Faculty of Science researchers Laura Filion (Physics), Martijn Kool (Mathematics), and Robin Ohm (Biology) each receive a Vidi grant from NWO. With the grants of 800,000 euros each, the laureates will 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.
A total of 443 researchers submitted an admissible research project for funding during this Vidi funding round. Eighty-five of these have now received grants. That amounts to an award rate of 19%. Ten of the laureates are affiliated with Utrecht University, three of which at the Faculty of Science.
Laura Filion: Birth of a crystal nucleus
The transformation from a liquid to a crystal starts with the spontaneous formation of a tiny crystal nucleus. In order to improve our control over this process, the researcher will develop computer algorithms to explore how hidden structure in the liquid can be controlled to guide the nucleation process.
Martijn Kool: Vector bundles on curved spaces
Manifolds are curved spaces such as the surface of a donut. Vector bundles are linear objects on manifolds, e.g. the collection of tangent planes to a donut. This proposal gives novel applications of parameter spaces of vector bundles. These have unexpected relations to other fields of mathematics and physics
Robin Ohm: How do mushrooms defend themselves against disease?
Mushrooms can get sick too, just like animals and plants. This is a major problem during the cultivation of edible mushrooms. The aim of this study is to get more insight into the immune system of mushrooms. This will eventually lead to mushrooms that are more resistant to disease.