The five ERC Starting Grant grants total €6.3 million

€6.3m European Research Council success for Exeter five

Five early career academics from the University of Exeter are celebrating receiving European Grants worth a total of €6.3 million to explore topics ranging from how states encroach on civil liberty; how stars build magnetic fields; and how data intensive science will change research in the digital age. 

The funds are aimed at the cream of University researchers in Europe and support ground-breaking research by academics early in their career.    

The funded ERC Starting Grant projects are:

Dr Claire Belcher (Geography): €1,519,640 for The Impact of Plant Evolution on Fire Behaviour in Ancient Ecosystems (ECOFLAM)

Dr Nicole Bolleyer (Politics): €864,972 for State Encroachment on Civil Society? A Comparative Study of Parties, Interest Groups and Welfare-Providing Organisations in Contemporary Democracies (STATORG)

Dr Matt Browning (Astrophysics): €1,469,070 for Convective Heat transport And Stellar Magnetism (CHASM)

Dr Sabina Leonelli (Sociology, Philosophy & Anthropology): €1,046,000 for The Epistemology of Data-Intensive Science (DATASCIENCE)

Dr David Sing (Astrophysics): €1,495,823.60 for Classifying the Range of Exoplanetary Atmospheres using Transmission and Emission Spectroscopy (CREATES)

Each project is funded for five years. 

Sean Fielding, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Exeter says: “These grants recognise the best young researchers in Europe and competition is intense so I’d like to congratulate these five Exeter academics.  Over 3000 people applied and only 287 were selected so to have five of the winners in Exeter is a great achievement. We came fourth in the UK in this round and we are currently in the top 10 for European Research Council grants overall.”

The UK has been awarded the highest number of European Research Council Starting Grants grants per country, with 60 grants going to researchers based at UK host institutions (ahead of Germany with 46, Israel with 32 and France with 29).

Date: 30 July 2013