Funding from the European Research Council for Nine Heidelberg Researchers

Press Release
Heidelberg, 22 November 2011

Funding from the European Research Council for Nine Heidelberg Researchers
Heidelberg receives three ERC Starting Grants and six ERC Advanced Grants for outstanding investigators

In the framework of this year’s 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 six established academics, including two “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 nine Advanced Grants, not counting the Advanced Grants for the two 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 (Faculty of Biosciences) 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. Christof Wetterich (Faculty of Physics and Astronomy), Prof. Dr. Victor Sourjik (Center for Molecular Biology) and Prof. Dr. Joachim Wittbrodt (Faculty of Biosciences), 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, and Prof. Dr. Michael Boutros who is active at both Heidelberg University’s Medical Faculty Mannheim and at the German Cancer Research Center. 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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