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Two Rubicon awards for astronomy researchers

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) has awarded 31 young, promising scientists funding from the Rubicon programme. With Rubicon, newly promoted Dutch scientists can gain experience in a different country. Foreign researchers can perform their research in the Netherlands with this funding. Two Rubicon fellowships are awarded to Dr.Ir. Rob Maaskant (ASTRON) and Dr. Christian Struve (ASTRON/ Kapteyn Institute).

Most of the successful candidates did their PhD in the Netherlands and are going abroad. As in earlier rounds, the United States and Great Britain are popular destinations. Other candidates are going to France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

Published by the editorial team, 8 July 2010

Experience abroad

Seven researchers are using the Rubicon to do research at a Dutch institute. Three of these seven researchers did their PhD abroad. NWO hopes to attract more foreign researchers to do their research in the Netherlands in the near future and in this way to stimulate international mobility of scientific talent.

In total, 155 young researchers submitted an application and 31 of them now received a Rubicon. Most important in the assessment is the quality of the research proposal, of the researchers and the guest institute. The feasibility of the research and the mobility of the researcher are also taken into account.

Additional finance from Brussels

Dutch institutes accomodating foreign researchers for a year, receive 55,000 Euro. Dutch reseachers who go abroad, receive funding which depends on the chosen destination. Every round, NWO offers 1.7 million Euro for the Rubicon. For the rounds in 2010, NWO receives cofunding from the ‘Marie Curie Cofund Action’ programme of the EU. With these means, NWO can offer more to young researchers who want to do research abroad.


The name of this funding programme originates in the river Rubicon. Julius Caesar crossed this river before he started his victory run that led to the words: ‘Veni, vidi, vici’. The Rubicon ( is a good step towards a Veni award from the socalled ‘Vernieuwingsimpuls’ of NWO.

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