The European Research Council (ERC) has announced today the 302 winners of its 2015 Consolidator Grant competition. These excellent mid-career scientists are awarded a total of €585 million, as part of the European Union Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020. With grants worth up to €2 million each, they will be able to consolidate their research teams and to develop their innovative ideas.
The researchers selected in this call will, for example, develop a new method to control insects transmitting diseases such as the Zika virus, build ultra-thin portable fuel cells, and investigate the effectiveness ofpolitical apologies across cultures. They are likely to employ more than 2,100 post docs, PhD students and other research team members.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "As part of Horizon 2020, the ERC funds the work of some of the most brilliant minds in frontier research, people whose discoveries can start new industries, new markets and contribute to the welfare of the planet."
The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said: "The Consolidator grants support researchers at acrucial time of their careers, strengthening their independence and helping them establish themselves as leaders in their scientific fields. Europe needs to unequivocally put its trust in young and very engaged scientists. I'm glad to see that, compared to previous years, there are morewomen amongst the Consolidator grantees selected in a competition strictly based on scientific quality. I hope that this trend continues. This time the success rate of female applicants actually surpassed that of men."
The share of female grantees in thiscall was 31%; a further increase from the Consolidator Grant competitions in 2014 (28%) and 2013 (24%). Furthermore, female applicants were more successful than male applicants (the success rate for women was 16% and for men 14.5%). Overall, 15% of applicants in this competition were successful.
The ERC grants are targeted at top researchers of any nationality based in, or willing to move to Europe. In this call, researchers of 34 different nationalities are amongst the grantees. The highest number of grants goes to German scientists (48 grants), followed by British (32), French (30) and Italian (30).
Amongst the grantees, there are also some 30 researchers from outside Europe, mainly from United States, India and Canada.All grantees will conduct their research in host institutions based in the EU or associated countries. Sixty seven grantees will work in the UK, 45 in Germany, 31 in France and 26 in the Netherlands, and the remaining will be hosted in 18 other European countries.