News Alert

News Alert

Consultation on the future members of the ERC Scientific Council

Brussels, 12 December 2011

The research community in Europe is being consulted on potential candidates for membership of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC). Scientific Council members are appointed by the European Commission on the recommendation of an independent Identification Committee, which is conducting the consultation exercise. The consultation contributes to the upcoming renewal of the Scientific Council, at the end of the term of office of a number of serving members.

The ERC is a central pillar of European frontier research. In its short five-year history to date, it has counted on the reputation of its Scientific Council for its considerable success. The consultation exercise will help to assure the operation of the ERC to the end of the 7th EU Framework Programme and its continuation under 'Horizon 2020', the Framework Programme for 2014 to 2020.

The Identification Committee is directly consulting the main representative organisations of the European research community. It also welcomes contributions from other representative organisations. A statement of methodology for the identification process is attached. Contributions should be sent to the following email address: The deadline for responses is 30 March 2012.

Background information

ERC Scientific Council members are appointed by the European Commission following an independent and transparent procedure for their identification, including a consultation of the scientific community. They have a four-year term of office, renewable once.  To ensure continuity, a staged renewal of Scientific Council membership involves the appointment of new members corresponding to approximately one third of the total membership every two years. The current identification exercise will identify new members to come into office in early 2013.
The identification process is entrusted to a standing committee, which was appointed by Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, in 2010. The mandate of this ERC Identification Committee is twofold: to identify new members for the staged renewal of the Scientific Council membership due in February 2013 and to maintain a pool of candidates for future replacements of members thereafter. ERC Scientific Council members are identified on the basis of the criteria set out in the Commission Decision establishing the ERC of 2 February 2007 (2007/134/EC).

The Identification Committee consists of six highly respected personalities from the European research scene:

•     Prof. Eero Vuorio (chair), Director of Biocenter, Finland and former-Chancellor of the University of Turku

•     Prof. Ann Dowling, Head of the Department of Engineering, Cambridge University

•     Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell, Economist, Department of Economics and Business, University of Barcelona; former ERC Secretary General

•     Prof. Grety Mirdal, Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen

•     Prof. Arnold Schmidt, Emeritus Professor at the Photonics Institute of the Technical University of Vienna

•     Prof. Maciej Zylicz, President of the Foundation for Polish Science

The Committee will meet throughout the spring of 2012, and its report will be sent to the European Parliament and to the Council of the European Union. The appointments of the new Scientific Council members are foreseen for September 2012.

Contributions from representative organisations should follow the guidance provided in the Statement on Methodology.

Useful links:

ERC Scientific Council

ERC Identification Committee

Commission Decision establishing the ERC (2007/134/EC)


István RITZ
Policy officer in DG Research and Innovation
Square de Meeûs, 8
B - 1049 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 29 99 761
Fax +32 2 29 56 033

Madeleine DRIELSMA
ERC Communication Adviser (Press)
Tel: +32 2 29 63 388