ZonMw tijdlijn Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance https://www.zonmw.nl/ Het laatste nieuws van de tijdlijn van Infectious Diseases and Antimicrobial Resistance en-gb Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:02:07 +0200 Wed, 21 Aug 2019 17:02:07 +0200 TYPO3 news-4363 Tue, 23 Jul 2019 10:04:37 +0200 Proof of Concept projects https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/proof-of-concept-projects/ ZonMw selected two challenges for ‘proof of concept’ projects of Create2Solve. With Create2Solve, ZonMw makes funding available to research organisations and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) for the development of animal-free innovations within the program More Knowledge with Fewer Animals. This call for demand-driven innovations is now open for proposals. On 22 August, ZonMw will organise a webinar for any interested parties who want to know more about the call and the challenges. Create2Solve Challenges

Two Challenges are selected that have been formulated by the chemical and food industries.

  1. Better in-vitro Dosing (BID): Framework and technology development for improving the quality of in vitro data.  Companies: Shell, Sabic and LyondellBasell
  2. Need for human mini -brains as screening tools to assess efficacy of pharmacological or nutritional agents for neurological disorders characterized by white matter issues. Companies: Danone Nutricia Research and Charles River

Webinar Challenges Create2Solve

Do you have any questions you would like to ask the companies that have set up Challenge 1 or Challenge 2? That will be possible! On August 22, ZonMw organizes an webinar. Representatives of both Challenges will present their challenge and answer your questions live. Do you want to ask questions about the procedure and conditions of this call? That is also possible during the webinar. ZonMw will give a presentation about this, and of course, you can also ask questions live. You can register for the webinar by sending an email to mkmd@zonmw.nl.

More information


news-4265 Mon, 01 Jul 2019 08:13:50 +0200 Professor Monique den Boer receives second ZonMw Open Science Boost https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/professor-monique-den-boer-receives-second-zonmw-open-science-boost/ On Friday 21 June, Monique den Boer from the Princess Máxima Center received the second ZonMw Open Science Boost. Radjesh Manna, director of programmes at ZonMw, handed her the prize during a surprise visit to Utrecht. Monique den Boer, Professor of Molecular Pediatric Leukemia, together with her research group, made a big contribution to the objectives of open science: responsive, transparent, and responsible science. With this boost, ZonMw wants to encourage her to continue along this path and be an example for researchers within and outside her research group. Ambassador for open science

The ZonMw Open Science Boost consists of an award of 1500 euros that Monique den Boer can use for a visit to an international conference. ZonMw also asks her to be an ambassador for open science there. She furthermore received a trophy in the form of a crystal ball as a symbol for a future with transparent and responsible medical science.

Surprise visit to the Princess Máxima Center

The awarding of the ZonMw Open Science Boost was a surprise for Den Boer. On Friday afternoon, Radjesh Manna stood in front of her to award the second Open Science Boost 2019. Manna explained that she has received this encouragement because the final report for her Vici project "Challenging old dogmas: improved diagnostics and tailored therapy by unraveling biology of acute leukemia in children" revealed that she, together with her research group, makes open science possible in a structural manner. During her Vici project, she published 33 articles in open access form, as a result of which everybody has access to the results. With this, she made a big contribution to open access. She also realised a systematic review, as a result of which she had an as complete as possible overview of all previous research on her subject, made data from her research available, and also published the negative results of her research. The latter unfortunately happens too little, partly because the current publication culture is mainly focused on positive results. The publication of negative results ensures that the knowledge within a research field becomes more complete. By making all knowledge accessible, unnecessary research can be prevented.

Particularly impressive: how her research group works

For Monique den Boer, open science is more than just open access, making data available and carrying out systematic reviews. It is also part and parcel of how she leads her research group by encouraging collaboration and letting the group assume joint responsibility for responsible and transparent science. One of the ways she has achieved this within her group, which is also part of the Oncode Institute, is the introduction of an audit system for publications. Before an article from her research group is published, the researchers first determine, on the basis of raw data, whether the data and conclusions are correct. A colleague from the group performs this audit. This not only contributes to the transparency of the data but is also a learning exercise for the more junior researchers. Furthermore, she has ensured the systematic use of a digital lab journal. All researchers in her group use this system to archive the data in a clear, uniform and accessible manner. By regularly using this digital lab journal in work meetings, everybody can contribute ideas about the documentation of experimental data and suggest how this can be improved. This approach to archiving works so efficiently that other groups within and outside of the Princess Máxima Center want to adopt this approach too.[QUOTE van Monique] “Data stewardship is a team effort with high gains  in data transparency and reproducibility!”

Role model for Open Science

ZonMw is impressed by how Monique den Boer structurally embeds Open Science in her research and her research group. With this, she has made a big contribution to the objectives of open science and responsible science. She is a role model for her research group and researchers in the field of paediatric cancer. With the Open Science Boost, ZonMw endorses her efforts for responsible and transparent science and hopes that her example will inspire other researchers to realise the objectives of open science in the medical sciences.

More information

ZonMw actively supports Open Science. Open Science make science accessible for researchers, society and the economy. Collaboration and exchange of knowledge are key aspects of this. The aim is to increase the quality and impact of scientific research. See the ZonMw website about Open Science.

Monique den Boer has received various grants from NWO and ZonMw:

  • Vidi: "Biological role and clinical relevance of miRNAs in childhood acute leukemia"
  • Vici: "Challenging old dogmas: improved diagnostics and tailored therapy by unraveling biology of acute leukemia in children"
  • Programme Translational Research: "Proof-of-principle study of a new diagnostic test for classification and stratification of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia"

Monique den Boer was appointed as senior principal investigator at the Princess Máxima Center in 2018. With her group, she investigates paediatric leukaemia. Leukaemia develops due to changes in the DNA. This only happens in the leukaemia cells and not in the healthy cells. The research focuses on finding errors in the DNA that cause the leukaemia cell to divide and proliferate whereas this does not happen in healthy cells. With this research, the researchers hope to develop better criteria for the diagnosis and treatment of paediatric leukaemia and to better match the choice and use of medicines to this ("targeted therapy", also referred to as "precision medicines").  

Monique den Boer leads the Oncode research group "Acute lymphoblastic leukemia", one of the 62 research groups of the Oncode Institute. The Oncode Institute is a network of more than 800 researchers from 12 institutes. Oncode consolidates the strengths of the Dutch research world and translates fundamental cancer research findings as quickly as possible into applicable methods for diagnosis and treatment.

news-4261 Thu, 27 Jun 2019 16:34:00 +0200 Contribute to international overview AMR databases https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/contribute-to-international-overview-amr-databases-1/ At least once, you must have had one of the following thoughts…  

  • Does this data already exist?
  • I wish I could compare this resource to other resources!
  • What are possible collaborations? Which groups/consortia are collecting similar information to my group?
  • Could our data be linked to others to investigate entire new research questions?
  • So many databases. How do I know what kind of data are actually in this database or biobank? I wish there were good metadata available that describe that.

We are working on the solution!

ZonMw (the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) invites you, on behalf of JPIAMR and the recently started consortium VALUE-Dx, to take part in a survey on resources (collections of biological material and databases) that are relevant for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) research. In parallel, we set out to collect information about services that are provided by research infrastructures and some biobanks.


Please follow this link to the survey: https://nl.surveymonkey.com/r/VS87GV8 and complete the survey before September 1st, 2019. You are more than welcome to further distribute this message amongst your network.

Why should you participate?

By participating in this survey, you are contributing to closing the current gap of information, and establishing a strong basis for AMR research. As the survey is initiated by a large network of active AMR researchers, participation may also open up opportunities for future collaboration, publications, and research funding. Also, you will get first-hand information from the report that will be constructed from this survey.

Aim and ambition of the survey    

The aim is to get an overview of existing resources and services that are relevant for AMR research. Our ambition is to improve their findability and reusability, and thereby their sustainability. The AMR research community will benefit from this initiative, as it will expand options for innovative research. The overview will become available for the entire AMR research community.

