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Sapere Aude 2024

Four excellent researchers receive prestigious grants

Independent Research Fund Denmark has just awarded this year's Sapere Aude grants, and at SDU four talented researchers each receive approx. 6 million kroner.

By Susan Grønbech Kongpetsak, , 6/19/2024

Four extremely talented SDU researchers has been selected among the chosen few, and today they received one of the prestigious Sapere Aude-grants from Independent Research Fund Denmark.

With each grant of approx. 6 million kroner, the young researchers now have the opportunity to develop their own ground-breaking ideas and their research management.

In the projects, the four researchers investigate such diverse areas as trauma and PTSD in the Danish population, new mathematical understandings within the quantum field theory, increased economic welfare for people with functional impairments and better data on inequality in mortality in low- and middle-income countries.

More about the researchers and their projects

Maria Louison Vang, associate professor at the Department of Psychology

Psychological trauma has been an important theme for large parts of human history, but it was not until 1980 that psychological trauma was recognized as an independent reason for man to develop a clinical disorder, post-traumatic stress (PTSD).

The project sheds light on the occurrence of traumatic events in the Danish population - using a representative survey and interviews – and also examines what the revision in the new diagnosis system (ICD-11) means for clinical practice in the treatment of PTSD.

Konstantin Walter Wernli, postdoc at the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

According to the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, particles can be in a so-called superposition. As long as one does not try to determine the position of the particles, in theory they can be in several places at once. This counterintuitive realization is a very central element to understanding the quantum world.

Physicists often use Feynman graphs and rules that describe the formations and eliminations of particles and their exchanges with each other. This approach is called perturbative QFT and provides precise predictions that can be measured, for example, in CERN. However, mathematicians have found a non-perturbative approach by splitting spacetime into simple pieces and reassembling them.

By combining the strengths of perturbative and non-perturbative QFT, we will be able to better understand spacetime and pave the way for new and unexpected discoveries. The goal of the project is to understand the connection between these two approaches in a specific example, which will make it possible to understand the general cases.

Volha Lazuka, associate professor at Department of Economics

Equal rights for people with disabilities were recognized around two decades ago, but until today people with severe disabilities generally have poorer economic well-being, just as the working lives of their relatives are negatively affected. The project seeks to influence mainstream economic research by recognizing the power of social inclusion to explain economic well-being and inequality between people with and without disabilities.

Angela Yu-Wen Chang, associate professor at the Department of Public Health

A fundamental building block within public health science is to register who dies and when.

However, our knowledge of the difference in life expectancy between different population groups in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) remains limited, even though the differences represent a significant source of social inequality with the potential to disrupt both national and international stability.

The project develops a number of innovative methods that use existing publicly available datasets to estimate inequality in mortality among adults in low- and middle-income countries.

More about Sapere Aude

All the researchers receiving grants today have been involved in a tough selection process, where only the most talented are left with a Sapere Aude: DFF research leader grant.

The Independent Research Fund Denmark has received 336 applications and awarded 38 grants, corresponding to a success rate of 11%, both in terms of amount applied for and number of applications.

The number of female applicants was 117 and 13 Sapere Aude Research Leader grants were awarded to women, giving a success rate of 11%. For male applicants, the success rate is 11% with 219 applications and 25 grants awarded.

Editing was completed: 19.06.2024