Success through synergies

Nine ERC Synergy Grants for Max Planck researchers

Nine scientists of the Max Planck Society, each in a team with colleagues from other institutions, have won one of the much-coveted Synergy Grants 2020 of the European Research Council ERC. This puts the Max Planck Society at the top of the European ranking, together with the French CNRS, which also scooped up nine grants. Out of a total of more than 440 submitted proposals, 34 were selected.

Highly coveted funding for nine team players (from left to right ): Detlef Weigel (MPI for Developmental Biology), Andrea Musacchio (MPI for Molecular Physiology), Wolfgang Baumeister (MPI for Biochemistry), Mathias Goeckede (MPI for Biogeochemistry), Martin Heimann (MPI for Biogeochemistry), Victor Brovkin (MPI for Meteorology) Markus Antonietti (MPI for Colloids and Interfaces), Nils Brose (MPI for Experimental Medicine) and Russell Gray (MPI for the Science of Human History) will be awarded Synergy Grants by the ERC in 2020 for their respective international collaborations.

Synergy Grants enable groups of two to four outstanding researchers to join their complementary skills, knowledge and resources to work in synergy to jointly solve resarch questions together. The grantees receive up to ten million euros for a period of up to six years. In this latest application round, the ERC is providing a total of 350 million euros. Out of 440 applications, 34 are being funded, making this year's call one of the most competitive in ERC history.

Nine Max Planck scientists are involved in seven of the selected projects:

Chemistry, Physics and Technology Section

  •     Victor Brovkin, MPI for Meteorology
  •     Martin Heimann, MPI for Biogeochemistry
  •     Mathias Goeckede, MPI for Biogeochemistry
        Project: Quantify disturbance impacts on feedbacks between Arctic permafrost and global climate (Q-Arcitc)
  •     Markus Antonietti, MPI for Colloids and Interfaces 
        Project: Disruptive Modes and Materials of Energy Storage

Biology and Medicine Section

  •     Andrea Musacchhio, MPI for Molecular Physiology

    Project: Integration of the Biochemical and Mechanical Networks of Cell Division

  •     Detlef Weigel, MPI for Developmental Biology

    Project: Understanding and predicting PATHOgen COMmunitites (PATHOCOM) 

  •     Wolfgang Baumeister, MPI for Biochemistry

    Project: Plasmodesmata, Symplasmic pores for plant cell-to-cell communication

  •     Nils Brose, MPI for Experimental Medicine

    Project: Microglia Control of Physiological Brain States

Humanities Section

  •   Russell Gray, MPI for Human History (since June 2020 at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology)

Project:Evolution of Cognitive Tools for Quantification

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