On the basis of the independent review on the structures and mechanisms of the European Research Council (ERC) which reported in July 2009, the European Commission appointed a standing Identification Committee on 15 September 2010 tasked with identifying future ERC Scientific Council members. The mandate of this independent Committee is twofold. Firstly, it identifies new members for the staged renewal of the Scientific Council membership. Secondly, it maintains a pool of candidates for future replacements of Scientific Council members.
The Committee consists of six highly respected personalities from the research scene:
- Prof. Eero Vuorio (chair), Director of Biocenter Finland
- Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell, Economist, Department of Economics and Business, Pompeu Fabra University
- Prof. Gretty Mirdal, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
- Prof. Arnold Schmidt, Professor Emeritus at the Photonics Institute of the TU-Wien
- Prof. Margot Weijnen, Professor of Process and Energy Systems Engineering, Delft University of Technology
- Prof. Maciej Zylicz, Head of the Department of Molecular Biology, International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw
The identification process
New Scientific Council members are appointed by the Commission following an independent and transparent procedure for their identification, including a consultation of the scientific community. Members are identified on the basis of the criteria set out in the Commission Decision establishing the ERC of 2 February 2007 (2007/134/EC).
In accordance with the provisions of the Decision establishing the ERC and previous practice, the Identification Committee has carried out a systematic consultation of the scientific community on possible candidates for Scientific Council membership, on the basis of an initial Statement on methodology. Following the consultation with representative bodies of the scientific community, the Final Report of 2010 was provided on 16 December, and it was sent to the European Parliament and to the Council of the European Union.
Appointments of new Scientific Council members
In its Final Report, the Committee proposed to Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn a renewed Scientific Council consisting of
- 3 members whose first term of office would end on 26 April 2013;
- 5 members whose term of office would be renewed for a full term ;
- 7 members whose term of office would be renewed for 2 years;
- 7 new members, who would be appointed for a full term.
Each candidate had agreed to serve for the term indicated; therefore appointments were awarded by the European Commission on 12 January 2011.
Ongoing and future activities
In continuation of its original purpose and standing nature, the Committee continues to meet on a regular base: (i) it sustains the pool of candidates for the upcoming identification processes and (ii) it will identify future Scientific Council members.
12 December 2011 - Commission press release: Consultation on the future members of the ERC Scientific Council
6 July 2012 - Report on the renewal of the ERC Scientific Council
13 December 2012 - Commission Decision amending Decision 2007/134/EC establishing the European Research Council