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Four major European grants for Tilburg researchers

Published: 10th January 2022 Last updated: 10th January 2022

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The European Research Council (ERC) of the European Union has awarded four prestigious grants to promising researchers at Tilburg University. This was announced by the ERC on January 10. Each researcher receives a starting grant of 1.5 million euros.

Kim De Roover of the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences (TSB) receives the grant to develop new structural equation methods for large surveys. Sander Verhaegh of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD) for his research on the impact of immigration on the American intellectual climate in the years before World War II. Nicola Pavanini of the Tilburg School of Economics and Management (TiSEM) receives the subsidy for regulation of housing and mortgage markets. And Phillip Paiement of Tilburg Law School (TLS)  for his research on how legal experts can effect change to overcome transnational obstacles.

Kim De Roover (TSB): 'Social scientists often use large-scale surveys to study relations between constructs, like between values and climate change beliefs. In large-scale surveys, the relations likely differ across groups (like countries), participants or time. On top of that, differences in how the constructs are measured may invalidate the comparison of the relations. I will develop new methods for capturing heterogeneity in constructs’ relations with a clustering, while accounting for measurement differences. I am very honored that the European Research Council is giving me the opportunity to realize my research plans.'

Sander Verhaegh (TSHD) focuses on the development of the American intellectual climate in the years before World War II that arose after the flight of hundreds of, mostly Jewish, academics to the United States. Verhaegh investigates why some refugees were more successful than others. 'We are going to map that intellectual climate through computational analysis of thousands of publications and we will use these data as input for in-depth archival studies.'

Nicola Pavanini (TiSEM): 'I am very happy and grateful to have been awarded a generous and prestigious grant like the ERC Starting Grant. I would like to thank all my colleagues and co-authors who were kind enough to help me plan the research projects behind this grant, and I am looking forward to developing these projects further in the coming years.' Pavanini is exploring how we can better regulate housing and mortgage markets where wealth, redistribution and financial stability are balanced. Unique micro-data will be collected and structural econometric models built in the process. The goal is to propose optimal regulations to address the emerging challenges of home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb, securitization of mortgages and leverage limits.

Phillip Paiement (TLS) project develops an explanatory model of transnational cooperation in environmental management. With a contribution to the sociology of strategic litigators, he will explore how change can be initiated in legal systems to overcome transnational obstacles. In this way, global environmental challenges can be better addressed. Paiement said, 'I am honored to pursue this ambitious project at the TLS. The project will benefit from the feedback and advice of my colleagues who were so helpful to me. Now begins the process of finding the best candidates to work with me on the project.

For more information, please contact persvoorlichters@tilburguniversity.edu, tel. 013 4000. See also ERC Starting Grants.