Millions for Leiden physicists and education specialists in Gravitation programme

Leiden physicists and education specialists are involved in three national partnerships that are to receive millions in research funding from the Ministry of Education for a ten-year research programme. These are part of the Gravitation subdsidies for leading national consortia. In total, six projects have been selected that will together receive 167 million euro. 

Nanotechnology: Frontiers of nanoscience

Nanotechnology means: transforming material atom by atom. Theory, experiment and technology are seamlessly interwoven in the world of quantum mechanics - but there is still a lot to learn. With their 35.9 million euro Gravitation funding, Delft and Leiden physicists will be developing their NanoFront project, seeking out - and extending - the boundaries of nanoscience. 

Frontiers of Nanoscience (NanoFront)
Subsidy: 35.9 million euro
Lead researchers: Professors Cees Dekker, Leo Kouwenhoven and Henny Zandbergen (TU Delft) and Carlo Beenakker, Joost Frenken and Michel Orrit (Leiden University).

At the frontiers of nanoscience

Theoretical physics: Matter at all scales

The institutes for theoretical physics at the University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University and Leiden University have joined forces in D-ITP: the Delta Institute for Theoretical Physics. Particle physicists, cosmologists and solid matter physicists work together in this Institute to express newly discovered, exotic and fundamental behaviour of materials in a common physics using the language of maths. From dark matter in black holes to electron behaviour in superconductors. 

Delta-Institute for Theoretical Physics: Matter at all Scales
Collaboration between the UvA, Utrecht University and Leiden University
Subsidy: 18.3 million euro
Lead researchers in this project: Professors Erik Verlinde and Jan de Boer (University of Amsterdam), Gerard ’t Hooft and Henk Stoof (Utrecht University) and Carlo Beenakker and Jan Zaanen (Leiden University).

Theoretical physics: Matter at all scales

Why some children thrive and others don't

Most children develop normally and take their place in society without any great problems. But the same is not true for all children. It is well known that this difference is related to a combination of innate characteristics of a child and the environment in which the child grows up. How these factors influence one another is still largely unexplored territory. The Consortium on Individual Development (CID) examines the interplay between these factors, concentrating on brain development and the role of parents and grandparents. 

Individual development: Why some children thrive, and others don’t.
Subsidy: 27.6 million
Lead researchers: Professors Chantal Kemner (Utrecht University), Dorret Boomsma (VU), Patti Valkenburg (UvA), Marian Joëls and Sarah Durston (Utrecht University Medical Center) and Marinus van IJzendoorn (Leiden University).

Individual development: Why some children thrive and others don’t

The Gravitation programme is financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. In total, six research teams from different Dutch universities have been granted funds to collaborate in creating excellent scientific research programmes over a period of ten years. Minister Bussemaker has made 167 million euro available for six projects.  


With Gravitation, the Ministry and NWO are giving a new impetus to collaboration at the highest scientific level. The excellent consortia are intended to give a high profile to top university research. Among the projects selected are also two consortia in which Leiden physicists are participating.


The NWO Gravitation programme


(15 November 2012)

Last Modified: 22-11-2012