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Recipients Announced for European Research Council Grants

THE EUROPEAN RESEARCH COUNCIL (ERC) has announced the 314 researchers who have been selected to receive Consolidator Grants, worth a total of €605 million to fund their latest projects.

The ERC evaluated 2,274 research proposals and allocated funding to 13.8% of them. “The new grant winners have been awarded this competitive funding because they are top-notch scientists with truly ground-breaking ideas – investment in their success will pay back,” Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science, and Innovation, said in a statement.

The grants provide up to €2 million of funding for each project and to be eligible for consideration a researcher must have between 7 and 12 years of experience since the completion of their PhD. The grants will last for 5 years and will fund work carried out in Europe across the physical sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and the life sciences.

In a statement, President of the ERC, Prof Jean-Pierre Bourguignon said that: “Consolidator Grants support talented researchers still early in their careers. In 2016, the demand for this type of ERC funding increased again. It testifies to the need for more funding for curiosity-driven research in Europe.”

Research chosen to receive a Consolidator Grant include the Extracellular Vesicle-Inspired CArdiac Repair (EVICARE) project. Led by Dr Joost Sluijter from the University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands, the project will work towards developing regenerative therapies for heart disease. Another project that has been selected is called: Brain computer interface to study and manipulate memories of aversive experience during sleep (MNEMOSYNE). Dr Karim Benchenane from the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Paris, France, will look at developing a tool that can modify aversive memories in patients while they sleep to help treat psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The full list of projects awarded the 2016 ERC Consolidator Grants within the Life Sciences domain can be found here.

Jack Redden, Reporter

Keywords: Consolidator Grants, European Research Council (ERC), heart disease, Life Sciences, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Regenerative Therapies