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NWO SSH Open Competition grants for VU Amsterdam

15 July 2022
VU scientists have received an award from the NWO SSH Open Competition

With the NWO Open Competition-SSH, NWO Social Sciences and Humanities wants to offer researchers the opportunity to carry out research into a subject of their own choosing without any thematic constraints. The funding instrument aims to serve a broader group of researchers in different stages of their academic careers.

The following VU scientists have received an award:

- Professor of Innovation and Organization Hans Berends with Innovating Methods for Open Science in Qualitative Management Research (OPEN-QUAL).
Open science principles inspire collaboration in research. Sharing qualitative data obtained in management research, however, has been constrained by concerns for data privacy and confidentiality. OPEN-QUAL develops methodological principles for an innovative, decentralized approach to data reuse with no sharing of raw data. Decentralized analysis makes it possible to leverage the versatility of qualitative data and enables comparison across cases and datasets. We facilitate future data reuse by developing a discovery platform for finding relevant qualitative datasets and disseminating protocols. Thereby OPEN-QUAL contributes to more effective use of resources invested in qualitative research in management and other domains.

Arjan Blokland (NSCR), professor of Management Control Henri Dekker and professor of economics of accounting Jacco Wielhouwer with Corporate noncompliance: a life-course approach.
From severe environmental pollution to global financial crisis, corporate rule breaking can have a major impact on our daily safety, security and wellbeing. Building on insights from life-course criminology, this research aims at explaining and predicting patterns of corporate noncompliance and regulatory enforcement, and at estimating the effects of different kinds of enforcement on corporate rule breaking. Knowledge gained can directly benefit the efficiency and effectiveness of regulatory monitoring and enforcement and, with that, contribute to welfare benefits that are achieved by the prevention of corporate harm doing.

- Professor Informal care in a changing society Marjolein Broese van Groenou with How do informal caregivers survive? A study on care networks and wellbeing among Dutch care recipients, their partners and children.
The fact that more and more older adults need informal care puts a lot of pressure on their partners and children. A solution would be to share the care in a care network with informal and professional caregivers. FAMCARE examines under which individual, family and societal conditions 1) different care network types arise, and 2) care networks contribute to the wellbeing of care recipients, partners and children. FAMCARE uses unique data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA, 1992-2022) and replicates the 2001 multi-actor study among partners and children of LASA-respondents to compare 1) and 2) over time.

-  Geraldien von Frijtag Drabbe Künzel (University Utrecht) and historian, historiography and sociology of the holocaust Dienke Hondius with ‘Provinzentjudung’: Local Dynamics and the Holocaust in the Netherlands (1925-1950).
Over a third of the approximately 104,000 deported Dutch Jews came from small towns and villages. Despite a growing number of local studies, there is little systematic insight into the impact of local factors and actors on the persecution. This research follows the international trend to view the persecution of Jews not only as a centrally led, but also as a locally embedded process. At the same time, this study of the 'Provinzentjudung' in the Netherlands transcends the local perspective by taking a comparative approach and by examining the impact of intermunicipal connections on local dynamics of persecution and aid.

-  Professor of transnational families and migration law Betty de Hart with Love, sex, faith. The politics of emotion in migration law.
How to decide whether a person is truly gay or believes in Jesus, or whether a couple is genuinely in love? How can one objectively determine such a subjective issue as human emotions? This is the dilemma that those involved in immigration procedures (immigration officers, judges, lawyers, NGOs and migrants) face on a daily basis. This socio-legal project takes together family migration and asylum cases: suspected marriages of convenience, and asylum claims based on sexual orientation and religious conversion to explore how the politics of emotion functions as an instrument of inclusion and exclusion in migration control.

