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The European Research Council (ERC) continues to drive scientific excellence in Europe. Today, this organization published the names of 294 senior researchers that have received Advanced Grants 2011, with a total endowment of €660 millions and 13% more applications received than in the previous call for proposals. The list includes seven scientists working at research centers in Catalonia (of a total of 15 in Spain), of which five are from the life sciences field, one from physical sciences and engineering, and one from social sciences and humanities. Last year Catalonia also received seven grants. The IRB Barcelona received more grants than any other center in Spain (20%).

Life sciences:

  • Andrea Cerutti (Hospital del Mar Research Institute, IMIM) – Project: Innate signaling networks in B cell antibody production: new targets for vaccine development
  • Cayetano González (IRB Barcelona) – Project: Modelling Cancer Traits in Drosophila
  • Roderic Guigó (Center for Genomic Regulation, CRG) – Project: Uncovering and understanding RNA through Massively Parallel Sequencing
  • Angel Rodríguez Nebreda (IRB Barcelona) – Project: Signal integration and rewiring during tumor development
  • Ricard Solé (Pompeu Fabra University, UPF) – Project: Distributed Computation in Synthetic Cellular Consortia

Physical sciences and engineering:

  • Modesto Orozco (IRB Barcelona) – Project: Advanced multiscale simulation of DNA

Social sciences and humanities:

  • Gustavo Deco (Pompeu Fabra University, UPF) – Project: The Dynamical and Structural Basis of Human Mind Complexity

List of ERC Advanced Grants 2011

This year, 2,284 proposals were received for the Advanced Grants call. President of the ERC Professor Helga Nowotny expressed her satisfaction on the eve of the ERC’s fifth anniversary celebrations: “I am particularly glad that we are able to maintain a success rate of 12%, faced with a continuing increase in demand for ERC grants. Europe should make sure to nurture the talent it has and is able to attract, especially in times of the crisis." The 2011 budget was 12% larger than the amount awarded the previous year. The ERC has a total budget of €7.5 billions for the 2007-2013 period. For the next Horizon 2020 Framework Program, as Biocat published previously, the European Commission has proposed a significant increase in this budget.

The average age of researchers funded is 53 years old. The number of female researchers selected (12%) has increased slightly in this call for proposals. The projects will be carried out by universities or research centers from 20 European countries, but those leading the ranking are the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Furthermore, nearly 46% of the grants awarded are for physical sciences and engineering, 36% for life sciences and 18% for social sciences and humanities.

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