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The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has announced Rubicon grants for two researchers who recently obtained their PhDs at the UvA. Matthijs Oude Lohuis and Steef Smit both obtained their doctorates in 2022 at the Faculty of Science. The grants will allow Oude Lohuis and Smit to conduct research at a foreign research institute and thus gain international experience.

NWO received applications from 42 researchers in this round and awarded a total of 17 grants. The amount of funding depends on the destination chosen and the length of stay.

The UvA recipients

Dr Matthijs Oude Lohuis (Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences): Communication in the brain: flexible signalling with fixed lines

Nearly all brain functions depend on rapidly changing communication between different brain areas, even though connections between them are relatively fixed. Oude Lohuis will measure neural activity across areas and label the connections to understand how different areas communicate with each other and decipher how the brain dynamically controls ‘who talks to whom’.

Oude Lohuis will leave for the Champalimaud Foundation in Portugal for a period of two years.

Dr Steef Smit (Institute of Physics): Probing the many-body wavefunction of high Tc cuprates

In his research, Smit tries to unravel the fundamental mechanisms behind high-temperature superconductivity in copper oxides. To this end, he is developing a completely new experimental technique: '2e-ARPES'. This allows the simultaneous measurement of several electrons and their mutual interactions, which are responsible for superconductivity.

Smit will go to the Quantum Matter Institute of the University of British Columbia in Canada for a period of two years.