Resource for scientific community

The Healthy Brain Study will result in a unique and accessible resource for the scientific community and its public and private partners. Data are collected through cognitive, affective, behavioral, and physiological testing, neuroimaging, bio-sampling, questionnaires, ecological momentary assessment, and real-world assessment using wearable devices. We believe that the HBS complements other studies – small and large –, which together enable the scientific community to take the next step in understanding the human brain and how it dynamically and individually operates in its bio-social context.
 
Read here the preprint of the paper describing the rationale and the design of the Healthy Brain Study.


Healthy Brain Team Science subsidy

The aim of this Healthy Brain Team Science Subsidy is to support researchers from the entire Radboud campus for developing a grant proposal (EU, national, regional) to fund a research project based on new collaborations crossing disciplines.

Budget
The subsidy represents a value of up to 25k€. If analysis of bio-samples and data collected by the HBS is required, a maximum of 25k€ can be requested additionally.
The subsidy can be used flexibly, for instance for consortia building, for validation of interdisciplinary research methods, or for support in grant writing for collaborative projects.

Time schedule
December 1, 2020: call open
April 1, 2021, 23.59hr: Deadline for the submission of the proposal
June 2021: Announcement of winning proposals
Before the end of 2021: Start of pre-seed projects
Submitted grant application at external funding body in 2021 or 2022

Download the call text and the application form



Grant rewarded Trajectories of emotional, cognitive, and physical load at work

Trajectories of emotional, cognitive, and physical load at work: longitudinal assessment of subsequent cardiovascular risk

We interviewed Yannick Griep about this project.

Team

  •     Yannick Griep, Radboud University, Behavioural Science Institute
  •     Erik Bijleveld, Radboud University, Behavioural Science Institute
  •     Thijs Eijsvogels, Radboudumc, Physiology
  •     Roland Van Kimmenade, Radboudumc, Cardiology
  •     Ivana Vranjes, Management and Organisation, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland



How did you find your new collaborators?
Erik Bijleveld and myself had a few conversations about the Healthy Brain Project and how we could combine our research interests in tackling an interesting and practically significant project. Through his interactions with the Radboud UMC, we met with Thijs, who in turn introduced us to Roland. We also involved Ivana, who is working on similar topics as Yannick, but has experience with developing tools and workshops with the objective of reaching the wider community.

How did you communicate while generating this research ideas?
Most of our communication occurred via email (especially with Ivana who, at the time was is working for a Finnish university. Erik, Thijs, and I were able to meet face to face a few times to discuss our application. Nonetheless, probably 90% of our communication took place over email.

What was easy in setting-up this new collaboration?
It was easy to find a team of highly motivated people with an interest in our research to collaborate and work on this project.

What was difficult in setting-up this new collaboration?
Coming from different backgrounds means we often speak a different language when it comes to defining concepts or when identifying research gaps (what maybe a gap in psychology has long been solved in medicine). We may have different approaches to the same topic (for example, first conducting a meta-analysis and then running the study or with regards to how the practical output should look like), which at times can be challenging.

What is your advice to researchers on campus to set-up new collaborations across faculties?
Despite the challenges associated with it, I can only recommend to get as much experience as possible with doing inter-disciplinary research because it is highly rewarding and a great personal development tool which challenges to continue to develop new topical and methodological expertise.

 



Grant rewarded Big Sleep Data

Big sleep data: establishing a comprehensive processing pipeline for the Healthy Brain sleep recordings

Team:

  •     Martin Dresler, Radboudumc, Cognitive Neuroscience
  •     Lisa Genzel, Radboud University, Science Faculty, Neuroinformatics
  •     Peter Desain, Radboud University, Social Sciences Faculty, Artificial Intelligence
  •     Madelon van Hooff, Radboud University, Social Sciences Faculty, Work and Organizational    Psychology
  •     Merel Boon, Radboud University, Social Sciences Faculty, Work and Organizational Psychology



In this project the team will develop a comprehensive preprocessing and automatic sleep classification solution for the recorded sleep raw data that will allow Healthy Brain researchers to use the sleep data of each participants in the form of classical sleep stages.