More information

news-4237 Mon, 24 Jun 2019 16:03:35 +0200 Active & Assisted Living Call 2019 preliminary results http://www.aal-europe.eu/call-2019-preliminary-results/ The AAL Call 2019 focused on “Sustainable Smart Solutions for Ageing well” was closed on 24 May. The Call, which is the 12th one published by the Programme since its inception in 2008, received 82 applications, out of which 57 were collaborative projects and 25 were small collaborative projects. Following the central eligibility check, 81 applications were admitted to the evaluation. news-4210 Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:55:05 +0200 Evaluating research: what effects do current funding practices have in the Netherlands? https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/evaluating-research-what-effects-do-current-funding-practices-have-in-the-netherlands/ On Friday June 14th, the workshop ‘Evaluating research: what effects do current funding practices have in the Netherlands?’ was hosted by ZonMw. The workshop was a result of the research project ‘Follow the Money’, that was funded as part of the ZonMw-programme ‘Fostering responsible research practices’. An audience consisting of around 30 researchers and funders with a wide variety of disciplinary and institutional affiliations discussed the merits and drawbacks of existing funding practices, as well as proposing improvements. Too much low risk and top-down science

After an introduction by project leader Gerben ter Riet (Amsterdam UMC and HvA), postdoctoral researcher Stephanie Meirmans (Amsterdam UMC) presented some of the project’s findings on scientists’ experiences of how competitive research funding affected their scientific practice. Based on 14 interviews and 12 group sessions with researchers from the humanities, natural and biomedical sciences, in the Netherlands and Switzerland, she showed that scientists were predominantly, although certainly not exclusively, negative in their assessment. Scientists warned for dangers such as too strict planning and bureaucracy in research, too much low-risk and top-down science as well as unrealistic expectations leading to unintended side effects. Expectations and values of researchers and funders may in practice diverge to such an extent that they can lead to demotivated researchers. Strikingly, Swiss scientists were much more positive than their Dutch colleagues about their situation and their relation with science funders.

National differences between scientists’ experiences

A number of commentators added extra perspectives to the scientists’ perceptions. Barend van der Meulen (Rathenau Institute) found the national differences between scientists’ experiences remarkable, given the large similarities between the Dutch and the Swiss science system at a macro-level. He hypothesized that especially the relation between scientists and their funders constituted an important difference, contrasting a Swiss sense of ownership among scientists to a feeling of distance and consumerism in the Netherlands. In his historical contribution Pieter Huistra (Utrecht University), the project’s other postdoctoral researcher, pointed out that scientists’ reservations vis-à-vis their funders have a long history, but that such reservations may have lately increased due to an increasing power and importance of funding bodies.

Competition versus collaboration

Sonja Jerak-Zuiderent (Amsterdam UMC) added an anthropological perspective to the discussion. Her research consists of ethnographic studies of scientific practice, to find out what ‘achieving good science’ means on an everyday level. Her most important conclusion was that our tendency to understand science in terms of competition is contradicted by much of scientists’ collaborative work and therefore is at least partially misguided. The need to think beyond competition was also much heard in the second part of the workshop, dedicated to constructive changes in the funding system.  

Sharing research evaluation amongst funders and researchers

Drawing upon her interview material, Meirmans offered a number of suggestions for fostering good science, scientists and evaluation practices, e.g. more focus on long-term aims also extending beyond economic ones, bottom-up science, more time and room for scientists to tinker, and a reduction in the number of evaluations and more care when doing so. Speaking from his own experience, Jeroen Geurts (ZonMw) added the need for diversification in evaluations. He shared his dream for research funding that should foster science in the form of bottom-up interdisciplinary collaborative ‘networks of networks’, which led to a very fruitful discussion. Gerd Folkers (Swiss Science Council) gave an insight into the benefits and downsides of the Swiss funding system, illustrating some elements responsible for its success: high-risk high-gain funding, a mix of funding instruments, a certain degree of scepticism towards evaluators, and a firm conviction to design funding ‘with the researchers and for the researchers’. It led the workshop’s chair and project leader Herman Paul (Leiden University) to conclude that the way forward for research evaluation should be shared by funders and researchers.

More information

ZonMw research programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices (FRRP) FRRP Project Follow the Money

Author: Dr Pieter Huistra, Department of History and Art History at Utrecht University

news-4176 Thu, 13 Jun 2019 22:36:30 +0200 Three bio artists win €25,000 with Bio Art & Design Award 2019 https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/three-bio-artists-win-eur25000-with-bio-art-design-award-2019/ Bio artists Emma van der Leest and Aneta Schaap-Oziemlak (duo), Jon Ho and Michael Sedbon were named the winners of the Bio Art & Design Award 2019 (BAD Award) on Thursday June 13. During the finale, eleven international teams of artists and scientists pitched their bio art project ideas. An independent expertjury, led by jury chairman William Myers, has chosen these three projects as winners, who will each receive a prize of €25,000 to realize their bio art project. The three artworks will then be exhibited from November 29, 2019 at MU in Eindhoven.  

The award ceremony took place during the Border Sessions festival in The Hague, where the eleven teams presented their project ideas during the festival night of the four-day event. The reactions from both the jury as well as the audience were full of praise. William Myers, chairman of the international expert jury, was impressed by the submissions: “This year we had a diverse mix of ideas in the proposals, the quality of which made selecting winners difficult. Overall, they show that these kind of collaborations embrace recent research in the life sciences while pushing its boundaries. The BAD Award is among the first such awards where collaboration is central. We are proud that we can show that the fusion of creativity and research can build community while fostering deeper and better discussions about the impact of the sciences on culture.”

From bacterial culture to leather and gender fluidity 

The duo Emma van der Leest and Aneta Schaap-Oziemlak investigate the wide spectrum of properties of fungi, such as dyes and texture, and how these can be applied to improve qualities of biofabricated products. This has led to a cellulose-based ‘leather’, produced by microorganisms. In this collaboration they develop a waterproof fungi-derived biocoating to improve functional design of ‘leather’. They will realize the project in collaboration with researchers from the Center of Expertise in Mycology (Radboudumc/CWZ). 

Artist Jon Ho looks at sexual fluidity from a new perspective. Recent medical advances, combined with the increased use of gender-fluid identities in popular culture, enable the modern human to envision a reality that extends beyond the traditional confines of one’s biological sex. He dives deeper into this and aims to build an immersive installation chronicling the complex and transgressive capabilities of hermaphroditic fluidity. He will do this in collaboration with the Department of Ecological Science (DES) at VU Amsterdam.

Michael Sedbon explores the era that will be marked by the agency of everything non-human: from selforganizing urban infrastructure to ubiquitous politically driven digital networks. This raises new questions: will this act as a catalyst of already existing tensions or allow for totally new distributions of power? In an experimental setup he highlights both the hopes and issues through an artificial ecosystem comprised of photosynthetic bacterial culture sharing light resources. Governance of this resources is executed by a constantly refining algorithm. Like so, the photosynthetic cells and the computer are experimenting with different political systems granting access to this life necessary resource. Sedbon collaborates with the Biophysics of Photosynthesis research group at the VU Amsterdam. 

The jury about the winners

See the attachment for the jury's laudations about the three winners of the BAD Award 2019 (English).

About the BAD Award

The Bio Art & Design Award (BAD Award) is a unique competition for artists and researchers who push the boundaries of art and science with biotechnological projects. Since 2010, the BAD Award has encouraged young artists and scientists to explore the world of bioart and design. With the support of renowned Dutch scientists, they create new work in which life sciences and art merge. The Bio Art & Design Award is a product of collaboration between ZonMw (Medical Research Council, The Hague), MU Artspace (Eindhoven) and BioArt Laboratories (Eindhoven).

More information

Photo: Wouter Vellekoop

news-4148 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 14:36:14 +0200 Call for proposals: Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/call-for-proposals-hestia-refugees-in-science-scheme/ The ‘Refugees in Science’ pilot programme that was first launched in 2018 is set to continue in 2019 and 2020 under the name Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme. On 4 June, NWO will announce the new call for 2019. The ‘Refugees in Science’ pilot programme that was first launched in 2018 is set to continue in 2019 and 2020 under the name Hestia – Refugees in Science Scheme. On 4 June, NWO will announce the new call for 2019.

