With a total of ten ERC (European Research Council) grants awarded to its professors in the year 2016, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) looks back on exceptional success in the European competition for research funding. ERC grants are considered to be the most prestigious science grants in Europe. Researchers at IST Austria received grants in all three major ERC funding categories following competitive selection processes:
Advanced grants are designed for established researchers whose track records identify them as leaders in their respective fields. Three researchers from IST Austria received an advanced grant in the past year:
Peter Jonas: Neuroscientist Peter Jonas has been a Professor at IST Austria since 2010, and this is already his second ERC grant.
Ryuichi Shigemoto: Neuroscientist Ryuichi Shigemoto has been a Professor at IST Austria since 2013. Among other accomplishments, he received the ISI Citation Laureate Award.
Robert Seiringer: Physicist Robert Seiringer has been a Professor at IST Austria since 2013, and has received a considerable number of awards in the past, including the Henri Poincaré Prize and an NSERC E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship.
Consolidator grants are the funding scheme for young top researchers who want to consolidate their independence. Two consolidator grants were awarded to IST Austria scientists in 2016:
Michael Sixt: Cell biologist Michael Sixt joined IST Austria six years ago as Assistant Professor and acquired his second ERC-funded project in 2016. He received tenure in 2013 and serves as Vice President of the Institute overseeing the operation of all scientific services units.
Simon Hippenmeyer: Neuroscientist Simon Hippenmeyer left Stanford University in 2012 to join IST Austria as Assistant Professor.
Starting Grants are designed to provide talented young research leaders with the means to gain independence. Five starting grants went to IST Austria researchers in 2016:
Bernd Bickel: Computer scientist Bernd Bickel was appointed Assistant Professor at IST Austria in 2015.
Jan Maas: Mathematician Jan Maas has been Assistant Professor at IST Austria since 2014.
Gaia Novarino: Neuroscientist Gaia Novarino joined IST Austria as Assistant Professor in 2014.
Beatriz Vicoso: Biologist Beatriz Vicoso has been Assistant Professor at IST Austria since 2015.
Sandra Siegert: Neuroscientist Sandra Siegert joined IST Austria as Assistant Proffessor in August 2015.
President Thomas Henzinger is delighted by the exceptional success: „I want to specifically call the attention to the fact that in the year 2016, ERC grants were won in all disciplines that are currently represented on campus: biology, neuroscience, physics, mathematics, and computer science. All 6 neuroscientists and all 7 computer scientists on campus have now been funded by the ERC.”
“With individual grants ranging from 1.5 Million Euro to 2.5 Million Euro (depending on project categories), the funding by the ERC has been a major success factor for IST Austria. The ERC grants have contributed substantially to the Institute obtaining 25 million Euro in third-party research funds in 2016,” Henzinger adds.
The total number of projects funded by the European Research Council at IST Austria has risen to 31, for 45 faculty members currently under contract.