Six Vidi Laureates for innovative researchers3 July 2012
The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded no less than six innovative UM scientists a Vidi grant. Each will receive a maximum amount of € 800,000 to develop a research line and to assemble a research group.
The Vidi grants are awarded each year to young, excellent scientists who, after taking their doctoral degree, have completed a number of years of research at postdoctoral level. NWO selects the Vidi laureates on the basis of the quality of the researcher, the innovative nature of the research, the anticipated scientific impact of the research proposal and possibilities for knowledge utilization. Of the 652 requests that were submitted this year, 94 were awarded. Below are the names of the six laureates of the Maastricht University, along with a brief description of their research.
- Therese van Amelsvoort: Memory to the fore with psychosis
Psychosis sufferers have memory-related problems, which often inhibits their ability to work. What is the cause of this? The researchers study this by making photos of the brain when performing memory tests.
- Rafaël de Bont: Nature without borders: expertise and activism, 1930-2000
International organisations have been playing a crucial role in protecting nature since the 1930s. This research studies the part ecological experts played in this protection. To what extent were the experts just neutral knowledge providers or committed activists?
- Thomas Conzelmann: The authority of peer reviews among states
States are increasingly using peer reviews to mutually assess policy performance and compliance with international rules. This project researches under what conditions states are willing to create authoritative peer reviews and to listen to the advice they receive from others.
- Rory Koenen: The platelets as assassins
Platelets are essential for stemming haemorrhages but can also contribute to developing cardiovascular diseases through inflammation of the blood vessels. Research is being carried out into possibilities to prevent this detrimental effect of platelets.
- Ronit Shiri-Sverdlov: Cholesterol accumulation root cause of hepatitis
Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a common problem in western society. As of yet, the mechanism that causes this inflammation is unknown. Earlier work by this research group demonstrated that the manner of cholesterol accumulation plays a crucial role. The researchers shall now carry out further research on new molecular targets, non-invasive markers and therapy for NASH.
- Kâmil Uludağ: Information flow in the human brain
The brain processes information from the physical world and combines it with internal expectations. The researchers will study the micro-architecture of this bottom-up and top-down information flow in the human brain using high magnetic field MRI.
The Vidi grant is one of three types of grants of the NWO Vernieuwingsimpuls (Innovational Research Incentives Scheme), along with the Veni grant for the recently qualified and Vici grant for the more experienced researchers.
NWO is the national science funding body. Through its national competition, NOW spends over 500 million Euros each year on grants for top research and top researchers, on innovative instruments and equipment and to institutes where top research is performed.