Europe courts world scientists with cash grants

Feb 20, 2012
The European Research Council launched an international campaign to court the world's top scientists to work in Europe with grants of up to 3.5 million euro over five years. The goal of the program is to boost the number of non-European researchers to over 500. Currently, just 100 of its 2,600 grant recipients are from outside Europe, said council secretary general Donald Dingwell.

The European Research Council launched an international campaign Sunday to court the world's top scientists to work in Europe with grants of up to 3.5 million euro (4.6 million dollars) over five years.

The goal of the program is to boost the number of non-European researchers to over 500. Currently, just 100 of its 2,600 grant recipients are from outside Europe, said council secretary general Donald Dingwell.

Dingwell, who after Canada plans to visit South Africa, several , Latin America, Russia and Ukraine, the United States and Mexico, said the main condition is that recipients spend half their time in Europe and be affiliated with a European institution.

"It's open for anyone in the world," Dingwell told reporters at the annual meeting in Vancouver. A typical grants employs five people and one principal investigator.

"We want to show that the EU is attractive ... to scholars who can be judged by a council of peers to (have research) worth doing."

The ERC has a 2013 grant budget of 1.8 billion euro (2.4 billion dollars) said Dingwell, a Canadian specialist on volcanoes who moved to Europe in the 1980s.

He said he believes there is strong political support for research despite Europe's .

But the next budget, he said, will take two years to pass through parliament and the council of ministers.

"The road to EU integration was and is a delicate path," he noted.

Europe, with previously a patchwork of national research organizations, created the council just five years ago.

Nicole Boivin, a Canadian archeologist who moved to the University of Oxford, England, after receiving a Euro 1.2-million "starting" level research grant, said she applied to the ERC because funding is open to multi-disciplinary projects and "the ERC encourages breaking down boundaries (between disciplines) and allows risk."

Explore further: XPRIZE announces Global Learning XPRIZE—$15 million competition to disrupt education

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Europe attracts American researchers

Feb 18, 2011

One of the goals of the European Research Council, ERC, is to bring the world's leading researchers to work in Europe. American Juleen Zierath is one of those who have received funds from the ERC. She found the best environment ...

Recommended for you

Q&A: Science journalism and public engagement

10 hours ago

Whether the public is reading about the Ebola outbreak in Africa or watching YouTube videos on the benefits of the latest diet, it's clear that reporting on science and technology profoundly shapes modern ...

Ig Nobel winner: Using pork to stop nosebleeds

Sep 19, 2014

There's some truth to the effectiveness of folk remedies and old wives' tales when it comes to serious medical issues, according to findings by a team from Detroit Medical Center.

User comments : 0