Dynamics of Youth community platform


DoY funding instruments

The strategic theme Dynamics of Youth offers researchers different funding instruments to stimulate and support sustainable interdisciplinary research. DoY has a limited palette of funding instruments, all with a distinct objective. In this way, we will facilitate applicants to work across the boundaries of disciplines and domains. The three funding instruments are: the Invigoration Grants, the Open Call and the Booster Grant (in collaboration with UMCU). For detailed information on each instrument, please see below. Please click on the funding opportunity you want to know more about.

Invigoration Grants

  • Dynamics of Youth (DoY) Invigoration grants facilitate innovative research utilizing data, tools, and methods already available and certified. 
  • DoY Invigoration grants are meant to revitalize these existing data and other resources.
  • The proposed research must aim to contribute to the mission and vision of Dynamics of Youth and fit in one or more communities. 
  • DoY Invigoration Grants support open science and scientific integrity.

The call and application form can change over time. Please make sure you download the most recent versions from this website. Please bear in mind the review cut-off points for the Dynamics of Youth funding.

Got questions?

Invigoration Grant
If you have questions specifically about the Invigoration Grants, please contact Femke Everaarts (F.M.Everaarts@uu.nl) or Jacobine Buizer (J.E.Buizer-voskamp@uu.nl). 

Open Call

  • The Dynamics of Youth open call funding is applicable for all sorts of funding applications, as long as it fits the vision and ambition of DoY. E.g. it could be used for, but is not limited to, community events, visiting fellowships, podcasts, participation in international conferences and symposia (travel grant), FAIRification, etc.
  • The proposal must aim to contribute to the mission and vision of Dynamics of Youth and strengthen DoY and its communities.

Please bear in mind the review cut-off points for the Dynamics of Youth funding. Applications up to 2.500 euros will be reviewed all year within 4 – 6 weeks after submission. Applications over 2.500 euros will be reviewed at the review cut-off points.

The call and application form can change over time. Please make sure you download the most recent versions from this website.

Got questions?

Open Call
If you have questions specifically about the Open Call, please contact Femke Everaarts (F.M.Everaarts@uu.nl) or Jacobine Buizer (J.E.Buizer-voskamp@uu.nl). 

Booster Grant

In recent years, important steps have been taken towards increased cooperation between Child Health (UMCU) and Dynamics of Youth (UU). We continue strengthening our cooperation, among others by joint booster grants, once a year. The booster grants support, increase or amplify the effectiveness, power, and strengths of collaborations across the UMCU and UU. The Child Health & Dynamics of Youth booster grants facilitate:

  • Interdisciplinary research, connecting researchers from Child Health and Dynamics of Youth
  • Research utilizing data, tools, and methods already available and certified (including replication studies)
  • The booster grants are open once a year, usually in Q3.

The call and application for of the Booster Grant will follow in Q3 of 2024.

Got questions?

If you have questions specifically about the Booster Grant, please contact Carolien Huizinga or Jacobine Buizer, via C.S.M.Huizinga@umcutrecht.nl or J.E.Buizer-Voskamp@uu.nl

Accepted funding proposals


Invigoration Grants

Frank Wijnen (Humanities) and Elise de Bree (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Improving Spontaneous Language Analysis: Identifying False Starts Automatically

The prevalence of developmental language delays in children is estimated at 25%. Such delays can be due to (quantitatively and/or qualitatively) insufficient spoken language input. This project will work on the improvement of SASTA. SASTA is an application with the aim to improve and accelerate the assessment / diagnosis of developmental language delays and disorders (and also of acquired language disorders in adults [aphasia]), as well as monitoring language progress. Accurate diagnoses that can be attained within a limited time span will help improve the quality of language interventions in clinical (therapy) and educational (remediation) settings. The goal of this project is to make SASTA able to automatically detect and repair false starts in order for the linguistic analysis of spontaneous language sessions with children and patients to be more accurate.

