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Interdisciplinary Activity Grants

Please note: we have suspended this call because the budget limit for the grants has been reached. 

An interdisciplinary approach is essential towards tackling many of the issues facing society today and in the future. To support interdisciplinary research, the Young Academy Leiden made available Interdisciplinary Activity Grants to (partially) fund the organisation of workshops, seminars, public lectures and meetings, or participation in such activities that have an interdisciplinary character.

Awarded Interdisciplinary Activity Grants

The Young Academy Leiden has granted all of its Interdisciplinary Activity Grants. The grant committee was delighted by the interesting proposals they received. Below you can find out more about them. 

Daniela Gawehns (Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, Leiden University), Linda Nab (Dep. of Clinical Epidemiology, LUMC), Paloma Rojas-Saunero (Dep. of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC) and Ricarda Proppert (Institute of Psychology, Leiden University)

ReproHack NL is a Reproducibility Hackathon that was organized by young researchers of Leiden University, Leiden University Medical Center and Erasmus Medical Center.

The Center Digital Scholarship hosted this event on  the 30th of November 2019 in the Leiden University Library with the support of the Open Science Community Leiden, the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science, the Data Science Research Program, the Young Academy Leiden, Erasmus MC, and DANS (Data Archiving and Network Services).

An interdisciplinary group of researchers worked on improving reproducibility during ReproHack. Participants of the hackathon were challenged to reproduce published research of their choice from a list of proposed papers with associated code and data.

The organisation of ReproHack aimed to draw attention to the importance of publicly available data and code to improve reproducibility in science and research. In addition, the hackathon provided insight into various best practices in the field of sharing code and data. 

This event has already taken place. However, if you are interested in the topic, you can contact the ReproHack Team at reprohack.nl@gmail.com, via twitter @Reprohack or on the website to learn more about tools for reproducible research and to find out where the next Reprohack will take place.

Alex Brandsen and Wouter Verschoof-van der Vaart
Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University

CAA is an international organisation bringing together archaeologists, mathematicians and computer scientists. Its aims are to encourage communication between these disciplines, to provide a survey of present work in the field, and to stimulate discussion and future progress.

CAA organises an annual international scientific conference, where practitioners can present their work in paper sessions, and discuss developments with colleagues from all over the world in round tables and workshops. The conference sessions cover a wide range of topics, including data acquisition and recording, conceptual modelling, semantic technologies, data analysis, data management, digital 3D object reconstruction, image visualisation in archaeology, geophysics and GIS.

Alex Brandsen and Wouter Verschoof-van der Vaart will co-organise a session at the 48th CAA Conference that will take place in Oxford from 14th to 17th April 2020. The session will be titled ‘Machine learning in archaeological research; challenges and opportunities’. The diversity of AI-based procedures, methods and archaeological applications results in a certain lack of standardised approaches and well-defined workflows. This session aims to: 1) offer a space for comparing methods, algorithms, code, APIs and workflows; 2) discuss the problems related to their application and; 3) offer insights into best practices including sources of error and validation methods. The ultimate aim is that the combination of approaches and the ensuing discussion will help to further build an integrated community of practitioners.

Marit Ruitenberg
Health, Medical, and Neuropsychology Unit, Leiden University

With the Interdisciplinary Activity Grant, Marit Ruitenberg participated in the ParkinsonNet Congress on the 13th of December 2019 (Nieuwegein, the Netherlands). During this congress, research and healthcare professionals from various disciplines including neuro(psycho)logy, biology, pharmacology, and speech and language pathology, presented and discussed their work on Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Such an interdisciplinary approach is crucial as PD is not only characterized by observable motor symptoms, but many patients also experience problems in other, non-motor domains including cognition, emotion, smell, and sleep. Dr. Ruitenberg’s research combines fundamental science and clinical neuropsychology, with the goal of better understanding healthy functioning and how such functioning is affected in disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

Participation in the ParkinsonNet Congress has increased Dr. Ruitenberg’s knowledge about other disciplines’ views and contributions to diagnosis, treatment, and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease. For example, she attended a session on the effects of music on movement patterns, emotion, and speech in PD patients. During this session, the audience experienced first-hand how music affects movement, and learned about the added value of music in different forms of treatment (e.g., physical or language therapy).

In another session, Prof. Bas Bloem (co-founder of ParkinsonNet) presented the scientific highlights of 2019, acknowledging the different disciplines involved in PD. For example, he addressed the role of gut bacteria in PD and the effectiveness of starting dopamine replacement therapy early on in the disease (medicine, pharmacology). In addition, studies on the use of vitamin supplements (nutrition), effects of stress on motor and non-motor symptoms (psychology), and compensation strategies for gait problems (neurology) were discussed.

The new insights and broader perspectives Dr. Ruitenberg gained from interacting with other PD professionals during the congress fostered new ideas for future research lines and interdisciplinary collaborations.

Interdisciplinary ParkinsonNet Congress. (Photo: Marit Ruitenberg)

Jessie Pool
Company Law Department
, Leiden University

With the Interdisciplinary Activity Grant, Jessie Pool will organise a workshop aimed at promoting interdisciplinarity in legal research. The workshop will be organised in collaboration with social and legal scientists experienced in interdisciplinary research and the goal of the workshop is to support legal scientists with using interdisciplinarity within their own – often dogmatic – research focus.

Ann Marie Wilson and Andrew Shield
Leiden Queer History Network, Leiden University

The Leiden Queer History Network (LQHN) is a platform for scholars engaged in the interdisciplinary study of the queer past. Through its public programming, it connects students, researchers, and community members both in Leiden and across the Netherlands. This academic year, as part of its broader schedule, LQHN is organising two lectures that bring out the experiences of transgender, non-binary, and gender-non-conforming people—and lend particular attention to the relationship of visual culture to gender diversity, identity formation, and collective action. 

1. “Trans-Inter-Queer: On Three Eras of the Seeable and Sayable in Visual Culture”

Date: 12 December 2019

Speakers: Eliza Steinbock (Leiden University), Lieke Hettinga (Central European University, Utrecht University) and Stephanie Noach (Leiden University)

The event brought together media studies scholars and artists to collectively examine how film can offer alternative ways to understand gender transitions through a specific aesthetics of change. 

2. “Transgender Australians: The History of an Identity”

Tentative date: 14 May 2020

Speaker: Noah Riseman (Australian Catholic University)

The event will feature the work of a historian Noah Riseman, associate professor at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne. He is tracing the emergence of transgender identities in Australia since the early twentieth century.

The lecture on December 12, 2019: “Trans-Inter-Queer: On Three Eras of the Seeable and Sayable in Visual Culture” (Photo: LQHN)

Dr. Arici and Dr. Mesland

The recent years have witnessed an expansion in the study and understanding of so-called topological insulators, a class of materials that are insulating in the bulk, but display robust edge currents on the edge of the sample. 

Research on such materials, both from the perspective of physics and from mathematics, has received a further impetus after the award of the 2016 Physics Nobel Prize to David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane, and J. Michael Kosterlitz 'for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter’.

The study of topological phases of matter is clearly of those fields of physics where the mathematical formalism has proven itself very effective in providing a rigorous framework for phenomena that can be measured in a laboratory

Having these interactions in mind, the interdisciplinary workshop "Noncommutative Geometry, Analysis, and Topological Insulators” focused on the interactions between mathematics and theoretical physics in this area.

The workshop brought together researchers working in the fields of noncommutative topology and geometry, analysis of Schrödinger operators, and solid-state physics. There was a total of nine talks during the two days, ranging across diverse topics in the field, some more mathematical, other more physical in flavour.

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