NIOK members successful in VENI and VIDI call

8. 7. 2008 | admin

The Netherlands organization for Scientific Research (NWO) announced that 116 young researchers, who recently obtained their PHD degrees, will be awarded a Veni-grant. Two of them involve catalysis and are involved in NIOK.Three other NIOK researchers were awarded a VIDI grant. This funding is meant for researchers who want to develop their own innovative line of research and appoint one or more researchers. Maximum 600,000 € is granted. VIDI grants are only awarded to scientists who have been working in post doc positions for several years.

VENI and Humboldt: Dr. Richard Hoogenboom (Eindhoven Technical University)

VENI: Dr. Eli Stavitski (Utrecht University)

VIDI: Dr.Elemans (Nijmegen University)

VIDI: Dr. C. Müller (Eindhoven Technical University)

VIDI: Dr. Ignacio Melián-Cabrera (Groningen University

VENI and Humboldt

Dr. Richard Hoogenboom (SMN, Macromolecular Chemistry and Nanoscience) received both a Humboldt postdoctoral fellowship and a NWO VENI Grant to nvestigate the design, synthesis and applications of gradient responsive copolymers. He will move to the RWTH Aachen (Prof. Martin Möller) for the Humboldt fellowship and the Veni-research will be performed at the Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen (Prof. Roeland Nolte).

He will investigate and develop a new class of well-defined gradient responsive copolymers as basis for novel soluble sensor materials and controlled drug delivery vehicles. The effect of well-defined monomer gradients on broadening the solubility transition upon changes in environmental parameters will be studied in detail. The use of monomer gradients is envisioned to result in polymers with a continuous response to changes in environmental parameters, such as temperature and pH.


Dr I. (Eli) Stavitski, (Utrecht University) received a NWO Veni Grant for his research project “Getting to know your catalyst intimately”. When studying chemical transformations on catalysts you look at millions of molecules at the same time and the resulting picture is blurred. In this project he will use microscopes to find out how individual catalytic active site works.


Dr. J.A.A.W. Elemans (Nijmegen University) received a NWO VIDI Grant with the project “Observing catalysis at the single molecule level”. With this Vidi proposal Elemans aims to initiate a new line of research at the interface of chemistry and physics, in which he intends to develop a concept of understanding chemical reactions at the highest detail possible at solid-liquid interfaces. Towards this goal he proposes to apply a new technique to study catalysis at the single molecule level: Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) in a liquid-cell, in which conditions that are commonly applied in chemical laboratory processes can be closely resembled.

Dr. C. Müller (Eindhoven Technical University) with the title: Tailoring the Active Site: Unique Phosphorus Heterocycles for Homogeneous Catalysis.

Selective functionalization of unreactive alkenes with the ultimate goal of producing versatile functional groups, such as aldehydes, alcohols and amines is a challenging research area and in the focal point of this VIDI proposal. It is anticipated that the unique electronic, steric and coordination properties of phosphinine-based ligands and their corresponding catalysts will lead to important breakthroughs in transition-metal mediated reactions, especially in the enantioselective hydroformylation and hydroaminomethylation of internal and branched alkenes as well as in the selective transformation of bio-based feed stocks and natural products.

Dr. I. (Ignacio) Melián-Cabrera (Groningen University) received his NWO VIDI Grant with his project titled: “The catalyst of the future. Strategic studies on porous materials chemistry”

Porous catalysts are applied on large scale in industry. New developed materials are often not that stable and lose their porous structure during calcination/activation. Melián-Cabrera plans to build an advanced detemplation-method that keeps the pore-structure open and has interesting possibilities to converse large biomass molecules to biofuels.