Tag Archives: European Research Council

UK scientists’ loss of influence to be felt at home and across Europe

Brexit keeps resounding in the many aspects that its implications may have for European research. In this opinion piece, Thomas König, Austrian social scientist, who was previously scientific advisor to former ERC president Helga Nowotny, examines the consequences of the predicted fall of influence of British scientists on the future of European science. He believes the consequences of Brexit are likely to be felt, not only in UK science itself, but also at the level of pan-European research endeavours, such as ERC-backed activities. This shows that scientists are not sheltered from the vagaries of politics when policies emanating from the popular vote forces them to defend their interests. Read more [...]

Do we need a European Innovation Council?

As plans are underway to establish yet another instrument to support innovation in Europe, dubbed the European Innovation Council (EIC), entrepreneurs and research-based organisations have questioned the proposal. The determination that Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Carlos Moedas has shown in developing the concept, begs for further questioning concerning the details of the implementation of the proposed EIC. In this article, EuroScientist investigates whether those closely involved in innovation believe EIC is a good idea. Read more [...]

Overcoming unconscious gender bias in science evaluation

Never thought of being gender biased when performing evaluations? Scientists often consider themselves to be rational and objective. But a growing batch of literature suggests the opposite. Particularly, when it comes to evaluating research. Male and female scientists alike tend to implicitly undervalue women’s scientific accomplishments. A 2012 EU-report, identifies unconscious bias in assessing excellence as one of the major problems women face in science. Read more [...]

Maciej Żylicz: Creating an inspiring environment for scientists in Poland

Maciej Żylicz is an outstanding Polish molecular biologist with an international career, currently based at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw. He is also president of the Foundation for Polish Science, which is a non-profit funding agency, which is the largest source of science funding in Poland outside of the state budget. In an exclusive podcast interview to EuroScientist, he shares his views on the future of Polish science policy. Read more [...]

How to balance a European research ecosystem with its national parts

Researchers across France, Spain and Italy are orchestrating a wave of national protests, which will culminate on the 17th and 18th October 2014 in their respective capitals. Their objective is to highlight how Europe’s knowledge economy is being undermined by a lack of investment in research, amongst other factors. European national research systems are struggling; that much is beyond doubt. The question is how to balance national versus EU research support and how the EU can drive rehabilitation of national research systems. Another question is whether the increased focus on excellence-based funding is really necessary. This debate is now fully open. Read more [...]

Exclusive: Q&A with Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, president of the ERC, on its work to engage East Europe

The next meeting of the scientific council of the European Research Council (ERC) takes place – for the first time – in Zagreb, Croatia, this month (20-22 October 2014). Mićo Tatalović recently spoke to Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, who took over as president of the ERC in January, about what the ERC can do to improve research in East Europe. Read more [...]

Swiss U-turn on Croatian immigrants halts its research and education talks with European Commission

Swiss science and education may take a hit after the country's citizens narrowly approved immigration caps in a referendum on 9 February. Though the immigration reform would take up to three years to implement, the vote had an immediate impact on the European Union's newest member state, Croatia, which saw its free movement of people agreement with Switzerland put on hold. Read more [...]

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon: new no-nonsense ERC President

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon has just been nominated President of the ERC. He shares his vision for his new role with EuroScientist, in his first official interview after being nominated. He talks about his motivation to accept the ERC nomination, and shares his views on the challenges associated with his new job. He also talks about his ambition to further the development of an international scientific perspective at the highest level. In addition, he talks about how the notion of excellence can be used as a criterion to allocate funding. Finally, he also shares his perspective on innovation and his long term ambition in his new position. Read more [...]

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon: five question to the new ERC president

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon has just been nominated president of the European Research Council (ERC). He gives his first exclusive interview as ERC president to EuroScientist. Find out about his ambitions in this new role as well as issues related to research in Europe. When asked about what areas of the ERC he wants to improve, he explains that the the Council is about frontier research, which funds new ideas, completely non-traditional ways of looking at science, and thus requires grant committees to take risks when allocating funding. He shares his views on the role that ERC has to play, among other similar funding bodies, to encourage the next generation of young people to embark on a scientific career in Europe. He talks about the potential threats to Europe, should the next generation of scientists not become a reality. Read more [...]