Jeroen Dera en Marieke Hoetjes
Jeroen Dera en Marieke Hoetjes

NWO SSH Open Competitie XS grant for Jeroen Dera and Marieke Hoetjes

Literature scholar Jeroen Dera (Radboud Institute for Culture and History) and linguist Marieke Hoetjes (Centre for Language Studies) are both recipients of an SSH-XS grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). This grant of up to €50,000 enables researchers to set up a short-term project within the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) disciplines.

Reading characters in TV shows

Jeroen Dera will be researching educational potentials of reader representations in high school dramas “In popular Netflix series like Heartstopper, Ginny & Georgia, and Sex Education, reading is prominently featured. This project therefore investigates the potential these series offer for promoting literacy in educational contexts. To this end, a media-semiotic analysis of reading characters in high school series is conducted. Subsequently, relevant scenes from the analyzed material are presented to focus groups of teachers and students from secondary education. By closely combining cultural studies and education-oriented research, the project aims not only to push boundaries in the study of reading culture but also to provide implementable insights for literacy education.” Dera will be recruiting a postdoc for this project.

The effect of hand gestures

Marieke Hoetjes receives the grant for her research project on the effect of co-speech gestures on speaker evaluation.“ Communication is multimodal, with people often producing speech-accompanying hand gestures when they talk. Popular science often claims that these gestures affect the way a speaker is perceived, resulting in suggestions on when and how (not) to use gestures if you want to be perceived more positively. However, there is hardly any scientific evidence supporting these claims. In the current experimental study, we will, for the first time, see if we can find scientific support for the popular idea that using your hands when you speak can affect the extent to which you are considered a persuasive, likeable, and competent speaker.”

SSH Open Competition XS 2024

As many as 60 researchers from various Dutch universities were awarded grants this round. They will start with a promising idea or innovative initiative. XS projects last a maximum of one year and can therefore quickly contribute to scientific insights. A striking feature of this round is that many projects deal with diversity.

Contact information

Art & Culture, Language