Ten Max Planck researchers receive funding boosts worth millions

European Research Council awards 277 Advanced Grants

April 20, 2016

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the list of successful applicants to be awarded with one of its coveted Advanced Grants. A total of 277 grants were awarded, each in the amount of 3.5 million euros. Ten grants go to scientists at Max Planck Institutes, including three women. Overall, the ERC awarded a total of € 647 million euros in funds.

The ERC awards the Advanced Grants under Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme, to scientists who combine excellent science with innovative approaches. The highly endowed grants are awarded to support research projects whose promising ideas, unconventional methods, and pioneering spirit will have a potentially ground-breaking impact on their research field. Ten Max Planck scientists received the happy announcement, all of them carrying out research at their institutions as Scientific Members:

• Eva Schinnerer (MPI for Astronomy)
• Patrick Cramer (MPI for Biophysical Chemistry)
• Didier Stainier (MPI for Heart and Lung Research)
• Benjamin List (MPI für Kohlenforschung)
• Sami K. Solanki (MPI for Solar System Research)
• Christiane Nuesslein-Volhard (Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology)
• Angel Rubio (MPI for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter)
• Svante Pääbo (MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology)
• Marino Zerial (MPI for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics)
• Susan Trumbore (MPI for Biogeochemistry)

In the case of Peter Keightley from the University of Edinburgh, the MPI for Evolutionary Biology is the grant winner's research partner institution.

A total of 24 Max Planck scientists submitted proposals; the result corresponds to a success rate of over 40 percent. This is considerably more than the average of approved applications - 14 percent of 1953 applications were successful.
In Europe, only the French research organization Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) was more successful than the Max Planck Society, with 11 grant holders in total.

The University of Oxford received 10 grants. The University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh scooped up 8 grants each. In Germany, the Helmholtz Institutions and the RWTH Aachen were awarded 4 grants each, while the Technical University of Munich and the University of Munich each received 3 grants.

The most successful nation in this Advanced Grant round was Great Britain, which received 69 of the 277 grants. Germany came second place with 43 grant holders; followed by France with 30. This, however, doesn't mean that most of the grant winners have English nationalities: Germans and Brits are equally represented with 47 of funding commitments, respectively; followed by the Italians (26) and French (25). 19 percent of the grants went to women.  



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