Prof. Serena Viti and seven other UCL academics awarded European Research Council grants
3 April 2019
Astrophysicist Prof. Serena Viti and seven other senior researchers from UCL have been awarded European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grants, to explore their ambitious research ideas.
Their work will address global challenges and could lead to the creation of new jobs for the next generation of scientists.
ERC Advanced Grants are awarded to leading principle investigators that demonstrate a significant track record of research achievement.
The grantees at UCL will pioneer research on a wide range of topics across disciplines as diverse as urban development, archaeology, ophthalmology, anthropology and physics and astronomy.
UCL recipients of the ERC Advanced Grants are:
- - Making Africa Urban: The transcalar politics of large-scale urban development
- - Development of novel optogenetic approaches for improving vision in macular degeneration
- - Rethinking China’s Model of Urban Governance
- - Molecules as Probes of the Physics of External galaxies
- - The Migration Challenge: Labour Markets, Policy Reforms, and Social Cohesion
- - Sex-specific demography and the evolution of gender-biased harmful cultural practices
- - An Ethnography of an Extra-terrestrial Society: the International Space Station
- - Biogeographic and cultural adaptations of early humans during the first intercontinental dispersals
A total of 2,052 research proposals were submitted to the ERC, out of which almost 11% were selected for funding. Female researchers submitted more than 19% of proposals and some 20% of grants were awarded to women.
The grants will not only allow top researchers to execute their best ideas at scientific frontiers, but will also lead to job creation as an estimated 2,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff could be employed in the grantees' research teams.
Professor David Price, UCL’s Vice-Provost for Research, said: “ERC Advanced Grants are awarded for excellence in research and we are extremely proud to have eight of our academics as recipients. These grants will allow our academics to break boundaries and pursue innovative projects for which the university is world-renowned.”
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “The ERC Advanced Grants back outstanding researchers throughout Europe. Their pioneering work has the potential to make a difference in people’s everyday life and deliver solutions to some of our most urgent challenges. The ERC gives these bright minds the possibility to follow their most creative ideas and to play a decisive role in the advancement of all domains of knowledge.”
The President of the European Research Council (ERC), Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, commented: “Since 2007, the European Research Council has attracted and financed some of the most audacious research proposals, and independent evaluations show that this approach has paid off. With this call, another 222 researchers from all over Europe and beyond will pursue their best ideas and are in an excellent position to trigger breakthroughs and major scientific advances.”
“Had the ERC budget been higher, more brilliant ideas could have been supported in Europe. I hope that the next EU framework programme for research, Horizon Europe, will make this possible. There is certainly more room at the top.”