ERC: ten years of funding frontier research

July 27, 2016 11:25 - 12:40 pm


Since its creation in 2007, the European Research Council (ERC) has spent more than €8 billion on 'frontier research', funding almost 5000 research projects across the EU and associated countries. It has been called a 'success story', a 'beacon of European research policy', and the 'gold standard'. It awards large grants to researchers on a competitive basis, but maybe even more importantly it creates a European currency called 'excellence' that is both symbolic and powerful. How did the ERC come about? What are the premises of its success, and what are the lasting tensions with which it has to grapple? What is the outlook for this institution? And what has it really achieved?

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