August 3, 2023

Developmental neuroscientist Dr Michelle Achterberg and developmental psychologist Dr Lysanne te Brinke from the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences have both been awarded a €280,000 Veni grant from NWO. The Veni is a person-specific scientific grant from NWO for promising scientists.


Dealing with social rejection and the well-being of youth

Dr. Michelle Achterberg (Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies)

‘’Social rejection is one of the most challenging experiences for children and can have long-lasting negative impact on their well-being. Scientists currently do not understand why some children are more affected by social rejection than others. With the data collected in this Veni-project, I will be able to investigate the social development of children for 10 ongoing years (7 to 17 years old). Using brain imaging techniques in combination with daily questions through smartphones, I aim to discover which children are most affected by social rejection, to ultimately determine how we can best facilitate social development of these children.’

Young people as agents of change

Dr. Lysanne te Brinke (Department of Psychology, Education and Child Studies) 

”Adolescents who are growing up in the current decade need to deal with several societal challenges, such as increases in social inequalities and climate change. During the developmental period of adolescence, individuals experience a strong need to contribute to these societal challenges. However, little is known about how best to shape this need to contribute. In this project, I examine how adolescents can become agents of change by looking at differences between contributions to close others and contributions to the broader society”

About the Veni grant

Veni, together with the Vidi and Vici grants, is part of the Talent Programme. The NWO Talent Programme gives researchers the freedom to conduct their own research based on creativity and passion. NWO selects researchers based on the scientific quality and innovative nature of the research proposal, the scientific and/or societal impact of the proposed project and the quality of the researcher.

The programme encourages innovation and curiosity. Free research contributes to and prepares us for tomorrow’s society. This is why NWO focuses on a diversity of scientists, domains and backgrounds.