Joost de Laat (Law, Economics and Governance), Joyce Browne (Medicine) and Maria van der Harst (Law, Economics and Governance) – Self-efficacy and goal setting among adolescent Roma mothers: learning from a nurse family home visiting program in Bulgaria

Vulnerable first-time mothers worldwide lack access to the resources, support and health care needed to achieve good health and wellbeing for themselves and their child. This includes young Roma women in Europe, a particularly disadvantaged group. While there has been growing research on self-efficacy (for instance in educational achievement), there is still little known about self-efficacy and its potential as a protective factor among disadvantaged adolescents (Hamill 2003), how it relates to resilient behaviors in response to adversity (Cassidy 2015), and how it can be nurtured. The goal of this project is therefore to deepen our understanding on the manifestations, determinants, and impacts of self-efficacy and goal-setting among first-time vulnerable Roma mothers and their young children.

Open Call

Rengin Isik Akin (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Travel Fund Application for EARA2022

The aim of this proposal is to apply for a travel fund for the EARA2022 (European Association of Research on Adolescence Conference) in Dublin, Ireland. Rengin’s research focuses on how family relationships in late adolescence and early adulthood are intertwined with the transition to move out of the family house. Rengin examines both the family predictors of moving out and the consequences of moving out for family relationships, in two cultures, Turkey and The Netherlands. At EARA2022, Rengin presented findings from her most recent analyses on the data she collected in Turkey with Turkish adolescents. By understanding the opportunities and challenges associated with home-leaving and the effects on family relationships and young individuals’ well-being may shed light in how to support both youth and their families before and after important life transitions.

Willy Sier (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Book & grant writing mobility grant Dream Chasers: Rural Chinese students in urban universities

This fund supports a 2-month writing and research period in Paris for Willy Sier, where she have been invited by Professor Catherine Capdeville-Zeng at the Institute National des Langues et Civilationes Orientales (INALCO). Willy Sier will spend two months in Paris working on her book Dream Chasers: Rural Chinese students in urban universities in an inspiring environment, while at the same time discussing future research collaborations with China scholars at INALCO which will form the basis of an application for a FIAS research grant in March 2023.

Andrik Becht (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Tim Favier (Geosciences) and Eco-schools Nederland (Societal partner) – Developing and piloting a questionnaire to understand adolescents’ ecological identity development and pro-environmental behaviors: A co-creation with teachers and students

This interdisciplinary research project was sparked by a personal concern by Andrik Becht about our natural environment and a meeting with the coordinator of Eco-Schools Netherlands (the societal partner in this project) where we talked about effective ingredients to stimulate adolescents’ pro-environmental behaviors (e.g., shifting to a plant-based diet). Many of Eco-Schools teachers’ struggle with questions of when and how they can best motivate their students to show more pro-environmentally friendly behaviors. Preliminary evidence in adult samples suggest that ecological identity – the extent to which environmentalism is an important part of the self – positively impacts pro-environmental behaviors. Yet, empirical evidence on the role of ecological identity in stimulating pro-environmental behaviors in adolescents is limited. The main goal of this interdisciplinary research project is therefore to increase our understanding of the role of ecological identity to stimulate adolescents’ pro-environmental behaviors.


Invigoration Grants

Sander Bakkes (Science), Stefanie Nelemans (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Heidi Lesscher (Veterinary Medicine), Julian Frommel (Science) – Shoulder-to-Shoulder: How Pinball Supports Emotional Self-Disclosure of Children

The present research connects to the recent sharp deterioration in youth’s mental health in general, and a substantial increase in emotional problems among youth. The HBSC 2021 report particularly highlights the importance of good social relationships to cope with the challenges of contemporary life. Crucial for establishing such social relationships is emotional self-disclosure; enabling peers to provide support for challenges that an individual may experience. A context that is supportive for mental health, in fact, is pinball. For the present research, the potential that pinball provides for emotional self-disclosure is further investigated. The proposed research builds upon a dataset of in-depth semi-structured interviews with pinball enthusiasts.  Also, the proposed research builds on existing methods that analyze qualitative data to code for self-disclosure. Finally, the research leverages tools and expertise from the UU Department of Information and Computing Sciences on the automated aggregation, principal component analysis, and computational modeling of multimodal behavioural data – for the creation of a new, rich dataset of child play interactions.

