Dr Viktor Venhorst (Faculty of Spatial Sciences) was officially announced as the winner of the Gratama Science Award for 2013 during the Summer Ceremony at the University of Groningen. The prize, which is worth € 25,000, was presented by Jan Gratama, chair of the Gratama Foundation.
The Gratama Science Award ‘for innovative, socially relevant and influential research’ is annually awarded, alternately to a young researcher from Leiden University or from the University of Groningen.
Venhorst won the prize for research that earned him a PhD with distinction in 2012. His thesis ‘
Smart move?: the spatial mobility of higher education graduates
’ revolves around the mobility of recent higher education graduates in the Netherlands. The likelihood that students will move to the Randstad conurbation varies greatly, largely depending on their subject. Furthermore, the brain drain from the province is not as straightforward as is often assumed; it is not always the best students that leave the periphery. Venhorst’s research clearly shows that extensive job opportunities are the most important factor when choosing a location.
In two subsequent research projects entitled ‘Brain Drain or Brain Gain: Higher Educated in Cities in The Netherlands’ and ‘Successful in the City’, Venhorst demonstrates his ability to make the results of academic research heard in the world of politics, local government and policy-making, as well as the general public. The media interest he generated was proof of the socially relevant and influential character of his research.
The Gratama Foundation is a family fund set up in 1925, and based in Harlingen. The Foundation supports and encourages academic and educational projects demonstrating a high level of social relevance. Every year and after close consultation with the Leiden University Fund and the Groningen University Fund, the Foundation awards grants alternately to staff at the University of Groningen and Leiden University.
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