Record support for early career researchers 

5 September 2012


Researchers at UCL have been awarded a total of 17 Starting Grants by the European Research Council (ERC), the highest number awarded at UCL under a single funding call to date. These grants have a total value of €21.6 million. 

The ERC Starting Grants scheme aims to support new European researchers to establish research teams and develop their skills as independent research leaders. Applicants who can demonstrate their potential, both in developing groundbreaking research and leading projects, can benefit from long-term funding and support to help them develop their career.

An ERC Proof of Concept grant was also won in this funding call. The total value of ERC funding allocated to UCL currently stands at €94.5 million.

Professor David Price, UCL Vice-Provost (Research) said: “I’d like to extend my congratulations to the successful applicants on their extraordinary achievement. These grants recognise the importance of investing in the next generation of research leadership, and enabling early career researchers to take the next steps in their career path. Cultivating strong leadership and nurturing research excellence underpin research at UCL, and we will endeavour to build on this accomplishment in coming years.”

Michael Browne, Head of UCL European Research & Development, said: “For UCL to be awarded this number of ERC Grants is an outstanding achievement. The awards will enable recipients to grow and develop as research leaders, and reaffirm UCL's position among the very top recipients of ERC funding in Europe.”

The successful applicants are:

  • Dr Jens Groth (UCL Computer Sciences) “Efficient cryptographic arguments and proofs”
  • Dr Andrei Yafaev (UCL Mathematics) “Some problems in geometry of Shimura varieties”
  • Dr Adrien DesJardins (UCL Medical Physics & Bioengineering) “Molecular photoacoustic imaging during ultrasound-guided interventions”
  • Dr Annie Britton (UCL Epidemiology & Public Health) “Alcohol consumption across the life-course: determinants and consequences”
  • Dr Bahador Bahrami (UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience) “Neurobiological basis of collective decision making in the human brain”
  • Dr Ivana Bjedov (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) “Autophagy as a cancer treatment”
  • Dr Richard Jenner (UCL Cancer Institute) “The role of CpG island RNAs and Polycomb-RNA interactions in developmental gene regulation”
  • Dr Sam Schwarzkopf (Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL) “What makes our subjective perception of the world unique?”
  • Prof Sougato Bose (UCL Physics & Astronomy) “Partially coherent many-body nonequilibrium dynamics for information applications”
  • Dr Hiranya Peiris (UCL Physics & Astronomy) “Understanding the origin of cosmic structure”
  • Dr Uta Schoenberg (UCL Economics) “Identifying spillovers in the labour market”
  • Dr Dennis Kristensen (UCL Economics) “Identification, estimation and implementation of structural economic models”
  • Dr Imran Rasul (UCL Economics) “The economics of mass migration: Theory and evidence”
  • Dr Margarita Gleba (UCL Institute of Archaeology) “Production and consumption: Textile economy and urbanisation in Mediterranean Europe 1000–500 BCE”
  • Dr Ralph Wilde (UCL Laws) “Human Rights Beyond Borders: The extraterritorial application of international human rights law – Comparative legal, historical and theoretical approaches”
  • Dr Marc Vander Linden (UCL Institute of Archaeology) "Transmission of innovations: Comparison and modelling of early farming and associated technologies in Europe”
  • Prof Ewa Paluch (UCL Molecular Biology) “The inherent morphological potential of the actin cortex and the mechanics of shape control during cell division”

In addition to the Starting Grants, Dr Kyle Jamieson (UCL Computer Science) has been awarded an ERC Proof of Concept grant, designed to help grant holders to prepare their project results for commercialisation, for his project “Tapping 802.11 Access Point Infrastructure for Fine-Grained Indoor Location”.

Related links:

UCL Research Strategy

UCL European Research & Development