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Five Norwegian researchers awarded ERC Consolidator Grants

Three researchers from the University of Bergen (UiB) and two from the University of Oslo (UiO) have secured highly prestigious EU funding for the next five years.

The five Norwegian applicants who were awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant are:

  • Hans Kristian Eriksen, UiO, Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics (information in Norwegian)
  • Kristine Walhovd, UiO, Department of Psychology (information in Norwegian)
  • Thomas Arnesen, UiB, Department of Molecular Biology/Department of Biomedicine (information in Norwegian)  
  • Harald Sodemann, UiB, Geophysical Institute (information in Norwegian)
  • Jill Walker Rettberg, UiB, Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies (information in Norwegian)  

These five researchers from UiB and UiO have each been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant and will be receiving project funding of up to EUR 2 million for the next five years. From left: Thomas Arnesen, Kristine Walhovd, Harald Sodemann, Jill Walker Rettberg and Hans Kristian Eriksen.

Hans Kristian Eriksen and Kristine Walhovd have received ERC funding previously, winning a Starting Grant in 2010 and 2012 respectively. Professor Walhovd and Thomas Arnesen have each led a Young Research Talents project under the Research Council of Norway’s funding scheme for independent projects (FRIPRO). They are currently receiving funding for their respective FRIPRO Toppforsk projects, while Harald Sodemann is receiving funding for another type of FRIPRO-funded project.

“We are very pleased that several of the applicants who have been awarded ERC grants are heading, or have headed, FRIPRO projects. We want recipients of FRIPRO grants to submit applications for ERC grants as a next step. A researcher who has received FRIPRO project funding definitely has the potential to win ERC funding,” says Per Ivar Høvring, the National Contact Point (NCP) for the ERC at the Research Council.

A total of 48 applications for ERC grants were submitted by Norwegian institutions in this funding round. The Norwegian success rate was thus slightly over 10 per cent. The average success rate was 13 per cent.

“It is clear that researchers who have previously applied for ERC funding have a markedly higher success rate than those applying for the first time. Take a close look at your CV and think carefully about what your chances are. If you have a good project, you shouldn’t hesitate and put off applying,” says Mr Høvring.

The next application deadline for ERC Consolidator Grants is 15 February 2018.

ERC Consolidator Grant 2017

The European Research Council has awarded EUR 630 million to 329 of the best researchers in Europe. Five of these are Norwegian.

A total of 2 538 project proposals in all fields of research were evaluated, and 13 per cent were awarded funding.

Applicants who have previously received, or applied for, funding for an ERC project have a higher success rate than the average. 

The largest number of Consolidator Grants was awarded to institutions in the UK (60), followed by institutions in Germany (56) and France (38).

Looking at the nationalities of the researchers who won funding, Germans received the most grants (55), followed by Italians (33), French (32) and Britons (31).

Researchers of 39 nationalities were awarded a Consolidator Grant in this round. One-third of the recipients are women.

According to the ERC, the grants will create an estimated 2 000 jobs for doctoral students, post-doctoral researchers and other staff in the research teams.


Written by:
Brita Skuland. Translation: Victoria Coleman/Carol B. Eckmann.
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