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The European Research Council: A Revolutionary Excellence Initiative for Europe1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 October 2009

Manolis Antonoyiannakis*
Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK; also at Physical Review Letters, The American Physical Society, Ridge, New York 11961, USA. E-mail:
Fotis C. Kafatos
Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK


Launched in 2007, the European Research Council (ERC) aims at pulling out all the stops in supporting ambitious research projects in frontier research by the most talented scientists and scholars. The ERC grants are generous, open to nationals from any country in the world, and subject to one criterion alone: peer-reviewed excellence. We outline the central strategic priorities of the ERC, and briefly describe some impressions from the first two calls.

Focus: Global Science
Copyright © Academia Europaea 2009

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1. Adapted from a presentation by F. C. Kafatos at the Academia Europaea, Liverpool, September 2008.Google Scholar
2.Winnacker, E. L. (2008) On excellence through competition. European Educational Research Journal, 7, 124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
3.Antonoyiannakis, M., Hemmelskamp, J. and Kafatos, F. C. (2009) The European Research Council takes flight. Cell 136, 805.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed