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Funding from the European Research Council for Twelve Heidelberg Researchers

24 November 2011
edited on 24 January 2012
Heidelberg receives three ERC Starting Grants and nine ERC Advanced Grants for outstanding investigators

In the framework of the 2011 round of the European Research Council’s (ERC) competition for outstanding researchers, Heidelberg University has totted up a remarkable score. In the field of project-related research funding, three young researchers have been awarded one of the coveted Starting Grants, while nine established academics, including three “joint professors”, have been accorded an Advanced Grant. “This result impressively confirms Heidelberg’s research standing at an international level,” said Prof. Dr. Bernhard Eitel, the Rector of Heidelberg University. These new announcements bump up Heidelberg’s total to ten Starting Grants and eleven Advanced Grants, not counting the Advanced Grants for the three joint professors. In each case, the funding extends to a period of five years.

The young scientists in question are Prof. Dr. Selim Jochim (Faculty of Physics and Astronomy), Prof. Dr. Jan Lohmann (Centre for Organismal Studies) and Dr. Friedrich Frischknecht (Medical Faculty Heidelberg). Their projects will receive funding in the shape of an ERC Starting Independent Researcher Grant to the tune of approx. EUR 1.5 million each. ERC Advanced Investigator Grants for established academics go to Prof. Dr. Tilmann Gneiting (Mathematics and Computer Sciences), Prof. Dr. Rohini Kuner (Medical Faculty Heidelberg), Prof. Dr. Christof Wetterich (Faculty of Physics and Astronomy), Prof. Dr. Victor Sourjik (Center for Molecular Biology) and Prof. Dr. Joachim Wittbrodt (Centre for Organismal Studies), as well as to “co-investigator” Prof. Dr. Hans Georg Bock (Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing). The same Grant has also been awarded to two of Heidelberg’s joint professors, Prof. Dr. Klaus Blaum at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics, who also teaches and conducts research at the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, Prof. Dr. Michael Boutros who is active at both Heidelberg University’s Medical Faculty Mannheim and at the German Cancer Research Center, and Prof. Dr. Joachim P. Spatz from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, who also belongs to the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences. Up to EUR 3.5 million can be channelled into projects funded by an Advanced Grant.

The European Research Council was set up in 2007 to apply an investigator-driven approach to the funding of frontier research with a view to advancing visionary projects and opening up new interdisciplinary fields of knowledge. Every year it invites applications for its three main lines of funding: Starting Grants for young academics, Advanced Grants for established researchers and Synergy Grants for groups of two to four researchers. For persons who have already received a Starting or Advanced Grant, there is also the “Proof of Concept” scheme with which ideas from projects can be transformed into innovations.

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