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Rubicon grants for three researchers from the UG

21 June 2021

Three researchers from the University of Groningen (UG) have been awarded a Rubicon grant by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), allowing them to conduct research at a foreign institute of education. Riccardo Alessandri will travel to Chicago to develop an algorithm for the more efficient identification of suitable polymers. Renske van Raaphorst will conduct research in Belgium into the reason for the neat folding of DNA in a predatory bacteria. In Sweden, Sara Raj Pant will study the causes and effects of the various migratory habits of four bird species.

The Rubicon programme enables promising young researchers to acquire international research experience at a top institute abroad. Most of the researchers spend 24 months abroad, while some laureates stay for between 12 and 18 months. The amount of the grant depends on the chosen destination and the duration of the stay. Approximately 60 up-and-coming researchers are awarded Rubicon funding every year. A total of €7 million is available, and it is allocated in three separate rounds. The three UG researchers are among a group of 31 researchers from two rounds of grants awarded in 2020.

Dr R. Alessandri

United States: Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, 24 months

Polymers can change the future of batteries. But searching for a suitable polymer is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Dr Alessandri aims to develop an algorithm that will allow scientists to navigate their way smartly through the haystack of polymers.

Dr R. van Raaphorst

Belgium: The Duve Institute (UCLouvain), 24 months

The predatory bacteria Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus can only grow once it has entered its prey. During the ‘hunting phase’, the predator’s DNA is compactly folded away. Dr van Raaphorst wants to discover whether this is connected with the difference between hunting and growth.

Dr S. Raj Pant

Sweden: Lund University, Department of Biology, 24 months

Many animals cover incredible distances with the changing of the seasons. Migration strategies between individual animals differ, and can also change with age. Different strategies can have different effects on survival or reproduction. Dr Raj Pant will use this project to study the causes and effects of individual variation in the migratory habits of four species of birds.

Last modified:28 June 2021 09.08 a.m.
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