Photo: DUB

UU and UMC Utrecht score almost a third of all Vici grants

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Why do children refuse to eat vegetables? Can bacteria protect natural stone? Which material can be used in a 3D printer to make renal tubules? The Dutch Research Council will be awarding a Vici grant worth 1.5 million euros to 33 top scientists to answer these and other questions.

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The announcement had to be delayed because the servers of the Dutch Research Council were hacked earlier this year. But, finally, the organisation published the list of all the Vici winners. The coveted grant enables highly experienced researchers to develop an innovative research line and put together a research group over the course of five years.

In 2020, no fewer than 287 scientists competed for this grant, of which only 33 were successful. In other words, a success rate of 11.5 percent. A third of the applications were submitted by women. Ultimately, 13 female candidates (14 percent) and 20 male candidates (10 percent) were awarded a grant.

Flying the flag
Utrecht University has all the reasons to celebrate, as eight grants worth 1.5 million euros each are going to UU researchers. UMC Amsterdam comes second with four grants, followed by the University of Amsterdam (three) and the UMC Groningen (three).

Changes to the scoresheet are, however, still possible: as the grants are given to the scientist, not the institituon, recipients take the money with them if they move to another university. 

Most Utrecht winners are female. The lucky eight include linguist Aoju Chen from the Faculty of Humanities, earth scientist Veerle Cnudde from Geosciences, educational scientist Tamara van Gog from Social Sciences, and criminal law scientist Gerben Heynen from the Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance. The Faculty of Science has four laureates: theoretical physicist Umut Gursoy, biologist Kirsten ten Tusscher, climate researcher Anna von der Heydt, and Tina Vermonden from Pharmacy. UMC Utrecht's winners are Jaco Zwanenburg and Femke van Wijk.

The Vici grants are part of the Dutch Research Council’s Talent Scheme, alongside the Veni and Vidi grants, which are meant for researchers at different stages in their careers.

Institution

Grants

Utrecht University          

8

UMC Amsterdam

4

University of Amsterdam

3

UMC Groningen

3

Radboud University

2

UMC Utrecht

2

Maastricht University

2

TU Eindhoven

1.5

Leiden University

1

University of Groningen

1

Radboud UMC

1

Wageningen University

1

TU Delft

1

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

1

NKI

1

Tilburg University

0.5

Total

33

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