Prof. Erik Frijlink and Prof. Gijsbert Vonk have been nominated for the Huibregtsen Prize 2016 for their research projects. The jury chose six research projects from the 24 submissions. On 3 October, the leader of the winning project will be awarded the EUR 25,000 prize money by Minister of Education, Culture and Sciences Jet Bussemaker in the Ridderzaal in The Hague. The report of the jury is available in Dutch.
Erik Frijlink is Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy at the University of Groningen. He researches ways in which to improve the administration, delivery, therapeutic effect and shelf life of medication.
Gijsbert Vonk is Professor of Social Security Law at the University of Groningen. He focuses on the consequences of law for the disadvantaged in society.
The Netherlands is a social democracy, but the legal position of the most vulnerable groups is under threat. In recent years, Vonk has published three important articles in the journal Nederlands Juristenblad, titled De lokale verzorgingsstaat (The Local Welfare State), De repressieve verzorgingsstaat (The Repressive Welfare State) and De kwetsbare verzorgingsstaat (The Vulnerable Welfare State).
The three articles reveal a paradox in the law in practice: the law can cause poverty but the courts can call on the law to improve the legal status of vulnerable groups. Constitutional rights are particularly important here.
characterizes key characteristic of Vonk’s work is that he seeks a dialogue with the subjects of his research. He invited benefits claimants from Groningen to come to the University and tell him about their stories and experiences. He also uses lectures, presentations, opinion pieces and columns to share his findings with the public. He thus draws people’s attention to the legal problems of all those who, as Vonk puts it, ‘have found themselves side-lined or left behind at some point in their lives.’
The prize was established in 2005 by the board of Stichting De Avond van Wetenschap & Maatschappij (Night of Science and Society Foundation). The prize is for a recent research project that breaks new academic ground and offers excellent prospects of practical application. Every year, all Dutch universities and public research institutes are invited to nominate a research project from the past calendar year for the prize. The prize goes to the leader of the research project.
The prize is awarded on the Night of Science & Society in the Ridderzaal in The Hague and comprises a sculpture – De Denker (The Thinker) by Wil van der Laan – and prize money of EUR 25,000, earmarked for research activities.
For more information on the Night of Science & Society 2016 and the Huibregtsen Prize, please visit the Foundation’s website
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