- Educational neurocomputationalophilopsychologist Martijn Meeter and educational neuroscientist Menno van der Schoot with Understanding reading comprehension.
Reading comprehension is a crucial skill that is highly predictive of later success in education. Unfortunately, more and more students seem to be insufficiently apt at comprehension. Here, we create a comprehensive model of reading from recognizing letters up to understanding the sense of a sentence. With this model, we scrutinize how comprehension affects eye movements in reading, and how it is reflected in brain signals. We also model the different ways in which comprehension of a text can fail. The project results in more understanding of reading comprehension, and clues to how it can be improved in students.

-  Theologian Annette Merz (PThU) and professor of History of Dutch Protestantism George Harinck with Church and Slavery in the Dutch Empire: History, Theology and Heritage.
In this research project Merz and Harinck study the role of the Reformed Church in the Dutch colonial past. They look at the theological and exegetical arguments put forward by church and academic theologians to defend or criticise slavery and at the concrete financial, social and administrative role of the church in slavery and the slave trade (missionary, pastoral, the church as slave owner, investor, gatekeeper). Multiple perspectives are included (enslaved people, former slaves, indigenous people, mixed groups and white colonizers) and attention is paid to the legacy of slavery in today's churches and society.

-  Bernard Nijstad (Groningen University) and professor of Evolutionary Psychology Mark van Vugt with Gender ratio and power dynamics in mixed-gender teams: Implications for gender inequality in organizations.
To increase the influence of women in the top of their organizations, many countries, including the Netherlands, have introduced gender quota. However, we do not really know how changes in gender ratio (the number of women versus men) affect the relative influence of women in decision making bodies. We examine this question from a new perspective assuming that individuals (men and women) acquire influence in a dynamic way by claiming and granting it. We also investigate how these dynamic processes eventually affect the opportunities of women versus men for promotion within organizations.

-  Professor of Cognitive Psychology Jan Theeuwes and cognitive psychologist Sander Los with Learning to direct attention in space and time.
Without much awareness, we learn and pick up on the statistical regularities present in our environment. In each environment, particular objects appear at particular locations, at particular moments in time. We learn these regularities, and attentional selection priorities are adapted and optimally tuned to these implicit expectations. That is why for example we are able to cross a busy road or are able to return a tennis ball. This project seeks to find out how we learn to attend to particular locations at particular moments in time.

-  Professor of legal philosophy Wouter Veraart with Compensation as Punishment.
Is the compensation order that can be imposed in criminal proceedings in the Netherlands a reparatory or a punitive sanction? Although the compensation order is treated by lawyers as a non-punitive measure, both victims and perpetrators sometimes seem to experience it as a form of punishment. This project aims to explore this question further, by comparing with England and France, where the compensation order is understood differently, and by examining how the compensation order is perceived by victims, convicted offenders and the general public. What does it mean for criminal law if the compensation measure is regarded as punishment?

-   Erik van der Vleuten (Eindhoven University) and professor of innovation and communication in health and life sciences Jacqueline Broerse with SOY STORIES: Connected sustainability histories and futures of the global Soyacene.
Since the 1970s, the large-scale production of soy in Brazil and soy-based intensive animal farming in the Netherlands have resulted in a wide variety of sustainability challenges, such as large-scale deforestation, land-grabbing and child labor in Brazil and a long-term national nitrogen-crisis, public health problems and animal suffering in the Netherlands. SOY STORIES investigates the histories of these diverse sustainability challenges, and studies how they were connected in the past. In addition, SOY STORIES investigates how such historical knowledge may contribute to the development of more inclusive and connected sustainable future imaginaries.

-  Professor of International Security Wolfgang Wagner with Party-Political Contestation of the Liberal International Order.
Free movement of goods and people, rule-based cooperation, and military interventions to protect and promote liberal values abroad are the three pillars of the liberal international order (LIO). The withdrawal of Western military forces from Afghanistan and the growing pressure on governments to defend sovereignty against international institutions show that this liberal order is in crisis. This project studies the patterns of political parties' support for and opposition against the three pillars of the LIO in various regions of the world in order to understand better what is driving the crisis of the LIO. Read more about his research