NWO-Vidi grants worth 800,000 for 13 UvA researchers

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded Vidi grants worth 800,000 each to 13 experienced researchers from the UvA and the Amsterdam UMC, location AMC. The grants will enable them to develop their own innovative lines of research and set up research groups over the next five years.

The Vidi grants are aimed at experienced researchers who have already conducted successful research for a number of years after their PhD. A total of 78 researchers received Vidi funding in this round.

The recipients:

  • Dr Flavia de Almeida Dias (Physics): On the trail of new particles
    We still don’t know everything about the particles and forces that define our universe. Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider could provide answers and reveal new physical principles. The researchers in Almeida Dias’s group will develop an innovative analysis to investigate if there are as yet undiscovered new particles hidden deep in the data.
  • Dr Marguerite van den Berg (Sociology): Improvising subsistence security in urban Western Europe
    Even before the coronavirus pandemic, Europeans were navigating profound insecurities in work, care and access to basic infrastructures. This research project investigates how urban Western Europeans in Dublin and Rotterdam improvise new forms of subsistence security, for example by combining jobs or creating informal care arrangements.
  • Dr Jorik van de Groep (Physics):Steering light with a single layer of atoms
    Can light fields be manipulated with a single layer of atoms? Optical lenses and filters are heavy, bulky, and have a fixed functionality. By leveraging unique quantum mechanical effects in layered semiconducting materials, the researchers aim to develop lightweight and atomically-thin optical coatings that can steer light dynamically.
  • Dr Suzanne Jak (Methods and Statistics): No data left behind
    In this project, new models will be developed that allow all data to be included in meta-analytic structural equation modelling. With these models researchers are able to answer more types of research questions, using all available data. Consequently, policy makers can base their decisions on higher quality information.
  • Dr Theresa Kuhn (Political Science): Common institutions, diverging identities?
    Amid Brexit and rising populism, collective identity is a major concern to policy makers. While some scholars expect European integration to lead to a common identity, others argue that collective identity constrains further European integration. This project studies the dynamic relationship between institution building and identity change in the EU.
  • Dr Patty Leijten (Child Development and Educational Sciences):When therapy for mental health problems is (not) effective
    How can we increase the likelihood that therapy for mental health problems will be successful? By targeting factors that for an individual are relevant, malleable, and acceptable. This project maps individual risk and change profiles and develops a framework to use these profiles to personalize therapy in an evidence-based way.
  • Dr Ben Martin (Theoretical and Computational Ecology): Rules of life: how prey evade bigger, faster, stronger predators
    Predators are generally much bigger, faster and stronger than their prey. Despite this, the vast majority of attacks are unsuccessful. By developing the first-of-its-kind underwater observatory to film predator prey interactions among fish on coral reefs, the researchers will solve the puzzle of how prey evade their predators.
  • Dr Sofie Remijsen (Ancient History):Lived time in late-antique Egypt
    Historians and specialists in ancient languages investigate how people in ancient Egypt used and experienced time in their daily lives. They want to understand how people dealt with profound societal changes from about AD 250 to 750 (such as Christianisation or the Arab conquest) and the resulting social tensions.
  • Dr Matthijs Rooduijn (Political Science): Radical Activation: Threats, Emotions, and the Psychological Roots of Populist Radical Right Support
    Support for populist radical right (PRR) parties is rooted in someone’s personality. But how can something that barely changes (personality) explain something that changes all the time (PRR support)- Combining various innovative approaches and methods, this project examines how different types of threats and emotions activate the personality-PRR linkage.
  • Dr Verena Schoepf (Marine Ecology):Extreme reefs as natural boot camps to enhance future coral reef survival
    Coral reefs are home to an enormous diversity of marine life and provide livelihood to millions of people. Yet, climate change threatens their survival. This project will investigate if and how frequent exposure to hot, acidic and oxygen-poor seawater could help corals to adapt and survive in a future ocean.
  • Dr Silvia Toonen (Astrophysics):All good things comes in threes, also gravitational waves
    The first direct detection of gravitational waves has opened up a new window to the Universe. With dozens of detections so far, and hundreds more coming, their sources are still heavily debated in the scientific community. Here we will investigate new and common pathways that involve multiple star systems.
  • Dr Alexander Vlaar (Medicine - Amsterdam UMC, location AMC): Transfusion-related acute lung injury - a breathtaking syndrome
    Although often regarded as lifesaving, blood transfusion can also induce life threatening side effects. The most important is acute shortness of breath. In this VIDI-project researchers will search for the mechanism of onset. Based on these findings novel strategies can be developed to improve the safety of blood transfusion.
  • Dr Jordy de Vries (Physics): The Little Neutral Particle that Could
    Many questions remain about the matter in our Universe. Scientists do not know what dark matter is, where all the antimatter went, or how neutrinos acquire their masses. In this research it will be determined whether new neutrinos can solve these puzzles and how to reveal their existence experimentally.