Through the Hestia – Refugees in Science Impuls, NWO will provide funding for the appointment of academics who have fled their home country and wish to continue their scientific career in the Netherlands. Candidates must hold a master’s degree or a doctorate and must have been granted refugee status in the Netherlands. The pilot was developed in consultation with the Young Academy, KNAW and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF.

  • The deadline for the call for proposals is 10 September 2019. 
  • More information about the call for proposals will be given during the information session on 3 July.

More information about the call for proposals and the information session can be found on the website of NWO.

news-4145 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 11:13:16 +0200 Final version of Plan S published https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/final-version-of-plan-s-published/ Friday the first of June, cOAlition S published the revised and final version of Plan S. This plan aims to accelerate the transition to open access of all academic publications. The publication of the revised plan follows an intensive consultation process, with more than 400 responses from over 40 countries. Several changes have been made to the plan, including an extension to the formal commencement point for Plan S which will now take effect from 1 January 2021. The current version of Plan S is in alignment with the open access policy ZonMw applies since 2013. The revised version of Plan S can be seen as a logical follow up. 

More about the revised verson of Plan S can be found on the website of NWO.

Zie: Finale versie van Plan S gepubliceerd voor de Nederlandse versie.

news-4139 Tue, 04 Jun 2019 08:41:43 +0200 Twenty-six teachers receive Doctoral Grant https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/twenty-six-teachers-receive-doctoral-grant/ From research on the effect of music on slowing down dementia, the impact of the digital society, the use of smart software to explain a medical diagnosis, to research that designs a model for SME financing – these are some examples of the various subjects that the talented teachers will be doing PhD research on in the coming years within this science-wide programme. The grant is meant for teachers in primary, secondary, vocational, higher vocational and special education. There are no limits to the type of PhD research that they do or want to do. With the PhD grant a replacement teacher can be appointed for a period of maximum 5 years for half of the contract hours, up to a maximum of 0.4 fte.

These are the Doctoral Grants for the domain Health reserach and development:

Nurses’ participation in Antimicrobial Stewardship (NuPAS)

M.J. (Maria) Bos (f) Avans University of Applied Sciences – Radboud University Nijmegen

Antimicrobial resistance (resistance of micro-organisms (e.g. bacteria) against antibiotics) is a global threat with major consequences for healthcare. One of the interventions that can reduce antimicrobial resistance is to ensure that antibiotics are used appropriately. Nurses can play a crucial role in this. This research aims to clarify and describe this role.

Towards nursing competencies which improve access to care for Turkish and Moroccan migrants with dementia and their informal caregivers

G. (Gözde) Duran (f) Windesheim University of Applied Sciences – VU Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

The number of Turkish and Moroccan migrants with dementia is rapidly increasing. These migrants hardly use dementia care. This study explores how nurses can recognise, assess and strengthen the ability of Turkish and Moroccan migrants with dementia and their informal caregivers to improve their access to appropriate dementia care.

From black box to intelligible machine learning for the accurate diagnosis of medical images

R. (Ralf) Raumanns (m) Fontys University of Applied Sciences – Eindhoven University of Technology
Smart software, trained in medical imaging, has major potential in healthcare. It is extremely difficult, however, to pinpoint how the software ‘thinks’. This research examines how we can provide those involved with a better understanding by adding a more explicit visual explanation about the diagnosis in order to clear the path for application.

Synthesis of carbohydrate-based multivalent galectin inhibitors

N.V. (Nishant) Sewgobind (m) Avans University of Applied Sciences – Utrecht University
Blocking the action of carbohydrates on certain proteins, specifically galectins, can close off undesirable paths to certain illnesses. Powerful and selective inhibitors for galectins can make this happen. These are designed, synthesised and strengthened in this project. The evaluation will take place in important cell systems and ultimately in mice and humans.

Access to music for people with dementia

R.R. (Rik) Wesselink (m) Windesheim University of Applied Sciences – Eindhoven University of Technology
The quality of life of people with dementia decreases rapidly when they experience difficulties using everyday products and lose their initiative. This research will examine how smart technology can support people with mild-moderate dementia to benefit from the positive effects of listening to music in daily life.

Read more on the website of NWO.


news-4127 Mon, 03 Jun 2019 10:17:54 +0200 Automated tools to ensure value in research https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/automated-tools-to-ensure-value-in-research/ Research environments are expected to drastically change with recent advancements in artificial intelligence and automation. Dr Gerben ter Riet and Dr Mario Malički have been commissioned by ZonMw to identify automated tools that could enhance funder's workflow and support funders in ensuring value in research, while stimulating open science and research innovation. Their findings are published in the report ‘Possible uses of automation technology for optimizing funder’s workflow’. The project included a broad literature study on automated tools and stakeholder consultations. As a result 34 current tools and services were identified and grouped according to the task they aim to facilitate within the funder workflow. For example, automation of knowledge synthesis, writing of proposals or publications, finding reviewers, and evaluating research impact. Validation of the automation tools is still lacking: nevertheless, these tools have the potential to enhance the current workflows. In addition, these tools will help to avoid research waste, fostering responsible research practices and ensuring value in research.

Read more about their findings and recommendations for funders in the article:

Mario Malički and Gerben ter Riet: Possible uses of automation technology for optimizing funder’s workflow. Report For the Committee on Open Science at ZonMw (April 2019) pdf

At The Researcher to Reader Conference in London in February 2019 they organised a series of workshops to discuss their findings.

Video of Mario Malički introducing the workshops

Video of Gerben ter Riet sharing the conclusions of the workshop


news-4092 Fri, 24 May 2019 08:25:02 +0200 Discover the to-reach Strategic Research Agenda https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/discover-the-to-reach-strategic-research-agenda/ The TO-REACH Consortium is pleased to share its draft Strategic Research Agenda (SRA). The SRA has the ambition to address the increasing challenges faced by health systems, directed to those research areas of major relevance in the coming years. In particular, the TO-REACH SRA provides a European strategy to advance our knowledge and understanding of the adoption, implementation and potential scale-up of service and policy innovations while also addressing their translation to other settings within and across countries.

TO-REACH is also launching an online consultation on its SRA. The aim of the consultation is to gather inputs on the document from a wide range of stakeholders to move towards the development of a future EU joint research programme on health services and health systems research.

The consultation will be open until 28th June 2019 !

news-4066 Tue, 21 May 2019 13:44:00 +0200 85 researchers receive NWO-Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/85-researchers-receive-nwo-vidi-grant-worth-800000-euros/ The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research has awarded 85 experienced researchers a Vidi grant worth 800,000 euros. The grant enables them to develop their own innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years. With the grant the Vidi laureates will do research on a variety of subjects including how an enzyme can be used to convert wastewater nitrogen compounds into commercially valuable hydrazine and how a smart biological ink can enable the creation of important tissue structures to replace patient’s damaged organs. The Vidi will also help study how artistic practices can provide a platform for institutional experimentation and innovation across and beyond Europe and help develop new methods to identify DNA mutations in order to discover genetic causes for Amyotrofische Laterale Sclerose (ALS).

NWO Talent Scheme

Vidi is aimed at experienced researchers who have carried out successful research for a number of years after obtaining their PhDs. Together with Veni and Vici, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Scheme. Researchers in the NWO Talent Scheme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers based on the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and the possibilities for knowledge use. 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%. See the online list of awarded grants for the 2018 round which contains the names of all of the laureates and brief summaries of their research projects.

Facts and figures for the 2017 round

Number of (admissible) submissions: 443
Gender ratio of submissions: 245 men, 198 women
Number of grants awarded (award rate): 85 (19%)
Gender ratio of awarded grants: 50 men, 35 women
Award rate among men: 20%
Award rate among women: 18%

More information

  • NWO news (op 24/5 link aanvullen)
  • list researchers (op 24/5 link aanvullen)



news-4023 Fri, 10 May 2019 14:22:42 +0200 New strategic research and innovation agenda on antimicrobial resistance https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/new-strategic-research-and-innovation-agenda-on-antimicrobial-resistance/ The update of the JPIAMR Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda on Antimicrobial Resistance (SRIA) presents an overview of recent developments and future needs for AMR research. The agenda was launched 7th May 2019. The SRIA outlines 6 key priority topics within the AMR field: therapeutics, diagnostics, surveillance, transmission, environment and interventions. The SRIA has defined a set of research objectives within each priority topic. Together, 27 countries have created the SRIA.

