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Vici grants for three Leiden researchers

Three Leiden researchers will each receive a Vici grant of 1.5m euros. They are historian Cátia Antunes, cell biologist Dennis Claessen and archaeologist Marie Soressi. This grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO) will give them the opportunity to form their own research group over the next five years.

The Vici grant is one of the largest individual grants for senior researchers in the Netherlands. 

Historian Cátia Antunes: Exploiting the Empire of Others

Having consistently ignored the gains Dutch traders, investors and firms made from serving the French, English and Iberian empires, the debate in the Netherlands now demands a re-evaluation of Dutch colonial responsibilities. By recovering knowledge of these gains, this project will measure the wealth obtained from exploiting the empires of others.

Cell biologist Dennis Claessen: From stress to success: how hidden bacteria become opportunistic

Most bacteria build a cell wall, which provides protection to cells in harmful conditions. However, some bacteria have the surprising ability to shed their wall in stressful situations. Claessen will investigate how bacteria do this and how they can actually profit from this wall-deficient state.

Archaeologist Marie Soressi: Neanderthal Legacy

The genetic material of today’s Europeans is partly of Neanderthal origin. Were our ancestors successful because they were hybridising and interacting with the local populations they encountered when migrating to new places? Using interdisciplinary archaeology, Soressi will reconstruct interactions between Neanderthals and early modern humans 40,000 year ago.

Talent scheme: about the Vici grant

The Vici grant is for senior researchers who have successfully demonstrated the ability to develop their own innovative lines of research and to act as coaches for young researchers. Alongside the Vici, there are two other grants: the Veni grant (for researchers who obtained their doctorate within the past three years) and the Vidi grant (for experiences postdocs who obtained their doctorate within the past eight years).


A total of 242 researchers submitted an admissible research project for funding in this Vici round, and 32 of them have been awarded a grant. This means an award rate of 13%.

Source: NWO

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