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Three top grants to Norway

Three researchers affiliated with Norwegian universities have won ERC Advanced Grants for 2013.

Three of the eight Norwegian applicants who made it to the final round of the European Research Council's prestigious funding scheme for established researchers in 2013 were awarded grants. The researchers can look forward to receiving roughly NOK 20 million in EU funding for their projects over a five-year period.

Awards in each of the three ERC fields of science

The following three Norwegian researchers have been awarded ERC Advanced Grants for 2013:

  • Bruce Kapferer, University of Bergen (UiB), humanities and social sciences
  • Ragnar Winther, University of Oslo (UiO), science and technology
  • Edvard I. Moser, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), medical science and bioscience

Each grant recipient must be well established as head of a research group, with at least 10 years' experience and a record of producing significant findings.

Photo: Kim Andreassen, UiB Bruce Kapferer (Photo: Kim Andreassen, UiB) Humanities and social science: inequality in society

How do inequalities arise? In what way do differences and similarities create dividing lines in society? These are relevant questions that also pertain to the current situation of financial crisis in Europe.

Social anthropologist Bruce Kapferer from UiB will study egalitarian structures, processes and values. Project activities will include analysis of various text-based materials and fieldwork in Europe and elsewhere where crises emanating from equality and inequality are evident. Dr Kapferer is working in a large network with social-science researchers from a variety of disciplines who will be carrying out fieldwork in a global, comparative perspective.

Read more on the UiB website (in Norwegian).

Photo: Geir Holm, UiO Ragnar Winther (Photo: Geir Holm, UiO) Better computer simulations

Computer simulations have evolved into a vital tool in natural science and engineering. Mathematician Ragnar Winther is planning to develop a new abstract tool for carrying out computer simulations.

“The main goal is to contribute to basic theory, but over time we hope this research will have ramifications for computer simulations within applied research and industry,” says Dr Winther to the research magazine, Apollon.

Over the past ten years, Dr Winther has headed the Centre of Mathematics of Applications, a Centre of Excellence (SFF) at UiO.

Read more on the UiO website.

Further accolades for the Moser group

Edvard I. Moser has been allocated funding for the research project, “Cortical maps for space”. Dr Moser is head of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU, which will also host the new SFF Centre for Neural Computation. The research group has received several ERC grants previously, most recently earlier this year with the award of an ERC Starting Grant to Jonathan Whitlock.

NOK five billion to 284 research leaders

In this round of grant allocations, 284 research leaders across Europe will receive a total of approximately NOK 5 billion for their research projects. This is the final allocation of Advanced Grants under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, but the grant scheme will be continued under the EU’s new framework programme, Horizon 2020.

Written by:
Christian Lund/Else Lie. Translation: Glenn Wells/Carol B. Eckmann
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