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Europe recognizes Catalan scientific excellence with nine 'Advanced Grants'

The European Research Council has received 2,300 applications from high level researchers, 4.5% more than in 2011.

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By Biocat

A total of 302 senior scientists from 24 European countries have received the prestigious scholarship Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) of about €2.5 million each. Following recent years trend, the most successful countries are the UK, France and Germany. As for Catalonia, returns to lead the awards in Spain as it has managed nine of the 15 grants awarded to Vicent Caselles (Pompeu Fabra University), Antonio Echavarren (Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia), Albert Marcet (MOVE), Susana Narotzky (Universitat de Barcelona), Xavier Oliver (International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering), Núria Sebastián-Galles (Pompeu Fabra University), Roma Tauler (Spanish National Research Council), Xavier Tolsa (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and Mateo Valero (Barcelona Supercomputing Center).

List of ERC Advanced Grants 2012

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, has said that ERC is "still identifying the best researchers." This year, ERC have exceeded 2,300 applications, a 4.5% increase in 2011. The overall budget is allocated to research grants is 680 million, a slight increase on the € 660 million in 2011.

45% of funded projects are in physical sciences and engineering, 37% in life sciences and 18% in humanities and social sciences.

15% of selected scientists are women. Among them is Prof. Núria Sebastián-Galles, an expert in psychology and a pioneer in research on bilingual learning in infants. She currently develops research at the Center for Brain and Cognition at the Pompeu Fabra University as Director of the Speech Acquisition & Perception Group (SAP). Sebastián will be the leading scientific at the conference at B·Debate Origins of the Bilingual Mind next June in Barcelona.

Núria Sebastián-Galles, is one of the selected experts by the European Research Council - Photo: © UPC.