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Awards handed out during UG Ceremony of Merits

07 July 2023

The UG has handed out several awards to excellent researchers and students during the Ceremony of Merits on 7 July 2023. The Wierenga-Rengerink PhD Award for best UG dissertation was given to Dr Derek van Zoonen (Faculty of Philosophy). The best student of each faculty was rewarded with a GUF-100 prize worth € 2,500, to be used for study or research. The Ceremony of Merits took place in the Academy Building.

Wierenga-Rengerink PhD award

Derek van Zoonen received the Wierenga-Rengerink PhD Award for his thesis Plato on Pleasure and Illusion.  In his thesis he discusses a highly counterintuitive notion in the work of Plato: the idea that pleasure can be ‘true’ or ‘untrue’. Many commentators consider Plato’s ideas on the subject unclear or even confused. Van Zoonen surprisingly shows that there is more to say about this idea than previously thought.  In his interpretation, Plato does not consider pleasure an emotion, but rather something that resembles a factual conception: a mental state that represents the world in a certain way and therefore can be either more or less accurate. The dissertation is of great value to our understanding of Plato, and for that reason it has been awarded the distinction cum laude by a leading international committee consisting of members from New York University, Cambridge, Columbia, University of Oslo, and the Catholic University of Leuven.

The Wierenga-Rengerink PhD Award is awarded to the UG PhD candidate who wrote the best PhD thesis over the past year. Each faculty chooses their own winner and from this group a final winner is chosen by a jury of previous Rectores Magnifici. Only exceptionally good theses that have been awarded at least a cum laude distinction are eligible. The Wierenga-Rengerink family provides the prize money. The winner receives € 7,500 to further their academic development.

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Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga presents the Award to Derek van Zoonen Photo: Pjotr Wiese

GUF-100 Prizes

Finally, excellent students from each UG faculty received the GUF-100 prizes, consisting of a grant of € 2,500 to be used for study or research. The prizes have been made available by the Groninger University Fund (GUF). The following students have been awarded:

  • Faculty of Science and Engineering - Adrian Sidhu
  • Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences - Kim Walk
  • Faculty of Spatial Sciences - Nora Teuma
  • Faculty of Law - Zahra Farshchi
  • Faculty of Arts - Daniëlle Fluks
  • Faculty of Religion, Culture and Society - Ilse van Tuinen  
  • Faculty of Economics and Business - Beer Kwak
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences - Noortje van Dijk
  • Faculty of Philosophy: Maddalena Fazzo Cusan
  • University College Groningen - Johanne Hobel
  • Campus Fryslân - Hubert Matuszewski


Read more about the GUF-100 Prize winners 2023

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Photo: Pjotr Wiese

Ceremony of Merits

The yearly Ceremony of Merits is dedicated to achievements.  Anyone who has made an important contribution to the UG during the last year is put in the spotlight, whether they are researchers, other staff members, or students.  In addition, the above-mentioned awards are handed out.  The Ceremony of Merits was first held in 2022, but the awards have been around much longer en were previously handed out during the yearly UG Summer Ceremony.

Watch the Ceremony of Merits and photos

Last modified:10 July 2023 4.25 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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