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10th January, 2020

Three UCL academics awarded ERC Consolidator Grants

UCL

Three researchers from UCL have secured prestigious EU funding for the next five years for projects in Roman history, neuroscience and mental health.

The European Research Council (ERC) bestows the Consolidator Grants to outstanding researchers who have a promising scientific track record, and between 7-12 years of experience after the completion of their doctorates.

The three recipients are:

  • Dr Valentina Arena (UCL History) is Reader in Roman History. Her project is entitled ‘Ordering, Constructing, Empowering: Fragments of the Roman Republican Antiquarians’
  • Dr Tiago Branco (UCL Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour) is Principal Research Fellow at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre. His project is entitled ‘Circuit and cellular mechanisms for computing spatial vectors to shelter during escape’
  • Dr Jean-Baptiste Pingault (UCL Psychology & Language Sciences) is Associate Professor in child and adolescent mental health. His project is entitled ‘From parental risk to child mental illness: a genetically informed investigation of intergenerational risk pathways’.

The ERC awarded 301 top scientists and scholars from across Europe, as part of its EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The fund is worth a total of €600 million and will have a far-reaching impact on science and beyond. Of this figure, €6.3 million will be given to UCL projects.

The recipients of the new Horizon 2020 awards come from 37 countries across Europe. Three of the 50 grants awarded to UK institutions have been given to UCL researchers.

Other countries recognised include Germany, which will receive 52 grants, France (43) and Netherlands (32).

The research initiatives chosen cover a wide range of topics in physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, as well as social sciences and humanities.

Professor David Price, UCL’s Vice-Provost for Research, said:

“We are delighted that three UCL academics have received this ERC funding, which will enable them to develop their ambitious research ideas.

“The EU’s research programmes are a vital part of UCL’s long-standing reputation for research excellence.”

Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:

“Knowledge developed in these new projects will allow us to understand the challenges we face at a more fundamental level, and may provide us with breakthroughs and innovations that we haven’t even imagined. The EU’s investment in frontier research is an investment in our future, which is why it is so important that we reach an agreement on an ambitious Horizon Europe budget for the next multiannual budget. More available research funding would also allow us to create more opportunities everywhere in the EU – excellence should not be a question of geography.”


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