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ERC Grants for five Leiden researchers

The European Research Council has awarded five Leiden researchers an ERC Consolidator Grant. These subsidies of up to a maximum of two million euros will enable the researchers to further expand their scientific research.

The Consolidator Grant is one of the four different subsidies awarded by the European Research Council. The awards will allow Erik Bähre, Caroline Waerzeggers, Roberta D'Alessandro, Eveline Crone and Petra Sijpesteijn to put together their own research team to carry out a programme of research over the coming years.

Roberta D’Alessandro (LUCL/Italian Language and Culture)

Roberta D’Alessandro studies the language of first-generation Italian migrants in North and South America. The mother tongue of these migrants - who are now advanced in age - quickly became contaminated with Spanish, Portuguese, French, English and other migrant languages. Their history makes these languages exceptionally well suited for studying syntactic change. 

Caroline Waerzeggers (LIAS/Assyriology)

 The first world empire was founded in around 550 B.C. by the Persians. It stretched from Libya to India and lasted for more than five centuries. This was the first-ever state of this size and duration, and with it the Persians introduced a new phase in world history. What was the formula that ensured the success of their domination? Caroline Waerzeggers studies this empire on the basis of previously unexplored source material from Babylonia, the most richly documented region in the empire.  

Eveline Crone (Institute for Psychology/Development and Educational Psychology)

Adolescence is often regarded as a period fraught with risk.  Young people from 10 to 22 years old are thought to be more prone to substance abuse, delinquency and depression. However, Eveline Crone surmises that adolescence also has a positive effect on social development. She believes, for example, that it is in adolescence that young people learn the skills of cooperation, sharing and helpfulness. She will be researching this hypothesis in the coming period. Read more on Crone's ERC Consolidator Grant.  

Erik Bähre (Institute for Cultural Anthropology/Development Sociology)

Erik Bähre researches the morality of life insurances. He examines the considerations people make when they sign up for insurance products, and whether these considerations have been influenced by the credit crisis of 2007. He is also interested in finding out about the impact of commercial insurances  on solidarity within the family,  members of associations and the state.  Read more on Bähre's blog.

Petra Sijpesteijn (LIAS/ Arabic Language and Culture)

Petra Sijpesteijn studies the Islamic empire. This world empire existed - following the death of Mohammed - for almost 300 years, and for many Muslims it still exists today. However, the Arabs apparently had little understanding of organisational matters, and no imperial tradition to speak of. Sijpestein's research focuses on the question of how this empire nonetheless managed to be so successful. You can read more about Sijpesteijn's research on this web page or this blog (in Dutch).