The recipients of the prestigious grants are Professor Bjørn Jamtveit of UiO, Professor Arne Brataas of NTNU and Senior Scientist Andreas Stohl of NILU. Advanced Grants provide up to EUR 2.5 million in funding (approximately NOK 21 million) over a maximum period of five years. In some circumstances, up to EUR 3.5 million may be awarded per grant.
ERC Advanced Grants are awarded to established, internationally leading researchers. To be eligible, candidates must have a track-record of ten years of documented, outstanding research activity and exceptional leadership. At the same time, the proposed project must have the potential to generate ground-breaking results. Scientific merit is the only criterion.
Natural science and technology
Bjørn Jamtveit has been awarded EUR 2.9 million (approx. NOK 24 million) for the project, “Disequilibrium metamorphism of stressed lithosphere”. Dr Jamtveit will be studying the factors behind change in the earth’s crust.
Arne Brataas will receive NOK 19 million in ERC funding for the project, "Controlling Electric Signals with Insulating Antiferromagnets and Insulating Ferromagnets". Dr Brataas specialises in theoretical spintronics, which is the study of how electrons spin and how they behave in different materials and situations.
Andreas Stohl has been granted funding for the project, "Camera Observation and Modelling of 4D tracer Dispersion in the Atmosphere". The project will generate a greater understanding of turbulence and plume dispersion (e.g. pollutant plumes) into the atmosphere.
The three projects awarded funding are all in the disciplinary domain of Physical Science and Engineering, which comprises natural science, mathematics and technology. The ERC also provides funding for research in two other domains: Social Sciences and Humanities and Life Sciences.
The ERC is a component of the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020.
More Norwegian researchers should apply
“A greater number of experienced Norwegian researchers should apply for ERC funding. If you are among those whose grant proposals to the FRIPRO funding scheme for independent basic research projects repeatedly receive top marks, you should definitely consider applying for ERC funding as well,” says Per Ivar Høvring, National Contact Point for the ERC and Horizon 2020 at the Research Council. The ERC is under Horizon 2020’s Pillar “Excellent Science”.
“The assessment criteria for ERC and FRIPRO grants have become more aligned. A revised version of an application submitted to the Research Council could very well meet with success in the ERC. We have also seen some examples where a reworked application that was first submitted to the ERC has been awarded FRIPRO funding. The effort it takes to prepare an ERC application is seldom wasted,” states Mr Høvring.
The ERC also offers Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants. Starting Grants (for researchers with 2–7 years of experience since completion of their Ph.D.) are targeted towards young, up-and-coming investigators who are seeking to become leading researchers and who are in the process of establishing an independent research team. Consolidator Grants (for researchers with 2–12 years of experience since completion of their Ph.D.) are designed to support researchers with proven potential for independent research who have demonstrated scientific maturity.