On 10 December 2019, the EU’s European Research Council (ERC) announced the winners of its latest Consolidator Grant competition: 301 top scientists and scholars across Europe. Funding for these researchers, part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is worth in total €600 million. With this support, the new grantees will have a chance to build up their teams and have far-reaching impact.
The grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 24 different countries across Europe, with Germany (52 grants), the United Kingdom (50), France (43) and the Netherlands (32) as leading locations. In this competition, researchers of 37 nationalities received funding, amongst them are notably Germans (55 grants), French (33), Dutch (28) and Italians (23). The research projects proposed by the new grantees cover a wide range of topics in physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, as well as social sciences and humanities. See project examples.
13 U.S. scientists conducting research projects in Europe have also secured grants worth €25 million:
- Building a Better Tomorrow: Development Knowledge and Practice in Central Asia and Beyond, Dr. Artemy KALINOVSKY, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Cortical gradients of functional integration, Dr. Daniel MARGULIES, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, CNRS, France
- Interrogating native CRISPR arrays to achieve scalable combinatorial screens and dissect genetic redundancy, Prof. Chase BEISEL, Helmholtz-Zentrum fuer Infektionsforschung GmbH, Germany
- Financing Frictions in High-Potential Entrepreneurship, Prof. Ramana NANDA, Harvard University, USA
- Geomorphic and Sedimentary responses to Climate Periodicity, Prof. Taylor SCHILDGEN, Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam – Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, Germany
- Cerebellar circuits for locomotor learning in space and time, Dr. Megan CAREY, Fundacao D. Anna de Sommer Champalimaud e Dr. Carlos Montez Champalimaud, Portugal
- Motor cortical beta bursts for movement planning and evaluation: Mechanisms, functional roles, and development, Dr. James BONAIUTO, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), France
- Music at the Frontiers of Artificial Creativity and Criticism, Dr. Bob STURM, KUNGLIGA TEKNISKA HOEGSKOLAN, Sweden
- Nanoscale Design using Virtual Reality, Dr. David GLOWACKI, University of Bristol, UK
- Algebraic Foundations of Supersymmetric Quantum Field Theory, Prof. Christopher BEEM, University of Oxford, UK
- Solar-to-Chemical Energy Conversion with Advanced Nitride Semiconductors, Prof. Ian SHARP, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Germany
- Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies, Prof. Jennifer GABRYS, University of Cambridge, UK
The ERC had previously announced, in October 2019, that 8 U.S. principal investigators had been granted Synergy Grants.
More on the 2019 ERC’s Consolidator Grants
The ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to outstanding researchers of any nationality and age, with at least seven and up to twelve years of experience after PhD, and a scientific track record showing great promise. Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation locate.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Knowledge developed in these new projects will allow us to understand the challenges we face at a more fundamental level, and may provide us with breakthroughs and innovations that we haven’t even imagined. The EU’s investment in frontier research is an investment in our future, which is why it is so important that we reach an agreement on an ambitious Horizon Europe budget for the next multiannual budget. More available research funding would also allow us to create more opportunities everywhere in the EU – excellence should not be a question of geography.”
ERC President Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, whose mandate ends on 31 December after six years in office, commented: “I have had the immense privilege of seeing thousands of bright minds across our continent receive the trust and backing to go after their most daring ideas. It has been an exhilarating experience through countless meetings with many of them in person, listening to their stories and being inspired by them. As it’s about top frontier research, it comes as no surprise that an overwhelming number of them already made breakthroughs that will continue to contribute greatly to meeting the challenges ahead. As I bid farewell to an organisation that will always remain close to my heart, I am once more highly impressed when I see this latest set of grantees funded by the European Research Council. That the ERC empowers them makes me proud to be European!”
Compliments of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States