Research Talent Grant awarded to Peter de Jong and Nienke Jonker
MaGW, the Social and Behavioural Sciences division of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) awarded 35 Research Talent Grants this year. NWO Research Talent program is an open competition for a doctoral project for talented young researchers in the social and behavioural sciences who wish to build a career as a scientist.
Peter de Jong, Professor of Clinical Psychology, and Nienke Jonker, currently a second-year Research Master student, received one of the Research Talent Grants this year, for a proposal titled ‘Temptation and restraint: The role of reward and punishment sensitivity in disordered eating’ (abstract below). The grant will enable Nienke to continue as a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology in the Fall.
Abstract: Overeating/overweight is a mounting problem for public health. Why are so many people unable to restrict their food-intake? And how can this be reconciled with the other end of the spectrum where Anorexia patients can control their food-intake to the point where it results in life-threatening complications? To elucidate these puzzling observations, we test the hypothesis that individual differences in sensitivity for cues signaling reward and punishment play a critical role in people?s (in)ability to regulate food-intake. We will test the prognostic value of these characteristics for developing under/overweight and test a clinical intervention to counteract these sensitivities.