The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research, NWO, has awarded two experienced Wageningen researchers a Vidi grant of 800,000 euros. This enables them to develop their own innovative research line and set up a research group.
The two Vidi laureates are:
Dr. Mark Zwart, Plant Virology - How strange are inefficient viruses?
Many viruses have segmented genomes, but some viruses go a step further and package these different genome segments into separate virus particles. These viruses defy our understanding – they are in theory so inefficient they should not exist. Mark Zwart will investigate what the benefits of this strange virus lifestyle are.
Dr.ir. Joris Sprakel, Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter - Building molecular structures with a template
Nature often builds her delicate structures along a template that serves not only as a blueprint, but which also plays a complex role in regulating molecular interactions. In this project, the researchers will unravel how this process works; for example to learn how the design of new materials can be made smarter.
The Vidi grants are awarded annually by NWO to experienced researchers who have successfully completed research for a number of years after their PhD graduation. The Vidi grants enable researchers to do research for up to five years.
Together with Veni and Vici, Vidi is part of the NWO Talent Scheme. Researchers in the Talent Scheme are free to submit their own subject for funding. NWO thus encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. The national science organisation 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. On a national level NWO granted 89 researchers with a Vidi grant out of 590 proposals.