Three recent PhD recipients of the University of Groningen will be able to conduct research at foreign research institutes thanks to the Rubicon programme of the Dutch Research Council (formerly the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, NWO). The grants were awarded to Dr Leonie Elsenburg, Dr Dennis Prak and Dr Ruben Verwaal. The NWO Rubicon programme enables early-career researchers to acquire international research experience at a top institute abroad to help kick-start their academic careers. Elsenburg researches the risks posed by a difficult youth on health problems in later life; Prak researches smarter stock management with the help of big data; and Verwaal researches how people in the eighteenth century successfully tackled deafness and hearing differences from an integrated social and medical approach.
With a Rubicon grant, early-career researchers can conduct research for up to 24 months at a foreign research institute such as the Technical University of Munich or Harvard University. The amount of the grant depends on the chosen destination and the duration of the stay. The Dutch Research Council awards around 60 Rubicon grants per year to early-career researchers (amounting to a total value of € 7 million, divided into three rounds). The majority of the 16 researchers selected in this round will spend up to 24 months abroad. Experience abroad is an important career step for many researchers. The UG recipients were awarded grants in the first round of 2019.
The Rubicon programme is named after the river that Julius Caesar crossed before embarking on the series of victories that eventually led to the well-known phrase “veni, vidi, vici”.
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