Eight EUR researchers receive NWO grant for research into corona crisis issues

Miroslava Chrienova via Pixabay

As many as eight scientists from Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) have been honoured by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) for the collection of data that can only be conducted now, during the COVID-19 crisis, and specifically research into issues that arise in society during the crisis.

The following researchers were honoured: prof. dr. Roland Bal (Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management), prof. dr. Arnold Bakker, prof. dr. Darren McCauley, dr. Paraskevas Petrou, prof. dr. Jeroen van der Waal, prof. dr. Rolf Zwaan (Erasmus School of Social and Behaviorial Sciences), en prof. dr. Casper van Eijk en prof. dr. Manon Hillegers van het Erasmus MC.

Self-nudging to foster employee physical activity while working from home

Prof. dr. A.B. BakkerWork and Organizational Psychology

This project investigates how employees can increase their own health behaviors (increase physical activity, reduce sitting) and, indirectly, their well-being and performance, while working from home during the corona crisis. We propose that individuals may develop self-initiated nudges that facilitate their daily choice to be physically active. We evaluate the effect of a 4-week self-nudging intervention (in which employees learn to develop their own nudges) on physical activity, wellbeing, and work performance.

Managing Corona. An ethnographic study of crisis decision-making

Prof. dr. R.A. Bal, Health Care Governance

As healthcare systems are overwhelmed with the consequences of the corona virus pandemic, they struggle with substantive, institutional and strategic uncertainties. We know little about how decision-making under such circumstances evolves and to what consequences for organisations, professionals, and citizens/patients. To contribute to current and future pandemic decision-making, we collect ethnographic data in a large university hospital and a municipality, focussing on local and regional decision-making structures and practices by observing meetings and interviewing key actors.

Immune monitoring in COVID-19 patients

Prof. dr. C.H.J. van Eijck, Erasmus MC

Currently it is not clear which patients who are admitted to the hospital with a SARS‐CoV‐2 infection will benefit from treatment or die. Clearly, the balanced immune system is lost in some of the SARS‐CoV‐2 infected patients which contributes to the progression in disease. We believe that monitoring the immunological changes induced by the SARS‐CoV‐2 virus will lead to discovering prognostic or predictive markers that may assist in decision making and offers therapeutic options.

How do adolescents cope with the Corona-crisis: a smartphone study

Prof. dr. M.H.J. Hillegers, Erasmus MC

During the Corona-crisis, adolescents (age 12-25) are vulnerable for psychosocial problems such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness, especially when stress accumulates. This interdisciplinary project aims to

  1. Gather data and disseminate real-time scientific insights into emotional well-being, stress, and coping.
  2. Support adolescents to actively cope with stress to prevent psychosocial problems.

To this end, adolescents play the serious game GROW IT! They record their real-time well-being and daily stress. In teams, they are challenged to actively cope with Corona-stress.

Managing a just transition out of the COVID-19 crisis

Prof. dr. D.A. McCauley, Global Social Challenges

The transition from lockdown to normal life will impact unequally on different sections of society. There is an urgent need to understand how key public and private stakeholders frame these inequalities. Framing processes are central to managing the resolution of the crisis. We need to know how these frames develop in real time. We will conduct 60 interviews in total at two time points (June and August 2020) in the Netherlands and the U.K.

Employee self-regulation as a way to deal with the corona crisis at work

Dr. Paraskevas Petrou, Work and Organizational Psychology

To sustain their performance and well-being throughout the corona crisis, employees need to discover their own solutions, especially if they have to work away from their regular work environment. Via two survey studies (late April and early September 2020), I will study whether self-initiated employee strategies, such as proactivity (e.g., asking for help or seeking learning opportunities), creativity, self-reflection, or mindfulness, help employees deal with the corona crisis successfully at work.

The effect of the Corona-crisis response measures on institutional trust

Prof. dr. J. van der Waal, Public Administration and Sociology

Crucial information needed for an effective crisis response will be provided by:

  1. examining the trend in institutional trust during the corona-crisis on a day-to-day basis (March 2nd – March 30th); 
  2. estimating the causal impact of the corona-crisis response measures on institutional trust among Dutch citizens; 
  3. estimating whether trends in institutional trust and the effect of the governmental measures on institutional trust differ between different societal groups.

Acquiring, Comprehending, and Using Information Related to COVID-19

Prof. dr. R.A. Zwaan, Biological and Cognitive Psychology

This research will investigate how people gather, interpret, and use information about COVID-19. Which information sources do they use? How often do they consult these sources? What is their factual knowledge about COVID-19? How confident are they about this knowledge? Do they endorse conspiracy theories about COVID-19? How closely do they follow governmental guidelines about COVID-19 related behavior? Are there systematic individual differences in these issues? Are there cross-cultural differences in COVID-19 information processing?

More information

Press Office Erasmus University Rotterdam, T (010) 408 1216 E press@eur.nl.

More information about NWO call ‘fast-track data’.