Outstanding ethnic minority graduates receive PhD scholarships23 July 2012
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded twenty young and talented non-Dutch UM ethnic minority graduates a scholarship through its Mosaic Programme. The budding scholars can use this money to finance a four-year PhD programme. With the Mosaic Programme, the NWO aims at encouraging more graduates from ethnic minorities to enrol in scientific education. The NWO hopes these successful candidates will maintain long-term participation in the Dutch science industry, thereby setting an excellent example to others. Two scholarships were awarded to researchers from Maastricht University: Chahinda Ghossein and Chenxing Zhang.
The candidates will receive a €200,000 grant for their PhD research. Mosaic winners are ambitious young scholars, many of whom have received prizes before or have contributed to scientific publications. Some also followed multiple programmes. An impressive 210 students responded to the call for research proposals, the top 41 of whom were invited to further develop their ideas and present them to an expert jury. During a festive award ceremony held on 8 October, NWO chair, Professor Jos Engelen, will present these awards to the 20 distinguished laureates.
Chahinda Ghossein (Research Institute Growth & Development) will conduct research on the increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases in women with severe pre-eclampsia. Three to five percent of all pregnant women develop severe pre-eclampsia with an increased likelihood of recurrent pre-eclampsia and premature heart disease. Using echocardiographic and haemodynamic data and a computer model of the cardiovascular system, Ghossein hopes to discover the underlying cardiovascular mechanisms associated with this increased susceptibility.
Chenxing Zhang (Neurology) was awarded a Mosaic scholarship for her research on blood-brain barrier dysfunction in cerebral small vessel disease, a condition characterised by small blood vessels in the brain that increases the likelihood of stroke and mental impairment. Using the latest MRI techniques, she will research the role of the blood-brain barrier in this condition.
Final Mosaic round
The Mosaic Programme is jointly funded by the NWO and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. In November 2011, the NWO decided to cancel the programme, making this the very last round. The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific research is one of the largest scientific financiers in the Netherlands. The NWO encourages scientific quality and innovation by selecting and financially supporting outstanding research studies.