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Veni subsidies for sixteen Leiden researchers

Sixteen researchers at Leiden University have received a Veni award from the Netherlands Organisation for Academic Research (NWO). This award offers promising young researchers the opportunity to further develop their ideas for a period of three years.

NWO presents the Veni subsidies every year to young researchers, many of whom have just received their PhD. They each receive a maximum of 250,000 euros for curiosity-driven research. Together with the Vidi and Vici, the Veni is part of NWO's Innovation Incentive. 

Sixteen young Leiden researchers can now embark on their research with this Veni subsidy. A brief summary of the projects is given below. 

Breaking the Transmission of Social Anxiety from Parents to Children

Evin Aktar - Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Social anxiety runs in families. Parents transmit social anxiety by exposing the offspring to their own anxious reactions. This project tests for the first time, whether anxiety transmission by one parent is inhibited or reduced by exposing the offspring to confident reactions from the other parent.

Personalised Dosimetry in MRI; tailored to fit

Wyger Brink - LUMC
Safe MRI scanning is based on statistical models of the energy absorption, with large one-size-fits-all safety margins that negatively affect image quality. In this project we will develop fast computer simulations to determine a patientspecific safety margin at the start of the MRI examination, to maximize image quality.

C'est multiple sclerosis!

Ece Ercan - LUMC
Administration of contrast agents is a common practice for evaluating disease progression in multiple sclerosis. With this project, the researcher aims to develop a new imaging technique (CEST) which will use magnetic properties of the molecules inside the brain to eliminate the need to administer any external substances.

How to solve social dilemmas when not everyone depends on it

Jörg Gross - Social and Organisational Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Underprovided pension systems, climate change, and overburdened health care systems all threaten the fabric of our societies and requires people to cooperate. Whereas cooperation failures hurt some (groups of) people more than others, how differential dependence on public goods affects cooperation and selfishness remains elusive. This project fills this void.

How (cleverly) do children choose their strategy to solve a maths problem?

Marian Hickendorff - Education and Child Studies, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Maths problems such as 812–784=? can be solved in different ways. Mathematics education aspires that children can use multiple strategies, and that they make a clever choice between them. This research project investigates how children do that, and how that is related to the mathematics instruction they receive.

Choice awareness as a prerequisite for care that fits well

Marleen Kunneman - Medical Decision-making, LUMC
Care fits when it responds to patient goals and preferences and integrates well within their lives. After training oncologists in helping patients recognize that treatment options exist and that their input in treatment decisions matters, researchers will test whether his training improves how well cancer care fits within patients’ lives.

Precision Pancreatic Cancer Surgery

Sven Mieog - Surgery, LUMC
Pancreatic cancer often recurs after surgery. The main challenge during pancreatic surgery is complete removal of all tumor tissue. The researchers investigate whether highlighting of tumor cells during surgery will enhance resection. The overall aim of this project is to achieve complete tumor removal and to improve patient’s prognosis.

Unraveling the vascular component of dementia

Sanneke van Rooden - Radiology, LUMC
The researcher has developed a very sensitive method to measure early damage to brain vessels. Damage of brain vessels plays a major role in development of dementia. Now the researcher wants to apply this method in dementia patients to unravel the association between vessel damage and dementia.

Studying planet formation

Giovanni Rosotti - Faculty of Science
The study of exoplanets is currently restricted to adult planetary systems, offering little insight on their formation. This research will use a novel combination of hydrodynamics, chemistry and observations to characterise the youngest exoplanets and their formation environment.

The impact of malaria in the medieval period

Rachel Schats - Archeology
While malaria had—and still has—a vast impact on health, little is known about the disease in the medieval Netherlands. By studying human skeletal remains, this project assesses the distribution and socioeconomic implications of malaria to better understand its influence on medieval society in the Netherlands

Mental well-being? Mind the microbes!

Laura Steenbergen - Psychology, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
Studies in animals and small groups of humans provide evidence for the idea that gut bacteria influence mental health. I will bridge approaches and insights to provide the first steps in answering the question whether we can use the human microbiota-gut-brain axis to promote mental health.

Southern Crossings: Indian activists and the Afro-Asian movement in the early Cold War

Carolien Stolte - Modern and contemporary history, Faculty of Humanities
Why do an Indian feminist and an Algerian poet meet in 1950s Cairo? Why does a Ghanaian trade unionist train his Indian counterparts how to organise? This project focuses on Indian activists in the Afro-Asian movement, which emerged during the interlinked processes of decolonisation and the early Cold War.

The power of coins

Marleen Termeer - Archaeology
In the ancient world, Rome was relatively late to adopt coinage as a form of money. This project investigates how coinage came to be accepted, and how this relates to Rome’s emerging rule. In this way, it helps to understand coinage and money as a social and political phenomenon.

Unraveling hemorrhage pathways indementia

Sanne van Veluw - Radiology and neurosciences, LUMC
Extensive build-up of the protein Amyloid along the small vessels of the brain can result in microhemorrhages in patients with dementia. This proposal investigates the underlying mechanisms of leaky microvessels by combining state-of-the-art imaging techniques in both human brain tissue as well as living mice.

Climate Justice through the Courts

Margaretha Wewerinke-Singh - Law
Following the Urgenda ‘climate case’, courts around the world are increasingly confronted with human rights cases aimed at achieving more ambitious climate action. This project uses socio-legal research to investigate the effectiveness and potential drawbacks of this type of litigation.

When duty calls: confronting fragmentation in crisis management

Jeroen Wolbers - Security and Global Affairs, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs
Fragmentation –the breakdown of collaboration– is one of the toughest and least understood organizational problems in crisis management. I compare crisis operations to unveil its causes, and conduct experiments with crisis managers to determine what tactics can be employed to manage it.

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