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All winners at the Student Research Conference 2015

“You are all winners”, Karl Dittrich said to the seventy selected students of the Student Research Conference. Dittrich is president of the VSNU and Chair of the Conference. “You are selected from over 190 bachelor’s theses. Today you can take your first step towards an academic career.”

Entrepreneurial thinkers

Over two hundred visitors attended the Student Research Conference at Tilburg University on November 11. It makes host Emile Aarts, rector magnificus of Tilburg University, proud to see such young talent. “I appreciate it when students make an effort on advancing society. That is our responsibility as a university. You have to be an entrepreneurial thinker, while most people are one of those two. It goes beyond knowledge, imagination takes you further and helps you to use that knowledge.”

Research is fun

Lex Heerma van Voss, director of the Huygens Institute of Dutch History and Professor of the history of social security at Utrecht University, displayed his love of research. “Research is fun, except for the week before an important deadline. You don’t get wealthy and it’s competitive business. But it is very rewarding.” He gives some pointers: “be quick, work hard, keep it interesting, persevere and find someone who will support you. And girls: work even harder and be confident. Support each other.”

Be somewhat stubborn

Mieke Boon is professor of Philosophy of Science in Practice at the University of Twente and Founder of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP). She advices the students to be ‘curious, critical and creative’. “And somewhat stubborn. Know that science research is 5% inspiration and 95% frustration. And learn how to think as a scientist by watching others.”

Tips on market labour

During the workshops, students get to present their thesis. The topics are very wide. During breaks, visitors get to question the students of the 36 poster presentations. Many critical and curious questions get asked. After the second round of workshops, the floor of the auditorium is for Ton Wilthagen, professor of labour market studies at Tilburg University. He explains the current situation on the Dutch labour market and warns that more jobs are going to be ‘robotosiced’. His tips: “Develop not only your research skills but also your soft skills and get into contact with companies during your studies.” 

Not impressed by the web

Helianthe Kort, holder of the Faculty Chair Demand Driven Care at the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, presents her work on build and health solutions for the future. “Good research will make an impact on society that will remain valuable. Follow your heart and passion and you will succeed.” Jos Engelen, Chairman of the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) points out the inspiring researches presented today. “You never know which research will become the most important. The first time I saw the world wide web, I wasn’t impressed.”

Prizes research poster and Exact

Although all participants were winners, they were not all able to win a prize. In the category Public Choice award for the best research poster, Sander Vlot of TU Delft won with his thesis on ‘Staged Parameter Optimisation for a Robotic Bird Model, exposing an actual model of that bird’. In the category Exact, Lotte Weerts of the University of Amsterdam won the first prize of 1500 euro with her research on ‘A computational approach towards the ontogeny of mirror neurons via Hebbian learning’.  Eric Marcus of Utrecht University ‘Magnetohydrodynamics at Heavy Ion Collisions’ won second place and a prize of 1000 euro and Serge Horbach of Radboud University Nederland won third place and a prize of 500 euro with his thesis on ‘Novel Protocols in Group-based Cryptography’.

Prizes Law, Economy & Society

In the category Law, Economy & Society first prize winner was Guna Schwanen of Maastricht University with ‘Being kind to my socially anxious mind: A study of the relationship between self-compassion and social anxiety’. Runner up was Aydan Figaroa of Utrecht University with ‘Eigendomsrecht: op de grens van mensenrechten en privaatrecht’. And third place was for Anne van Logten of Radboud University Nijmegen on ‘Personality Disorder, Institutional Violence and Self-Esteem in three Forensic Intellectual Disability Samples’.

Prizes Medicine & Health

In the category Medicine & Health the first prize went to Inge van der Werf of VU Medical Centre with ‘Involvement of SRSF1 in Alternative Splicing of FPGS and Methotrexate Resistance in Children with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia’. Second place went to Martijn Kerkhofs of KU Leuven on ‘Inhibiting Bcl-2 via its BH4 domain in DLBCL cancers to provoke pro-apoptotic Ca2+ signaling’. Third place winner was Jente van Staalduinen of Leiden University with her thesis on ‘Towards targeting overactive BMP signaling in Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva’.

Prizes Language & Culture

In the category Language & Culture first prize went to Simon van Oort from Utrecht University with ‘The Fictional Protagonist of Modern Liability Law: A History of the Origins of the Reasonable Man’. Runner up was Lukas Reinarz of Radboud University Nijmegen with ‘Cladistic methods in linguistics and Dollo’s Law’. Third place winner was Seyla Wachlin of the University of Amsterdam with ‘A quantitative analysis of German Success factors during the 1944 razzia in Rotterdam’.