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News overview
12 June 2024

Nine grants for interdisciplinary PhD research at UG Schools

The Ubbo Emmius Fund (UEF) has made nine grants available for research projects at UG Schools as part of the M20 Scholarship Programme. With the grants, nine PhD students who want to further develop into interdisciplinary researchers will be appointed.

The M20 Programme is an initiative of the UEF. Thanks to a donation from an alumnus who wishes to stay anonymous, the UEF can fund PhD positions for the UG Schools each year. Like the Schools, the projects are multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary in nature, and dovetail with societal issues.

The first four grants, totalling €1,160,000, were allocated in a pilot in 2022. In 2023 the M20 Programme has fully launched. This year 88 proposals were submitted. Every school set up an independent academic committee. In collaboration with the UEF, these committees ultimately selected nine projects. The next step is recruiting PhD students, which will happen over the following months.

The Schools for Science & Society, named after famous Groningen scholars, are working on four big societal issues, which are: energy transition and climate adaptation (Wubbo Ockels); healthy ageing (Aletta Jacobs); digital society, technology and artificial intelligence (Jantina Tammes); and sustainable development (Rudolf Agricola). The nine M20 PhD positions all fall under one of the Schools’ themes.

The selected projects

Jantina Tammes School of Digital Society, Technology and AI

Assessing the reliability of news and online information. Fostering critical digital literacy skills for Generative AI. Aplicants: Marcel Broersma, Bart Verheij en Joëlle Swart en Hedderik van Rijn.

Distinguishing the human from the artificial: A Radical Embodied Turing Test. Applicants: Ralf Cox en Andrea Capiluppi.

Rudolf Agricola School for Sustainable Development

Communities at a Crossroads: the sustainability of bottom-up care and energy services in rural communities. Applicants: Tialda Haartsen, Jacob Dijkstra en Vincenz Frey.

Visual argumentative inferences and soft hate speech online: A corpus-based multimodal argumentative perspective to raise critical awareness. Applicants: Dimitris Serafis, Janina Wildfeuer en Jan Albert van der Laan.

Aletta Jacobs School of Public Health

Optimizing digital communication protocols for shifting health behavior norms. Applicants: Yori Ong en Davide Grossi.

Overcoming the distance: Using virtual reality to teach environmental citizenship in secondary education. Applicants: Tim Huijgen, Joana da Silveira Duarta, Lucy Avraamidou en Mohammad Gharesifard.

Wubbo Ockels School for Energy and Climate

Optimal dynamic energy pricing policies under economic and network constraints. Applicants: Stephan Trenn, Marco Haan en Orest Iftime.

Joining forces with plants for urban resilience: the potential of interdisciplinary and interspecies collaboration for climate adaptation in cities. Applicants: Daniella Vos, Casper van der Kooi en Wander Jager.

Low risk – high impact: Geological, spatial, and economic approaches in identifying safe, sustainable and socially accepted hydrogen storage locations in the Netherlands. Applicants: Johannes Miocic, Ethemcan Turhan en Onur Kilic.

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