The SRIA highlights many important research needs, including:

  •     The need to address AMR with a holistic One Health approach
  •     The necessity of including innovation in every aspect of AMR research
  •     Increased inclusion of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs)
  •     The need for developments incorporating personalised medicine and artificial intelligence

The SRIA is a prime guiding tool for AMR research prioritisation in investments, research activities and planning for JPIAMR member states and other funding initiatives. It is also one of the most thorough guidelines on AMR research, helping researchers, policy makers, media, educators, health workers and the scientific community to work together on solutions to curb AMR on a global scale.

More information

news-4019 Thu, 09 May 2019 15:02:31 +0200 Award Fostering Responsible Research Practices https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/award-fostering-responsible-research-practices/ Three projects have each been awarded 75,000 euros to implement knowledge from previous projects from the Fostering Responsible Research Practices programme. These include the establishment of a platform for knowledge and advice about responsible scientific editing policy, the organisation of workshops for hospital personnel to improve the implementation of guidelines and laws concerning the use of human material, and finally the provision of workshops and courses about the shared ideals for responsible biomedical research and how these can be applied in practice. With this approach, the programme will make an important contribution to responsive, transparent and responsible research practices.

In 2017, various projects started within the opening round of the Fostering Responsible Research Practices programme. These projects have now yielded promising results in the area of responsible research practices. ZonMw wants to ensure the implementation of this knowledge and experience. The project groups were therefore invited to submit an implementation plan in the Open Round – Implementation Call.

The following three projects were awarded funding:

Platform for Responsible Editorial Policies (PREP)

Project leader: Dr W. Halffman

The PREP project is a follow-up to the IMPER study into how scientific journals assess their publications using the peer-review procedure. We found pointers for the types of peer review that are more likely to ensure that articles are not first published and then retracted due to errors. In PREP, we will build a website about peer review on which academic journal editors can receive advice about how their peer review procedure could be improved. In exchange for that advice, we will, in turn, collect more data about the current peer review procedures of academic journals. We intend the PREP website to grow into a knowledge platform about responsible editing of academic journals. Recommendations about improved transparency and the responsible use of publication indicators will therefore be included.

PREP will be realised in collaboration with the Centre for Science and Technology Studies in Leiden.

Practical help towards responsible use of residual biospecimens and data in medical research in the Netherlands

Project leader: Dr M.K. Schmidt & Dr S. Rebers

For many disorders, human material, such as tumour tissue, is taken during an operation or for diagnostic purposes. Subsequently, surplus material often remains that can be used for scientific research. Dutch and European guidelines and laws govern the proper and transparent "further use" of human material with respect to privacy and consent, for example. The project group has developed a toolkit to help hospitals better implement these guidelines and laws. The toolkit contains technological and other resources, examples of good practices and implementation strategies. This project aims to facilitate the use of this toolkit by organising workshops. This meets the wishes of hospital employees to share experiences to facilitate the implementation. Moreover, specific knowledge acquired during the earlier project, especially about GDPR, will be translated into online flow diagrams to enable hospitals to use this knowledge in a practical way.

Stimulating Academic Gatekeeper Engagement in responsible research assessment (SAGE)

Project leader: Prof. S. de Rijcke

The project "ORR" has yielded a wealth of knowledge about the shared ideals of responsible biomedical research and the different ways in which these ideals are shaped in practice. In "SAGE", the researchers will translate the results to the practice of organising and evaluating biomedical research. With this, the focus will be on the "gatekeepers" at university medical centres who can contribute to changing the criteria for assessing and rewarding researchers. SAGE will result in: a workshop tailored to the organisation and a report for each of our two partner institutes (Deliverables 1 and 2); a two-day course for the responsible administrators working at all Dutch university medical centres (Deliverable 3); instructional videos about responsible evaluation for the purpose of the course, which will be made available online upon conclusion of the course (Deliverable 4).

More information

  • Programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices  The programme Fostering Responsible Research Practices funds research into responsible research practices. This programme therefore responds to the need for more quality, integrity and efficiency in scientific research.


"Evolution or Revolution" The researcher in 2030
On Thursday, 23 May 2019, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference "Evolution or Revolution?" which will be held at the Fokker Terminal in The Hague. Would you like more information? Programme and registration


news-4017 Thu, 09 May 2019 11:55:16 +0200 Call for proposals for innovative research on lymphoma https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/call-for-proposals-for-innovative-research-on-lymphoma/ The Lymph&Co Foundation is funding innovative scientific research from basic/preclinical research through translational research to treatment and prevention of lymphoma by outstanding researchers worldwide. In 2020, we intend to fund one or two research projects with a maximum budget of 1.5 M€.

The deadline for submitting the pre-proposals is 15 July 2019.

More information?

Please visit Lymph&Co Research Grant

news-3989 Mon, 29 Apr 2019 14:49:48 +0200 Apply now for a Gender in Research Fellowship - deadline 9th of May https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/apply-now-for-a-gender-in-research-fellowship-deadline-9th-of-may/ The deadline to apply for a Gender in Research Fellowship is approaching fast! With the fellowship, both national and international PhD-students and postdoctoral researchers from all kinds of health-related disciplines are given the opportunity to attend this interesting new course of the Erasmus Summer Programme, focusing on gender, health and research. Through the Gender and Health course and the Gender in Research workshops, participants are provided with new skills and knowledge on why and how to include sex and gender considerations in all phases of the research cycle. This is highly important, as biological, psychosocial and cultural factors can affect the health of men and women differently.

ZonMw encourages the next generation of researchers to gain the skills and know-how of integrating sex and gender in their future work. The course is held from 19-23 August 2019 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. ZonMw offers 20 fellowships for this joint course programme. Deadline for application is May 9th, 14.00h. Read the flyer for more information.

Apply here for the fellowships

Flyer Gender&Health



news-3986 Mon, 29 Apr 2019 10:38:00 +0200 InnoSysTox – Moving 2019 Call for Proposals https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/innosystox-moving-2019-call-for-proposals-1/ The ZonMw More Knowledge with Fewer Animals programme (MKMD) announces the second call for ‘Innovative Systems Toxicology for the replacement of animal testing’, in short InnoSysTox. The aim of the call is to bring about a mind shift towards human biology in the field of toxicology and computational modelling. Furthermore, it stimulates applications without the use of animal testing. InnoSysTox is an initiative that is jointly organised by the funding organisations ZonMw (Netherlands), BMBF (Germany) and F.R.S.-FNRS (Belgium, Francophone). The call enables scientists to build an effective international collaboration with a clear benefit for human biology and replacing animal tests in the field of toxicology.

Deadline for application is Tuesday July 2th 2019, 23:59h. Applications can only be submitted via the online submission tool.

This joint call is open to public-private consortia formed by research organizations and Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s). ZonMw will fund Dutch partners in a consortium consiststing of at least one Dutch public partner and one German and/or one Belgian (FNRS fundable) public partner and at least one SME (Dutch or non-Dutch). A total budget of up to M€ 3.8 is expected to be available for the call. ZonMw will contribute up to M€ 2.0 and will only allocate grants to applicants based in the Netherlands. Joint research projects may apply for a joint project scale with a maximum duration of four years.

More information:

news-3971 Thu, 25 Apr 2019 12:15:40 +0200 Share your vision about scientist 2030 https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/share-your-vision-about-scientist-2030/ The recognition and appreciation of the scientist of the future will be the subject of our discussion with established and young scientists, researchers, funding organisations and civil-society partners. New set of competencies for tomorrow’s scientists

Is science in need of renewal? Society as a whole takes a critical view of the value and function of science. The recognition and appreciation of scientists relies strongly on citations and impact factors and scientists face serious pressures in terms of their time and their performance in both research and teaching. But what does the current system say about their contribution to science or to society? Is it time to consider a completely new set of competencies for tomorrow’s scientists?

Share your vision

In the Fokker Terminal in The Hague on 23 May, 2019, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference 'Evolution or revolution? Join the conversation about the scientist of 2030'. You are warmly welcome to attend – sign up and share your vision.

