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ERC in €585m grant award

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced 302 winners of its 2015 Consolidator grant (CoG) competition.

The mid-career scientists will together receive a total of €585m in funding as part of Horizon 2020. Individual grants are worth up to €2m each allowing the researchers to consolidate their research teams and to develop their innovative ideas.

Projects being funded include developing a new method to control insects transmitting diseases, such as the Zika virus, build ultra-thin portable fuel cells, and investigate the effectiveness of political apologies across cultures. The experts are likely to employ more than 2,100 postdocs, PhD students and other research team members.

The ERC president, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said: “The Consolidator grants support researchers at a crucial 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.”

The latest call sees the share of female grantees at 31%, a further increase from the CoG competitions in 2014 (28%) and 2013 (24%). In addition, female applicants were more successful than male applicants, as the success rate for women was 16% and for men 14.5%. Overall, 15% of applicants in this competition were successful.

Researchers from 34 different nationalities are amongst the grantees, with the highest number of grants going to German scientists.