NWO Open Competition Grants awarded to SBE researchers

SBE Researchers Anouk Festjens (MSCM) and Nico Pestel (ROA) have been awarded NWO grants for their research projects in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) domain. These grants are specifically intended to encourage bold, curiosity-driven ideas, even if the outcome is uncertain. The focus is on advancing science, regardless of the results.

Anouk Festjens , Assistant Professor at the deparment of Marketing & Supply Chain Management (MSCM)

Giving a guaranteed benefit to financially strained decision-makers improves their choices.

The counterproductive behaviours of financially constrained individuals, such as overborrowing, underinvesting, or paying high prices, are often attributed to them being mentally unable to make rational decisions. However, Anouk proposes a different explanation: These individuals engage in these behaviours because not doing so would often (especially in the lab) leave them empty-handed, with no immediate or guaranteed resources. 

Anouk aims to improve existing research methods to better understand the economic preferences of individuals, especially those facing financial constraints. She adds, "I hope that this research changes the assumption that if you are poor, you lack the mentality to make sustainable financial choices."  to find out more about how she aims to achieve this.

Nico Pestel , Associate Professor at the Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA)

Changing Work Climate - The Implications of Heat for Occupational Choice

Nico aims to examine the impacts of heat waves on jobs where people are exposed to heat. This project will add to current knowledge by exploring the economic consequences of heat exposure, beyond just its health effects. "Understanding how heat affects job choices will provide insight into how people adapt to ongoing climate change. Exposure to heat can also impact other life decisions, such as where to live, how to travel, and home infrastructure investments," Nico adds.

Nico’s project also has important policy implications for addressing labour shortages in industries crucial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

About NWO Open Competition SSH grants

The NWO Domain Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) has three different funding programmes in the Open Competition. There are small-scale grants, large-scale grants, and grants for ideas that hold great promise.

The SSH-XS pilot Call for proposals is specifically intended to encourage curiosity-driven and bold research that involves the relatively rapid exploration of a promising idea. The proposed research is ground-breaking and it is not certain in advance whether the intended objectives will be achieved. What counts is that the result of each project contributes to the advancement of science.

The SSH-XS grants are available for projects with a maximum budget of 50,000 euros to enable proposals for curiosity-driven, fundamental research in the research fields covered by the NWO SSH.