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Nadine Ketel and Fleur Deken receive Veni research grant

3 August 2023
Economist Nadine Ketel and innovation expert Fleur Deken from the VU School of Business and Economics both receive a Veni research grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). Nadine Ketel will use the grant to study the inequality of educational opportunity. Fleur Deken will investigate how organizations can collaborate more effectively on innovation with a mission.

Research project Nadine Ketel

Nadine Ketel, associate professor in Economics, will investigate the influence of the environment and selection procedures on the inequality of educational opportunity. "One of the most crucial decisions early in life concerns the level and type of education pursued. The aim of my research is to examine how choices for higher education are influenced by one's family and neighbourhood and to explore whether admission procedures restrict access to education." Ketel intends to assess the long-term effects of being randomly allocated to a first-choice school. "I also want to investigate to what extent immediate family members and neighbours influence the choice for higher education and whether selection in higher education exacerbates existing inequality of educational opportunity  based on socioeconomic background," says Ketel.

"With my Veni research, I hope to contribute to reducing inequality of educational opportunity in higher education by investigating the consequences of selection procedures. The Veni grant provides me with the time to explore an important and highly relevant topic at a time when many changes are being implemented in higher education," says Ketel.

Research project Fleur Deken

Fleur Deken, who will be appointed as Professor of Strategy, Technology and Innovation on 1 September, will use her research grant to explore how organisations can work together more effectively for innovation. 

To tackle grand societal challenges, the Dutch government is adopting mission-driven innovation policy, where knowledge institutions, governments, businesses, and civil organizations collaborate on missions. This innovation strategy is still relatively new.

Which collaborative routines and capabilities work effectively in developing mission-driven innovations? And how do individuals translate their experiences with such collaborations into new organizational processes? These questions will be the central focus of Deken's Veni project. "What makes my research unique is that I examine both the technological and organizational aspects of the technological innovation development process. Thanks to my interdisciplinary background in industrial design and psychology, I can consider both aspects in my research," says Deken.

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that this Veni funding provides me to dedicate the next four years to renewing our scientific theories about organizational routines and capabilities, so that we can better understand these new forms of collaboration. In the research I will conduct, I will utilize a new Open Science method based on case study data, which I have developed over the past years with my colleague Hans Berends, among others."

About the Veni Grant

The NWO Veni grant, of up to 280.000 euros, is awarded to excellent researchers who have recently obtained their PhD, to conduct independent research and develop their ideas for a period of three years. Laureates are at the start of their scientific career and display a striking talent for scientific research.