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Vidis for nine Leiden researchers

Nine talented Leiden researchers have been awarded a Vidi subsidy by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Vidis are intended for researchers with several years of research experience who want to set up or expand their own line of research.

The Faculty of Science is well represented this year with three award winners. The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences receives two Vidis and the Faculties of Governance and Global Affairs, Humanities, Law and the Leiden University Medical Center all receive one Vidi. A total of 571 researchers submitted a research project to the NWO. Of these, 86 applications were honoured.

Innovational Research Incentive Scheme

The Vidi is a research subsidy from NWO's Innovational Research Incentive Scheme under which postdocs who have several years of research experience are awarded a subsidy of a maximum of 800,000 euros to set up or expand an innovative line of research. They can also use the funds to appoint other researchers.  NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the proposed research, the expected scientific impact of the proposal and opportunities for knowledge utilisation.

The winners


Alexandre Afonso – Institute of Public Administration

Big Welfare States, Closed Borders?
The researchers analyse the relationship between the evolution of welfare states and labour migration policies in Western Europe. They assess whether there is a trade-off between social protection and openness to immigration, comparing different European countries over a long time period.

Lucia Clemens Daxinger - LUMC

The genetics of epigenetics: How misplaced epigenetic marks can lead to disease
Chemical tags to the DNA and its associated histone proteins help cells to decide whether a gene is switched on or switched off. Researchers will investigate how mutations in the 'readers, writers and erasers' of these tags lead to incorrect gene regulation and disease.

Rogier Creemers – Institute for Interdisciplinary Study of Law

The Smart state: technology, law and governance in China
The Chinese government increasingly uses technological systems in law and governance, including in courts and social management. This project investigates the extent to which these systems are effective, and how officials and citizens respond to their introductions.

Daniel Curtis – Institute for History

Positively shocking!
This project tests a widely supported notion that catastrophic shocks such as violent conflict and epidemic diseases were the only times throughout history when societies became more equitable. Was this really so, and were there particular societal and epidemiological conditions that allowed the direction of redistribution to deviate from this pattern?

Irene Groot – Leiden Institute of Chemistry

Seeing is believing: Atomic-scale imaging of catalysts under industrial conditions
Fuels and raw materials are produced using catalysis. To gain a better understanding of these complex processes, new techniques will be developed, that are able to look at the catalyst under reaction conditions. We will investigate the production of artificial fuels and of the raw materials for this reaction.

Laura Heitman - Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research

Rethinking drug discovery
Unfortunately, many drugs do not work well enough because they too quickly lose binding at the active site in the body, and thus have too little time to be effective. Heitman studies how to optimise a drug's binding kinetics to ultimately fight diseases effectively.

Mariska Kret – Instituut of Psychology

Disconnected and distrusting: Emotional deficits in social anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorder
Patients with social anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorders have difficulties trusting others. Trust often depends on the accurate recognition of emotional expressions, something patients also find difficult. The current project investigates whether both deficits can be explained by an underlying deficiency, namely, in the mimicry of expressions.

Stefan Semrau – Leiden Institute of Physics

The spark of life
Without electrical signals in your body you could neither read these lines nor grab the cup of coffee on your desk. This proposal will study bioelectricity in another fundamental life process: embryonic development. The research will pave the way for the application of bioelectricity in regenerative medicine.

Nicholas Vrousalis – Institute of Political Science

Inequality against Freedom: Economic Power, Markets, and the Workplace
This project develops a normative toolkit for the critique of inequality as a vehicle of servitude. It defends a novel theory of domination as the deliberate vitiation of autonomy. It then applies these concepts to a normative study of economic power, markets, and the workplace.

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