Tag Archives: European Research Council

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 [...]

Towards research excellence rather than excellence itself

Last April, leading researchers, politicians and key players in European research funding discussed how Europe can finance and provide optimal conditions for excellent research. They adopted the so-called “Aarhus Declaration” which states that “when aiming for excellence, one should aim at the stars: a new knowledge which changes paradigms, invents new fields and opens opportunities for broad societal consequences.” Increasingly, European Union and national funding is anchored around the idea of excellence in research. But what exactly is excellence? Is this yardstick a fair measure of a scientist’s work? Questions are being raised about whether this distorts the research landscape in Europe. Read more [...]

More money on the horizon

The next EU research funding programme, Horizon 2020 will maintain the core principals of its predecessor Framework 7. The proposed future programme will fund excellent science (€24.6 bn), industrial leadership (€17.9 bn) and societal challenges (€31.7 bn). It also includes consolidated and revised funding guidelines as the EC continues to strive for simplified funding applications, reporting and auditing. The proposal for Horizon 2020 was presented to the European Commission on 30 November 2011. Read more [...]