Twelve Veni’s for Erasmus University Rotterdam

Twelve promising young scientists from the Erasmus University Rotterdam have been awarded a Veni grant of maximum 250.000 euros from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO).  With this Veni grant they are able to continue to elaborate on their own ideas for the upcoming three years. The Erasmus MC received nine Veni’s, at campus Woudestein the Veni’s go to recent PhD graduates from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus School of Economics and Rotterdam school of Management.

The scientists are going to research differing topics, such as decision making based on quantitative information, settlement of refugees, large-scale improvement of radiation treatment of cancer patients and lung immunity.  

Peer review

1056 researchers submitted a proposal for a Veni grant to NWO, 158 were honored.  Veni is, together with Vidi and Vici, part of the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme of NWO. 

The laureates are:

Improving Quantitative Decision Making

Dr. Christophe Lembregts (m), Rotterdam School of Management

People’s lives are pervaded with quantitative information. Despite the widespread availability, individuals have great difficulty to make consistent decisions while relying on quantitative information. This project proposes a novel way to enhance understanding of quantitative information, how it could improve decision quality and delineate conditions under which it is effective.

Disclosures of alternative performance metrics: misleading or informative?

Dr. Edith Leung, Erasmus School of Economics

Managers often report adjusted “non-GAAP” performance measures that do not conform to existing accounting regulation. Regulators and media criticize these measures as being misleading to investors, although there is no concrete evidence to support this view. This proposal contributes to this debate by examining the usefulness of non-GAAP disclosures.

In or out of employment? Policies and economics as natural experiments

Dr. Karen Oude Hengel, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam

Gaining insight in exit routes of workers with health problems is important regarding the ageing workforce. Relatively little is known about the impact of the macro-level on the European differences in un(employment) rates. I will investigate the impact of policies and economic recession on exit pathways with innovative statistical methods.

The settlement of new refugees in  municipalities: making lives, forming issues

Dr. Rogier van Reekum Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen

How does the settlement of new refugees in Dutch municipalities practically and materially become an issue for a widening network of publics? When refugees settle this affects both their and other people’s lives. This research will study how people are brought together around shared issues concerning refugee settlement. 

Diagnosing X-rays in a split-second

Dr. Laura) Zwaan, Erasmus MC

A radiologist looks at an X-ray for only a split-second and correctly diagnoses it! How is it possible that such a complex task is correctly performed so quickly? To what extent does the context drive this process? How does this skill develop? This project will unravel this fascinating process. Large-scale improvement of radiation treatment of cancer patients
Dr. ir. Sebastiaan Breedveld  Erasmus MC - Radiologie
The worldwide applied, largely manual method for generation of treatment plans often
results in suboptimal radiation treatment. Possible consequences are severe treatment
complications or a reduced tumour control probability. In this project, mathematical
methods will be developed to enable large- scale application of automated generation of
high-quality treatment plans.

Genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders

Dr. Stefan Barakat, Erasmus MC

Disorders of brain development are frequently occurring but are often incompletely understood. Here the researchers investigate the role of non-coding genome elements, and ask whether they are important for the disease-process. By making use of novel techniques, enhancers are identified and functionally tested in mini-brains derived from patient stem cells.

Genes as natural experiments?

Dr. Sonja Swanson, Erasmus MC – Department of Epidemiology

Our genes have been proposed as natural experiments to study the consequences of obesity on interventions) across the life-course requires novel statistical methods that the proposed research will develop and implement.

cardiometabolic, neurologic, and psychiatric health outcomes. Using this “natural experiment” to understand the causal effects of obesity (and weight-loss

Focusing in on high myopia

Dr. Virginie Verhoeven, Erasmus MC – Ophthalmology & Clinical Genetics

High myopia (severe nearsightedness; a refractive error of -6 or more) leads to blindness and is becoming more and more common. Treatment options are currently limited. I will investigate how a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors leads to high myopia and how this can be prevented.

Lung immunity under a molecular magnifying glass

Dr. Ralph Stadhouders, Erasmus MC - Pulmonary Medicine

The immune system protects us from germs. However, sometimes our immune system is mistaken and responds excessively fierce to harmless substances, resulting in allergies or asthma. The researcher will examine in the nucleus of the responsible immune cells how they are activated and what goes wrong in asthmatics.

Turning differences into evidence

Hester Lingsma, PhD, Erasmus MC – Public Health

We often see large between-hospital variation in treatment. Partly because for many medical treatments, effectiveness is not clear. In my research I will use between-hospital variations to study which treatments work best. Among others, I will study optimal treatment for patients with traumatic brain injury.

Elimination of worm infections in man

Dr. Luc Coffeng, Erasmus MC, Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam –Afdeling Maatschappelijke Gezondheidszorg

Globally, parasitic worm infections still affect the health and socio-economic status of over one billion people. Fortunately, these infections are now being targeted for to better understand and predict how mass drug administration can lead to elimination of parasitic worm infections elimination. The researcher will develop new methods


More information

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