About the study

We want to understand the brain better. The Healthy Brain Study hopes to answer many questions about our brain in daily life.

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About the study

We have a dream! Our goal is to discover how the brain works and how the brain effects our daily lives. The Healthy Brain Study hopes to answer these questions. This is a unique, long-term study carried out by Radboud University, Radboudumc and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, together with other organizations, and volunteers in their thirties.

Why choose a hamburger over a salad? How does a certain food ingredient influence your mood and your decision to buy a new car? How does sitting and sleeping influence the way you deal with stress? What makes you decide to buy a house and which street to live on? Do you feel better in a relationship or on your own? What determines whether you feel happy? In short, why do people do what they do? The brain plays a major role in these types of questions. The more we know about the brain, the more questions we can answer about how we function in our daily lives. That's why Radboud University, Radboudumc and the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics are working together on this special study that aims to unravel the ‘thirties brain’.

What influences the brain?
During the Healthy Brain Study, we aim to monitor and test a thousand thirty to forty-year-old volunteers from Nijmegen and the surrounding area. We’re selecting people in their thirties because their brains are no longer developing whilst the aging process has yet to start. Moreover, this group often has to deal with important life events that affect their well-being such as a career, a burnout, buying a house, having children or getting a divorce.

What contributes to happiness & vitality?
The Healthy Brain Study will investigate which social, biological and environmental factors influence the brain. Scientists can use the results to conduct new studies to resolve social issues. These can involve questions such as: how can I identify and prevent an upcoming burnout? With this new knowledge, we hope to learn how people can become happier, fitter, more self-reliant and more productive. We also aim to contribute to a more sustainable and affordable healthcare system.

Everyone can contribute. You, your family and friends, employers and entrepreneurs can take part. We can, hereby, all make a valuable contribution to this unique research.

Pre-Seed Team Science Subsidy

The aim of the Healthy Brain pre-seed subsidy is to support researchers from Radboud campus that plan to use the Healthy Brain Study for developing a grant-proposal (EU, national, regional) to fund a research project based on new collaborations crossing disciplines.

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Pre-Seed Team Science Subsidy

Call for proposals - Healthy Brain Pre-Seed Team Science Subsidy

The aim of this pre-seed subsidy is to support researchers from Radboud campus that plan to use the Healthy Brain Study for developing a grant-proposal (EU, national, regional) to fund a research project based on new collaborations crossing disciplines. This subsidy can be used flexibly for instance, for the set-up of new consortia, for analysis of bio-samples and data collected by the Healthy Brain Study, or for the support in grant writing for collaborative projects. Regardless, it is important that the pre-seed subsidy supports new collaborations across campus and leads to a competitive submission of a proposal to an external grant provider.

• The pre-seed subsidy is a collaboration between researchers from at least three multiple disciplines working on Radboud campus.
• The focus of the pre-seed subsidy and the envisioned external grant application uses Healthy Brain Data.
• A researcher is allowed to join only one pre-seed subsidy.
• The application is of high (scientific) quality. When proposals are assessed as of equal quality, a newly set-up collaboration is favored over a pre-existing one.
• The pre-seed subsidy represents a value of up to 25k€ and has to be supported by a clear budget plan. If analysis of bio-samples and data collected by the Healthy Brain Study is required, a maximum of 25k€ can be requested additionally.
• The project is feasible with the funded subsidy and within the proposed time span. The project plan includes the steps towards a successful external grant application and maximizes the chance of obtaining external funding for the continuation of the project idea.
• The proposed external call is known and accompanying application deadlines are clear or at least indicated.
• Collaboration between disciplines is evident. The project’s aim cannot be met without the joint expertise of all team members.
• The project is innovative, can be both fundamental or applied and requires team science.

Evaluation and Selection
The scientific board of the Healthy Brain study and grant advisors from RU, Radboudumc and MPI review all proposals and submits a ranking to the Healthy Brain steering committee, which selects the to-be granted pre-seed subsidies.

Every member of the scientific board evaluates the proposals according to the following criteria: scientific quality (50%), feasibility of project and likelihood of obtaining external funding (25%), new collaboration across disciplines (25%). Projects that do not fulfill the general criteria and required focus will not be taken into consideration. The evaluation committee must come to a unanimous ranking. If no consensus can be reached, the chairman will make the final decision.

