22 July 2015

Two NWO Rubicon grants for UM

UM researchers Jessica Hartmann and Conny Quaedflieg received a Rubicon grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), which gives the promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience. They plan on using the grant to spend two years in Australia and Germany, respectively.

Jessica Hartmann will research sleep disorders and psychosis at the University of Melbourne’s Orygen National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health. The two conditions are closely related, but which one triggers the other? This project will examine the predictive role of sleep disorders in the development of psychosis in young adults with a high risk for developing a psychotic disorder.

Conny Quaedflieg will research behaviour, addiction and stress at Hamburg University’s Institute of Psychology. The transformation of targeted behaviour into habits is common in stressful situations and is typical of addiction. This study attempts to determine why some people are more susceptible to this transformation by researching genotypes and dynamic brain mechanisms.


The researchers will use their Rubicon grants to spend two years conducting research at a foreign institute. The grant amount depends on the destination and the length of stay. Rubicon is the river that Julius Caesar crossed in 49 BC before the series of victories that led to his famous quote: ‘Veni, vidi, vici.’

The NWO chose the name Rubicon in 2005 for its individual programme that aims to facilitate post-doctoral researchers in the field of science. This round had 97 applicants, twenty-one of which were awarded a grant. Gaining experience abroad is an important career step for many researchers.


Note for the Press