Six Irish-based researchers secure ERC mid-career grants

Prof Mark Ferguson, SFI
Prof Mark Ferguson, SFI

Stretch goal of €125m in Horizon 2020 funding comes in view



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10 December 2019 | 0

Six Irish-based researchers, four of which from SFI research centres, have secured in excess of €12 million in ERC Consolidator Grant awards. Managed by the ERC under the Horizon 2020 programme, a Consolidator Grant is tailored to mid-career principal investigators establishing themselves as thought leaders in Europe and the world. 

Of the six successful applicants, three are based in Trinity College Dublin (TCD), two in NUI Galway (NUIG) and one in Maynooth University (MU).

This round brings total ERC funding awarded to researchers based in Ireland to €123 million under the Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme.




The original Government target for ERC awards for Ireland under Horizon 2020 was set at €100 million over seven years (2014-2020), with a stretched target of €125 million. A further four calls have yet to be announced.

Four of the six awards were made under the Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences and Engineering domains, and all four recipients are investigators in SFI Research Centres: Professor Laoise McNamara; Dr Dimitrios Zeugolis; Professor Conor Buckley and Dr Matthew Campbell. Professor McNamara, a second-time ERC grant awardee having already been awarded an ERC Starting Grant in 2011, was an SFI Investigator Programme award recipient (2015) and was awarded an Irish Research Council Laureate grant in 2018.

Both Dr Zeugolis and Prof Buckley are currently funded under SFI’s Career Development Award, while Dr Campbell is currently funded through the SFI TIDA Programme.

Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “Congratulations to all of the ERC award recipients announced today, they have succeeded in getting these prestigious awards against stiff competition. I am particularly pleased to see researchers that SFI supports going forward and successfully competing for ERC funding, as it reflects the high calibre of research talent in the Irish scientific community.

“As one of the national contact points for ERC funding in Ireland we are pleased to have surpassed our Horizon 2020 targets for ERC funding, with 67 awards nationally valued at €123 million. I would encourage other researchers to compete for the final rounds of funding under Horizon 2020.”

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