Veni grants for Academy researchers

4 May 2022

Three Academy researchers have received a Veni grant for their research. Thanks to the grant – awarded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) – they can implement their research plan over the next three years. A Veni grant amounts to a maximum of EUR 280,000 and is one of NWO’s person-specific types of funding to foster scientific and scholarly talent.

International Institute of Social History

Peyman Jafari – How oil connected the world

Oil has radically changed the world we live in. It has brought prosperity and mobility, but it has also caused socio-ecological problems and colonial inequality. This study shows how both these developments went hand in hand, and were caused by the way big oil companies and imperial states changed land ownership, labour relations, and nature in oil-producing regions. To overcome the obstacles and resistance they encountered, they devised legal, administrative, and technological solutions with which they connected those regions with the rest of the world, but they also institutionalised socio-ecological problems and colonial power relations.

Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies

Joseph Jean – Places to not forget: De-silencing the narratives and heritage of the world’s first black republic, Haiti

This project investigates contemporary practices and interactions with archaeological heritage in postcolonial societies. Innovatively combining insights from archaeology, ethnography, and heritage studies, I use Haiti to point out the importance of involving historically marginalised communities so as to arrive at inclusive narratives of the past and heritage.

Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging

Maartje de Jong – I see… what you don’t see! How the brain generates visual experiences

Your eyes capture light like a camera, but to actually see you need your brain. How does your brain integrate visual with subjective information? Neural signals travelling in the opposite, “feedback”, direction through a hierarchy of brain regions may play a key role. This project aims to determine how these feedback signals contribute to visual experiences of objects. While human participants view images of real and illusory objects, I will measure neural feedback signals using advanced neuroimaging techniques, and manipulate them with a pharmacological intervention that inhibits feedback. This project will help solve the enigma around feedback signals, and thus help understand how brain regions work together.


Together with Vidi and Vici, Veni forms part of the NWO’s Talent Programme (formerly the Innovational Research Incentive Scheme). Veni is for researchers who have recently gained their PhD. Within the Talent Programme, researchers are free to submit their own topic for funding. In this way NWO promotes innovative, curiosity-driven research. It selects researchers based on their individual quality, the innovative nature of their research, the expected scientific impact, and the options for knowledge utilisation.