Lotte Gerritsen (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Stefanie Nelemans (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Marijke Achterbeg (Veterinary Medicine), Anne Marieke Doornweerd (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – The role of hormonal contraceptive use on adolescent stress reactivity and subsequent anxiety and depressive symptom trajectories

Adolescence is a vulnerable period for the development of internalizing behavior problems, such as depression and anxiety. While rates of these symptoms are generally low in childhood, they increase to near-adult prevalence levels in adolescence. Moreover, girls experience internalizing symptoms twice as often as boys. Hence, it is crucial to get a better understanding of what makes adolescent girls more susceptible to develop mood and anxiety symptoms and disorders. The overarching aim of the current proposal is to gain novel nuanced insights into the (neurobiological) nature of the association between adolescent oral contraceptive (OC) use, adolescent stress-reactivity, and females’ anxiety and depressive symptom trajectories into young adulthood by applying a longitudinal indirect effects/mediation model. Data from the RADAR-study (https://doi.org/10.17026/dans-zrb-v5wp; UU Department of Youth & Family) will be used, building the recent collaborative study between some of the applicants of this proposal on adolescent hormonal contraceptive use and mood and anxiety trajectories.

Frans Adriaans (Humanities), Heysem Kaya (Science), Anika van der Klis (Humanities) – Linguistic and paralinguistic characteristics of Dutch infant-directed speech and early infant vocalizations: a computational perspective

When adults speak to infants, they change the way they speak. For example, adults start speaking at a higher pitch and use wider intonation contours. It is currently unclear whether these speech modifications help or hinder early language development. Recent research has focused on developing computational models that can resolve conflicting findings in this area. However, such models crucially need to be trained and tested on large annotated datasets of infant-directed speech, and such datasets are currently not widely available. One complication in the creation of new datasets is that the particular speech characteristics pose a challenge for automated annotation tools that can facilitate the time-consuming process of data annotation. The current project aims to make both theoretical and practical advancements in the study of early language development by producing a new version of an existing dataset containing Dutch infant-directed and adult-directed speech, as well as vocalizations by 18- and 24-month-old infants (Han, 2019, Utrecht University).

Arjen Koppen (Medicine), Gonneke Stevens (Social and Behavioral Sciecnes), Saskia Rietjens (Medicine), Margreet de Looze (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Sebastianus Oude Ophuis (Medicine) – Multidisciplinary integrative approach to investigate trends in adolescent mental health

The goals of this study are threefold: 1. Getting a deeper understanding of the decline in mental health between 2001 and 2022 among young people in the Netherlands, by age and gender, by analyzing and linking data from three data sources, which are complementary in terms of the informant used and severity of mental health problems; 2. Understanding potential links between recently observed increases in perceived schoolwork pressure, emotional problems and hyperactivity-inattention problems and the use of methylphenidate among young people by combining self-report and national level data. 3. Actively stimulating linkages between different data sources and create multidisciplinary research groups to interpret the available data on young people’s mental health. This includes intensifying the collaboration between the involved research groups from Utrecht University and UMC Utrecht by sharing our data and expertise, but it also entails reaching out to potential local partners and data sources in Utrecht, such as from Spoor030 and KOOS. These organizations are responsible for the care of children with mental health problems in the municipality of Utrecht.

Marolijn Vermande (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Kris de Jaegher (Law, Economics and Governance), Prof. Dr. E.H.M. Sterck (Science) – Cooperation of children and students in a Stag Hunt game

Cooperation is a fundamental aspect of human behavior and society, often studied using economic games that simplify complex decision-making situations. The Stag hunt game is a realistic model for studying mutualistic cooperation, where two players must choose between Stag or Hare to maximize their rewards.

The present study compares strategies of 6-9-year-old children and college students in a Stag hunt game with and without prior training on the reward structure. The study also explores the influence of communication, gender, and relationship type between players, as well as the impact of communication on successful coordination in college students.

Additionally, an abstract version of the game was developed for college students, and both communication-allowed and communication-not-allowed conditions were studied. The study aims to shed light on how different factors affect cooperation strategies in the Stag hunt game. Since June 2023 the data collection is complete and the recordings have been coded. The granted funding goes to preparing and analyzing the data and writing a manuscript.

