The European Research Council has opened up funding which Australian scientists can apply for as part of international teams.
Alongside opening up funding for Australian scientists, the European Research Council is also negotiating to make Australia an associated nation for EU research. If this is successful it will open up even more opportunities for Australian scientists to collaborate on global research.
The European Research Council funding
The European Research Council is a flagship component of the Horizon 2020 project and encourages high-quality European research by providing competitive funding for innovative projects.
According to the European Research council, “The ERC aims to:
•Support the best of the best in Europe across all fields of science, scholarship and engineering
•Promote wholly investigator-driven, or ‘bottom-up’ frontier research
•Encourage the work of the established and next generation of independent top research leaders in Europe
•Reward innovative proposals by placing emphasis on the quality of the idea rather than the research area
•Raise the status and visibility of European frontier research and the very best researchers of today and tomorrow”
The European Research Council has agreed to fund over 8,000 research projects throughout the EU member states and associated countries since 2007, and represents 17% of the overall Horizon 2020 budget. More than 70% of European Research Council funded projects made scientific breakthroughs or major advances, according to an independent study. More than 70% of European Research Council funded projects made scientific breakthroughs or major advances, according to an independent study.
Funding for Australian scientists
Australian scientists can now be part of teams applying for the grants, which close in November. Discussing the competitive nature of the grants, the European Research Council president Jean-Pierre Bourguignon told the Australian Associated Press: “”People know to be successful at the ERC, if you’re not coming with something ambitious then you have no chance…We really want to push the young people to really come up with their really most ambitious ideas.”