Several million euros in EU funding for Max Planck early career researchers

Eleven Max Planck projects receive starter grants from the European Research Councils (ERC); three grants awarded retrospectively to Max Planck (Update: 11 May 2022) 

January 11, 2022

In the European comparison of the latest round of calls for proposals, the Max Planck Society is behind the French CNRS (26 grants). In a Germany-wide comparison, the MPG leads the ranking. Other successful German institutions are the Helmholtz Association (10 grants), the Leibniz Association and the TU Munich (5 grants each). The ERC Starting Grants are endowed with an average of 1.5 million euros and are intended to help ambitious young researchers start their own projects, form their teams and pursue their best ideas.

The initial eleven Max Planck grantees, including 4 female researchers, are among the 397 young researchers who received an ERC Starting Grant in 2021.  A total of 170 applications from female researchers were approved. This represents a success rate of 43 percent, an increase from 37 percent in 2020 and the highest share to date. Following the first call for funding proposals under the new European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation "Horizon Europe", a total of 619 million euros will be invested in outstanding projects by early career scientists.

Max Planck researchers from all three sections were awarded ERC Starting Grants 2021. With five grants, the institutes from the humanities and social sciences were particularly successful this time:

Humanities and Social Sciences

    Eleanor Scerri, MPI for the Science of Human History
    Simone Schneider, MPI for Social Law and Social Policy
    Martin Hebart, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences
    Benjamin Peter, MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology
    Andrea Ravignani, MPI for Psycholinguistics

Biology, Medicine

    Lucy Aplin, MPI for Animal Behavior
Alison Barker, MPI for Brain Research
Georg Hochberg, MPI for Terrestrial Microbiology

Chemistry, Physics, Technology

    Tobias Barthel, MPI for Mathematics
    Lakshmi Pradeep Chitta, MPI for Solar System Research
    Adish Singla, MPI for Software Systems

As in the previous year, the most successful research organisations in Europe come from Germany with 72 grants. This is followed by France (53 grants), the United Kingdom (46 grants) and the Netherlands (44 grants). Of a total of 4066 applications submitted, 397 were approved across Europe. This corresponds to a success rate of 9.8 percent.

With the "ERC Starting Grants", the European Research Council supports promising researchers who are at the beginning of an independent research career. The grants, which will total €677 million in 2022, help them build their own teams and conduct groundbreaking research in all disciplines. The grants are part of the EU's research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.

Successfully moved up (Update: 11 May 2022) 

Three Max Planck scientists have subsequently received an ERC Starting Grant: 

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