Ora Oudgenoeg-Paz (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Pauline Slot (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Olaf Verschuren (UMC Utrecht), Eline de Groot (Humanities) – Caregivers’ beliefs and knowledge about infant sleep at the (medical) daycare – A cross-cultural comparison

The current study will analyze caregivers’ beliefs, practices, and knowledge regarding infant sleep with self-reports, as well as the actual sleep of infants and the observed interaction quality in the daycare center. The study will use the same instrument used in a similar study at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel, meaning that a cross-cultural comparison with the Israeli context can be conducted. In addition, the study will differentiate between infants with and without additional care-needs by including regular daycare centers and medical daycare centers (MKDs) to see if any differences exist between the practices and beliefs surrounding sleep of infants with additional care-needs between these two settings. Given the importance of sleep and the wide use of daycare in infancy, the insights gained in this study can be used to improve sleep quality across contexts, also for infants with additional care-needs.

Itir Önal Ertuğrul (Science), Roy Hessels (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Automated assessment of internalizing and externalizing behavior of children from parent-child interaction videos

Current methods to assess mental disorders depend almost entirely on clinical interviews and self-report scales, with clinical interviews considered the gold standard. These methods may be supported by recent technological innovations that allow the efficient and objective assessment of nonverbal behaviors, which can be strong indicators of the presence of mental disorders. Such automated assessment of mental disorders from multimodal behavioral cues has become an important topic in the field of affective computing.
The current work aims to automatically assess internalizing and externalizing behavior in children, including symptoms of anxiety, depression, and aggressive behavior, using facial expressions, head dynamics, and eye gaze data from parent-child interaction videos. For this the CHDUALET dataset collected within the scope of YOUth Study will be used.
The key goals are to develop an AI-based system for automated assessment and interpretation of nonverbal behaviors related to children’s internalizing and externalizing behavior.

Open Call

Tim Takken (Medicine) – Summerschool Paediatric Sport & Exercise Medicine 2023

Sport and Exercise are important for typically developing children as well as for children with chronic disease. This Summerschool will give a thorough introduction in pediatric sport and exercise medicine. During this week the current evidence regarding clinical pediatric exercise physiology and the role of exercise as medicine will be summarized. Moreover, skills will be practiced regarding anthropometrics, physical activity, fitness testing, and fitness training. Speakers are from faculty of Medicine UU/UMC, Veterinary  Medicine UU, Hogeschool Utrecht. Also Prof Jeroen Dudink (DoY  Community chair) will speak about Sleep and Performance.

Shanshan Bi (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Travel grant to attend the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) 2023 Annual Meeting

At the conference, Shanshan will present her research on “Changes in Late Adolescents’ Trust Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic” as part of a joint Flash Talk session with five other researchers from other international universities. This collaboration demonstrates the significance of bringing together researchers from different backgrounds to address pressing issues affecting youth. In addition, with its theme of “Keeping Pace with a Changing World,” the conference program focuses on adolescent development and includes engaging presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and informative poster sessions that will provide opportunities to connect with leading international researchers and scholars in the field.

Gaëlle Ouvrein (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Travel grant to attend the 73e conference of the International Communication Association (ICA)

Gaëlle Ouvrein will present her recent work on adolescent development and social media at the annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA) in Toronto, which is the largest communication sciences conference in the world. By presenting her research as a communication scientist active in an interdisciplinary group, she can showcase the importance and relevance of the interdisciplinary approach and further promote it. By starting her presentation from a clear problem in youth development (i.e., online aggression toward famous people), she can illustrate the challenge-based approach and prove the clear commitment to improving youth development by working across disciplines.

Dzhansel Karakash (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Travel Fund Application for ECDP 2023

Dzhansel Karakash applied for a travel fund to attend the European Conference on Developmental Psychology (ECDP) in Turku, Finland. The findings of her research on the intergenerational transmission of negative parenting behaviors will offer important knowledge on intergenerational transmission, as the study will use data from different generations collected in a period of over 20 years. This work also fits very well within the Dynamics of Youth community Early Childhood and Thriving and Healthy Youth. Sharing and discussing the results with international experts will not only be important for receiving expert input on the results and implications but will also greatly contribute to the visibility of our work internationally.

Thomas van Huizen (Law, Economics and Governance) – Research visit University of Oslo – EQOP/CREATE

The application concerns a grant to fund a short research stay (3 weeks) at the University of Oslo hosted by Henrik Zachrisson, whom received funding for a Centre of Excellence (CREATE-Centre for Research on Equality in Education). In terms of aims and mission, the new Centre for Excellence is closely related to Dynamics of Youth. Multidisciplinary and societal impact are key features of the Centre. It is therefore relevant to be connected to this Norwegian Centre for Excellence. The Norwegian centre focuses on early childhood and education; there is therefore a clear link with research within the DoY communities early childhood and youth education & life skills.

