Wishful thinking

In this series scientists talk about the research they would like to do the most.

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Entering the intestines with a cart

Entering the intestines with a cart

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? PhD candidate Johanna Kreutz (28) dreams of a Mars rover that, instead of filming and taking samples on the red planet, would do so in the intestines.

Combining small-scale and virtual learning

Combining small-scale and virtual learning

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Associate professor Mark Govers would set up an experiment with a fully digital university.

“Something like wheat with very little gluten can be created within six weeks”

“Something like wheat with very little gluten can be created within six weeks”

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? University Professor Peter Peters dreams of producing healthy vegetables and fruit using the latest DNA technology.

Patience is a virtue

Patience is a virtue

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Economics Professor Thomas Dohmen would like to set up a long-term, large-scale research project to see if there is a causal connection bet...

Reality has become too complex

Reality has become too complex

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? ICIS director Ron Cörvers would like to set up an urban lab at the UM to try and solve regional sustainable issues.

The mismatch between body and identity

The mismatch between body and identity

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? PhD student Mathilde Kennis would like to research gender-fluid people using MRI. Except this is not possible, at least not yet.

The most common leftover item: bread crusts

The most common leftover item: bread crusts


Carlijn Jansen (20), third-year student of International Business, supervises three lunch breaks per week, earning 8 euros per lunch break

A mysterious gene in the intestines

A mysterious gene in the intestines

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Postdoc Nathalie Vaes would like to find out all about the role that one specific gene plays in intestinal cancer.

Be careful: you are now approaching a McDonald’s!

Be careful: you are now approaching a McDonald’s!

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Psychologist and neuroscientist Anne Roefs would like to put people with obesity in a scanner to find out how eating is represented in their brain before, during and after going on a diet.

Long live minimalism

Long live minimalism

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Cultural scientist Miriam Meissner would set up an extensive study into sustainable initiatives such as repair shops, tiny houses, and the sharing economy. But not just in the west, in other cultures as well, other times and in the arts.

Health promotion research with an iPhone

Health promotion research with an iPhone

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Rik Crutzen would like to know more about the mindset of people who follow an exercise programme. One that is based on data collected on mobile phones.

First a promotion … then failure

First a promotion … then failure

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Frank Moers would like to follow a company from scratch in their choice of candidates for promotion. Who moves to the next pay grade and who doesn't? But especially: based on what?

Experimenting with a mini Big Bang

Experimenting with a mini Big Bang

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Physicist Jacco de Vries wants to build a particle accelerator that spans the entire world.

Getting people into the right mood

Getting people into the right mood

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Bernadette Jansma would like to know what happens in the brain when people understand each other. Are they literally on the same (brain) wavelength?

The flu? A painkiller is all that helps

The flu? A painkiller is all that helps

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Eefje de Bont, postgraduate at General Practice Medicine, would like to test a remedy against flu in GP surgeries. But pharmacologists and others would first have to find an active ingredient. Why does this not happen?

About Vedic mantras, Celtic jaw harp music and sauna sound poems

About Vedic mantras, Celtic jaw harp music and sauna sound poems

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Assistant professor of literature Jan de Roder would like to make a trip to study non-Western poetry, where sound and rhythm are more important than the meaning.

Fight against nonsense statistics

Fight against nonsense statistics

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Stephan Smeekes, data scientist at the School of Business and Economics, would like to investigate why computer programmes often find ‘nonsensical connections’ in big data. This wouldn't require large investments; it would just take a lot of time.

Bringing order into the jungle of small-scale studies

Bringing order into the jungle of small-scale studies

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Molecular biologist Manon van Engeland would like to set up a study to collect all biomarker cancer research projects in a database. Why? To enable patients to benefit as quickly as possible from the detection of the early signs of cancer.

“The end is often the scariest”

“The end is often the scariest”

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Psychologist Dalena van Heugten would like to monitor patients suffering from nightmares in a sleep lab for a period of time.

Teaching political scientists a lesson

Teaching political scientists a lesson

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Political scientist Arjan Schakel would like to prove that many social researchers take the wrong approach in their research into voting behaviour. To do so, he needs tens of millions. 

Revaluation of the welfare state

Revaluation of the welfare state

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Zina Nimeh, university lecturer of Social Protection and Human Development, wants to discover why people no longer appreciate the welfare state.

Better understanding of the risk factors for heart failure

Better understanding of the risk factors for heart failure

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Blanche Schroen wants to get a better understanding of the risk factors of heart failure in order to develop more effective medication.

Breaking the trend in South Limburg

Breaking the trend in South Limburg

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Maria Jansen dreams of having ten million euro to carry out a study into the poor state of health in South Limburg. She would focus on the hereditary nature of unhealthiness, passing from one generation to the next. 

Cardiac arrhythmia accelerates ageing

Cardiac arrhythmia accelerates ageing

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Harry Crijns would like to research cardiac arrhythmia using an implanted monitor. What happens to the rest of the body during those palpitations?

Standing places in lecture halls and bowls of fruit in all buildings

Standing places in lecture halls and bowls of fruit in all buildings

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Stef Kremers would set up a large-scale experiment at the UM in an attempt to promote the health of students and employees.

Digital reproduction or preferably the original?

Digital reproduction or preferably the original?

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Cultural scientist Vivian van Saaze would look into how digitisation of art would influence our appreciation of the authentic object.

Depressed because of clogged veins

Depressed because of clogged veins

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Thomas van Sloten would like to test a pill that would improve the tiniest veins in the brains of older patients. There is just one problem: that pill doesn't exist yet.

The new humanitarian aid: export of business philosophy

The new humanitarian aid: export of business philosophy

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Elsje Fourie, researcher at Fasos, would like to do fieldwork in one of the many Ethiopian businesses that are currently so taken in by the Japanese business philosophy of Kaizen. What does that entail?

Standing places in lecture halls and bowls of fruit in all buildings

Standing places in lecture halls and bowls of fruit in all buildings

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Stef Kremers would set up a large-scale experiment at the UM in an attempt to promote the health of students and employees.

Looking for a reliable blood test

Looking for a reliable blood test

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Professor Hugo ten Cate would like to design a blood test that would make it possible to assess the risk of a subsequent thrombosis.

On a mini-expedition to South Siberia

On a mini-expedition to South Siberia

When he is at a birthday party and he tells people that he carries out research into thermoregulation - or to be more precise, the regulation of the body's temperature - he is told story after story. About how women always feel colder than men, a...

Hit by a car, then what?

Hit by a car, then what?

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Gijs van Dijck, Professor of Private Law, would like to set up an experiment with the larger insurance companies in the Netherlands, focussing on the best way to deal with compensation.

Down with the regulations on health claims!

Down with the regulations on health claims!

Imagine you, a researcher, are given a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Nutrition scientist Alie de Boer (29) would like to clear away all European legislation on food claims – things like Becel butter that helps lower your cholesterol level - and find out how it can be improved. At the moment it is a thorn in the side of consumers, businesses and scientists.

Sorrow, mourning, empathy, feelings animals are all to familiar with

Sorrow, mourning, empathy, feelings animals are all to familiar with

Suppose you’re a scientist and you get a bag of money, unlimited time and personnel. What research would you do? Pim Martens, professor of Sustainability, would like to put dogs in an MRI scanner.