Rubicon grants for two UM scientists

Rubicon grants for two UM scientists

Only COVID-19 can now throw a spanner in the works

22-06-2021 · News

Normally, about sixty researchers – in three rounds each year – would receive Rubicon grants from research financer NWO, but last year everything was different. Now, only 31 recent PhD graduates (of a total of 94) have received a Rubicon grant, in two simultaneous rounds.

Two of them are from Maastricht. Stepan Denisov is going to carry out research at Oxford University into proteins that ticks produce. Those proteins may help in the treatment of life-threatening inflammations in arteriosclerosis. The other laureate, Chris McCrum, will go to KU Leuven to study falling in the elderly (suffering from Parkinson’s disease). In doing so, he will try to determine what exactly happens in the brain.

Only COVID-19 can now throw a spanner in the works. The scientists will not leave until the coast is clear, NWO reports. In more and more countries, COVID-19 appears to be under control, but new variants are surfacing.

The Rubicon grants – a step up to the much-desired Veni, Vidi and Vici grants – have existed since 2005. They enable young Dutch scientists to create a network that will benefit them for the rest of their academic careers.