UCL News


UCL wins 10 European Research Council grants

4 August 2011

Ten UCL researchers have received European Research Council (ERC) Starting Investigator grants with a total value of more than £12.

UCL early career researcher 4 million.

The number of grants awarded to UCL under this scheme doubled this year compared to 2010. The researchers were chosen from among a record 4,080 applicants from across Europe, including 793 from the UK.

Each of the grants is worth up to £1.3 million (€2 million) and will enable the researchers to set up their own teams and carry out cutting-edge projects. Applications were evaluated through an international peer review process with scientific excellence as the sole evaluation criterion.

The UCL researchers awarded ERC Starting Grants in 2011 are:

  • Dr Francesca Cacucci, Psychology and Language Sciences: The development of the hippocampal spatial representation system
  • Dr Ignacio De La Torre Sainz, Institute of Archaeology: The origins of the Acheulean in East Africa
  • Dr Kyle Jamieson, Computer Science: Building scalable, secure, and reliable 'chaotic' wireless networks
  • Dr Josef Kittler, Biosciences: Regulation of neuronal connectivity and plasticity by activity-dependent mitochondrial trafficking to synapses
  • Professor Cécile Laborde, Political Science: Is religion special? Reformulating secularism and religion in legal and contemporary theory
  • Dr Anne McMunn, Population Health: Health effect of social changes in gender, work & family: Life course evidence from Great Britain
  • Dr Steen Ooi, Cancer Institute: How does the X chromosome regulate DNA methylation in pluripotent stem cells
  • Dr Jason Rihel, Biosciences: Resolving the neuropharmacology and genetics of zebrafish sleep
  • Dr Kazunori Tomita, Cancer Institute: Hidden role of the meiotic chromosomal bouquet
  • Dr Aaron Walsh, Chemistry: Hybrid semiconductors: Design principles and material applications.

The ERC Starting Grants are designed to support researchers from any nationality who have obtained their PhD between two and 12 years before the call for project proposals (extensions may apply in certain cases). Grants may cover up to five years of funding and all research fields are eligible. ERC grants are funded by the European Union as part of Framework Programme 7 (FP7).

Since 2007, UCL has been awarded 40 ERC grants with a total value of £50 million. UCL is also participating in three ERC funded projects hosted by other institutions.

The 2012 call for ERC Starting Grant proposals has been launched. The following closing dates apply:

  • 12 October 2011: Physical Sciences and Engineering
  • 9 November 2011: Life Sciences
  • 24 November 2011: Social Sciences and Humanities.

The budget available for this call is £640 million, a 10% increase compared to 2011. 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 8 and 21 September. Follow the links below for further information.


UCL European Research and Development Office

UK ERC Information and Proposal Writing Events