Millions in funding for Finnish researchers through the European Research Council

European funding is a welcome additional support for Finnish research.

Kupiainen The EU funded European Research Council (ERC) has published the first list of researchers who were granted funding through the Advanced Grant scheme. Academy Professors Markku Kulmala and Antti Kupiainen were the Finnish researchers who were awarded the grant.

The Advanced Grant scheme is intended for established scholars who are already well advanced on their scientific career. Criteria that are taken into consideration are, inter alia, the research plan and the degree of excellence of the applicant’s scientific achievements.

”Of course I’m extremely pleased about being selected from among such a distinguished group,” recounts Antti Kupiainen.

The decision came at an opportune time for Kupiainen because his funding through the Academy of Finland will come to an end next year. Kupiainen’s research fields are mathematical physics, partial differential equations and statistical mechanics. He was granted funding through the Advanced Grant scheme for his research on Mathematical Physics of Out-of-Equilibrium Systems.

Kupiainen appreciates the ERC’s relatively new method, at least by European standards, of funding individual researchers.

“Previously it was networks of researchers that were granted funding, and then the actual amount that each researcher received was quite insignificant. It’s good that basic research of such high calibre is being supported to this extent,” he explains.

The results of the competitions in the fields Natural Sciences and Technology have now been published. The results of the two other fields (Social Sciences and Humanities and Life Sciences) are still pending. Other Finnish researchers are also eligible for similar funding through these schemes.

Researchers can apply for ERC funding at any stage of their career, regardless of their nationality. The funds granted to any one research project come to approximately EUR 2.5 million, and in exceptional circumstances can be increased to a maximum of EUR 3.5 million. Funding is granted for up to five years and the research must be carried out in Europe, but the research topics are not restricted in any way.

For more information, see the ERC wesite: http://erc.europa.eu/

Text: Riikka Hemmilä
Photo: Heikki Tuuli
1.9.2008
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy


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