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University of Groningen again heads list with four European research grants

26 October 2010

For the second year in a row, the University of Groningen has been awarded four prestigious research grants by the European Research Council (ERC). In this round, Groningen shares the lead with Radboud University Nijmegen – they have been awarded the most ERC grants of all Dutch universities.

The ERC has awarded a total of EUR 580 million in starting grants to 427 top European researchers at the beginning of their careers. Twenty-five grants have gone to researchers working for Dutch research institutions, twelve to researchers united in the cooperation among universities in the North and East of the Netherlands (Nijmegen, Wageningen, Twente and Groningen).

The ERC was founded in 2007 by the European Union with the aim of promoting innovative, academic research in Europe and to make Europe more attractive to outstanding scholars.

Strict selection process

Researchers can submit research proposals to the ERC, which then selects the best proposals and scholars. These researchers will be financially supported in setting up a research line. Only a tiny percentage of the thousands of applications are eventually recognized.

The budget for the starting grants was raised this year by over forty percent and now totals over EUR 580 million.


The ERC receives research proposals from all fields of research. This year the allocation over the fields is as follows: 45.7 percent for the field of ‘Physical Sciences and Engineering’, 35.8 percent for the ‘Life Sciences’ and 18.5 percent for ‘Social Sciences and Humanities’.

Of the twelve grants for the four North and East Netherlands universities, seven were for ‘Physical Sciences and Engineering’ and five for ‘Social Sciences and Humanities’. Viewed by the number of grants per country, the Netherlands is in joint fifth place out of a total of 21 countries.

Joining forces

At the start of the academic year, the four universities in the North and East of the Netherlands announced that they were going to join forces to stimulate the knowledge economy and to be able to better profile themselves in a European context. The awarding of the ERC starting grants has given this initiative a good boost.

More information: ERC website:


Overview of researchers and projects

University of Groningen
Mark de Vries Incomplete Parenthesis: Determining how and why secondary propositions can be elliptical or fragmented from a cross-linguistic and multifaceted theoretical perspective
Luitje Vincent Ewoud Koopmans Unveiling first light from the infant Universe
Alan Lillie Transnational work and the evolution of sovereignty
Emar Maier Between Direct and Indirect Discourse: Shifting Perspective in Blended Discourse

Radboud University Nijmegen
Marguérite Christina Maria Corporaal Relocated Remembrance: the Great Famine in Irish (Diaspora) Fiction, 1847-1921
Johannes Elemans Catalysis at the Nanoscale
Alexey Kimel Femtosecond Laser Control of Spins in Magnetic Materials: from fundamentals to nanoscale dynamics
Hermina Margaretha (Herma) Cuppen Kinetics in Soft Molecular Layers - from interstellar ices to polymorph control

University of Twente
Niels Gerbrand Deen Bubbles on the Cutting Edge
Marieke Huisman Verification of Concurrent Data Structures
Pascal Jonkheijm Supramolecular Cell Manipulation

Wageningen University and Research Centre
Lars Hein EcoSpace: Spatial-Dynamic Modelling of Adaptation Options to Climate Change at the Ecosystem Scale

Last modified:30 November 2017 4.20 p.m.

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