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Groningen researchers receive Veni grant

21 October 2011

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Veni grants to eight talented young researchers at the University of Groningen and at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) who have recently gained their PhDs. Four of them are researcher at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (formerly known as the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences). They will each receive EUR 250,000 which is intended to fund their research for three years.

Veni grants are part of NWO’s Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (‘Vernieuwingsimpuls’) and are one of the most prestigious grants for young researchers. To land a Veni is an important step in an academic career. The Innovational Research Incentives Scheme was set up in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the KNAW and the universities.

Remarkable talent

The Veni applications are judged by Dutch academics as well as by academics in other countries. Although Veni researchers are just embarking on their careers, thery have already managed to prove that they have striking talent for research and belong to the international top in their field.

Four of the eight winning projects are awarded to researchers at Faculty of Science and Engineering:

  • Protein nanopores as nanoreactors
    Dr A.J. (Arnold) Boersma (m) University of Groningen - Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB)
    The researchers will construct a protein nanopore in a new way, enabling the proteins to be used as nanoreactors. Important chemical processes are studied in nanopores, providing insights that conventional techniques are unable to provide.
  • Climate change, extreme droughts and biodiversity conservation
    Dr J. (Jofre) Carnicer (m) University of Groningen - Community and Conservation Ecology Group (COCON)
    Climate change is causing more frequent and warmer extreme drought events that impact European biodiversity. The researchers will quantify the response of forests, birds and butterflies to extreme droughts using demographic and genetic techniques.
  • Archaeology of the Milky Way Galaxy
    Dr S. (Shoko) Jin (f) University of Groningen – Kapteyn Astronomical Institute
    The outskirts of our Milky Way Galaxy host streams of stars and gas that were stripped from smaller galaxies during fatal, close encounters. By studying their motions, this project aims to determine the distribution of the invisible dark matter around our Galaxy.
  • Oxygen as a building block
    Dr E. (Edwin) Otten (m) University of Groningen - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
    Incorporating oxygen atoms into molecules is an important step in making things like drugs. Using oxygen (O2) taken straight from the surrounding air has major advantages, but also problems due to unwanted reactions. The researchers are developing new ways of making it possible to use O2 as a building block in synthesis.  

Innovational Research Incentives Scheme

The Veni grants are one of three types of grants within the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme ( The other two are the Vidi grant (for experienced postdocs) and the Vici grant (for experienced researchers). With the Scheme, NWO gives talented researchers the opportunity to conduct innovative and ground-breaking research.
Last modified:09 February 2017 1.32 p.m.
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