Rubicon grant for UM researcher Jessica Alleva

Jessica Alleva, a researcher at Maastricht University's Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, was awarded a Rubicon grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This grant gives promising young researchers the opportunity to gain important research experience. Alleva is one of seventeen grant recipients and will use the grant to conduct research at the University of West England.

Alleva will spend thirteen months researching female body image at the University of West England's Centre for Appearance Research. Many women are unhappy with their body, particularly their weight and body shape. Alleva will investigate what happens when a woman focuses on what her body is capable of and how this can help improve body image.

In November 2015, Alleva obtained a PhD from Maastricht University for her dissertation entitled, 'Body matters: interventions and change techniques designed to improve body image'. She has since worked as a postdoctoral researcher in a group investigating the psychology of food.


The Rubicon programme gives researchers the opportunity to conduct research at a foreign institute. The amount of funding depends on the destination chosen and the length of stay (max. 24 months). Rubicon is the river Julius Caesar crossed in 49 BC, before the series of victories that prompted his famous words, 'veni, vidi, vici' (I came, I saw, I conquered). The NWO chose Rubicon as the name of its 2005 programme that aims to retain talented postdoctoral graduates in the field of science. The organisation received 106 applications in this round. The seventeen grant recipients will carry out research in the United States, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden and Spain.

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