Press release
Appointment of Maria Leptin as the next ERC President – Statement of the Scientific Council
30 June 2021
Cover image of Appointment of Maria Leptin as the next ERC President – Statement of the Scientific Council

Maria Leptin was appointed President of the European Research Council (ERC) by the European Commission today.

On this occasion, the ERC Scientific Council stated:

As members of the ERC Scientific Council, we congratulate Maria Leptin on her appointment as the next ERC President. We look forward to working together on the continued success of the ERC, Europe’s leading instrument for funding excellent frontier research.

The appointment of Maria Leptin is the outcome of a rigorous selection process, in which an independent Search Committee evaluated thoroughly all applications and nominations received, and prepared a short list of candidates for the position. The finalists were interviewed by the ERC Scientific Council, which informed Commissioner Mariya Gabriel of the ones it approved. The Commissioner then made the final decision, as the procedure stipulates.

We wholeheartedly support the outcome of the process, and welcome Maria Leptin as the next leader of our unique organisation. Her strong scientific and managerial backgrounds, her long-term involvement with European issues, her pioneering role in the scientific community and her familiarity with European institutions are all highly appreciated.

Her strong leadership will be essential in ensuring that frontier research continues to play a central role in the Horizon Europe framework programme, and that the ERC makes good use of its autonomy, as guaranteed by the legislative texts. Strict adherence to the bottom-up principle, leaving the full initiative to researchers, as well as using scientific quality and the pursuit of excellence as the sole criterion for the selection of proposals, will remain the cornerstones of the ERC’s mission.

We are confident that Maria Leptin will provide the leadership needed when she takes office, and we are looking forward to fruitful exchanges with her in the run up to the start of her mandate.

Press Contacts


Tony Lockett
Head of Communication
T: +32 2 299 43 36

Madeleine Drielsma
Press and Communication advisor
T: +32 2 298 76 31