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Millions worth of grants for four Groningen top researchers

NWO awards prestigious VICI grants
27 January 2014

Four prominent academics from the University of Groningen have been awarded EUR 1.5 million each, to be spent on five years of research and the establishment of their own research groups. They have been awarded VICI grants as part of NWO’s Innovational Research Incentives Scheme (‘Vernieuwingsimpuls’).

NWO awards VICI grants on the basis of the researchers’ quality, the innovative nature and academic impact of their research proposal and application of knowledge. The VICI grants are intended for ‘excellent, experienced researchers who have successfully developed a new research line and thus established themselves prominently at both national and international levels’, says NWO. This year there were 202 applicants for a VICI grant. A total of 31 academics have eventually been awarded VICI grants.

VICI laureates in Groningen (in Dutch)

  • De oorsprong van biodiversiteit [The origins of biodiversity]
    Prof. R.S. (Rampal) Etienne (m) – Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies
    How did ecological communities such as tropical forests, coral reefs and our own intestinal flora evolve? On the basis of experiments and field observations, the researchers will develop a theory to answer this question through the DNA of the species in the ecological community.
  • Zichtbare effecten van donkere materie [Visible effects of dark matter]
    Prof. L.V.E. (Leon) Koopmans (m) - Kapteyn Institute – Astronomy
    The project involves researching the structure of dark matter in space at very small scales. By examining the lens effect of these structures, i.e. the bending of rays through gravity, we can gain direct insight into the particle properties of dark matter.
  • Gadgets met piëzo-elektrische blokcopolymeren [Gadgets with piezoelectric block copolymers]
    Prof. K. (Katja) Loos (f) – Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials
    Portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets have become ever smaller and more powerful over the years and play an increasingly important role in daily life. The technology behind these mobile devices has improved dramatically in recent decades. In order to continue this trend in the future, alternative materials must be developed to enable further miniaturization and better performance. The proposed research will use the interesting properties of piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride block copolymers to develop new materials for sensors, data storage and battery applications, all of which are used in our everyday microelectronic devices.
  • Kunstmatige enzymen [Artificial enzymes]
    Prof. G. (Gerard) Roelfes (m) – catalysis - Stratingh Institute for Chemistry
    The researchers are going to make new artificial metal enzymes and build them into living cells. In this way they aim to expand the chemical repertoire of biological synthesis so that new molecules can be made in a sustainable way.
Last modified:13 March 2020 02.19 a.m.
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