Universiteit Maastricht

UM welcomes two foreign researchers with Rubicon Grants

Press release 3 April 2012

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded Rubicon grants to 29 young and promising researchers. These grants allow Dutch researchers who recently obtained their PhD, to gain research experience abroad, and enable foreign researchers to conduct research in the Netherlands. This year, Maastricht University will welcome two foreign scientists: Tamar Sharon from the Bar Ilan University in Israel and Maria Weimer from the European University Institute in Italy. Both researchers will stay in the Netherlands for 24 months.

Tamar Sharon will work at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on the project Healthy Citizenship and the Responsibilization of Health. We are increasingly expected to take responsibility for our health. But the debate on 'healthy citizenship' overlooks the experiences of many people, who use new health technologies in unexpected ways. This research examines how healthy citizenship is practiced in reality.

Maria Weimer will continue her research at the Faculty of Law entitled Defending European Values in Global Food Trade. She will investigate the different food regulations implemented by the EU and the WTO (World Trade Organisation). Food is not only a trade product, but also a cultural good. EU food regulation often conflicts with WTO rules, because it responds to consumer values and preferences. This project will study how WTO rules and EU regulation can be reconciled.

The grants are named after the Rubicon, a river in northern Italy. Julius Caesar crossed this river before embarking on his conquests, which led to the expression ‘veni, vidi, vici’. The Rubicon programme is a good step towards a Veni grant as it forms part of the NWO's ‘Renewal Impulse’ (Vernieuwingsimpuls). The NWO has received 240 Rubicon applications this year, 12% of which were honoured.

The subsidy amount depends on the location and the duration of the stay (maximum 24 months). The abolition of the Marie Curie Cofund Action programme by the European Commission led the NWO to opt for a limited continuation of the Rubicon programme in 2012. As of 1 January 2012, Rubicon was made exclusively available to applicants with a three year affiliation with a Dutch research institute over the past five years.

The NWO press release can be found online at www.nwo.nl/nwohome.nsf/pages/NWOP_8SZANL

Note for the press:
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