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Five Veni grants of 250,000 euros

28 July 2017

Fifteen researchers of the University of Groningen and the UMCG have been awarded a Veni grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Five of them are researcher at the Faculty of Science of Engineering.

The NWO has awarded a Veni grant worth up to 250,000 euros to 154 researchers nationwide who have recently obtained their doctorate. The Veni grant provides highly promising young scientists with the opportunity to further elaborate their own ideas during a period of three years. The Veni is awarded by the NWO every year. A total of 1,127 researchers submitted an admissible research project for funding. 154 of these have now been granted nationwide.

The five new Veni laureates at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) and their subjects are:


Faculty and research institute


Laura Govers

FSE - Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences

Global change and marine plant diseases
Higher marine plants form the foundation of many coastal ecosystems. These economic and ecological valuable habitats are globally declining, with a yet unclear role of plant diseases. The project will unravel the effect of global change on newly-found

Phytophthora infection of seagrasses and its consequences for coastal conservation and restoration.

Casper van der Kooi


How do flowers get their colours –and to what end?
This project will chart the optics of colourful flowers of plants with very diverse ecologies. The optical and evolutionary analyses will explain how pollinators and plant physiology drove flower colour evolution.

Clemens Mayer

FSE- Stratingh Institute for Chemistry

Making enzymes to order
Enzymes are the most sophisticated catalysts known to mankind. Harnessing their prowess for industrial applications is an enticing prospect, yet enzymes are seldom optimal for abiological tasks. Here, the researcher will explore new strategies to tailor enzymatic activities inside bacterial hosts and evaluate their potential for creating madeto-order biocatalysts.

Cristina Paulino

FSE- Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute

Redefining concepts of membrane transport mechanism
Transport across cell membranes is facilitated by proteins that are categorized into channels, primary- and secondary-active transporters, each thought to exert its own distinct mechanism. The KdpFABC complex, however, embodies features of all classes.

Investigation of its structure and function will undoubtedly blur the current conceptual boundaries of translocation mechanisms.

Carsten Wloka-Tjalsma

FSE - Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute

Small pores, big sensors
The molecular composition of any cell is rapidly changing and challenging to quantify. In this project, small pores equipped with sensor-proteins will be inserted into cellular membranes to quantify small molecules. The effect of chemotherapeutics on individual cancer cells under consideration of their molecular composition will be evaluated.

Talent Scheme
Together with Vidi and Vici, Veni is part of NWO’s Talent Scheme. Veni is aimed at excellent researchers who have recently obtained their doctorate. Researchers in the Talent Scheme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use.

Read more
15 Veni grants to the University of Groningen
NWO: all 154 Veni laureates nationwide

Last modified:27 July 2018 09.28 a.m.
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