Two Hestia grants for refugee scientists

Nine academics, who fled threatening situations in their homeland, are set to continue their scientific careers in the Netherlands. Two of them are from VU Amsterdam. Their appointments will be funded by the second round of a pilot programme launched in 2018 called ‘Hestia – Impulse for Refugees in Science’ from the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

01/07/2020 | 2:32 PM

Hekmat Alrouh and Younes Younes
At the faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences Hekmat Alrouh will start working on the project the impact of parental genes on offspring health: nurture via nature of professor biological psychology Dorret Boomsma.

Children from low socioeconomic families are at higher risk of poor health. This could be due to growing up in poverty, to transmitted genetic liability, or both. This study uses a new “genetic nurture” design to explore how parents influence children’s health via genes and the environment.

At the Faculty of Social Sciences Younes will work on the project From short-term engagement to long-term integration of refugees of professor Diversity and Integration Halleh Ghorashi.

This project contributes to the growing demand of knowledge and solutions of the long-term integration of refugees. The most innovative part of this project is investigating the contributions of neighbourhood- and community initiatives (like Hoost in Amsterdam-East in 2016) in the integration of refugee participants in the Dutch labor market.

A total of 21 admissible research proposals were submitted. Nine of these have now been awarded funding. Seven of the ten refugees appointed are men and two are women. Five of the project leaders/main applicants are women and four men. A total budget of just over 1 million euros was available for the pilot. A third and final round of the ‘Hestia – Impulse for Refugees in Science’ pilot programme will be launched in the spring of 2020.