What can the money be spent on (more concrete)?
• participation in matchmaking/brokerage events, information days.
• participation in relevant platforms, networks or committees (working groups, boards, etc.)
• analysis of bio-samples and data collected by the Healthy Brain Study required for the intended grant-application
• organize workshops, consortium-meetings with external partners, etc.
• visits to (potential) consortium-partners
• project development activities for collaborative proposals
Costs can include salary, consultancy (e.g. for grant application), subcontracted work, conference costs, travel expenses, etc.
The amount must be spent before the deadline of the call for external funding.

Time schedule
October 2, 2019: Healthy Brain campus meeting on Team Science, opening/publication of the pre-seed call
March 31, 2020, 23.59hr: Deadline for the submission of the proposal
April 2020: Applications will be evaluated by the scientific board
May 2020: Announcement of winning proposals
June-September 2020: Start of pre-seed projects
Submitted grant application at external funding body in 2021

For more information
Lucy Overbeek, project manager Healthy Brain Study, lucy.overbeek@radboudumc.nl

Attachments - Application form


Here you find all published newsletters.

Newsletter 7 - September 2019
Newsletter 6 - August 2019
Newsletter 5 - July 2019
Newsletter 4 - June 2019
Newsletter 3 - May 2019
Newsletter 2 - April 2019
Newsletter 1 - March 2019

If you want to receive our newsletter in your e-mail, subscribe here.

Progress meeting October 2

Professor Heino Falcke tells us how a large-scale team effort led to the discovery of a black hole. What does his experience teach us for the Healthy Brain Study?

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Progress meeting October 2

How team science can make a difference!

All researchers and others involved in the Healthy Brain Study on the Radboud Campus are invited for our next Progress Meeting that takes place on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 between 13.00 and 17.00, in the Red Room at the Trigon building (Kapittelweg 29).

We are pleased to announce that Professor Heino Falcke from Radboud University will explain how a large-scale team effort led to the discovery of a black hole. What lessons can be learnt for the Healthy Brain Study from his experience?

13.00 Registration & welcome

13.15 Opening by Han van Krieken, Rector Magnificus Radboud University Nijmegen

13.30 A short update on the Healthy Brain Study by Lucy Overbeek, Project Manager of the Healthy Brain Study

13.45 An Inspiring Example of Interdisciplinary Research – Brief lecture by and Interview with Heino Falcke, Professor of Astrophysics and Radio Astronomy

14.45  Towards Horizon Europe 2021-2027 - Wilfried Reincke, EU Liaison Officer for Radboud University. Senior advisor for European research & innovation grants (e.g. Horizon2020). He and Charlotte Oomen, Radboud Valorisation, are happy to answer your questions about grant applications.

15.15 The Healthy Brain Experience (a tour of the Healthy Brain Study lab) and drinks

Are you looking forward to hearing about Professor Falcke’s experiences? Do you want to learn more about how to approach team science and apply this to the Healthy Brain Study? Do you need help with specific grant applications? Data acquisition for the Healthy Brain Study will have started by the time this meeting takes place. You can, therefore, experience the full experimental set-up by attending our meeting and register here!

Information for researchers

Are you a researcher and interested in the datasource of the Healthy Brain Study? Contact our projectmanager Lucy Overbeek: lucy.overbeek@radboucumc.nl

Wanted data scientist!

Are you the data scientist we are looking for?

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Wanted data scientist!

We are building a unique research resource (data- and biobank) to better understand thoughts, feelings, and behaviour in daily life and how these are related to the human brain, biological factors and the environment in which we live. The Healthy Brain Study is a huge research project based on about 90 Terabyte of data from 1000 healthy volunteers who will be intensively followed-up for one year.
As a data scientist, you are expected to (pre)process the data before they are included in the data repository and perform continuous quality assessment. In collaboration with and consultation of the experts of the various tests and measurements, you will develop and apply standard operation procedures for this purpose. Your main focus will be on processing the brain imaging (MRI) data, but you will also be responsible for processing data from questionnaires, behavioural experiments, sensors/wearables, ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and readouts from sample analysis like genome data.

Read more and apply here!

Team science makes a difference!

For centuries, the individual, independent scientist – the genius – has been performing research on his own. However, nowadays, only focusing on this way of doing research is insufficient for resolving many questions of present-day science. Instead, we also need larger, systematic studies executed by teams of experts that go beyond collaborations between independent researchers. The Healthy Brain Study stimulates team science. Project leader Guillen Fernandez explains in his blog why we need this rebalancing towards ‘team science’ to achieve better results and better working conditions for the people involved.

Read Guillens Blog

Project team

Scientific Board