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The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded a Vici grant of 1.5 million euros to UvA researchers Denny Borsboom and Jaap van Buul and AMC-UvA researcher Diederik van de Beek. The Vici grant will enable them to develop an innovative line of research and set up their own research group over the next five years. Vici is one of the largest scientific grants for individuals in the Netherlands and targets advanced researchers.

A total of 32 researchers received a Vici grant.

The recipients

Prof. Diederik van de Beek (Medicine) – New Treatment for Bacterial Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is a life-threatening brain infection. New targets of treatment have been identified and therapies against these targets have to be developed. Diederik van de Beek’s project will develop new treatments for this devastating disease aiming to save lives.

Prof. Denny Borsboom (Psychology) – From Network Models to Network Theories: Network Construction Methodology

Denny Borsboom’s project develops a methodology for creating network theories of mental disorders: Network Construction Methodology (NCM). NCM consists of subsystems (e.g. sleep, mood, beliefs) than can be coupled in a dynamic network structure. This creates a ‘living’ theory that many researchers can contribute to, which will improve our understanding of mental disorders and their treatment.

Dr Jaap van Buul (Cell Biology / Sanquin research and Landsteiner Laboratory) – Gatekeepers of the Vasculature

The blood vessel wall acts as gatekeeper between the blood and the surrounding tissue. In case of inflammation, white blood cells move through the vessel wall to deal with the inflammation. Jaap van Buul’s project will seek to better understand how white blood cells exit to clear harmful pathogens.

Talent Scheme: about Vici

The Vici grant targets highly experienced researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research, and to act as coaches for young researchers. Vici provides researchers with the opportunity to set up their own research group, often in anticipation of a tenured professorship. The Vici grant is one of three funding instruments within the Talent Scheme. The other two instruments are the Veni grant (for recently graduated PhDs, up to 3 years after graduation) and the Vidi grant (for experienced postdocs, up to 8 years after graduation).