Vici grants

The Veni, Vidi and Vici grants together form the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme, a subsidised programme for talented, creative researchers who conduct innovative research. The Vici grant is for outstanding senior researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research.


Radboud University (3) 

  • Floris de Lange - Reconstructing the predictive architecture of the mind and brain  
  • Marius Peelen -  Seeing and thinking: Interplay between externally and internally generated neural representations 
  • Mark Dingemanse -  Toekomsten van Taal

Radboudumc (1)

  • Alexander Hoischen - SOLVE-IEI: Solving Enigmas of Undiagnosed Inborn Errors of Immunity  


Radboud University (3)

  • Teun Bousema - The spread of artemisinin resistance in Africa (SPARTAN) 
  • Mirjam Broersma - Second language acquisition in refugees: Effects of psychological trauma on linguistic and communicative skills 
  • Alicia Montoya - Modeling book-reader interactions in the Age of Revolution, c. 1760-1830 


Radboud University (3) 

  • Brigitte Adriaensen - Medicine or Magic Potion? Shifting Perspectives on Drugs in Latin America (1820-2020).
  • Erno Hermans - Building stress resilience.
  • Alexander Khajetoorians - What can we ‘learn’ with atoms?

Radboudumc (1)

  • Ioannis Sechopoulos -  Improving breast cancer diagnostics.


Radboud University (3)

  • Dirk Lefeber - A system-level view on sugar metabolism – creating the basis for high-precision sugar therapies.
  • Eliane Segers - Opportunities and challenges in comprehension of digital texts.
  • Michiel Vermeulen - Reading the epitranscriptome.


Radboud University (7) 

  • Christian Beckmann - Big data for precision medicine: new tools for brain connectopics.
  • Sabine Hunnius - How curiosity drives child development.
  • Sander Leeuwenburgh - Regeneration of infected bone by biomaterials built from nanoparticles.
  • Bas van de Meerakker - Taming chemical reactions.
  • Anouk Rijs - Peptide self-assembly, one non-covalent interaction at a time.
  • Jana Roithová - Selecting the Optimal Catalyst.
  • Annette Schenck - Towards treatment of Intellectual Disability and Autism disorders.


Radboud University (4) 

  • Maaike van Berkel - Research into the water supply in the Medieval Middle East.
  • Moniek Buijzen - Research social networks such as Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Marguérite Corporaal - Research nineteenth and early-twentieth century European couleur locale. 
  • Dennis Schutter - Research into agression driven by blind rage. 


Portrait Carolina de Weerth
Carolina de Weerth

Maroeska Rovers, Professor of Evidence Based Surgery

It is her ambition to contribute to the development of effective, affordable, and valuable surgical innovations. Rovers will use her Vici grant to perform research with the aim of developing better methods to evaluate surgical innovations as early as possible. Currently, this evaluation takes place when these innovations have largely been developed and marketed. Up to half of the innovations do not add any value which results in a waste of healthcare costs in Europe. According to Rovers, new medical tools should already be evaluated for added value for patients as early as the very first concept. She intends to develop, test, and validate methods for this.

Portrait Maroeska Rovers
Maroeska Rovers

Vici grants 2016

Onno Crasborn, Professor of Dutch Sign Language

Onno Crasborn directs research into sign language. His personal research primarily involves the composition of gestures: the movements and positions of the hands, face, head, and upper body. 
With his Vici grant, Crasborn will research how, although each country has its own sign language, the hearing impaired are able to communicate with signers from other countries with remarkable ease. Crasborn will attempt to discover how well this functions in practice and what the hearing impaired and interpreters do exactly when communicating across linguistic borders.

Portrait Onno Crasborn
Onno Crasborn

Anneke den Hollander, Professor of Molecular Ophthalmology

Anneke den Hollander performs research into viruses and molecular causes of frequently occurring ocular illnesses, including age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the most significant cause of severely poor vision and blindness among the elderly.
With her Vici grant, Den Hollander would like to develop an "eye chip" for various sub-groups of patients, which would mimic the functions and structure of the eye. Using this model, new treatments can be tested, allowing patients to receive personalised treatment in the future.

