Last month, six different consortia headed by academics from the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies were awarded a total of € 90,000 by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The funding is to be used to carry out research of societal relevance in collaboration with public and private partners.
The societal relevance of the various research projects is reflected in the fact that the public and private partners concerned are investing 20% of the total costs of the projects. The six projects, which analyse various aspects of society, serve as a good illustration of the diversity of both faculties.
Professor of Historical Dutch Literature, Bart Ramakers, will conduct a project with Grontmij (Consulting & Engineering) into the preservation and management of cemeteries. The results obtained during this collaboration will be used to record the unique qualities of specific cemeteries, and make better use of their potential (including tourist potential) in the future.
The project of Dr Erin Wilson, director of the Centre for Religion, Conflict and the Public Domain, focuses on the changing perception of HIV and AIDS among African leaders (particularly religious leaders). The project is being carried out in collaboration with a number of public partners in the Netherlands and Africa.
In his capacity as director of the Research Centre Arts in Society, Dr Pascal Gielen will work together with SmartNL to study how the creative sector can safeguard its creativity and how the career prospects of creative professionals can be improved and sustained. Professor of Film and Visual Media in the same centre, Annie van den Oever, will work alongside the University of Amsterdam and Stichting Film Onderzoek to analyse the impact of new technology, such as 3D, High Frame Rate and Ultra HD, on the way people experience films in cinemas and at home.
In a project entitled ‘Protestantse cultuurschatten: religieus erfgoed beter in de kijker’ (Protestant cultural treasures: highlighting religious heritage), Dr Justin Kroesen from the Institute for Christian Cultural Heritage will work with creative professionals to find ways of making the ‘story’ of churches (particularly those in the north of the Netherlands) more appealing to a broader public.
Finally, Sandra van Voorst, Assistant Professor of Modern Dutch Literature, will join forces with the library network Biblionet Groningen and the literary reading network Stichting Senia to study the transfer of culture in reading groups. The consortium wants to ensure that reading remains a popular pastime, and aims to encourage and improve (where possible) the transfer of culture.
The projects described above have been realized with grants from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), as part of the Alfa Meerwaarde and KIEM programmes. The grants enable new consortia to be formed and will stimulate research of societal relevance. More information about these schemes is available from the faculty funding officer, Peter Meister-Broekema.
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