UTFacultiesBMSNewsNWO-Veni for Lonneke Lenferink

NWO-Veni for Lonneke Lenferink

UT researcher Dr Lonneke Lenferink has been awarded a Veni by NWO, the Dutch Research Council. This personal grant of 280,000 euros is awarded to promising scientists at the start of their careers. Over the next four years, Lenferink will be conducting research into the personalized treatment of prolonged grief disorder.

Prolonged grief disorder is a debilitating condition, affecting 10% of bereaved people. To date, studies evaluating treatments for prolonged grief have focused on symptom change on a group level, ignoring individual variability in grief responses. Personalized prolonged grief treatment may enhance treatment outcomes. With her Veni-project Lenferink contributes in three ways to personalized treatment for prolonged grief, by:

  • improving the understanding of differences in grief trajectories in response to treatment for prolonged grief using a novel FAIR data archive;
  • examining grief in daily life;
  • offering dynamic support in daily life to treat prolonged grief.

Lonneke Lenferink, assistant professor within the Psychology, Health and Technology section of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS), has been conducting research since 2014 on measuring, predicting and treating disturbed grief symptoms in adults and children who have experienced a loss. She has done so in projects with people who have experienced a loss due to a long-term disappearance, a homicide, the MH17 plane disaster, a traffic accident, and COVID-19, among others.

"It is now in times of pandemics and wars, when many people are confronted with the death of a loved one, more relevant than ever to offer professional care for people in need of support”, Lonneke says. “This Veni grant enables me to take the first steps towards accessible, tailored bereavement care. In addition, I will examine how grief unfolds in the daily lives of bereaved people. This will provide new insights into the occurrence and prediction of Prolonged Grief Disorder, which is in March 2022 included as a disorder in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)."

About Veni

Veni, together with Vidi and Vici, is part of the NWO's Talent Programme (formerly the Vernieuwingsimpuls). Veni is aimed at excellent researchers who have recently gained their PhDs. Within the Talent Programme researchers are free to submit their own subject for funding. In this way, NWO encourages curiosity-driven and innovative research. NWO selects researchers on the basis of the quality of the researcher, the innovative character of the research, the expected scientific impact of the research proposal and possibilities for knowledge utilisation. In this round, six UT researchers were granted a Veni.