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The search has started for the new European Research Council President

On 19 December, the European Commission (EC) has appointed the committee responsible for the search of the next president of the European Research Council (ERC).

The ERC has been established under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Technological Research and Development, and aims to foster excellence and high quality research in Europe. The ERC awards grants to researchers working or moving to work in Europe, irrespective of their country of origin. The research projects are selected based exclusively on scientific excellence. In the period of 2007-2013, the ERC’s budget amounted to EUR 7.5 billion, but it is expected that under the new programme Horizon 2020, its budget will rise to EUR 13 billion.

The current president of the ERC and Chair of the ERC Scientific Council, Prof. Dr. Helga Nowotny, an Austrian national, has taken up her duties at the ERC on 1 March 2010. She is a Professor Emerita of Social Studies of Science at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology).

The committee of experts now appointed by the EC to search for the next ERC President is chaired by Lord Sainsbury of Turville, Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and a former British science minister. The remaining members of the committee are Catherine Cesarsky, Suzanne Fortier, Michal Kleiber, Jadran Lenarcic, Erwin Neher and Salvatore Settis.

The next ERC President will be chosen among senior and internationally-respected scientists and will take up duties on 1 January 2014. The mandate of the next president will last for four years and can be renewed once.

European Commission