Beetle compasses, wage inequality, metasurfaces and multi-limbed robots – these are just some of the areas that will now be explored by mid-career researchers, thanks to newly awarded investigator-led funding. The European Research Council announced the recipients of its Consolidator Grant competition: 291 top scientists across Europe. Funding for these researchers, part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, is worth in total €573 million and will give them a chance to build up their teams and have far-reaching impact.
On this occasion, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "This EU grant provides a real boost to research and innovation in Europe because it gives top scientists the chance to take risks and pursue their best and maybe wildest ideas. I am pleased to see these ERC grants will support such a diverse group of people of forty nationalities working in over twenty countries and that the list of grantees also reflects that we have many excellent women scientists in Europe."
The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, commented: "This ERC funding will allow ambitious scientists to establish or strengthen their teams in Europe and be truly creative in their research. Beyond a push to the grantees’ careers, this European support will offer an excellent working environment for younger researchers at doctoral and post-doctoral levels. We look forward to see many of these daring ideas come to fruition, to the benefit of Europe at large."
The grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 21 different countries across Europe, with the United Kingdom (55 grants), Germany (38), France (32) and Switzerland (29) as leading locations. In this competition, researchers of 40 nationalities received funding, amongst them are notably Germans (49 grants), Italians (35), French (34) and British (27). 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)
The ERC received 2,389 research proposals this time, out of which approximately 12% will be funded. 32% of grants were awarded to female applicants. This new round of grants should create around 1750 jobs for postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in the grantees' research team. (See more statistics)
List of all selected researchers in alphabetical order
Lists of selected researchers by domain (in alphabetical order):
For potential applicants
Researchers who would like to compete for an ERC Consolidator Grant have until 7 February 2019 to apply for the next round of funding. Click here for application details.
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 located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries. The funding (average of €2 million per grant), is provided for up to five years and mostly covers the employment of researchers and other staff to consolidate the grantees' teams.
About the ERC
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe. It offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between grantees' pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation.
To date, the ERC has funded some 9,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers, and over 50,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams. The ERC strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. Key global research funding bodies, in the United States, China, Japan, Brazil and other countries, have concluded special agreements to provide their researchers with opportunities to temporarily join ERC grantees' teams.
The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. The ERC President is Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The overall ERC budget from 2014 to 2020 is more than €13 billion, as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, for which European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Carlos Moedas is responsible.