Europe’s top researchers in EU cash windfall

Martin Banks

Belgium (Brussels Morning Newspaper), The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the names of 255 research leaders in Europe set to be awarded ERC Advanced Grants.

The funding is amongst the EU’s most prestigious and competitive, providing leading senior researchers with the opportunity to pursue ambitious, curiosity-driven projects.

The new grants worth €652 million in total are funded by the EU’s research and innovation program, Horizon Europe. 

Reacting to the news on Thursday, Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, offered her congratulations to all the new ERC grantees.

The official said, “These grants will not only support leading researchers in pushing the boundaries of knowledge but also create some 2500 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, and other research staff across Europe. This investment nurtures the next generation of brilliant minds. I look forward to seeing the resulting breakthroughs and fresh advancements in the years ahead.”

The announced grants will support cutting-edge research in a wide range of fields, from life sciences and physical sciences to social sciences and humanities.

The successful candidates proposed to host their projects at universities and research centers in 19 EU Member States and countries associated with Horizon Europe. Among the EU countries, the highest numbers of grants will be hosted by institutions in Germany (50), France (37), and the Netherlands (23).

Among the laureates, there are Germans (50 researchers), French (31), Britons (28), Italians (22) and citizens of other 28 nations.

The competition attracted 1,829 proposals, out of which nearly 14% were selected for funding.

Estimates show that the grants will create 2480 jobs in the new grantees’ teams.  

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Martin Banks is an experienced British-born journalist who has been covering the EU beat (and much else besides) in Brussels since 2001. Previously, he had worked for many years in regional journalism in the UK and freelanced for national titles. He has a keen interest in foreign affairs and has closely followed the workings of the European Parliament and MEPs in particular for some years.