7 researchers Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC receive NWO Open Competition-SSH grant

Campus Woudestein garden on a sunny day.
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Seven researchers from Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC have been awarded NWO Open Competition-SSH grants. NWO Social Sciences and Humanities aims to promote excellent free, curiosity-driven research with a primarily social science or humanities research question and problem statement.

An overview of all laureates of Erasmus University Rotterdam and Erasmus MC:

  • Loneliness as a Driver of Emigration (LoneDrivE) 

    dr. T. van den Broek, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management

    Many migrants suffer from loneliness. This is typically ascribed to the challenges that come with migration, such as the separation from friends and family in the country of origin and struggles with settling in the destination country. This project breaks new ground by exploring an overlooked additional explanation: selection of lonely people into international migration. The wish to escape experiences of loneliness in the country of origin may contribute to people’s intentions to emigrate. This project analyses multiple, complementary data sources to gain insights into the extent to which loneliness is a driver of emigration.

    Thijs van den Broek, researcher at Erasmus School of Health Policy and Management
  • The Secret to Secrecy: Development of a Novel Measure to Assess Secrecy and Investigate Its Sociodemographic and Psychological Correlates

    dr. R.E.R. van der Hallen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

    Secrecy, the intentional concealment of personal information from others, is common and universal. Nevertheless, very little is known about the who, what, and why of secret keeping and how it impacts our quality of life. This project aims to expand current theoretical and empirical evidence on secrecy by (1) conducting a bottom-up investigation of what “secrecy” entails, (2) developing a self-report instrument to measure secrecy, and (3) investigating the socio-demographic and psychological correlates of secrecy. This project will provide novel insights into secrecy as a complex phenomenon, individual differences, and the role of secrecy in everyday life.

  • Radical innovation or empty promises? Exploring how assumptions about decision-making, participation and people management are challenged by self-managing organisations

    dr. R.L. Hewett, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam School of Management

    Self-managing organisations (SMOs) promise no managers, little hierarchy, and put decision-making in the hands of employees. Yet, while more SMOs have emerged in response to calls for increased transparency, empowerment, and adaptability in the face of turbulent macro conditions, it is unclear how much they deliver on these promises. Through an ambitious study of 20 SMOs, I move beyond the debate about whether self-management is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ to explore which fundamental assumptions about management and organizations SMOs challenge (and which they do not). Hereby this project aims to contribute to management literature, organizational design, and employment policy.

  • Should Rich and Poor Offenders Pay the Same Fines? Empirical Analysis of Income-Dependent Fines

    prof. dr. E. Kantorowicz-Reznichenko, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Law

    Are fixed fines for all offenders fair? Can they deter richer offenders? Having such doubts in mind, already 43 countries around the world (including half of the EU countries) have adopted income-dependent fines – day fines. Day fines allow to systematically account for the severity of the offence and at the same time also for the income of the offender. Yet, it is still unclear whether they are indeed more deterrent and are perceived as fairer by the public. In this ground-breaking project, empirical methods and novel experimental designs will be used to provide evidence-based answers to these questions.

    Elena Kantorowicz-Reznichenko
  • Student loans and mental health problems in higher education

    dr. Z. Wang, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics

    This project investigates whether the introduction of the student loan system in Dutch higher education influences students’ mental health problems over the full trajectory of study. This natural experiment allows us to investigate the effect of increased pressure during the high school exam year, as well as the effect of tighter financial constraints and higher debt during their studies. I construct objective measures of mental health problems of various degrees of severity, using rich datasets on health claims/prescription drug/diagnosis data. This will be the first study to provide large-scale causal evidence, linking student loan to mental health problems.

  • Investigating Public Opinions on Financial (Dis)Incentives for Organ Donation in Europe

    dr. J.A.E. Ambagtsheer, Erasmus MC

    This proposed research is the first to cross-nationally survey European citizens’ opinions on removing financial disincentives and allowing incentives for deceased and living organ donation. As the incidence of organ failure continues to grow, the dialogue around removing/allowing (dis)incentives for organ donation is becoming increasingly relevant. Herein also lies this proposal’s high-risk/high gain nature: payments for organs are banned universally, however, these laws may not reflect the opinion of the majority of the population. This proposal has the potential to lead to legislative changes that allow trials on whether removing disincentives/allowing incentives may lead to higher organ donation rates.

  • Migraine burden in individuals with low socioeconomic status: The role of diet

    dr. K.A.C. Berk, Erasmus MC

    Many people suffer from migraines in their daily lives. People with lower education or income (lower "socioeconomic status") are more likely to have migraines. But why is this? One reason may be that these people consume an unhealthier diet. This could cause migraines to occur more often, and make them worse. In this project, we are going to find out if this is the case. With the results, we hope to develop new dietary treatments especially for people of lower socioeconomic status. So that they suffer less from this disease and social inequality is reduced.

Assistant professor
Assistant professor
Associate professor
dr. (Bex) RL Hewett
Assistant professor
dr. (Zhiling) Z Wang
Dr. J.A.E. (Frederike) Ambagtsheer
dr. K.A.C. Berk
More information

Visit the NWO-website for more information on the NWO Open Competition-SSH grants.

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The grant amounts to a maximum of EUR 50,000 and gives plenty of scope for experimentation and innovation.
Campus Woudestein
Stefan Obernberger, Carlos Riumallo Herl and Esad Smajlbegovic receive NWO Open Competition SSH-XS grant.

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