Nieuws - 4 februari 2010

No VICIs once again

Wageningen does not get any VICI grants for the fourth year running. Good researchers in their forties are thin on the ground

This week, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) handed out 31 VICI grants to top Dutch researchers. Wageningen did not receive any for the fourth year in a row. The last Wageningen researcher to get a VICI grant was Harro Bouwmeester at the end of 2005.
'It is a pity', says talent scout Henrieke de Ruiter. There was one Wageningen researcher in the race but he just missed getting a prize. The VICI grant, worth one and a half million per person, is awarded to top researchers who received their doctorates less than fifteen years ago. They have to be in the top ten per cent in their research field in terms of publications and citation scores.
 Are Wageningen researchers not that good? De Ruiter does not know for certain but she suspects there are relatively few Wageningen researchers who meet the criteria in this highly competitive domain. 'We have a lot of very good older researchers who received their doctorates more than fifteen years ago. And I see young researchers who definitely have a chance of getting a VICI in a few years time.' De Ruiter says researchers in their forties with a first-class CV would appear to be thin on the ground