Join the conversation online: #wetenschapper2030



news-3954 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 17:20:01 +0200 ZonMw joines GLoPID-R for infectious diseases https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/zonmw-joines-glopid-r-for-infectious-diseases-1/ GloPID-R is pleased to welcome the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), represented by Suzanne Verver, into the network. GloPID-R is a unique international network of major research funding organizations. The network of 27 countries facilitates a rapid and effective research response to infectious disease outbreaks. ZonMw and international research

ZonMw funds health research in the Netherlands and promotes the practical application of the knowledge this research produces. While mainly focused on research projects within the country, it also has an international focus through its participation in various European initiatives, including Joint Programming Initiatives (JPIs), ERA-NETs, and European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). ZonMw also participates in Heads of International Research Organisations (HIROs) to discuss large, international health care themes.

Antibiotic resistance

ZonMw runs separate programmes for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and other aspects of infectious diseases. For these programs the aim is to cover the entire spectrum of research from science to policy and through a One Health approach. ZonMw currently runs a national research program on antibacterial resistance (ABR) and is partner in the Strategic Research Agenda of the JPI on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), also a partner of GloPID-R. In the national programme, ZonMw finances many projects studying ABR such as alternative ways to reduce antibiotic use in animals and human-animal ABR transmission.

Infectious diseases

ZonMw also runs a national programma on infectious disease control, including non-alimentary zoonoses. Emerging infectious disease research is part of this programme. The programme funds currently around 40 large research projects, including projects on HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis C, STIs, pneumonia, vaccine preventable diseases, infection control, arbovirusses, Lyme disease, campylobacter, rabies, Zika, tick-borne diseases, psittacosis and clostridium difficile. By joining GLoPID-R ZonMw intends to expand its international collaboration on emerging infectious diseases.

Data sharing

Despite being a new member, ZonMw jumped into the network and has already participated in the GloPID-R Data Sharing working group. GloPID-R appreciates their participation and looks forward to learning more from their expertise.

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news-3952 Fri, 19 Apr 2019 09:49:00 +0200 ZonMw, NWO and KNAW to sign DORA declaration https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/zonmw-nwo-and-knaw-to-sign-dora-declaration/ KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) and ZonMw (Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development) will sign the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) on 18 April. DORA is a global initiative that aims to reduce dependence on bibliometric indicators (such as publications and citations) in the evaluation of research and researchers, and increase the use of other criteria. The declaration outlines a set of recommendations on how to improve research evaluation. KNAW, NWO and ZonMw fully endorse the principles laid out in the DORA declaration and will adapt their own procedures to it.

The DORA declaration was published in 2012 and targets research funders, publishers, research institutes and researchers. The declaration has already been signed by more than 1,200 organisations and almost 14,000 researchers around the world.

Signing the DORA declaration fits within the broader aim of developing new approaches for recognising and valuing researchers in the Netherlands. Moreover, this coincides with the transition to open science and open access. The key aim is to evaluate research and researchers on their merits.

Signing DORA means that organisations have to align their practices and procedures with the principles in this declaration. DORA is about more than just that, however. Endorsing the values of DORA requires a broader discussion within the scientific community about how researchers evaluate (each other) and about the criteria for evaluating scientific quality.

Joint follow-up actions

KNAW, NWO and VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands, which had already signed the declaration) will team up to ensure that the DORA principles become firmly entrenched during the forthcoming review of the standard evaluation protocol (SEP).

As far as the KNAW and NWO institutes are concerned, staff policy will be made DORA-proof where necessary. Indeed, more attention will be devoted to the value of the content and the impact of the research, and other forms of output like citations or impact factors of journals will be taken into account as well. On 23 May, ZonMw and NWO are organising the conference 'Evolution or revolution?' to launch a discussion about rethinking how we recognise and value scientists. KNAW is organising a gathering for its members on 7 June to discuss the significance of DORA.

    Join the conversation about the scientist 2030 at the conference Evolutie of revolutie (23 May 2019)

NWO and ZonMw’s follow-up steps

As a result of having signed the DORA declaration, NWO and ZonMw are planning to take the following concrete steps:

  • Identify (and substantiate) more clearly which criteria will be used to evaluate quality. This will be carried out for all funding instruments in the context of the specific objective of the instrument in question.
  • Remove all references to Journal Impact Factors and the h-index in all call texts and application forms.
  • Actively inform referees and committee members about NWO and ZonMw’s signing of DORA and the consequences that this will have for them, namely: that their main priority when evaluating research proposals must be the quality of the researcher and of the proposal’s content and not the prestige of the journals in which researchers have published or the statistics derived from that, such as the Journal Impact Factor or the h-index. A training activity is being developed for referees, committee members and secretaries.
  • Take other scientific outputs with scientific and/or societal impact into account as well (such as data, software, codes, patents, and so forth) when evaluating quality.
  • Maximise publication lists in applications. Ask researchers to explain in detail how they are contributing to their scientific field: why and what was the impact of their work on science and/or society? Some experience has been gained in this area already, among others through the pre-proposal pilot for the Veni scheme.
  • Accept preprints as research output, in line with recent policy changes introduced by the European Research Council (ERC).
  • Explicitly recognise open research practices by applicants in evaluation procedures and acknowledge their value. NWO is considering a pilot with an ‘open science track record question’ on application forms. Researchers would thus be asked about their commitment (in the past and in the future) to open science activities: open access publishing, sharing of preprints, sharing of research data and other kinds of open science.

KNAW’s follow-up steps

KNAW has further adapted its procedures and practices to the DORA principles during the past period. The guidelines for nominating members to KNAW and The Young Academy are already DORA-proof. The guidelines for awards and funding handled by KNAW will be brought more in line with the DORA principles.

In the coming period, KNAW will also focus on DORA’s points of departure by facilitating discussions between scientists. What are the benchmarks for evaluating quality? What kinds of opportunities have presented themselves? As a scientist, how do you proceed in practice when you have to evaluate dossiers as a member of an appointment committee, as a department head or as a peer reviewer for grants or for nominations and recommendations?

This discussion, which is already being conducted in various juries and committees, will take place during a member gathering on this theme on 7 June, for example.

More information

news-3934 Thu, 18 Apr 2019 09:19:20 +0200 ZonMw participates in the public-private partnership VALUE-Dx to fight antimicrobial resistance https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/zonmw-participates-in-the-public-private-partnership-value-dx-to-fight-antimicrobial-resistance-1/ On April 1st 2019 the kick-off meeting of the European public-private partnership VALUE-Dx took place. This European-wide approach aims to generate evidence on the medical, economic, and public health value of diagnostics in tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR). As a member of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR), ZonMw participates in this consortium. Better prescription and use of antibiotics

VALUE-Dx is the first Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) project that is conceived by representatives of the diagnostics sector and includes world renowned experts from a wide range of academic disciplines. The project is initiated by 6 in vitro diagnostic companies that join forces with 20 non-industry partners that together set out to combat AMR and improve patient outcomes. The consortium aims to transform medical practice to achieve more personalised, evidence-based antibiotic prescription and use in community care settings through the widespread use of clinical and cost-effective innovative diagnostic strategies. VALUE-Dx is co-funded by the European Commission (IMI), the Wellcome Trust and private companies, with a total budget of approximately 14 million euros over 4 years.

AMR and diagnostics

Diagnostics are an essential element in the fight against AMR, and as mentioned by Dr. Pierre Meulien, Executive Director of IMI, “Only by pooling expertise and working together in this way can we hope to address major challenges like AMR”. The project will focus on acute respiratory tract infections acquired in community care settings. These infections are the most frequent cause of medical consultation and inappropriate antibiotic use. Moreover, the outcomes of VALUE-Dx have the potential to be applied to other common infections such as urinary tract infections, blood stream infections, and hospital-acquired respiratory tract infections.


“VALUE-Dx is a unique multidisciplinary consortium, with participation of clinicians, microbiologists, health economists, social scientists, and industry”, states Professor Dr. Goossens of the University of Antwerp and coordinator of this project. Furthermore, he mentions: “the VALUE-Dx project will be a game changer to show the true medical and economic value of diagnostics to support antibiotic stewardship and preserve the efficacy of these medications for improving patient care today and for future generations.”