Portrait Anneke den Hollander
Anneke den Hollander

Mark Huijbregts, 
Professor of Integrated Environmental Analysis

Mark Huijbregts is Professor of Integrated Environmental Analysis. He works on the development and evaluation of environmental factories, methodological development in the field of life-cycle and risk analyses, and the life-cycle analysis of renewable energy sources. He is looking to devise the best method for determining environmental stress.
With his Vici grant, Huijbregts intends to research how large the global environmental footprint of renewable energy sources is. However, that environmental footprint is contingent upon a number of environmental factors. In this project, Mark Huijbregts will use information about the location, time, and type of technology to determine the environmental footprint of renewable energy sources in a systematic fashion when compared to fossil energy sources for all places on earth.

Portrait Mark Huijbregts
Mark Huijbregts

Lotte Jensen, 
Professor of Dutch Cultural and Literary History

She researches the development of national identity and, in addition to her other focuses, examines the role of war and peacetime literature in shaping an early-modern Dutch identity (ca. 1648-1815).
With her Vici grant, Jensen will research how disasters impact societies. They not only have a destructive effect, but also create a sense of solidarity. Jensen’s project will investigate the ways in which disasters have contributed to the development of local and national identity in The Netherlands between 1421 (the St. Elizabeth's flood) and 1890 (the Harsh Winter) from a cultural-historical perspective.

Portrait Lotte Jensen
Lotte Jensen

Alexey Kimel, physicist at the Institute for Molecules and Materials

Alexey Kimel researches the properties of magnetic materials and how magnetisation in materials can be changed, e.g. with pulses of light. One of his discoveries was a new method of magnetic storage, that utilised less energy.
With his Vici grant, Kimel intends to research spins, the elementary magnets of which all other magnets are composed. These elementary magnets are joined via a reciprocal effect. It is one of the strongest quantum effects and the strongest force in magnetism. Kimel would like to develop methods for controlling the strength of this force with light and use this to achieve the fastest possible and most efficient magnetic data storage.

Aleksei Kimel
Alexey Kimel

Ronald van Rij, Associate Professor of Experimental Virology

Ronald van Rij researches viruses that have been transmitted by mosquitoes, such as the Dengue and Zika viruses. His research group primarily studies the molecular interplay between virus, human host, and mosquito.
With his Vici grant, van Rij will study the anti-viral defence of the mosquito. His group has recently discovered new classes of small, non-coding RNAs in the mosquito. In the Vici project, the role of these small RNAs in the regulation of gene expression, anti-viral defence, and virus transmission will be researched.

Portrait Ronald van Rij
Ronald van Rij

Vici grants 2015


Agnes Akkerman, 
hoogleraar Arbeidsmarkt Instituties en Arbeidsrelaties

Agnes Akkerman heeft een Vicibeurs van 1,5 miljoen euro ontvangen voor haar onderzoek: Een ontevreden werknemer, een ontevreden burger?
Mondige werknemers worden soms bestraft met slechtere carrièrekansen of pesterijen door werkgevers en collega’s. onderzoekt hoe en waarom het uiten van onvrede door werknemers wordt onderdrukt en welke gevolgen dit heeft voor het gedrag van werknemers, binnen en buiten de organisatie, zoals hun stemgedrag.

Olivier Hekster, Professor of Ancient History

Hekster studies the role of ideology in Roman antiquity. He specifically studies the image of Roman emperors: How did these most powerful men in the most successful empire in Western history view themselves and how were they viewed by others? With his Vici grant, Hekster will research the significant role traditions play in the way in which people present, challenge and accept power. Especially at times when political systems go through change, such as in Roman times, it is important to formulate power in traditional terms. Hekster’s project studies how this process works with Roman history (50 B.C. – 565 A.D.) as a reference.

Portrait Olivier Hekster
Olivier Hekster

Olga Igonkina, Professor by special appointment in Experimental High Energy Physics

Together with her colleagues from the ATLAS experiment at CERN, Igonkina aims to shed light on questions about how our universe was created. During the Big Bang, matter and antimatter were 'made' in equal quantities. So why is it that 13.8 billion years later we see a vast excess of matter and practically no antimatter? Particle physicists think that specific elementary particles called leptons can provide an answer to this fundamental question about the evolution of our universe.

Portrait Olga Igonkina
Olga Igonkina

Gijs Nelemans, Professor of Gravitational wave astrophysics

Astrophysicist Gijs Nelemans thinks that we still know frustratingly little about the evolution of binary stars: two stars that revolve around each other. With his Vici grant, he will use the recently discovered gravitational waves to better understand these extreme events in the universe. The merging of black holes that cause gravitational waves are the final stage of the long and complex evolution of binary stars. “Now that the final products have been observed for the first time, we can better map out the earlier stages,” says Nelemans. “It would be helpful if, in addition to gravitational waves, light or other electromagnetic radiation during this merging could also be measured.” Nelemans is building such a telescope: BlackGEM(, which will interface with LIGO-Virgo detectors.

