This year, the European Union’s European Research Council (ERC) celebrates its tenth anniversary; the first ERC grants were awarded in 2007. In those ten years, 71 researchers at the UvA received grants from the ERC, making the UvA the ‘top host organisation’ in the Netherlands.
At the University of Amsterdam (UvA), 38 academics have commenced work with a Starting Grant, 14 with a Consolidator Grant and 19 with an Advanced Grant. The ERC has also awarded grants to 18 AMC researchers: 10 Starting, 4 Consolidator and 4 Advanced. Together, the UvA and AMC represent 89 grants between them.
In total, the ERC has funded nearly 7,000 researchers in Europe over the last ten years. Researchers at the Dutch universities have proven extremely successful in obtaining ERC grants. The Netherlands accounts for a total of 593 awarded grants, with a total value of around one billion euros.
Prof. Martin Stokhof, vice-chair of the ERC Scientific Council and emeritus professor of Philosophy of Language at the UvA, had this to say: ‘Relative to its size, the Netherlands has been awarded the most ERC resources. These include nearly 600 ERC grants, which is more than some larger European nations. These grants will serve to support not only talented researchers, but also their teams of postdocs, PhD candidates and other research staff at our universities and research centres. These individuals are pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge and laying the foundation for a stronger economy and a better society.’
The UvA (excluding the AMC) leads the list of the top five Dutch host organisations with its 71 grants awarded. The rest of the top five are: Delft University of Technology with 56 grants, Radboud University Nijmegen with 56, Utrecht University with 56 and Leiden University with 50. Among all universities in Europe, the UvA comes in at 10th place.
To celebrate 10 years of ERC grants, a series of activities will be held in SPUI25. These events are also to celebrate SPUI25’s tenth anniversary. This is an initative of Bea Krenn, senior advisor research funding at IXA. One of the UvA’s ERC laureates will attend each activity as a special guest, along with a fellow grant laureate of their choosing. Together, the laureates will present a talk centred on research and led by a moderator. Not only will the ‘person behind the scientist’ and the common dilemmas facing researchers be addressed, but the programme will also reflect the wide array of academic disciplines at the UvA. The series is expected to begin in April.
The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) at the UvA is also seizing on the tenth anniversary of the ERC as a chance to host an event in September, which will feature a programme centred on the ERC’s Synergy Call, the new funding programme aimed at interdisciplinary research. Prof. Helga Nowotny, former president of the ERC and member of the IAS academic advisory council, will deliver the keynote address.
The European Research Council (ERC) is a prominent element of Horizon 2020, the EU framework programme for research and innovation. The ERC was established by the EU in 2007 for the purpose of funding exceptional academics and their ideas. It supports ground-breaking research in all disciplines, while also helping Europe to attract and retain the finest researchers of all nationalities.