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Three prestigious Vidi research grants from NWO for Tilburg University

Published: 13th July 2021 Last updated: 14th July 2021

Three prestigious Vidi grants have been awarded to Tilburg University by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). They are for Sander Verhaegh of the Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences, Kim De Roover of the Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Martijn Boons of the Tilburg School of Economics and Management.

One of the grants is for the philosophical research of Dr. Sander Verhaegh  on the intellectual climate in the United States in the years before WWII. The second one is for Kim De Roover who is developing new methods to bring together groups with common latent processes into clusters. Finally, Associate Professor Martijn Boons (TiSEM) received the grant for his analysis of which factors explain variations in long-term stock and bond returns.

Rector Magnificus, also chairman of the Executive Board, Wim van de Donk: 'We are very proud of the recognition our colleagues have received for their excellent research that contributes to new insights into our society. With the grants they will be able to deepen and disseminate their knowledge.'

The grants amount to 800,000 euros each.

sander verhaegh

Sander Verhaegh (TSHD) focuses on the development of the American intellectual climate in the years before World War II. During this period hundreds, mostly Jewish academics fled to the United States. 'Remarkably, it was mainly a small school of philosophers of science from Vienna that left its mark on the American philosophical debate. At the same time other currents, much stronger in Europe, were losing influence. This philosophical paradigm shift was very decisive for the intellectual climate, including in Europe. However, the question of why some refugees were more successful than others is still unanswered. This is what I want to explore with my team. In doing so, we will use a combination of traditional archival work and innovative computational methods.'

Kim de Roover

Dr. Kim De Roover (TSB): 'Psychologists and other social scientists often investigate relationships or processes between unobservable or 'latent' variables, measured with questionnaire items. In order to compare such 'latent processes' more easily and correctly, I will develop new methods that bring together groups (for data from many groups, such as countries) or subjects (for intensively longitudinal data from many subjects) with common latent processes into clusters. I am very happy and honored that the NWO offers me the opportunity to develop this line of research in the next five years.' 

Martijn Boons

Martijn Boons (TiSEM): 'In this project I am developing new foundations for the long-term paradigm by, among other things, developing new tools for asset pricing. This will allow you to understand the long run dynamics of characteristics and expected returns, construct the longest running database of historical stock and bond returns, and establish new facts about the extent of mispricing in the long run. The insights from this project will be of interest to academics in the field of asset pricing as well as companies, investors in and asset managers. And society can ultimately benefit from a well-functioning asset management industry that corrects mispricing, reducing investment distortions and thus improving prosperity.'

For more information, please contact spokesperson Tineke Bennema, tel. 06 19678521 or See further the NWO website.