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Video: Leiden University awards Kiem grant to interdisciplinary initiatives

With a 'Kiem grant' of up to €10,000, Leiden University stimulates initiatives in research and education where diverse fields of study meet. This interdisciplinary approach helps solve complex issues.

From health to migration to climate: interdisciplinary research and education, where diverse scientific disciplines meet and work together, is desperately needed to find answers to today's complex issues. Starting such an interdisciplinary project is often not easy. That is why Leiden University encourages the development of such projects with the help of the so-called Kiem grant. This is an annual, one-off grant of up to €10,000 to 25 projects to promote interdisciplinary collaborations within the university.

To give equal opportunities to every applicant for a Kiem scholarship, the scholarships are awarded by drawing lots. This year, this took place during a festive event. Sicco de Knecht, head of research policy, stressed again prior to the draw that getting a Kiem or not said nothing about the quality of the applications. 'The fact that you enter the draw indicates that you have submitted an interdisciplinary proposal that deserves appreciation. Whether you get a Kiem grant is a twist of fate.'


Curious about an overview of all Kiem grant winners 2024 as well as a complete list of all applications? Then take a look to the right of this article.

Examples of Kiem projects

The Kiem projects focus on very diverse topics with social impact, from climate to cancer to quantum. These are two of the projects that received grants this year:

A crystal ball'?: Piloting a product to test the effects of future urban interventions on safety perception.

Ensuring that citizens feel safe in urban public spaces is an important aspiration for any municipality. Therefore, interventions in urban public spaces are regularly made. In many cases, this involves substantial investments. But how do we reliably assess the effect of an intervention even before it has been implemented? Within this project, we explore a new, complementary method to assess the potential of future interventions in urban public space. To this end, photorealistic 3D scenes are created using Gausian Splatting techniques within which potential users are exposed to the planned intervention. By comparing the experiences of these users, we can find out whether the intervention has the intended effect. If our pilot proves useful, it will allow policymakers to arrive at a more accurate assessment of how they deploy their resources.

The development of an interdisciplinary and international minor One health

The Kiem grant will be used to develop an interdisciplinary minor One health for students with four other Una Europa universities. The planned start of the minor is in September 2026. The One health concept recognises that the health of humans, domestic and wild animals, plants and the wider environment and systems are inextricably linked and interdependent as they not only share the same environment, but also many diseases. With increasing human population growth, accompanied by climate change, pollution and global resource depletion, health disciplines and other fields need to work together to ensure the future health and welfare of humans, animals and the environment. Currently, there is no minor on One health available to students.

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