EU funding

2019 was extremely successful in terms of obtaining the coveted ERC (European Research Council) grants. An ERC Advanced Grant was awarded to Prof. Marc Levine, Ph.D. (Faculty of Mathematics) “QUADAG – Quadratic refinements in algebraic geometry”. This counting-geometry project is seeking to determine the number of solutions that exist to certain given geometric problems.

Towards the end of the year, the ERC Consolidator Grant was also awarded to Prof. Dr. Achim Goerres (Faculty of Social Sciences) for the project “POLITSOLID – The Ties that Bind: Experimental Analyses of Political Solidarities in Modern European Democracies”. Here, the cohesion of societies is empirically examined both in a virtual state and in real cities in the Ruhr region.

The attractiveness of the UDE as a research location is also demonstrated by the fact that two ERC grantees have moved or are moving to the UDE:

Prof. Dr. Richard Kramer Campen joined the Faculty of Physics in July 2019. His ERC Consolidator Grant “SOLWET – Electron Transfer Across Solid/Liquid Interfaces: Elucidating Elementary Processes from Femtoseconds to Seconds“, which he was awarded in 2017, is currently still being transferred to the UDE. He was previously at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin.

The historian Dr. Jan Christian Jansen will become a member of the Faculty of Humanities in 2020. Coming directly from the U.S. from the German Historical Institute in Washington, he will start his ERC Starting Grant “Atlantic­Exiles – Refugees and Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1770s–1820s“ in the autumn at the UDE.

In addition to the welcome acquisition of the ERC Grants, applications for the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN), a funding format for excellent young researchers, were also successful. The Institute of Cell Biology (Tumour Research), headed by Prof. Dr. Verena Jendrossek, and the West German Proton Centre (WPE) will receive funding for three Ph.D. students within the framework of the project “THERADNET – International NETwork for training and innovations in THErapeutic RADiation”. Another ITN grant also went to medicine: “AntiHelix DNA helicases in genome maintenance: from molecular and cellular mechanisms to specific inhibitors as potential drugs” by PD Dr. Iris Helfrich and Prof. Dirk Schadendorf (both UK Essen) is investigating together with Ph.D. students as part of the network the medically-important human DNA helicases (enzymes that separate the two strands of DNA).

Dr. Christina Krause from the UDE has for several years been analysing how gestures and signs help deaf children to learn. With her three-year Individual Fellowship from the EU’s Marie Skłodowska Curie Programme, the mathematics expert can intensify her research – mainly at the USA’s elite University of California, Berkeley.

Once again, we are able to report successful UDE participations in a number of EU joint projects in 2019, particularly in the engineering and economic sciences as well as in physics and medicine.