European Union awards, given to early-career researchers, have recently been given to eight Cambridge researchers, among which were ones working on perovskite-related projects.

The European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants have been awarded to 408 researchers from across Europe. The awards will help individual researchers to build their own teams and conduct world-leading research across all disciplines, creating an estimated 2,500 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff at the host institutions.

The selected Cambridge researchers were:

  • Roland Bauerschmidt - Renormalization, dynamics, and hyperbolic symmetry
  • Quentin Berthet - Computational Trade-offs and Algorithms in Statistics
  • Felix Deschler - Twisted Perovskites: Control of Spin and Chirality in Highly-luminescent Metal-halide Perovskites
  • Lorenzo Di Michele - A DNA NANOtechology toolkit for artificial CELL design
  • Louise Hirst - Gliding epitaxy for inorganic space-power sheets
  • Sertac Sehlikoglu - Imaginative Landscapes of Islamist Politics Across the Balkan-to-Bengal Complex
  • Blake Sherwin - CMB Lensing at Sub-Percent Precision: A New Probe of Cosmology and Fundamental Physics
  • Margherita Turco - Human Placental Development and the Uterine Microenvironment

The ERC-funded research will be carried out in 24 countries, with institutions from Germany (73), the UK (64) and the Netherlands (53) to host the highest number of projects. The grants, worth in total €621 million, are part of the EU Research and Innovation program, Horizon 2020.

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “Researchers need freedom and support to follow their scientific curiosity if we are to find answers to the most difficult challenges of our age and our future. This is the strength of the grants that the EU provides through the European Research Council: an opportunity for outstanding scientists to pursue their most daring ideas.”

President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, added: “In this year’s ERC Starting Grant competition, early-career researchers of 51 nationalities are among the winners - a record. It reminds us that science knows no borders and that talent is to be found everywhere. It is essential that, for its future successful development, the European Union keeps attracting and supporting outstanding researchers from around the world. At the ERC we are proud to contribute to this goal by supporting some of the most daring creative scientific talent.”