ZonMw: participation in VALUE-Dx as member of JPIAMR

ZonMw participates in JPIAMR since 2012. This research initiative of 27 countries coordinates national public funding to support AMR research and activities in a transnational manner. ZonMw coordinates two work packages. One has resulted in a newly updated strategic research and innovation agenda including priority areas such as the development of new therapeutics, diagnostics, transmission, environment, interventions and surveillance. The second one promotes reuse of research data and microbial collections, as well as supporting services and research infrastructures.


Enabling reuse of data and microbial collections is the common interest of JPIAMR and VALUE-Dx. Therefore, ZonMw is currently developing a survey with the aim of getting an overview of existing resources and services that are relevant for AMR research. The overview will be made available for the entire AMR research community. It will advance AMR research by making valuable resources and services findable, and contribute to their reusability.

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news-3910 Mon, 15 Apr 2019 08:46:14 +0200 Young research talents off to foreign top institutes thanks to Rubicon https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/young-research-talents-off-to-foreign-top-institutes-thanks-to-rubicon/ 17 researchers who have recently received their PhDs can do their research at foreign research institutes thanks to a Rubicon grant from NWO. They will investigate, amongst other things, artificial intelligence for improved ultrasonography, Imaging muscle function in ALS patients, Printing living tissue through protective cell coating and new blood vessel formation. The Rubicon programme gives young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience. Thanks to the Rubicon grant, these young researchers can do their research at top institutes like the University of Cambridge and Harvard University.

These 6 project will contribute to health research and development:

A healthy pregnancy for a healthy child's heart

  • Dr A.W. (Arend) van Deutekom (m), VU Amsterdam -> United Kingdom, University of Oxford, Department of Cardiovascular Clinical Research, 12 months. Birth-related factors influence the disposition for later cardiovascular diseases. Using new imaging techniques we will investigate how these factors influence the development of the child's heart, and whether a healthy pregnancy results in a healthier heart for posterity.

Imaging muscle function in ALS patients

  • L. (Linda) Heskamp MSc (f) Radboudumc -> United Kingdom, University of Newcastle, Campus for Ageing and Vitality, Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre, 24 months. In ALS patients, some muscles are frequently affected and others rarely. The researcher wants to understand this by using a new imaging technique to investigate the muscle composition and function of several muscles in ALS patients to gather knowledge for the development of treatments.

Printing living tissue through protective cell coating

  • Dr T. (Tom) Kamperman (m), University of Twente -> United States, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Department of Medicine, Division of Engineering in Medicine, Shin Laboratory, 12 months. The 3D printing of organs offers new solutions for treating diseases. Unfortunately, many cells die during the 3D printing process. In this project, I will develop a protective cell coating as a result of which cell death during the printing process will be prevented.

Understanding new blood vessel formation

  • Dr T. (Tommaso) Ristori (m), Eindhoven University of Technology -> United States, Boston University, Biomedical Engineering, 24 months. By combining sophisticated computational models and experiments, I will unravel the interaction between different cellular signals regulating the formation of new healthy and pathological blood vessels. This research contributes to the development of new medical treatments for diseases such as cancer and ischaemia.

Artificial intelligence for improved ultrasonograph

  • Dr R.J.G. (Ruud) van Sloun (m), Eindhoven University of Technology ->Israel, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, 12 months. The most important medical imaging techniques today, such as MRI and CT, are not sustainable. The machines are very large, use dangerous radiation or are very expensive. An exception is ultrasonography, but this does not provide the same image quality as MRI/CT. The researcher will deploy artificial intelligence to change this.

A closer look at the inflammatory response

  • Dr L. (Lotte) Spel (f), University Medical Center Utrecht -> Switzerland, University of Lausanne, Biochemistry, 24 months. Constant inflammation without a cause; often associated with fever, skin rash and joint pain. The researcher will investigate the so-called inflammatory diseases at the molecular level. She will zoom in on the working mechanism by unravelling which proteins switch on and switch off the inflammation.

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news-3906 Fri, 12 Apr 2019 14:31:12 +0200 MG-NL identifies obstacles to use and reuse genomics data https://www.health-ri.org/news-events/mg-nl-identifies-obstacles-use-and-reuse-genomics-data MG-NL, the Dutch ‘mirror group’ of the European Million Genomes Initiative made an inventory of available genome sequences in the Netherlands. A first analysis clearly identified some major obstacles for the use and reuse of genomics data in research. news-3875 Wed, 03 Apr 2019 13:55:35 +0200 Preventing behavioural problems from changing the child's brain https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/preventing-behavioural-problems-from-changing-the-childs-brain/ Research conducted at Erasmus University Rotterdam reveals that a child's brain changes in the event of persistent behavioural problems. Windesheim University of Applied Sciences translates this type of new knowledge into the educational situation. The longer serious behavioural problems exist in the children, the higher the chance that their brains change. This was demonstrated by neurobiological research carried out at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Windesheim University of Applied Sciences is working on embedding this type of new knowledge in the courses it offers to youth and legal professionals.

‘Our aim is to improve the lives of children and families’, says child and youth psychiatrist Tonya White. At the Erasmus University Rotterdam, she is head of brain imaging in Generation R, a large-scale population study into children and young people in Rotterdam. Children with severe behavioural problems and severe mental health problems run a higher risk of developing a mental health disorder as adults, says White. This disorder is not necessarily the same as that experienced in childhood and can, for example, manifest as addiction, personality or mood disorders. ‘Clearly there is something in the brain that gives a higher risk for all of these disorders’, says White. That "something" is what she wants to gain a clear picture of in this research.

Visible and invisible differences

White is therefore now investigating how the brain in children with severe anxiety, depression, aggression and attention problems (in summary: a dysregulation profile) develops. On scans from the youngest group, aged 6 to 9 years, she found almost no difference in the brains of the children with and without problems. However, in the following measurement, in children aged 9 to 11 years, these differences were present. They were visible in the white matter (that makes the connections between the different areas of the brain), the thickness of the adrenal cortex and in the areas involved in higher cognitive functions. The learning ability of the children with a dysregulation profile, corrected for genetic influences, was an average eight points lower.

Stable behavioural problems

‘Behavioural problems in children aged six years are far less predictive than in older children’, concludes White. ‘The stability of behavioural problems increases with the age of the child. If behaviour is continuously repeated, then the brain starts to behave differently.’ The psychiatrist is therefore in favour of early interventions. These could contribute to the brain continuing to develop more according to normal patterns. However, intervention research is first of all needed before we can know that for certain, says White. ‘The cause of the problems can vary. That requires different types of interventions. For some children, behavioural therapy is good, whereas others need family therapy.’ Knowledge exchange with professionals would be good, concludes White, who would prefer nothing more than that the insights from her research find their way into professional practice.


The project “Unfamiliarity breeds suspicion” that Windesheim University of Applied Sciences carries out in collaboration with Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, NeuroLabNL and two academic workplaces for youth, is in line with that wish. The aim is to translate existing neurobiological and psychosocial knowledge about problematic antisocial and criminal behaviour of young people to the higher vocational education setting, including the study programme “Social Work and the minor. Working in a constrained context”. Unlike universities, knowledge does not always reach the curriculum of higher vocational education courses for future coaches and care providers, says project leader and lector Youth Dorien Graas. These professionals in training often know too little about recent scientific insights and the significance of these for their work. ‘Whereas that is often so desperately needed for these young people with often persistent problems.’

Three steps

The project will start in May this year by bringing together existing knowledge. That includes evidenced-based insights as well as knowledge from professional practice and people with relevant experience. In the next step, the knowledge collected will be translated into education modules for future professionals and professionals already working in the field. This will be done using the method of Design Thinking. ‘We will first develop a prototype together with university of applied sciences lecturers, people with relevant experience, young people and researchers. We will subsequently refine each prototype into an optimal module.’ Step three concerns a dynamic development to rapidly incorporate new knowledge into existing modules. Otherwise professions will continue to work with outdated insights.


The modules will also tackle how people view neurobiological insights and their attitude towards these, says Graas, ‘This is because, among professionals as equally young people and their parents, we see an overestimation and underestimation of the role biological factors play. Those perceptions partly determine what will happen with the insights. Therefore we first want to know which knowledge the professionals have and how they view this. During the development of new modules, we want to pay close attention to that.’

