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A research proposals submitted by IBED researcher Dr William Gosling has been granted €50,000 euro from the National Science Agenda’s Idea Generator programme. He received the funding for a research project on the environmental pollution and the allergenic nature of pollen to further develop his innovative research idea.

Balsamorhiza sagittata with pollen
Picture: Matthew P. Del Buono

It is often difficult to obtain funding for fresh and innovative research ideas because such projects run the risk of not delivering the expected outcomes. The Idea Generator programme offers these kinds of ideas an opportunity for further development. The project proposals are assessed based on societal needs and impact, the risk and creativity associated with the idea, and the project plan.

Using the grant of €50,000, researchers that were granted the Idea Generator programme funding will collaborate with diverse partners in society on further small-scale development of their idea in the coming year. This may immediately produce results, but it could also lead to a broader research proposal or even lead to the conclusion that the idea is not feasible. In total, 37 researchers were awarded funding; the entire funding amount comes to €1.85 million euro.

Allergenic nature of pollen

The project of paleoecologist Dr William Gosling is entitled 'Does environmental pollution enhance the allergenic nature of pollen?' It is estimated that around 3 million Dutch people suffer from hay fever after coming into contact with airborne pollen. Air pollution could possibly alter pollen in such a way that it causes even more severe allergic reactions. In this project, Gosling will conduct research into whether different types of pollen in urban areas have been chemically altered and whether these changes vary over the course of a year.