EU grants €350 million to pursue ground-breaking research

To address some of the world’s most complex research problems, 34 research groups have been selected to receive the European Research Council’s Synergy Grants, worth €350 million in total, as part of the EU’s research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. The grants will help groups of two to four outstanding researchers, with complementary skills, knowledge and resources, to work on ambitious projects in a wide range of scientific domains: from uncovering the mysteries of our brain’s immune system to investigating the unknown past of human interactions with the oceans, improving how we measure astronomic distances to discover more about the universe, and many more. Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The selected projects are excellent examples of bold scientific thinking. Many of these endeavours will tackle pressing issues in specific areas such as health, the environment and climate. Others will push the frontiers of knowledge, creating new opportunities in ways that we cannot fully predict today. I’m proud that the EU, while taking firm action to tackle the immediate challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis, is also continuing to invest in our long-term future by supporting these exceptional researchers. By taking the long view, we are strengthening Europe’s position as a global research powerhouse.” The 34 projects selected for funding involve 116 researchers who will carry out their projects at 86 universities and research centres, in 22 countries across Europe and beyond. The grants, each worth around €10 million euro, will help create some 1,000 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, and other staff in the grantees’ research teams. More information is available in this ERC press release.