Different faculties at the EUR have been successful at securing major grants for important research projects.

Susanne Janssen, Professor of Sociology of Media and Culture at the Faculty of History and Arts, recently received a large European grant, 900,000 euro, for research into the social, cultural and economic significance of popular music heritage. Janssen will conduct the research together with other European researchers. Her proposal was one of ten proposals that were awarded grants in the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) programme Cultural Dynamics, Inheritance and Identity. Apparently hers was a good proposal, because in total 175 were sent in.

Janssen’s research project, called Popular Music Heritage, Cultural Memory and Cultural Identity (POPID), looks into the significance of the popular music heritage for music lovers and the music industry in Europe. The tradition goes back half a century and pop genres like rock and punk could symbolize national identity as strongly as traditional ways of expressing national identity, like food, flags and sports. Little is known about the position of pop music heritage with music lovers and how it shapes these people’s cultural identity.

Janssen was not the only EUR researcher who was successful in getting a large grant. Wiep van Bunge, professor and dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, has received a 600,000 euro grant from the Netherlands organisation for scientific research (NWO) for his research project ‘Faultline 1700: Early Enlightenment Conversations on Religion and Society’. Together with Dr Joke Spaans of Utrecht University, van Bunge researches how the public debate around religion in the Netherlands in the early 1800s led to a new consensus which would give direction to the Dutch enlightenment. Van Bunge’s research project will take four years. The NOW rewarded nine proposals with a grant, out of a total of 39 contenders.

A third EUR researcher to have been successful in another NWO grant scheme is professor Erik-Hans Klijn. He got 200,000 euro to finance a PhD position in the research project ‘Complex Decision Making in the Drama Democracy’. The project focuses on the influence of sudden media attention and consequent political interventions around complex decision making processes. Together with Dr. S. van de Walle, Klijn researches whether media attention and political interventions influence the decision making processes in a positive way, or pose a threat. Klijn is also a guest teacher at the University of Birmingham in England.