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UG academics involved in academic consortia that will receive over €140 million

02 May 2022
Brain research

UG/UMCG academics Peter de Jong, Ute Bultmann, René Veenstra, and their colleagues are involved in two of the seven Dutch academic consortia that will receive a total of €142.7 million for research purposes. This funding is provided in the framework of NWO research programme Gravitation. Minister Dijkgraaf (OCW) has made the funding available to academic consortia that conduct groundbreaking research and are among the best in their fields.


Peter de Jong, Professor of Experimental Psychopathology, and Ute Bultmann, Professor of Work and Health at the UMCG, together were one of the six applicants for the project Stress-in-Action: Advancing the Science of Stress by Moving the Lab to Daily Life. Behavioural scientists Bertus Jeronimus, Susanne Scheibe, and Laura Bringmann of the UG are also involved in this project.

Based on new knowledge and data, the academics participating in this project will develop methods to track and reduce stress in daily life. This could prevent the emergence of stress-related diseases. In total, the consortium will receive €19,600,000 for their research.

According to De Jong, the project will be successful ‘when, in 10 years' time, we will have developed clearly new insights into the real-time (hour by hour) emergence of stress. We can then use these insights for interventions in the daily life.’ In addition, he hopes ‘that we can help a number of young, talented colleagues to become successful academics’.

Growing up together

In the application for the research project ‘Growing Up Together in Society’ (GUTS), Professor of Sociology René Veenstra was one of the main applicants. The goal of this project is to discover how young people can grow up to be successful and contribute to the current and future society. Veenstra: ‘In this project, I am the leader of the research theme that investigates the influence of one’s social network. I would like to research whether young people select each other or, rather, influence each other based on the personal goals they hold, the motivation to stick to these goals, and their capacities to adjust these goals, if necessary.’

Veenstra hopes to achieve even more: ‘With GUTS, I expect that we will be training a new generation of researchers who are deeply rooted in various disciplines and, because of that, are able to push boundaries.’ This project has been awarded a total sum of €22,000,000.

More powerful computers

Bart van Wees, professor of Applied Physics, was one of the main applicants for QuMAT: Materials for the Quantum Age. This consortium led by Daniel Vanmaeckelbergh (Utrecht) will receive a total of €21,500,000.

There is a rapidly increasing demand for more powerful computers. The QuMAT consortium aims to develop new materials with stable quantum states. These new materials will make computing and current ways of processing information much more powerful and at the same time more energy efficient. In addition, stable quantum states that remain coherent under affordable conditions will make it possible to scale up powerful quantum computers.

From the UG, the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Bart van Wees, Caspar van der Wal, Jagoda Slawinska, Marcos H.D. Guimarães, Justin Ye, and Petra Rudolf participate in the QuMAT consortium.

About the NWO Gravitation programme

With the Gravitation programme, the government stimulates excellent research in the Netherlands. It is meant for academic consortia that have the potential to be among the very best internationally in their fields. The programme is financed by direct government funding. The selection procedure is carried out by NWO.

Last modified:16 June 2022 11.33 a.m.
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