Granted Seed Money 2015

Seven Seed Money Applications Granted

The 2015 Call for Seed Money Jury, which consists of members of the Sport & Society Executive Team, has granted seven consortia that applied for seed money. The Jury expects that the granted projects will strengthen Sport & Society as a whole – by innovative and interdisciplinary research, collaboration between faculties and new applications for bulky research grants.

The jury took into account that not all granted proposals are within one research line or one faculty. The granted projects will be completed at 31 December 2015. The following projects were granted in July 2015 (I-VI) and September 2015 (VII):


I . The Global Physical Activity Crisis among Children and Youth: how big is the problem in the Netherlands? 

  • Research line: Sport & healthy society
  • Faculties: Medicine: Child Health & Development Center; Rehabilitation, Nursing science and Sport; The Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care; Geosciences.
  • Main applicant: dr. T. Takken, 
  • Study: The expanding physical inactivity crisis among children and youth is a major global health problem. Physical activity and sedentary behavior habits are established during childhood. Stimulation of childhood physical activity is of eminent importance for the future health of our nation. The project will identify the current status of the physical inactivity crisis among youth in the Netherlands and will reveal starting points for future interventions by developing a Report Card. The ultimate goal of this project is to slow down the increasing physical inactivity trend among children and youth by getting more insight in the size and nature of the problem.


II. Towards new perspectives on the functions and importance of play, games and sports in the development of humans and animals. A multidisciplinary literature review. 

  • Research line: This research proposal has implications for all three research lines
  • Faculties: Veterinary Medicine; Medicine; Law, Economics and Governance
  • Main applicant: prof. dr. L. Vanderschuren,
  • Study: What are the social functions of play in the development of humans and animals? Can these functions contribute to their cooperative capacities? And what does this mean for playing sport and games by human beings? These are the core questions of this research regarding an interdisciplinary literature study to explore the frontiers of our understanding of play in humans and animals. Based on a review of theoretical and empirical studies, the researches intend to play with insights from different disciplines. 


​III. The impact of World Cup 2014 and Olympics 2016 on social in- and exclusion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Research line: Sport & inclusive society
  • Faculties: Law, Economics and Governance, department Governance; Social and Behavioural Sciences, department Cultural Anthropology
  • Main applicant: Dr. M. Koster,
  • Study: The team will study the impact of the World Cup and the Olympics, organized in Rio de Janeiro in 2014 and 2016 respectively, on social in- and exclusion in the city. This research will address questions such as: Who are affected by the events and how? Who reaps the benefits of these events and whose lives are impeded by them? 
  • FindingsBetween 30 April and 18 June 2015 our research team (consisting of the applicants and 26 student researchers from the Utrecht University School of Governance) has carried out anthropological research in Rio de Janeiro, in collaboration with our Brazilian counterparts from the Universidade Federal Rural de Rio de Janeiro. The research has focused on the perspective of the population. On the 25th of November all researchers have presented their findings in a very successful international symposium in Utrecht, with guests and speakers from different universities, NGOs and government institutions. We have also published the research results in a book, with the title “Rio is not for amateurs”. In addition, we have launched a bilingual website that shows the process and outcomes of this project.


IV. Movement in learning

  • Research line: Sport & inclusive society
  • Faculties: Law, Economics and Governance; Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Main applicant: Dr. J. Vermeulen,
  • Study: Recent longitudinal research done at the Center for Human Movement Sciences (University of Groningen, Netherlands) indicate a positive relation between physical activity on the one hand and cognitive development and achievements at school. However, the dominant model of teaching in higher education, is characterized by frontal and uni-directional interaction, emphasis on academic competencies and lack of movement. This research explores the idea of movement in learning at university-level and to exchange and disseminate knowledge about the theme within Utrecht University and across universities. Moreover, the practical goal is to (re)develop courses (at Ba and/or Ma level) on the basis of this exploration. The study will explore and develop the theme ‘movement in learning’ from four different angles:  from a pedagogical, technological, movement science, and ecological perspective.


