CLUE+ Early Career Fund

CLUE+ Early Career Fund Talent development is one of the major objectives of CLUE+, and the CLUE+ Early Career Fund is one of its instruments to achieve that goal. This fund offers talented (research) master students, PhD students and Post-docs the opportunity to work on or submit an application for further research, within the framework of CLUE+, or to work on their CV through activities that will enhance their prospects in the academic sector. The CLUE+ Early Career Fund is meant for excellent young Post-docs, PhD candidates and (research) master students who have a remarkable talent for scientific research, who want to enter the world of academia, and who want to develop their skills in a CLUE+ framework. At the moment CLUE has granted funds to the following researchers:

Heleen Blommers recently graduated from the Research Master History at the Vrije Universiteit. For her master’s thesis, she examined the failure narrative of the War on Poverty, a large-scale anti-poverty program implemented in the United States in the 1960s. She analyzed how the construction and implementation of the poverty program in urban areas could have led to criticism and resentment. With the Clue+ Early Career Fund, she is preparing a PhD proposal. With this new project, she hopes to extend her research on the War on Poverty by for instance looking at the rural War on Poverty as well.

The CLUE+ Early Career Fund enables Dr. Linde Egberts to prepare an application for the Starting Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The amount will be spent on alleviating her teaching load in summer and autumn of 2019. The proposal is named FUTURELIC and aims to develop a reconsideration of Heritage Studies in the face of climate change. This is because over the past decades, heritage researchers have shifted from studying conservation of the past, to questioning how heritage values are presently shaped in society, taking their political, cultural, economic and spatial complexities into consideration. However, although heritage practices are aimed at preserving elements from the past for future generations, heritage scholars are hardly aware of what kind of future they are working towards; assuming that in many ways the future is a stable continuation of the present. At the same time, environmental scientists argue that the future might be much more disruptive than societies anticipate, for example in coastal areas, where rising sea levels and the measures to manage those will drastically transform historic landscapes. These dynamic futures will challenge current understandings of heritage and will pressure academics to rethink its roots and validity. This requires a more pro-active approach from heritage researchers, which should include theoretical scrutiny of academic discourses, development of research methodologies and reflection on spatial heritage practices that extends beyond single case studies.

With the project FUTURe hEritage and cLImate Change (FUTURELIC), Linde Egberts aims to provide intellectual templates for understanding how heritage is understood today and what could change if the environmental dynamics of the future are considered. This project departs form the notion that the heritage concept needs reconsideration when we confront it with spatial climate adaptation planning, in which futures are approached as much more specific and disruptive. Her aim is to assess how we can come to new understandings of the heritage concepts that cherish the critical perspectives on heritage construction, but at the same time integrate understandings of futures that are dynamic and specified. This would allow us to work with heritage preservation when climate change forces us to reconsider the ways in which we live our lives and cherish our pasts. Egberts will do so through 5 sub-projects:
1) Discourse analysis of heritage and spatial climate adaptation planning;
2) and 3) Regional case studies of the role of heritage in spatial climate adaptation planning projects;
4) Comparative analysis heritage strategies in the context of climate adaptation; 5) Synthesis.


My name is Jelmer Heeren and I am the grateful recipient of a CLUE+ Early Career Fund, allowing me to concentrate on the twentieth-century historian of science Reijer Hooykaas (1906-1994). Hooykaas had an international impact in the field ever since he became the first to hold a history of science chair in the Netherlands at VU Amsterdam from 1946 onward. Nevertheless, thus far no major academic works have been devoted to a systematic analysis of his work. Beside preparing a NWO grant application for a joint PhD programme in Theology and History at VU Amsterdam, I am writing a research article on the history of science context of Hooykaas’ earlier years. Additionally, you can also find me going through archives across the country in search for yet to be uncovered insights into the context of Hooykaas’ writings.


Together we bring about climate change. Yet, arguably, no individual car drive or purchase of a package of non-sustainable paper makes any different for the worse. What moral reason then, could there to perform a single ‘sustainable’ act? This is just one instance of the collective action problem; other examples include such issues as factory farming and the exploitation of sweatshop workers. CLUE+ has afforded me with the opportunity to work on the significance of complicity within contexts of collective action, and to investigate a major distinction between different types of collective action cases.


Salome Rodeck MA studied Cultural Analysis in Amsterdam. Because of her great interest in the effects of the ecological crisis from a humanities’ perspective, she got involved with the Environmental Humanities Center at the VU and is planning to continue her career in the academic environment provided by the institute. She currently prepares a PhD proposal on the history and epistemological resurfacing of the concept of symbiosis in the context of the Anthropocene discourse both in the natural sciences and the humanities and how this inspires public imaginaries of planetary cohabitation. The Early Career Fund of CLUE+ has enabled her to work with the Anthropocene Knowledge research group at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science in Berlin as a Visiting Research Assistant as well as prepare a paper for an upcoming conference on 'Co-emergence, Co-creation, Co-existence’ at the University of Plymouth.

Salome Rodeck

My name is Esmee Schoutens and I have just completed my first year of the Research Master Humanities: Critical Studies in Art and Culture. During the past year I have done research on art and technology collaborations in the 1960s and 70s. To further research this topic I will be going to New York and Los Angeles this fall to conduct archival research, which is supported by the CLUE+ Early Career Fund.

More specifically, I will research the exhibition Software, which took place in 1970 at the Jewish Museum in New York. The exhibition included both artists and scientists who made works related to newly developed communication technologies. Moreover, I will do extensive research into the Art & Technology program, which was set up at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art between 1967 and 1971. The program facilitated residencies for artists at corporate partners and I will examine how these residencies influenced artistic practice and commercial product development.


Eva van Urk MA studied applied psychology as well as theology and religious studies. From March until July 2017 she was Junior Fellow in Ethics of the Anthropocene at the Faculty of Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She currently prepares a PhD proposal for the upcoming funding round of NWO (PhDs in the Humanities). Her project focuses on religious ethics in the context of the Anthropocene, specifically the mass extinction of species. The Young Talent Development Fund of CLUE+ enables her to work on two scholarly articles in the field of ethics, religion and ecology.


After working in academic and confessional contexts in his homeland Taiwan for several years, An-Ting Yi came to Amsterdam in 2015 in order to pursue advanced study. He graduated from the Research Master Theology and Religious Studies at the Vrije Universiteit (2017), focusing on the textual scholarship of the New Testament, intellectual history, and Digital Humanities. With the support from the CLUE+ Early Career Fund, An-Ting is able to collect primary sources from libraries abroad (Cambridge and Rome) and work on a pilot research. These activities have led him to develop his PhD project: “The Extraordinary History of Codex Vaticanus in New Testament Textual Scholarship.” This project, by means of digital approaches to historical data, aims to unfold the reception history of the most important witness in making the Greek text of the New Testament.