5 Greeks among the top researchers in Europe
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5 Greeks among the top researchers in Europe

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of its Starting Grants to 325 early-career researchers throughout Europe. The funding, worth in total €485 million and up to €1.5 million per grant, will enable them to set up their own research teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas. Among them 5 Greek researchers.

1. Giannoulis Elena: She will do her research for the “Emotional MachinesThe Technological Transformation of
Intimacy in Japan” at the Freie Universität in Berlin,

2.Nikoletopoulou Vassiliki: She will do her research for “The Role of Autophagy in Synaptic Plasticity” at the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas

3.Bergeles Christos: He will be at the University College in London. His research field is the robotics for Novel Retinal Interventions

4. Douka Katerina: She will be at the University of Oxford, researching the Fossil Fingerprinting and Identification of
New Denisovan remains from Pleistocene.

5.Nikolopoulos Konstantinos: He will be at the University of Birmingham. His research is about “New Physics in First and Second Generation Quark Yukawa Couplings through Rare Exclusive Decays of the Observed Higgs Boson”.

The new grantees will work on a wide range of topics, such as improving effectiveness of chemotherapy in cancer treatment, developing new sustainable ways of producing hydrogen fuel, and exploring citizenship law to better manage migration and uphold human rights. The funded research covers all disciplines: physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, and social science and humanities.

The grants are awarded under the ‘excellent science’ pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme.

On this occasion, Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Through the ERC Starting Grants, the EU attracts young research talent and keeps it in Europe. With the EU backing these grantees will be able to pursue their best ideas, but also create quality jobs for more research staff who wish to work on the frontiers of science. Ultimately they will contribute to creating the most valuable resource Europe has: human capital.”

The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said: “With this new round of funding the ERC backs another 325 bright young minds to bring their most ambitious ideas to life. The ERC believes in supporting young talent – indeed two thirds of its funding goes to early-career researchers contributing to the future of Europe in terms of science and more broadly.”

He added: “It is pivotal to keep scientific quality as the one and only selection criterion, and to trust researchers to choose significant topics, without imposing any demands on what to be explored. Giving top researchers free reign to follow their scientific curiosity opens the way to real breakthroughs as a recent independent study found: as much as 71% of the first completed ERC projects led to breakthroughs or major scientific advances. This speaks volumes about the relevance to fund bottom-up frontier research – it creates new knowledge and offers new paths for economic growth.”