Anneloes van Baar (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Development First! Acquiring participants who are NOT highly educated

Through ‘Zwangerenportaal’ it will be possible to ask parents living in postcode areas where many people live without high education levels, to participate in our study ‘Development First!’. In this way, norms for the Ages and Stages Questionnaire can be created. If the number of participants of parents who have a low or medium level of education is increased, norms for the Dutch population can be created.

Elma Blom (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Frank Wijnen (Humanities), Mireille Bekker (Medicine) – Validating the Buikpraat ap for young and vulnerable mothers

‘Buikpraat’ is an accessible, non-institutional platform that helps mothers to engage with their child before and after giving birth (first 1000 days), primarily through practical exercises (e.g. deliberately using speech and song directed at the fetus in the 3rd trimester). In light of the available evidence, this is expected to have a positive effect on attachment. ‘Buikpraat’ is conceived as a platform that will be especially helpful for (expectant) mothers who are, for various reasons, vulnerable. The effectiveness of ‘Buikpraat’ will have to be determined by means of a large-scale (quasi-)experimental study. The present application concerns a small-scale, qualitative study that needs to be done in preparation of an intervention study. The primary aim is to determine whether the services and functionality of the ‘Buikpraat’ app match the need profiles of expectant mothers that have been established during the design phase.

Tessel Boerma (Humanities), Elma Blom (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Caroline Junge (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Jacqueline van Kampen (Humanities), Anika van der Klis (Humanties), Ora Oudgenoeg-Paz (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Elena Tribushinina (Humanities), Emma Verhoeven (Social and Behavioral Sciences), Merel van Witteloostuijn (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – TOK-dag 2023 in Utrecht: a day devoted to language development in children

On November 10th, Utrecht University will host the 2023 edition of the TOK-dag
(“TaalOntwikkeling Kinderen in Nederland en Vlaanderen”). This yearly event connects all researchers and professionals who are interested in language development of children, aiming to exchange ideas and experiences, gain inspiration and facilitate networking.

Stefanie Nelemans (Social and Behavioral Sciences) – Adolescent Loneliness from an Interdisciplinary Perspective: A Research Visit and Symposium

This proposal concerns the international research visit for an early career researcher, who is co-supervised as co-promotor/daily supervisor by a DoY researcher (i.e., the main applicant), and the organization of an interdisciplinary DoY symposium on the topic of loneliness in youth. The key goals for this ‘project’ are:
(1) Facilitate intensive collaboration between the visiting PhD student and the main applicant on her in progress interdisciplinary study, in which the visiting PhD student aims to elucidate a biological mechanism (i.e., stress-reactivity) through which DNA methylation might affect the development of adolescent loneliness;
(2) Strengthen existing and initiating new (multi-/interdisciplinary) collaboration(s) between DoY researchers on the development of youth loneliness and neurobiological mechanisms underlying youth psychosocial adjustment, involving the visiting PhD student. This will thereby not only strongly contribute to the professional development of the visiting PhD student, but will also strengthen multi-/interdisciplinary collaboration(s) within DoY;
(3) Organize an interdisciplinary DoY symposium on loneliness in youth that brings together DoY researchers on this specific topic, as well as connects L-C&Y and DoY researchers. The visiting PhD student will also present her work at this symposium

Bruce Mutsvairo (Humanities) – Symposium Youth and Digital Platforms: Vocalizing Voices from the South

On Januari 29th 2024, this symposium will discuss the role of social media platforms in connecting young people worldwide.
While research on digital platforms in the Global South has improved over the last five years, very little is known about the impact that social networks are having among the youths in economically poorer regions of the world. In line with Dynamics of Youth research community “Becoming Adults in a Changing World,” this international symposium and its supporting outputs including a special edited issue and a series of news articles, provides a platform for practitioners and researchers from different disciplines, UU-wide and beyond, to discuss and exchange knowledge, thoughts and insights but also ultimately facilitate the open exchange of ideas on this very important topic.

DoY communities funding opportunities

Besides the general DoY funding instruments as described above, the four Dynamics of Youth research communities have their own funding plans to meet their aims and plan of action. Please click the community of interest to read more about their funding opportunities (see below).