Each scientist received a 2 M€ grant
The European Research Council (ERC) awarded six Consolidator Grants to Portuguese researchers, each receiving around 2 million euros to consolidate their research career and carry out cutting edge research in Portugal. ERC grants are the most competitive and prestigious in Europe and worldwide and distinguish each year the most outstanding researchers carrying out groundbreaking research. The new Portuguese grantees will develop their research work in institutions located across the country: Braga, Porto, Coimbra and Lisbon.
Among the winners is Maria João Amorim, from the Gulbenkian Science Institute, whose project aims to pave the way for new antiviral strategies.
At the Research Centre for Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, Miguel Carneiro aims to decipher the genetic and cellular basis of the structural colours of birds.
Ricardo Henriques, from Gulbenkian Science Institute, will develop a new technology capable of following the behaviour of cells infected by viruses in spatial and temporal scales until now impossible. Also at the Gulbenkian Science Institute, Raquel Oliveira will study cell division and the transcription of genetic information on chromosomes.
The project led by Ana João Rodrigues, at the University of Minho, seeks to understand how the brain perceives and encodes pleasure and aversion. Patrícia Vieira, from the Center for Social Studies of Coimbra, will analyze the representations of animals and plants in cultural productions about the Amazon River basin.
A total of 2506 applications were submitted to the ERC with a success rate of around 13%. Researchers of 39 nationalities will carry out their projects at universities, research centres and companies in 23 different countries across Europe. In Portugal, a total of 127 ERC grants have been awarded to date.
The ERC highlighted that women are gaining ground having received 37% of the total grants, the highest proportion since the start of the Consolidator grant scheme. At national level, the percentage of women among the winners was much higher: 67%.