Veni grant for five Faculty of Science researchers

29 July 2014

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded Veni grants to twenty-eight postdoctoral researchers, enabling them to conduct research at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) or Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC-UvA). Five of whom are appointed at the Faculty of Science.

Veni researchers gained their PhD no more than three years ago. A Veni grant is worth a maximum of 250,000 euros, made available by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and is one of the individual grants from NWO to promote scientific talent. The researchers are free to choose the subject of their research. They mainly use the Veni grant to cover their salary costs during the research period of three years and to acquire specific equipment if that is necessary.

A total of 1086 researchers submitted this year an application and eventually 152 of them received a Veni grant. That is equivalent to an award date of 14%. Of the 1086 applications, 594 (54.7%) were submitted by men and 492 (45.3%) by women.

Veni is part of NWO’s Talent Scheme (Veni, Vidi and Vici) aimed at different career phases of scientists.

Faculty of Science Laureates

  • Dr Silke Allmann (Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences)
    Z/E-conversion of hexenal as modulator of insect physiology and plant-herbivore interactions
    Under stress plants emit the green aromatic substance Z-3-hexenal into the air. Caterpillars eating plants convert this substance into E-2-hexenal. I will investigate why caterpillars convert the substance and what the exact consequences of this are for the physiology and ecology of the plant and the caterpillar.
    Read more on the website of SILS
  • Dr Adam Ingram (Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy)
    Einstein’s frame-dragging effect around galactic black holes
    In Einstein’s theory of general relativity, the space surrounding a spinning black hole is twisted up like water spiralling down a sink. Astronomers will study this effect using observations of gas falling into black holes in our galaxy.
  • Dr Ran Ni (Van ‘t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences)
    Glass transition and crystallisation of active colloidal swimmers
    Unlike passive matter, active matter is capable of converting biological or chemical energy to drive motion, which produces a variety of strikingly new phenomena. The researcher will study the dynamic phase transition in systems of active matter by using computer simulations, focusing on glass transition and crystallisation.
    Read more on the website of HIMS
  • Dr Benjamin Pasquiou (Institute of Physics)
    The infinite atomic laser
    Atoms are not just particles but also waves. Therefore, just as with light, an atomic laser can be built. Recent discoveries by the researchers have taken away the biggest obstacles for building this continuous atomic laser. The researchers will build this laser and use it to make very precise measurements.
  • Dr Fabio Zandanel (Institute of Physics)
    Monsters unveiled: cosmic rays and dark matter in clusters of galaxies

    How has the universe developed? What is dark matter? I will study these questions using the biggest structures in the universe: clusters. These consist of hundreds of galaxies and with a mass of one million billion times that of the sun they possibly provide the key to the answers.

Source: NWO

Published by  Faculty of Science