“It’s easy for researchers to be confined by their research questions,” says E-G-G winner Joukje Oosterman, PhD.

Joukje is a research psychologist with a specialty in the fields of ageing, pain and cognitive performance. However, in the development of the E-G-G application, Joukje reached out to colleagues in other fields to get their perspectives.

“I started off with an idea and by involving experts with different backgrounds, I developed a stronger, interdisciplinary proposal,” says Joukje.

Her winning E-G-G project investigates the relationship between chronic pain and fatigue on cognitive performance. The two conditions are highly interrelated, where many people who experience pain will also experience fatigue, and vice versa.

Joukje’s project aims to understand the underlying mechanisms that connect the two conditions, and what makes them distinct. She plans to do this through three methods: a study on how pain and fatigue independently influence cognitive functioning, an fMRI study and a clinical analysis into the efficacy of CBT methods for both conditions.

The E-G-G funding allowed Joukje to hire a post-doc researcher to help her interpret the fMRI data and add another dimension to her research.

Joukje’s advice to potential applicants? “Think outside the box!”

Joukje will present her preliminary results at the E-G-G symposium, which will be held at the EFIC congress on the 5th of September 2019, 16:30-18:00 in Hall B.