Top scientists to decide who governs the European Research Council

Press Release

Top scientists to decide who governs the European Research Council

Brussels, 27 May 2014

European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has appointed seven high-level scientists to identify the future members of the European Research Council's (ERC) governing body, the Scientific Council. This Identification Committee will propose a shortlist of candidates for the ERC Scientific Council's renewal in 2015.

The Committee consists of seven highly respected personalities in European research:

  • Sir Leszek Borysiewicz (chair) - Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Alice Dautry – Institut Pasteur, France
  • Hans-Joachim Freund – Fritz-Haber-Institute, Max-Planck-Society, Germany
  • Louise J. Gunning-Schepers – University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Xavier Vives - IESE Business School, University of Navarra, Spain
  • Joseph Weiler – European University Institute, Italy
  • Agnieszka Zalewska – Henryk Niewodniczański Institute of Nuclear Physics of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland

The mandate of this independent committee is simple: firstly, to identify members for the renewal of the ERC Scientific Council membership in early 2015; and secondly, to maintain a pool of candidates for future membership in the Scientific Council.

Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said: "The ERC is entering a new, exciting phase under a new President and with a much bigger budget under our new research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. This Committee has the right mix of Europe's top brains to maintain the ERC's reputation for excellence. We can only pick the best with the best!"

The Scientific Council, the governing body of the ERC, defines the ERC's scientific funding strategy. It is composed of 22 members, all distinguished researchers, who represent the scientific community in Europe. New Scientific Council members are appointed by the European Commission following an independent and transparent procedure for their identification agreed with the Scientific Council, including a consultation of the scientific community.

Following its kick-off meeting, the Identification Committee will soon release its "Statement of Methodology", which includes information on the consultation of the scientific community.

The new Identification Committee will meet at least two more times in 2014 and a final report with its recommendations will be produced to the attention of the Commission by the end of October 2014. This report will also be sent to the European Parliament and to the Council of the European Union. Based upon the suggestions of the report, the Commission will appoint new members of the Scientific Council in early 2015.


Useful links:

ERC Scientific Council


Press Contacts:

European Commission:
Michael Jennings, tel. +322 296 33 88
Inmaculada Martinez Garcia, tel. +322 298 73 03

European Research Council:
Maud Scelo, tel. +322 298 15 21


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