1 June 2018

Laureates each receive 800,000 euros to set up research projects

Five Utrecht-based researchers receive Vidi scholarships

This year, five Utrecht-based researchers each receive an NWO-Vidi scholarship of 800,000 euros. The laureates are going to use this money to develop their own, renewing research projects. The Vidis are meant for excellent researchers who have obtained their doctorates and have subsequently successfully been conducting research for a number of years.

The Vidis of this year go to Governance researcher Lars Tummers (Law, Economics and Governance), sociologist Giuseppe Feola (Copernicus Institute – Geosciences), Historian Liesbeth van de Grift (Humanities), cell biologist Ginny Farías (Science) and cancer researcher Martijn Gloerich (UMC Utrecht).

It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy: civil servants might work less hard if they are often presented in a negative light.
Lars Tummers
Professor Dr Lars Tummers
Professor of Public Management and Behavior, Utrecht University

Lars Tummers: "Lazy bureaucrats? Stereotypes of civil servants across countries"

There are many negative stereotypes about civil servants. They are called lazy or incompetent, consider the term “window civil servant” for an example. But are such stereotypes universal? And what are the effects of stereotyping? Lars Tummers, a Professor of Public Management and Behaviour at the Utrecht University School of Governance, receives a Vidi for his research question "Lazy Bureaucrats? Stereotypes of civil servants across countries". Tummers investigates this stereotyping in three countries. He will also study how civil servants (in)effectively cope with stereotyping.

Giuseppe Feola: "'Unmaking capitalism in transformations towards sustainability"

Radical initiatives of the middle field can contribute to the social transformation in the direction of a sustainable society. Sociologist Giuseppe Feola (Copernicus Institute – Geosciences) will apply a new interdisciplinary theory to explain when and how these initiatives contribute to the “unmaking” of environmentally-unfriendly institutions and practices that are deeply embedded in capitalist societies.

Dr. Liesbeth van de Grift. Foto: Ed van Rijswijk
Dr Liesbeth van de Grift. Photo by: Ed van Rijswijk

Liesbeth van de Grift: "Consumers on the march: Civic Activism and Political Representation in Europe, 1970s to 1990s"

In the 1970s, European policy makers sought to bridge the gap between ‘Brussels’ and citizens by putting consumer protection on the political agenda and increasing the participation of consumer organisations. With this project, historian Liesbeth van de Grift (Humanities) investigates to what extent consumer organisations have contributed to a bigger citizen participation within the European project.

Ginny Farías​: "Right distribution required for the right function"

Brain cells require the right distribution of their cell components in order to function correctly. In many cases, brain diseases cause these so-called organelles to be positioned incorrectly within the cell. Cell biologist Ginny Farías (Faculty of Science) uses innovative molecular methods and advanced microscope techniques to change the positions of organelles, and analyse the effects of these positions on braincells.

Martijn Gloerich: "A good feeling to share"

UMC Utrecht also receives a Vidi thanks to cancer researcher Martijn Gloerich, who will be conducting cell research. A layer of epithelium cells protects the outer layer of your body and various internal organs from harmful outside influences. This layer is continuously renewed due to loss and new generation of cells. Gloerich studies how cells feel when to divide in order to secure the balance between cell loss and integrity of the epithelium layer.