University of Groningen: Vici grants for three UG researchers

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded three Vici grants, worth €1.5 million each, to three UG researchers. Prof. Jan-Willem Romeijn, Prof. Steven Hoekstra, Prof. Karina Caputi can use this money to develop an innovative line of research and to set up their own research groups for a period of five years.

The research for which Prof. Romeijn has been awarded € 1.5 million is entitled ‘Gold rush in the data mine.’ Psychiatry and psychology make increasing use of data science methods. This project investigates these methods by using insights from the philosophy of science. The research is innovative in that it combines a mathematical understanding of the methods with knowledge of a scientific context in which these methods are applied, namely psychopathology. The applications of these methods are thereby illuminated, so that they become more reliable and more accountable in the clinic and the lab. The result is a practice-oriented and formally precise epistemology of data science methods that supports a better use of data science methods in the sciences.


Prof. Hoekstra’s research carries the title ‘Searching for missing antimatter with trapped molecules.’ By performing a precision measurement on a cloud of molecules, captured and held by electric fields, we can test the Standard Model of particle physics. This is needed because it fails to explain how we (and all the matter around us) have emerged from the Big Bang.
Read this recent article: Trapping molecules to find new physics


The research project of Prof. Caputi has been named ‘The First Steps of Galaxies.’ For many years astronomers have studied galaxies, but their formation and growth after the Big Bang remain largely unknown. This Project will investigate the first steps of galaxy evolution as it has never been possible before, with the largest space telescope ever built: the James Webb Space Telescope.

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