European Research Council awards €573 million to research projects

European Research Council
© iStock/kirstypargeter

The European Research Council has announced the results of its Consolidator Grant competition, awarding a total of €573 million to 291 scientists across the EU.

The Consolidator Grant awards, allocated by the European Research Council and funded by the Horizon 2020 programme, give mid-career researchers the opportunity to build up their teams and develop their research. This year’s winners hail from universities and research centres across 21 EU Member States, representing 40 nationalities, and will receive on average around €2 million per grant; 32 per cent of the total funding was awarded to female candidates.

European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas 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 European Research Council grants will support such a diverse group of people of 40 nationalities working in over twenty countries and that the list of grantees also reflects that we have many excellent women scientists in Europe.”

Projects awarded the European Research Council Consolidator Grant included:

  • “How does life start?” – a study of DNA programming in cells;
  • “Refugee protection in East-Central Europe in the 20th century” – international research of refugee migration and reception;
  • “Improving quantum cryptography” – developing cryptographic security;
  • “Natural dynamics in bipedal robot locomotion” – developing robots which can functionally walk;
  • “Enhancing augmented reality using a transformable metasurface” – developing device architecture in augmented and virtual reality technologies;
  • “Where are beetles going?” – a study of insects’ navigational capabilities; and
  • “Wage inequality within and across firms” – examining economic gender inequality.

The European Research Council received 2,389 research proposals for the Consolidator Grant, of which around 12 per cent received funding. In total funding provided by the grant has created 1,750 jobs for research staff.

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