Nine Cambridge early-career researchers have received the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants. They were selected over 4,000 proposals, and this is also the most grant received by any institution in the UK.
The awards will allow these researchers to build their teams and conduct leading research across all disciplines, internationally. The grants are expected to generate more than 2,000 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff at various host institutions.
Cambridge’s recipients work in a range of faculties and departments including Physics, Mathematics, Plant Sciences, Music and History. They are among the 397 laureates who will be leading projects at universities and research centres in 22 EU and associated countries. This year, the UK has received grants for 46 projects, Germany 72, France 53, and the Netherlands 44.
Cambridge’s grant recipients for 2021 are:
- Giuliana Di Martino for Plasmon-Enhanced FerroElectric Discovery
- Sebastian Eves-van den Akker for Effector biogenesis: an unexplored, and yet critically important, part of plant-nematode interactions
- Jake Harris for TransPlant Memory: Synthetic Priming of Transcriptional Memory
- Ailsa Keating for SingSymp Singularities and symplectic mapping class groups
- Peter McMurray for Ottoman Auralities and the Eastern Mediterranean: Sound, Media and Power, 1789-1922
- Teresa Rayon for Molecular and metabolic pathways controlling developmental timing
- Caroline Rusterholz for Race and Sexual and Reproductive Health Charities in postwar Britain (1950s-2020s)
- Robert-Jan Slager for Multi-gap topological physics: from a new geometric perspective to materials
- Alice Thorneywork for The noise is the signal: exploring physico-chemical fluctuations with multiscale experimental models
These are the first ERC starting grants to be awarded under the EU’s new R&I programme, Horizon Europe. On average, the grants are worth Euro 1.5 million.
Professor Maria Leptin, president of the European Research Council, said, “Letting young talent thrive in Europe and go after their most innovative ideas – this is the best investment in our future, not least with the ever-growing competition globally.”