The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded four a Vici grant, worth up to €1.5 million, to Marleen Kamperman. She can use this money to develop an innovative line of research and to set up herown research groups for a period of five years.
The research for which Prof. Kamperman (Faculty of Science and Engineering) has been awarded a Vici grant concerns (bio)polymers. The threads produced by velvet worms are remarkably sticky and stiff; the beak of a jumbo squid is extremely hard; and spider silk is incredibly tough. To make these extraordinary materials, nature uses fluidic phase-separated biopolymers, or coacervates, as intermediates during processing. Gradual solubility changes transform the fluids into their final solid state. Researchers aim to mimic these natural processing strategies using microfluidic systems to develop an aqueous-based, highly controlled and environmentally benign processing strategy for (bio)polymers.
NWO’s Talent Scheme consists of the Vici, Veni and Vidi grants. The Vici grant targets senior researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research. In doing so, they have also supervised young researchers. Researchers who receive a Vici grant have the opportunity to further develop their research group, often in anticipation of a tenured professorship, if they do not already have one.
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