Today, the European Research Council (ERC) announced the winners of its latest Consolidator Grant competition for ambitious mid-career researchers. Jan Brugués, research group leader both at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) and the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (MPI-PKS) is one of the 313 laureates who were awarded the 2022 ERC Consolidator Grants. The funding is part of the EU’s Horizon Europe programme, and the winners will receive in total 632 million Euros to tackle big scientific questions. In total, 2,652 applicants submitted proposals and 12% of them will receive the funding. Male and female applicants were equally successful in winning the grants. The future grantees will carry out their projects at universities and research centers across 24 EU Member States and associated countries. This new round of grants will create an estimated 1,900 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff at 189 host institutions.
Jan receives the grant for his project “Understanding emergent physical properties of chromatin using synthetic nuclei.” The main goal of this project is to resolve how the physics of molecular-scale activities result in the material properties of chromatin and how those contribute to chromatin organization and function. Jan Brugués explains: “With my project, I hope to provide a physical description of the material state of chromatin across different scales and contribute to reveal the basic physical principles that govern nuclear organization and function.”
In addition to Jan Brugués, two other Saxon researchers also received a Consolidator Grant: Stefan Kaiser, Professor for Ultrafast Solid State Physics and Photonics at TU Dresden and Gesa Hartwigsen, Research Group Leader on Cognition and Plasticity in the Human Brain at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences Leipzig. Saxony's Science Minister Sebastian Gemkow congratulates: "Congratulations to the grantees of this highly endowed award, which is granted by the European Union to particularly excellent and promising researchers. It not only shows the high quality of research in Saxony, but also, especially in these days, how important cooperation and unity in Europe are. For our social and economic development and not least competitiveness in the future, European research and innovation funding is an indispensable element."
About the ERC
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organization for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers to run projects based in Europe. It offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between grantees' pioneering research and early phases of its commercialization.