V. Using accelerometry, GPS and mobile technology to monitor and stimulate physical activity behavior in cancer survivors: inventory of applications 

  • Research line: Sport & Healthy society
  • Faculties: Medicine: Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, Child Health & Development Center, Department of Radiotherapy, RVE Oncology; Faculty of Geosciences, department of Human Geography and Planning.
  • Main applicant: Dr. E. Monninkhof,
  • Study:   Exercise training after cancer treatment is beneficial in terms of improved quality of life, physical fitness, reduced cancer-related fatigue and anxiety and depression. Increasing evidence from observational studies also suggest positive effects of physical activity (PA) on recurrence and survival. Although the benefits of PA in cancer survivors are clear, a large part of cancer survivors is still inactive according to the public-health physical activity guidelines. This research aims to tackle this issue in a new and innovative way; i.e. combining patients’ individual PA data with information of their environment. The study will combine the expertises of exercise-oncology specialists with those of the geoscientists.
  • Findings: This project has led to a new collaboration between the UMC Utrecht, Geosciences UU and the TU Eindhoven. First, we performed two literature reviews: 1) What kind of application clusters are available for physical activity encouragement in adults? and 2) Does the use of physical activity encouragement applications change the physical activity behaviour in (inactive) adults? Furthermore, an industrial design student of TU Eindhoven developed an intelligent bra for breast cancer patients which may contribute to the encouragement of physical ac­tivity and be of positive influence to their self-image. Last, in the UMBRELLA FIT study, a physical exercise study in breast cancer survivors, we included fitness tracker (Jawbone UP2) to the exercise intervention with the aim to reduce sedentary behaviour. After the intervention period, patients will be interviewed about the usefulness, applicability and functional design by researchers of the TU Eindhoven. The results will be translated into user requirements and a new prototypical version of the fitness tracker will be developed, tested (in patients) and adapted. Finally, this project will lead to a new prototype for breast cancer survivors. 


VI. Inventory of physical activities and sports for preschoolers in the Netherlands

  • Research line: Sport & healthy society
  • Faculties: Social and Behavioural Sciences, department of Child, Family & Education; Medicine, Department of Rehabilitation, Nursing Science and Sports; Geosciences,Departmentof Human Geography and Planning
  • Main applicant: Dr. D.W. Smits,
  • Study: In today’s society, children are less physically active and more overweight than in previous decades. To turn the tide, various initiatives have started to promote physical activities and sports, even among children younger than 6 years (preschoolers). However, regarding preschool physical activity, we lack important insights: how are activities organized, what are the facilitating factors, and is there any evidence-based practice? Quantitative and qualitative inventories are the first steps, which is the focus of the present project ‘Physical Activities and sports for Pre-schoolers in the Netherlands’ (acronym: PAP-NL). A future step would be to study how preschool physical activities are associated with health and outcomes and societal outcomes.
  • Findings: Between September 2015 and January 2016, a total of 117 sports clubs (48% in the city of Utrecht, 52% in suburban area around Utrecht) completed an online inventory on sports activities for pre-schoolers. Of all the responding clubs, 62% did organise sports activities for pre-schoolers. Such activities were more reported by clubs in the suburban area (72%) than in the city (52%). The activities mostly offered were: gymnastics/dance (25%, mean starting-age 2.9 yrs); soccer (25%, mean starting-age 4.5 yrs); and martial arts, mostly judo (15%, mean starting-age 4.0 yrs). On average, activities were offered during 38 weeks per year, once a week, and 54 minutes per session. According to board-members of sports clubs, most important reasons for offering their sports activities to pre-schoolers were: 1) demand by parents; 2) sports requiring an early start; 3) children’s eagerness; 4) health and (motor) development of children; 5) membership recruitment; and 6) brothers/sisters are also member of a sports club. Further in-depth interviews with various stakeholders – also including parents – are currently being conducted.

VII. The preventive effect of an ankle brace on lateral ankle sprains in female amateur soccer players. A randomized Controlled Trial

  • Research line: Sport & healthy society
  • Main applicant: Bionka Huisstede, PhD,
  • Study: The aim of this project is to start an RCT that will study the primary preventive effect of an ankle brace compared to no brace on the incidence of acute ankle sprains in female soccer players. Besides registration of the number of ankle injuries, the researchers will also study which factors contribute to compliance and determine the extent to which players use the brace as intended. The project will lead to a proposal for the ZonMW Call ‘Sportblessurepreventie’.



For questions about the call and the criteria you can contact Frank van Eekeren.