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European grants recognise excellent science at Bristol

The ERC is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research.

4 September 2020

Four researchers from the University of Bristol have been awarded almost €7M in European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants in recognition of their ‘excellent science’ and potentially ground-breaking research.

The ERC’s Starting Grants support exceptional researchers, between two and seven years from PhD completion, to become fully independent research leaders.

They are particularly intended to enable the researcher to create or strengthen their own research team or programme. The grants are awarded under the 'excellent science' pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.

University of Bristol recipients of the ERC Starting Grants are:

  • Dr Bryan Byzdek in the School of Chemistry awarded €2.315M for his project entitled ‘Comprehensive Investigations of Aerosol Droplet Surfaces and Their Climate Impacts – AeroSurf’
  • Dr Alastair Lennox in the School of Chemistry awarded €1.553M for his project entitled ‘Selective Electrochemical Nucleophilic Fluorination – SENF’
  • Dr Ruth Bush in the Department of French awarded €1.5M for her project entitled ‘The Creative Lives of African Universities: Pedagogies of Hope and Despair – AFRIUNI’
  • Dr Remco Hin in the School of Earth Sciences awarded €1.6M for his project entitled ‘The chemical consequences of vapour loss during planetary accretion – VapLoss’

Professor Philip Taylor, the University of Bristol’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Enterprise said: “The range and ambition of the projects awarded European Research Council Starting Grants this year is testament to the exceptional researchers we have here at Bristol.

“The sole criterion for these sought-after grants is excellence. With a combined value of almost €7M, the grants will enable these talented individuals to pursue their fascinating areas of research and, I believe, see them become leaders in their fields.”

Further information

The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe. It offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between grantees' pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation. 

To date, the ERC has funded some 8,000 top researchers at various stages of their careers, and over 50,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams. The ERC strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. Key global research funding bodies, in the United States, China, Japan, Brazil and other countries, have concluded special agreements to provide their researchers with opportunities to temporarily join ERC grantees' teams. 

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