Although much of Europe is currently at a standstill, the European Research Council (ERC) has announced the names of the researchers who will receive an ERC Advanced Grant this year. These include two researchers from ETH: microbiologist Julia Vorholt and pharmacologist Jean-Christophe Leroux will each receive some 2.58 million Swiss francs in funding for their projects.
European research is more important than ever
Detlef Günther, ETH Vice President for Research, emphasises the overarching importance of the ERC: “Now more than ever, we are all keenly aware of how much we need research across national boundaries. The European Research Council has been doing outstanding work in this area for years by determining where exactly in Europe important basic research is being carried out and then providing it with targeted support.” Günther is also delighted for the two ETH researchers set to receive grants: “Although we currently have to reduce our research activities in certain areas, the time will come when ETH’s research can get back to full speed. Projects of this kind will then see faster progress thanks to an ERC Grant.”
Less money to Switzerland
In this round of funding, 16 grants will go to researchers from Swiss research institutions. By comparison, a total of 18 Swiss projects received grants in 2019. This reflects an overall trend towards fewer awards from the ERC in this funding cycle: a total of 185 projects were selected in this round, compared to 222 in 2019.
Advanced Grants are awarded as part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The extent to which Switzerland will be able to participate in the successor programme Horizon Europe, from 2021, is yet to be fully clarified.
The projects at a glance: