Prestigious ERC research funding awarded to six University of Helsinki researchers

The ERC Starting Grant is targeted at promising research directors, and up to €1.5 million may be awarded.

The European Research Council has awarded ERC Starting Grants to six University of Helsinki researchers. The ERC is one of the most esteemed funders of long-term, top-level research.

Lassi Ahlvik’s (Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry) ERC-funded project Green tax reform for a just climate transition investigates the effects of climate policy on various social groups, investigates people’s notions of fairness and strives to understand how harmful effects can be mitigated through taxation. The project supports the devising of a green transition in Finland and Europe that is considered socially fair.

In the project Algorithmic Governance – A Public Perspective, Daria Gritsenko (Faculty of Arts, Aleksanteri Institute) examines how we want to be governed by AI. The project aims to understand how perceptions of legitimacy are shaped and changed in the minds of individuals. If we can reveal the cognitive processes underpinning the legitimation of AI, we will gain a fundamentally new insight into the mechanisms underlying the construction of the social order.

The way the concept of agency is understood in law is changing: international treaties mandate that children and persons with disabilities be treated as actors. Visa Kurki’s (Faculty of Law) project Agency in Law will produce a theory that can help both courts and legislators understand the evolving concept of agency in law.

Jette Lengefeld’s (Helsinki Institute of Life Science) ERC-funded project StemCellSize will investigate a new concept in cell biology: the effect of cellular size on cellular function. The anticipated discoveries will reveal a new aspect of stem cell biology and provide new cellular ageing mechanisms, potentially revealing a new driver of cancer.

Joonas Nättilä's (Faculty of Science) project Illuminating neutron stars with radiative plasma physics (ILLUMINATOR) studies the physics of the most extreme and energetic cosmic events in our universe: the bursts, flares and sparks generated in neutron star magnetospheres. The theoretical and numerical tools developed in this project open a new window into the functionality of neutron stars and black holes.

Shiqi Wang’s (Faculty of Pharmacy) project Quantitative analysis of endosomal escape and intracellular delivery via bioorthogonal luminescent reaction (BioLure) aims to develop a simple and accurate method to quantify intracellular delivery with an unconventional approach: bio-orthogonal reactions. The research project can provide critical insights for future efficacy evaluations and formulations in nanomedicine.

Targeted at promising research directors

Targeted at promising research directors

The ERC Starting Grant is a grant scheme by the European Research Council, targeted at promising research directors in the early stages of their careers. Intended for establishing a research group and launching independent research activities in Europe, Starting Grants may be awarded in amounts up to €1.5 million for a period of five years.

University of Helsinki researchers have been successful in securing the prestigious ERC funding. Up to this point, more than hundred University of Helsinki researchers have been awarded funding from the ERC.

See the list of all ERC Starting Grant winners for 2023.

Read more about the ongoing ERC-funded projects at the University of Helsinki.