Dutch researchers score high in ERC grant awards

Dutch researchers score high in ERC grant awards

The European Research Council (ERC) is awarding 680 million euros to 302 senior research leaders in 24 different countries across Europe in the latest competition for its prestigious ‘Advanced Grants’.

With up to 2.5 million euros per project, the funding allows these scientists to pursue their most ground-breaking ideas at the frontiers of knowledge together with their own teams. Of the 302 proposals selected in 2012, 28 were by Dutch researchers, putting them in 4th position.

As the largest countries in the EU, the UK, France and Germany host the greatest number of successful candidates. However, the Netherlands, Denmark, UK and Cyprus (of the EU countries), and Switzerland and Israel (of the countries associated with the EU research programme), host the greatest number of successful candidates in relation to population size. This reflects the high quality of the research in these countries, which generally follows from long-term investment in research.

One project – the University of Amsterdam’s PARASOL project – aims to obtain a better understanding of the diversity, physiology and ecological niche of sulphur bacteria in soda lakes. The results of the project can be used to improve the sustainable removal of noxious sulphur compounds from wastewater and off-gases, which is essential for a clean and healthy environment.

Further information: http://erc.europa.eu

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