ERC Advanced Grants for six Max Planck researchers

Research Council ERC awards grants of up to 2.5 million euros each

April 02, 2020

How do cells use the information stored in the genome? How do biochemical molecules behave in water? These are just two of the questions that researchers from the Max Planck Society will be investigating in the future with the help of an highly endowed Advanced Grant from the European Research Council. Out of a total of 35 grants awarded to Germany, six go to Max Planck researchers.

In the current application round, the European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Advanced Grants to 185 scientists. Up to 2.5 million euros each will enable the high-profile researchers and their teams to pursue their project ideas, which are considered excellent, including six researchers from Max Planck Institutes.

A total of 1,881 research proposals reached the ERC in the latest round of Advanced Grants, of which ten percent were approved. The sole selection criterion is scientific excellence. The ERC provided 450 million euros for this purpose, which came from the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020.

In total, the awards are distributed among 20 countries. Germany leads the ranking with 35 grants. It is followed by the United Kingdom (34 grants), France (21 grants), and Switzerland (16 grants). With its six award-winning scientists, the Max Planck Society, together with the Helmholtz Association, takes first place in a Germany-wide comparison, followed by Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (4 grants) as well as Technische Universität Munich (TUM), Universität Mainz, and Freie Universität Berlin (with 2 grants each).

The following Max Planck researchers were awarded funding:

Physical Sciences and Engineering Section

Bernd Winter, Fritz Haber Institute

Markus Antonietti, MPI for Colloids and Interfaces

Hans-Jürgen Butt, MPI for Polymer Research

Life Sciences

Patrick Cramer, MPI for Biophysical Chemistry

Rüdiger Klein, MPI for Neurobiology

Pavel Tomancak, MPI for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

Thomas F. Meyer, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, receives an Advanced Grant for his project "Metaplasia as an adaptive response to chronic microbial infections" on the role of bacterial infections in the development of human cancer. Following his successful research at Max Planck, he will carry out the project after his emeritation in August 2020 as Senior Professor at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. 

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