Fifteen researchers who have recently received their PhDs can do their research at foreign research institutes thanks to a Rubicon grant from NWO. The Rubicon programme gives young, highly promising researchers the opportunity to gain international research experience.

So what are some of the research questions that these 16 researchers will try to answer? These are diverse and science-wide. For example, one of the assigned projects is exploring how brain cells can keep a virus quiet. And another explores the predictive mechanism of perception. Furthermore, a Rubicon grant will be used to develop a new type of nano-devices using magnetic graphene. A final example: how value-creation is premised on the valueless and the invaluable? In the marketplace, everything has a price, but that of environmental pollution and carbon emissions is relatively low. This has led to huge economic growth and climate disruption.

Where to go and for how long?

For many researchers, experience abroad is an important step in their career. Thanks to the Rubicon grant these young researchers can do their research at a foreign institute that offers the best environment for their research. Seven laureates are going to the United States, and the other researchers reside in the UK, France, Belgium, Switzerland and Japan for their research. Fourteen Rubicon researchers are going abroad for 24 months, one laureate stays abroad for 14 months.

Features of the Rubicon programme

With a Rubicon grant researchers can spend up to 24 months doing research at a foreign institution. The size of the grant is dependent on the destination chosen and the duration of the stay. Each year, NWO/ZonMw can fund about 60 young researchers within Rubicon (for a total amount of 7 million euros allocated over three rounds). The awards in this news item concern the second round of 2022.

Facts and figures of this round

Budget: 2.4 million euros
Number of (admissible) submissions: 40
Gender ratio of submissions:  24 men, 16 women
Number of grants awarded (award rate): 16 (37.5%)
Gender ratio of awarded grants:  8 men, 7 women
Award rate among men: 33.3%
Award rate among women: 43.8%

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