ERC Starting Grants: €485 million in grants to 325 top researchers across Europe

09/09/2016
The European Research Council (ERC) has announced today the awarding of its Starting Grants to 325 early-career researchers throughout Europe. The funding, worth in total €485 million and up to €1.5 million per grant, will enable them to set up their own research teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas.

The new grantees will work on a wide range of topics, such as improving effectiveness of chemotherapy in cancer treatment, developing new sustainable ways of producing hydrogen fuel, and exploring citizenship law to better manage migration and uphold human rights. The funded research covers all disciplines: physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, and social science and humanities. See more examples of funded research.

The grants are awarded under the 'excellent science' pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.

On this occasion, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "Through the ERC Starting Grants, the EU attracts young research talent and keeps it in Europe. With the EU backing these grantees will be able to pursue their best ideas, but also create quality jobs for more research staff who wish to work on the frontiers of science. Ultimately they will contribute to creating the most valuable resource Europe has: human capital."

The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said: "With this new round of funding the ERC backs another 325 bright young minds to bring their most ambitious ideas to life. The ERC believes in supporting young talent - indeed two thirds of its funding goes to early-career researchers contributing to the future of Europe in terms of science and more broadly."

He added: "It is pivotal to keep scientific quality as the one and only selection criterion, and to trust researchers to choose significant topics, without imposing any demands on what to be explored. Giving top researchers free reign to follow their scientific curiosity opens the way to real breakthroughs as a recent independent study found: as much as 71% of the first completed ERC projects led to breakthroughs or major scientific advances. This speaks volumes about the relevance to fund bottom-up frontier research – it creates new knowledge and offers new paths for economic growth."

ERC grants are awarded to researchers of any nationality based in, or willing to move to, Europe. In this year's competition, researchers of 42 nationalities received the funding. They will be hosted in 23 countries across Europe, with Germany (61), the United Kingdom (59) and France (46) as top locations. The ERC received 2935 proposals of which around 11% was funded.

The results again show the high level of mobility of top scientists: in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Sweden and Denmark, more than half of the new grantees are not nationals of the host country. Also, 15 European researchers are returning to Europe from the United States and Canada to work on their ERC-funded projects. Thirty eight grantees are non-European nationals, based across Europe. Around 30% of grantees are women.

These Starting Grants will enable the selected researchers to build their own teams, potentially engaging more than 1,000 postdocs and PhD students as ERC team members. The funding therefore contributes to supporting a new generation of top researchers in Europe.

List of all selected researchers by country of host institution (alphabetical order within each country group) Lists of selected researchers by domain (in alphabetical order):

Statistics – ERC Starting Grants 2016

Examples of funded research 

 

Source: erc.europa.eu