No third line of action

The integration of existing sociological, psychological and neurological knowledge is another ambition of the project. Graas: ‘In the past, the emphasis was first on the social factors and then on the psychological factors. With the neurobiology, we do not want to add a third line of action, but rather link the explanations this offers to the other explanatory models. We want people to realise that these three levels are associated with each other.’ The lector already looks forward to future exchanges with researchers like Tonya White. ‘With our approach we are taking a fantastic step towards the implementation of knowledge. Thanks to our broad collaboration we can continue to guarantee the knowledge transfer and with that the expertise of our future professionals.’

Author: Veronique Huijbregts, Mediator 34

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news-3827 Mon, 25 Mar 2019 15:20:58 +0100 From fundamental research to personalised medicine for cancer: ‘We increasingly know which drug works best for which patient.' https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/from-fundamental-research-to-personalised-medicine-for-cancer-we-increasingly-know-which-drug-work/ Fundamental research formed the basis for the personalised treatment of cancer patients. Thanks to whole gene sequencing, doctors can now treat their patients based on their genetic makeup. That is not only good news for the patient but also medical science, says Edwin Cuppen, director of the Hartwig Medical Foundation. ‘Knowledge about cancer is increasing, and much of that is entering the clinic to improve the treatment of patients’. ‘Every letter from you r DNA mutates at least once every three years somewhere in your body’, says Edwin Cuppen, Professor of Human Genetics at the University Medical Center Utrecht and principal investigator at the Oncode Institute. Cuppen is also director of the Hartwig Medical Foundation, a non-profit organisation that through a systematic, data-driven approach is trying to understand the development of cancer and in so doing aims to improve the treatment of patients.

Recipe book

DNA, our molecular recipe book, can be found in every cell of the body. It contains all the recipes for the proteins that give each cell its function: the genome. The information in the genome is written in four types of letters: the bases cytosine, guanine, adenine and thymine. But just like during the repeated copying of a recipe, during the copying of the DNA, errors can occur between the letters, and mistakes can happen due to external factors such as ultraviolet light and smoking. These mutations can cause cancer by undermining the self-correcting capacity of the genome.


Thanks to fundamental research into the function of DNA, scientists have been able to read the letters of the molecular recipe book since the 1970s. They read the DNA by chemically unravelling it to make the sequence of the base visible so that recipes can be read. Initially, researchers could decipher 100 to 1000 letters of the genome per day using manual sequencing techniques. Due to the automation of this process that increased to hundreds of thousands in the 1990s. This led to the development of the Human Genome Project, an international collaboration of researchers that managed to read out the entire human genome in 15 years.


Thanks to improvements in and the scaling up of that sequencing process, the genome of a single person can now be processed within a single day (whole genome sequencing). That technology enables researchers and treating physicians to examine the DNA of cancer patients and to offer a personalised treatment based on the patient's genetic makeup. Cuppen: ‘We compare the DNA of the tumour with the normal DNA of the patient. This allows us to make statements about the characteristics of the cancer, such as heritability, and how drugs will respond to it.’

Precision drugs

The fundamental research underlying Cuppen's work makes it possible to develop drugs that are more precise than traditional chemotherapy, which inhibits the division of all cells in the body. Newer drugs specifically target one or more processes that underlie the onset of cancer. However, these drugs are often so specific, or the processes they are aimed at so complex, that they do not work for all cancer patients. More specific administration of these drugs is therefore desperately needed, says Cuppen. ‘We still do not know enough to find an effective, personalised treatment of cancer for every patient. Currently, we feel that a treatment is effective when we have done scientific studies that prove that the drug has a better result than the one we obtained previously. Nevertheless, this still often means that the drug only works for 30% of the patients and that 70% of the patients are overtreated.

Side effects and costs

This overtreatment often causes serious side effects, whereas doctors want to treat their patients as safely as possible. Moreover, if the treating physician prescribes a drug that does not work, then the patient only experiences the side effects. Furthermore, these drugs are expensive and unnecessary prescribing creates cost pressures. Cuppen: ‘It is in the interest of pharmaceutical companies that their drugs are prescribed to as many patients as possible. At the same time, they therefore put pressure on our healthcare system. I support effective drugs entering the market on time, but we subsequently do nothing to reduce overtreatment and to investigate which patients benefit from these drugs, and which not. I find that unacceptable.'

Project TANGO

In the project TANGO, a national collaboration of researchers is seeking a solution for these problems. The whole genome sequencing realised by the Hartwig Medical Foundation lies at the basis of this. It collects relevant information from the DNA of individual patients and is building a database that includes patients' clinical details. Thus, researchers and treating physicians can look for correlations and explain the effectiveness of drugs. The aim is to be able to predict whether or not somebody will respond to a particular type of immunotherapy. That will prevent side effects and the unnecessary prescription of expensive drugs. In addition, TANGO will explore how making systematic use of whole genome sequencing for this patient group will influence the costs for our healthcare system.


The database of the Hartwig Medical Foundation contains information from more than 400,000 cancer patients and is therefore a unique source for research worldwide. Furthermore, the genetic information enables doctors to offer an alternative treatment possibility to some patients who have exhausted other treatment options, as it often provides leads for medication registered for other indications. But this comes too late for many of the patients whose DNA information can be found in the database. They have since died from the consequences of their illness. And that is distressing, says Cuppen. ‘A broader diagnostics and another therapy might have been able to help them. Although fundamental knowledge about cancer has increased considerably, much of that knowledge is still waiting for the development of appropriate drugs.’

For the generation of the sequencing data, researchers from the Hartwig Medical Foundation are working on this project together with the Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Netherlands Cancer Institute, University Medical Center Utrecht, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Erasmus Medical Center, University Medical Center Groningen, Amsterdam University Medical Center, University of Twente and CPCT.

TANGO is one of the projects awarded funding from the ZonMw research programme Personalised Medicine with a focus on Rare Diseases and Oncology. The initiators of this programme, the Dutch Cancer Foundation, health insurer Zilveren Kruis and ZonMw, are jointly investigating how developments in the area of gene sequencing can reach the patients faster.

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news-3824 Mon, 25 Mar 2019 14:54:16 +0100 Gender in research fellowship https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/gender-in-research-fellowship-2/ This Summer, ZonMw and Erasmus MC offer an interesting joint course program on gender, health and research, as part of the Erasmus Summer Programme in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The Gender and Health Knowledge Program offers 20 Gender in Research Fellowships for PhD-students and post-doctoral researchers to participate in the program. From 19-23 August 2019, (inter)national experts and guest speakers from a multitude of disciplines will come together in Rotterdam to share their knowledge and research expertise with the next generation of researchers from all over the world. The ZonMw Gender in Research workshops in the afternoon will allow participants to improve their skills in performing health research by including a sex and gender perspective in every stage of the research cycle. The morning sessions provides participants with the latest knowledge on critical issues for women and men through the life-cycle.

The ZonMw Gender and Health Knowledge Program will provide 20 Gender in Research Fellowships for PhD-students and post-doctoral trainees to attend the joint Gender and Health course program. These fellowships are not just for Dutch young researchers. International researchers are also very welcome to apply for a fellowship. Interested? Read more about the fellowship on our Funding Information page and submit your application before 9 May 2019, 14:00hr.


news-3793 Thu, 21 Mar 2019 12:35:00 +0100 Third round in pilot Replication Studies now includes the humanities https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/third-round-in-pilot-replication-studies-now-includes-the-humanities/ The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) is once again making 1 million euros available for replicating research that has previously been done by others. The first two funding rounds of the pilot in 2017 and 2018 focused on the medical and social sciences. Research from the humanities has now been added to that. The pilot Replication Studies focuses on replicating so-called cornerstone studies, therefore studies that have had a large impact on science, government policy or the public debate. A total of 17 projects were funded in the previous two rounds. Based on the outcomes of the pilot, NWO intends to include replication research in all of its research programmes in an effective manner. The replication of research occupies a high position on international scientific agendas. The third pilot round covers not just the social sciences and medical sciences but now the humanities as well. Not all humanities research is suitable for replication. NWO is aware of the discussion currently taking place about this within the humanities and expresses no preference or opinion about the value of various methods of research. Where possible it wants to encourage and facilitate the replication of humanities research: this should certainly be possible in the empirical humanities.

