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Hall of Fame 2021

In 2021 many of our students and staff won fantastic prizes and were awarded important research grants. This is our traditional review of these successes as the end of one year marks the beginning of another.

Some prizes and grants recognise the achievements of individual researchers, whereas others are the result of academic teamwork. We are proud of all these successes.

Below are the most important prizes, appointments and achievements of our students and staff. For a more detailed overview per faculty, see the right side of the page.

NWO Spinoza Prize

NWO Stevin Prize

  • Judi Mesman – Pedagogical Sciences and Dean of Leiden University College The Hague
Judi Mesman (l) won a Stevin Prize, Marc Koper and Maria Yazdanbakhsh a Spinoza Prize.

European grants

ERC Advanced Grant

Asghar Seyed Gohrab was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for his research into non-conformism in Islam.

Proof of Concept grant

Andrea Evers – Social and Behavioural Sciences, Psychology



  • Bart Barendregt – Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology


  • Anna Alemany – Medicine/LUMC
  • Louise Jawerth – Leiden Institute of Physics
  • Vasiliki Kosta –  Institute of Public Law (Europa Institute)
  • Sarah Schrader - Archaeology
  • Joris van der Voet – Institute of Public Administration
  • Meta Roestenberg – Medicine/LUMC, Infectious Diseases
  • Uli Scherer – Medicine/LUMC, Immunology
  • Anar Ahmadov - Leiden University College The Hague
Anne Urai has been given the opportunity to develop her ideas on how the brain makes choices.


  • Michelle Spiering - Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL)
  • Zach Armstrong - Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC)
  • Emma Brakkee - Mathematical Institute (MI)
  • Ko-Ju Chuang - Leiden Observatory
  • Natalia Ortiz Zacarías - Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR)
  • Anne Urai - Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Vera Kemp - Medicine/LUMC
  • Anne Urai - Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Julie Rutten - Medicine/LUMC
  • Fiamma Salerno - Medicine/LUMC
  • Kaveh Lahabi - Leiden Institute of Physics


The Rubicons were announced in two parts in 2021. Read more about the laureates here and here.

  • Edouard Fu is going to Harvard Medical School, United States – LUMC
  • Lauren Lauret is going to do research at University College London, United Kingdom - Humanities
  • Cornelia Pabst is going to do research at Instituto de Física Fundamental, Spain - Science
  • Rianne de Heide is going to Inria Lille-Nord Europe, France - Science
  • Nick Gerrits is going to the University of Antwerp, Belgium - Leiden Institute of Chemistry 
  • Elliot Mock is going to do research at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom - Science
  • Arianna Sacco is going to the Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria - Humanities
  • Kamaleddin Tehrani is going to do research at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland, Germany - Institute of Biology Leiden (LIC)
  • Julia Tilburg is going to Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, United States -Medicine/LUMC
  • Donggang Wang is going to do research at the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom - Leiden Observatory
  • Anne Meeussen is going to do research at the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, United States - Leiden Institute of Physics (LION)
  • A. de Jong is going to the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, United States - Medicine/LUMC 

NWO Large Grant

Other NWO grants

Other national grant

  • The Quantum Delta NL programme, in which Leiden University is participating, was awarded 615 million euros from the National Growth Fund to help the Netherlands become a leader in quantum technology

KNAW pilot fund for science communication

  • Peter Burger, Nieuwscheckers: Factchecks as a resource against dis- and misinformation on health and politics - Humanitites
  • Markus Davidsen, Religious Studies in secondary education - Institute for Area Studies
  • Yvonne Erkens, Database of Business Ethics: facilitating research into, among others, whether multinationals comply with codes of conduct - Law
  • Robert Heinsch, Promoting knowledge about international humanitarian law - Law
  • Maikel Kuijpers, New generation, new archaeology: bringing young people into contact with the archaeology of the 21st century - Archaeology
  • Jan Melissen, The Hague Diplomacy Platform: on the role of diplomacy in international politics - Institute of Security and Global Affairs 
  • Pedro Russo, Old Observatory: generating public enthusiasm about the different aspects of astronomy - Leiden Observatory
  • Rebecca Schaefer, Music and space in neuroscience - Psychology
  • Frans Snik, Innovation in citizen science: iSPEX and Citizen Science Lab - Leiden Observatory
  • Annelinde Vandenbroucke, #Braintalk: what do you want to know about your brain? - Psychology
  • Karin van der Tuin, ‘Genetic testing’: the advantages and limitations of DNA research - Medicine/LUMC
For Ayo Adedokun, winner of the teaching prize, teaching is a calling.

Comenius Grants

Comenius Senior Fellow Grants 

  • Hossam Ahmed - Institute for Area Studies
  • Bram Hoonhout - Honours College
  • André Leliveld - African Studies Centre Leiden

Comenius Teaching Fellow Grant

  • Tsolin Nalbantian - Institute for Area Studies
  • Wendy Zondag - Medicine/LUMC

Medical Delta Professors appointed

Five Leiden professors were installed as Medical Delta professor

  • Marco van Vulpen (LUMC, TU Delft & Erasmus MC)
  • Andrea Evers (Leiden University, Erasmus Universiteit & TU Delft)
  • Jaap Harlaar (LUMC, TU Delft & Erasmus MC)
  • Marcel Reinders (LUMC & TU Delft)
  • Andrew Webb (LUMC & TU Delft)
A total of nine professors were inaugurated together as 'Medical Delta professor' at Leiden University, the LUMC, TU Delft, Erasmus University and/or Erasmus MC.

 Gratama Science Prize

Krijn Rietveld Memorial Innovation Award

New members of KHMW

  • Annetje Ottow - President of the Executive Board of Leiden University
  • Carsten de Dreu - Psychology
  • Pancras Hogendoorn - Medicine/LUMC
  • Maartje van der Woude - Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law
  • Ton Schumacher - Medicine/LUMC

New members of KNAW

  • Thomas Bäck - Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS)
  • Bernet Elzinga - Psychology
  • Pancras Hogendoorn - Medicine/LUMC, pathology
  • Ton Schumacher - Medicine/LUMC
  • Eline Slagboom - Medicine/LUMC, Biomedical Sciences
  • Ignas Snellen - Leiden Observatory
  • Miguel John Versluys - Archaeology

Two new Leiden members of The Young Academy

Six new members of Young Academy Leiden

  • Zsuzsa Bakk - Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences 
  • Martin Berger - Faculty of Archaeology
  • Julia Henrich - Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Max van Lent - Faculty of Law
  • Rachel Plak - Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
  • Michiel Veldhuis - Faculty of Science
The iGEM Leiden 2021 students.

On the Dies Natalis on 8 Feburary an honorary doctorate was awarded to:

Mozambican child rights activist Graça Machel

Graça Machel was awarded the honorary doctorate online: she attended the ceremony via a livestream from her home in Mozambique.

Scaliger Medal

In 2021, the following were awarded a royal honour:

Carel Stolker was made an Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. Photo: Monique Shaw
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