Interview with Martin Dresler:

How did you find your new collaborators?
Interest in sleep research has been constantly growing on campus in recent years. After a very successful summer school on the neuroscience of sleep last year, we had gathered researchers from about a dozen research groups on campus with an interest in sleep for a more structured Radboud Sleep Network, however the in-person kick-off meeting in March fell prey to the lockdown. Nevertheless, we were in contact with many colleagues active in both animal and human sleep research when we stumbled across the Healthy Brain pre-seed call.

How did you communicate while generating this research ideas?
We had some in-person meetings to chat more generally on collaborations on sleep topics already before learning about the call. For this specific project, communication was restricted mostly to email due to the Covid crisis. This was not too much of a problem, given that the necessities of the sleep wearable analyses involved in the Healthy Brain project were quite straightforward, and thus we didn't have to brainstorm too extensively to find a joint research topic.

What was easy in setting-up this new collaboration?
Even though the team has not worked in this specific constellation before, the involved researchers had already contact in various smaller constellations, either within previous two-person collaborations, or at least in previous meetings to explore mutual research interests.

What was difficult in setting-up this new collaboration?
Not much, at least beyond the general Covid-related meeting restrictions.

What is your advice to researchers on campus to set-up new collaborations across faculties?
A funding call - for smaller scale seed funding or larger consortia - is a good opportunity to look for potential collaborators on campus (and beyond). However, even more promising is to connect with colleagues with similar research topics in advance, without a specific goal. This way, it is much easier and faster, both practically and in terms of finding topics of joint interest, to build a fruitful collaborative team as soon as a funding opportunity comes up.



Grant rewarded Small things matter

Team Science subsidy awarded

The first grants have been awarded last summer. In every newsletter we would like to introduce a research project to you. In this newsletter we would like to introduce the third one:

Small things matter: normal variation in thyroid function and affective vulnerability

In this project the team will investigate the biological mechanisms underlying the relation between small variations in thyroid function and mental wellbeing.

Team: 

  •     Dr. Marco Medici, Endocrinologist
  •     Professor dr. Indira Tendolkar, Psychiatrist
  •     Emma Sprooten PHD, Researcher genetic-neuroimaging

 



Grants rewarded Overview of the projects

Healthy Brain Team Science Subsidy

The first grants have been awarded. The projects are:

  • Big sleep data: establishing a comprehensive processing pipeline for the Healthy Brain sleep recordings (Martin Dresler and others)
    In this project the team will develop a comprehensive preprocessing and automatic sleep classification solution for the recorded sleep raw data that will allow Healthy Brain researchers to use the sleep data of each participants in the form of classical sleep stages.
     
  • Trajectories of emotional, cognitive, and physical load at work: longitudinal assessment of subsequent cardiovascular risk (Yannick Griep and others).
    In this project the team will investigate physical, cognitive, and emotional load in relation to cardiovascular risk factors.
     
  • Small things matter: normal variation in thyroid function and affective vulnerability (Marco Medici and others)
    In this project the team will investigate the biological mechanisms underlying the relation between small variations in thyroid function and mental wellbeing.


Citizen Science

The Healthy Brain Study resource will also be used for citizen science. Different forms of citizen science exist. Projects can be led by experts, community-led or co-created with different aims and levels of participation. HBS participants and other citizens generate research topics and questions to be answered with the HBS resource. In traditional designs, scientists test hypotheses that are often based on previous findings within their research domain or their own intuitions. However, people living in or with specific conditions (i.e., being in their thirties and going through key life events) may have additional insight on top of existing expert-knowledge. These insights are uncovered in the citizen science platform. The essence of the platform is to leverage collective intelligence from a large group of participants versus a smaller number of experts. This can reveal topics and research questions that have a significant influence on people’s behavior in the real world and their health status, which experts may have left untouched. By giving citizens a voice in scientific research, it can contribute considerably to the valorization of research results.

A citizen science platform is used to involve participants as well as other citizens in generating research topics and questions that can be investigated with the Healthy Brain Study resource. We ‘crowdsource’ lists of research topics and/or research questions that participants and citizens think are useful for examining with the Healthy Brain Study resource. At the same time, they also rate the importance of the crowd-generated suggestions by other participants and citizens resulting in an overview that reflects the relevance and prioritization of their overall input.

Take a look at crowdience.nl