NWO a pioneer

From an international perspective, NWO is one of the pioneers in the area of funding replication research. With this initiative, NWO wants to facilitate innovation in science and encourage researchers to carry out replication research.
The pilot programme Replication Studies focuses on two types of research: reproduction (replication of existing data: the data set in the original study is reanalysed) and replication (with new data: a new data collection is obtained, which is subjected to the same research protocol as in the original study). Conceptual replications, where a study is repeated but a different approach is used, fall outside the scope of this programme. By encouraging replication research, NWO wants to make a contribution to increasing the transparency of research and the quality and completeness of the reporting of the results. The pilot does not focus on the detection of falsified research results and datasets or other forms of reprehensible research practices and misconduct.

NWO, in collaboration with ZonMw, will publish the call for proposals at the end of March. NWO should receive applications before 6 June 2019.

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news-3695 Thu, 28 Feb 2019 16:57:59 +0100 SAVE THE DATE: Evolution or revolution? https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/save-the-date-evolution-or-revolution/ Join the discussion about the scientist of 2030. Is it time for a scientific revolution? Society is increasingly critical about the value and function of science. Scientists are heavily dependent on citations and 'impact factors' for recognition of their work, and they feel under huge pressure to perform and publish while at the same time juggling their other academic responsibilities. But what does the current system actually tell us about their contribution to science or society? Is it time to recognise a new set of competences for the scientists of tomorrow? How would you like to be recognised as a scientist? This will be the subject of discussion on 23 May. If you have a clear idea and vision about these issues, then you should put the conference on 23 May in your diary. Don’t miss it!

What to expect

Various inspiring speakers will share their vision of the scientist in 2030 and what is needed to achieve this vision. This will be followed by a discussion during which you and the other participants can share your own visions and formulate possible routes to achieve the ‘scientist of 2030’. ZonMw and NWO have organised this conference because we believe it is time to start rethinking how modern scientists are recognised and valued.

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the programme of the conference

news-3670 Tue, 26 Feb 2019 12:15:00 +0100 32 scientists to receive NWO Vici grants worth 1.5 million euros 32 leading scientists will each receive 1.5 million https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/32-scientists-to-receive-nwo-vici-grants-worth-15-million-euros-32-leading-scientists-will-each-re/ 32 leading scientists will each receive 1.5 million euros from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). This Vici grant will enable them to develop an innovative line of research and set up their own research group in the coming five years. Vici is one of the largest scientific grants for individuals in the Netherlands and targets advanced researchers. The scientists conduct research in different fields. Indeed, the Vici grant gives scientists the freedom to propose their own research project for funding. The Vici laureates will examine how living cells handle stress, whether a computer can predict illnesses and what kind of an impact the emergence of co-parenting and new forms of relationship will have on children and parents. Other research will examine whether stem cells can change sex and which genes can be activated for that purpose. Researchers are also going to develop a new microscopy method to examine molecular structures a millionth of a millimetre large. These are merely a selection from the various research topics.


Of the 239 proposals, 88 (37%) were submitted by women and 151 (63%) by men. Overall, 11 female candidates and 21 male candidates were awarded a grant. The award rate is therefore 13 and 14 per cent respectively.

Talent Scheme: about Vici

The Vici grant targets highly experienced researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research, and to act as coaches for young researchers. Vici provides researchers with the opportunity to set up their own research group, often in anticipation of a tenured professorship. The Vici grant is one of three funding instruments within the Talent Scheme. The other two instruments are the Veni grant (for recently graduated PhDs, up to 3 years after graduation) and the Vidi grant (for experienced postdocs, up to 8 years after graduation).

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news-3576 Wed, 06 Feb 2019 10:36:53 +0100 TOP grant for eleven excellent research groups https://www.zonmw.nl/nl/actueel/nieuws/detail/item/top-grant-for-eleven-excellent-research-groups/ Eleven projects by excellent research groups have been awarded a TOP grant. This will allow them to revitalise their lines of research and enter into new collaborations. They will receive up to €675,000 for research lasting at least four and no more than five years. About TOP

The purpose of the TOP grant is to create scope for innovative science of outstanding quality. ZonMw regards the unrestricted encouragement of science as the best driver of innovation in the longer term.

Grants have been awarded to the following projects in this final round of TOP:

GABAergic inhibition in tinnitus: linking human and animal studies

Professor J.G.G. (Gerard) Borst (Neurosciences, Erasmus Medical Centre) and his group are to research tinnitus and increased sensitivity in nerve cells in the central auditory system. The study should lead to a better understanding of this common condition, and may help improve treatment.

Identifying the molecular mechanisms triggered by vaginal and gut microbiota that enhance HIV-1 susceptibility

Dr. T.B.H. Geijtenbeek (Experimental Immunology, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam) and his group will collaborate with the research group led by Dr. K. Strijbis (Utrecht University) on the difference in sensitivity to the HIV virus between different people and the role that bacteria play in this. The expertise of these two research groups is highly complementary, and very important for the success of this project.

Ganglioside-containing liposomes as a strategy for cancer vaccination

Dr. J.M.M. (Joke) den Haan (Molecular Cell Biology and Immunology, VU medical centre) and her group are to investigate the optimum vaccination strategy for activating the immune system of cancer patients. They will be collaborating with Professor Gert Storm’s research group.

Interneuron networks in Alzheimer's disease: diagnostic and therapeutic implications

Dr. R.E. (Ronald) van Kesteren (Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) and his group will perform research designed to detect early anomalies in brain activity patterns that indicate a preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease. More knowledge of this might make treatment possible before the disease manifests itself.

Breaking the silence – Dissecting the transcriptional and epigenetic regulatory network that underlies Plasmodium hypnozoite dormancy

Dr. C. (Clemens) Kocken (Biomedical Primate Research Centre) and his group will research the dormant liver stages of malaria parasites. In this phase, the parasites are resistant to most antimalaria drugs and cause several illness episodes in patients without reinfection. The knowledge will be used to develop new drug treatments to combat this manifestation of the parasite.

Next Generation Phenotyping: The next move in movement disorders

Professor M.A.J. (Marina) de Koning-Tijssen (Neurology, University Medical Centre Groningen) and her group will use new technologies and AI to study patients with involuntary movements (shaking and jolting). They will use the knowledge acquired to develop new benchmarks for diagnosis and treatment.

Epigenetic control of cytotoxic T cells to modulate immune responses

Dr. F. (Fred) van Leeuwen (Gene Regulation, Netherlands Cancer Institute) and his group will study molecules and chemicals that can ‘epigenetically’ control the activity of genes in the nucleus of cells. They hope this will enable them to make immunotherapy more effective.

A dangerous liaison: BRAF and RNF43 mutational cooperation in therapy-resistant colorectal cancer

Professor M.M. (Madelon) Maurice (Cell Biology, University Medical Centre Utrecht) and her group will study the mechanism that causes colorectal tumours to behave aggressively, and hope to use this knowledge to develop a new personal treatment strategy.

SUMO Wrestling with the Ubiquitin-Proteasome System

Professor (Huib) Ovaa (Chemical Immunology, Leiden University Medical Center) and his group will study the collaboration between the ubiquitine and SUMO proteins to gain a better understanding of the emergence and progress of neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

Tissue-engineering approach to reduce the risk of recurrent prolapse

Professor J.P.W.R. (Jan-Paul) Roovers (Urogynaecology, Academic Medical Centre Amsterdam) and his group will study ways of improving wound healing after prolapse surgery. The hydrogels they hope to develop should prevent women having to undergo further surgery for recurrent prolapse.

Targeted glucocorticoid treatment for HPA-axis dysfunction in post-traumatic stress disorder: toward personalized treatment

Professor B. (Benno) Roozendaal (Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Radboudumc) and his group will study the role of the hormone cortisol in exposure therapy for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Exposure therapy works in half of patients, and this study might potentially improve the effectiveness of the treatment.

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This was the final round of TOP. The first call for the ZonMw Open Competition programme was published in January 2019. This new funding instrument replaces TOP grants and Medium-sized Investment grants, as part of the harmonisation and simplification of funding instruments across the board at NWO.