MAASTRICHT/THE NETHERLANDS. Why do children refuse to eat vegetables? Can bacteria protect natural stone? 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. Two of them are affiliated with Maastricht University: Prof. Chantal Nederkoorn (FPN) and Prof. Lorenzo Moroni (FHML).
Due to the great hack at the Dutch Research Council the announcement was delayed, but the research finance organisation published the list with all the new Vici winners today. This coveted grant allows 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 top scientists competed for a Vici grant and 33 lucky winners 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.
UM has won two grants in this round. One is for Chantal Nederkoorn, she is a member of the Eating Disorders and Obesity section of the Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. Nederkoorn will investigate why children sometimes refuse food, even if they have never tasted it. On what basis do they refuse? What is the role of cognitive processes, such as perception, expectations and the fear of bad taste? And can you influence these processes, can you teach children to love vegetables?
The other Vici grant goes to Lorenzo Moroni, who is affiliated with MERLN, the UM institute for regenerative medicine. He will be researching implants that help to repair damage to bone and cartilage systems in a natural way.
The Vici grants are part of the Dutch Research Council’s Talent Scheme, together with the Veni and Vidi grants. Researchers can apply for these grants at different times in their careers.
HOP, Evelien Flink