Representation in United Kingdom

UK-based researchers are top recipients of latest round of EU funding


Research funding

UK-based researchers are top of the league in the European Research Council's (ERC) latest round of mid-career consolidator grants. Fifty-eight researchers working in UK institutions will each receive up to €2 million (£1.7m) of EU funding to set up their own teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas. Germany is in second place with 48 successful applicants.


The funding has been awarded for a wide range of disciplines – from physical sciences and engineering to life sciences, social sciences and humanities.

One of the UK-based recipients is Ilaria Malanchi at the Francis Crick Institute in London. She will receive €2 million (£1.7m) to focus on the so-called "tumour niche," the non-cancerous part of the tumour structure. Ms Malanchi and her team will investigate which cells of the niche support early cancer growth. The scientists will also try to identify what reactivates "sleeping" cancer cells and thus leads to metastases growing again after a tumour has been removed. Better understanding this mechanism could ultimately improve treatment.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: "The European Research Council has been established to find the best quality in science, to cherish it and support it, making Europe a centre of international scientific excellence. The new grant winners have been awarded this competitive funding because they are top-notch scientists with truly ground-breaking ideas – investment in their success will pay back."

An independent study released in July showed that over 70% of EU-funded European Research Council (ERC) projects have made scientific breakthroughs or major advances.


The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research.

The UK's research excellence and strong research base has made it an attractive destination for ERC-funded researchers from elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

The ERC offers three core grant schemes: starting, consolidator and advanced.

Starting grants encourage young talented research leaders to gain independence in Europe and to build their own careers.

Consolidator grants back up researchers who want to establish their research teams and continue developing a successful career in Europe.

Advanced grants allow outstanding research leaders to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects in Europe. The scheme targets researchers who have already established themselves as top independent research leaders.

The grants fall under the 'Excellent Science' pillar of Horizon 2020, the EU's research and innovation programme.

The next deadline for application for consolidator grants is 9 February 2017.

List of all successful applicants