Portrait Gijs Nelemans
Gijs Nelemans

Vici grants 2014


Roshan Cools, Professor of Cognitive Neuropsychiatry

Brain drugs: the pros and cons. 
Our society believes in ‘human improvement’. For example, there are healthy people who try to enhance their brain functions by using dopamine-stimulating drugs such as Ritalin and Concerta. Professor Roshan Cools is doing research on cognitive control, an important brain function that ensures we are not too easily distracted if we have set ourselves specific goals. Some people try to increase this control by taking medicines such as Ritalin or Concerta, but it is not totally clear whether these substances really do enhance cognitive performance or what their effects are on thinking. There are even indications that they actually reduce certain cognitive functions such as creativity.
We see differences between individuals, but the effects also seem to depend on the situation in which the medicines are used. To determine these effects more precisely, a better insight is needed into the way in which dopamine influences the neurocognitive mechanisms involved in cognitive control. The consequences are unclear. This project is investigating the pros and cons of using dopamine in terms of the brain functions important for both optimal cognitive control and creative thinking.

Portrait Roshan Cools
Roshan Cools

Asli Özyürek, Professor in Gesture language and cognition

Asli Özyürek is full professor at Radboud University’s Center for Language Studies. She investigates the relations between meaningful bodily actions, language, cognition, and communication. For this aim, she studies two domains of human communicative behavior in which body and language are closely related: gestures that speakers use spontaneously and signed languages, the natural languages of deaf communities. Signed languages use space and iconic structures to depict space. For example to describe a pen next to paper, a signer can use one hand to represent the shape of the paper and the other for the pen. In spoken languages, the speech does not allow such iconic mappings- except for their gestures accompanying speech. In her Vici project, Özyürek aims to investigate whether the iconic aspects of signed languages influence the spatial cognition of signed language users in another way than those of spoken language users.  Multimodal Language and Cognition Lab

Portrait Asli Özyürek
Asli Özyürek

Joris Veltman,  Professor of Translational Genomics

New mutations in egg and sperm cells (de novo mutations) can cause illness if they occur precisely at a relevant position on a gene. Professor of Genomics Joris Veltman: “In my exome and genome research, I have demonstrated for the first time that de novo mutations are an important cause of, for example, intellectual development disorders. We also see that the numbers of mutations in a father increase with age.”
Veltman, also affiliated to the Maastricht UMC+, would like to do more research into the causes of these spontaneous mutations and the consequences for health and illness. Do these mutations have an effect if they are not all present in one gene, but somewhere else in the DNA material? How many de novo mutations are passed on to a child from its fifty-year-old father, either by normal means or through IVF techniques? Could de novo mutations be affecting male fertility? Veltman is going to use his Vici to find reliable answers to such questions using the newest genetic techniques and bioinformatics. He also hopes to gain more insight into de novo mutations in the whole genome. Veltman: “The research will enable us to offer a better interpretation of the causes and effects of variation in genetic material. This is of great clinical significance.”

Portrait Joris Veltman
Joris Veltman

Vici grants 2013  (in Dutch)


Rob Baltussen, Professor of Global Health Economics

Wie krijgt wat in de gezondheidszorg? 
Het stellen van prioriteiten in de gezondheidszorg wordt steeds belangrijker. Rob Baltussen combineert theorieën en methoden uit de economie, ethiek en de besliskunde om deze beter te kunnen onderbouwen. Inzichten worden toegepast op het gebied van HIV in Zuid-Afrika.

Portrait Rob Baltussen
Rob Baltussen

Jolanda de Vries, Professor of  Translational tumor Immunology

Een zichtbaar effectief vaccin tegen kanker
Dendritische celtherapie berust op de wetenschap dat dendritische cellen een centrale rol spelen in het tot stand komen van afweerreacties in het lichaam. Soms is deze therapie succesvol, maar lang niet altijd. Jolanda de Vries gaat met haar onderzoek zichtbaar maken wat er in de patiënt met kanker gebeurt als de dendritische cellen zijn toegediend. De onderzoekers hopen zo te achterhalen waar het cellulaire vaccin aan moet voldoen en welke processen belangrijk zijn om een effectieve afweerreactie tegen kanker op te wekken.

Portrait Jolanda de Vries
Jolanda de Vries