporary multidisciplinary research.

Understanding the big picture through enormous amounts of data

"Drawing upon vast amounts of data, our objective is to explain why individuals or groups behave in certain ways or, for example, develop certain illnesses. This should help psychologists, for example, to determine the most effective treatment based on data on both environmental factors and the biology of a patient. Understanding the big picture by considering as many factors as possible is important for gaining control over complex problems. Dealing with such a large amount of data poses significant challenges, which we also aim to address through research."