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UCL wins five European Research Council grants worth €12.4 million

8 December 2011

Five outstanding UCL researchers were recently awarded European Research Council (ERC) Advanced grants with a total value of more than €12.4 million. Each of the grants awarded to UCL has a value of up to €2.5 million.

The UCL projects were selected from among 2,284 proposals submitted by researchers worldwide, including 474 from researchers in the UK.

The UCL researchers who have been awarded ERC Advanced Grants 2011 are:

  • Professor Ofer Lahav, Department of Physics and Astronomy: ‘Testing the Dark Energy Paradigm and Measuring Neutrino Mass with the Dark Energy Survey
  • Professor Daniel Miller, Department of Anthropology: ‘Social Network Sites and Social Science’
  • Professor William David Richardson, Wolfsson Institute for Biomedical Research: ‘Axoglial synapses, adult myelination and motor skills learning’
  • Professor Robin Angus Silver, Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology: ‘Nonlinear synaptic integration in morphologically simple and complex neurons’
  • Professor Lars Peter Stixrude, Department of Earth Sciences: ‘Fluid Silicates at Extreme Conditions and the Magma Ocean’

The ERC Advanced Grant scheme is designed to fund exceptional, established researchers of any nationality to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects in any research field for up to five years. Since 2007, UCL has been awarded 45 ERC Advanced and Starting grants with a total value of € 76 million.

ERC grant applications are evaluated through an international peer review process with scientific excellence as the sole evaluation criterion. Marks are awarded for the principal investigator’s intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment and for the ground-breaking nature and potential impact of the project. ERC grants are funded by the European Union as part of Framework Programme 7 (FP7).

The latest call for ERC Advanced grant proposals has just been launched, with a budget of €680 million. The following deadlines apply:

  • Physical Sciences and Engineering: 16 February 2012
  • Life Sciences: 14 March 2012
  • Social Sciences and Humanities: 11 April 2012

Researchers interested in applying for ERC or any other EU research funding programme are urged to contact the European Research and Development Office at UCL for guidance. The UK National Contact Point for the ERC is also organising proposal writing workshops in London on the 2 and 15 December 2011.

Greta Borg-Carbott, Senior European Contracts Executive, European Research and Development Office