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Posted 24 March 2015

ERC consolidator grants for two UCD researchers

University College Dublin researchers have been awarded two of the six European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants presented to Irish based researchers under the latest funding round. Part of the European Union Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020, the ERC Consolidator Grants are worth up to €2.75 million each, with an average of €1.91 million per grant. The funding enables researchers to consolidate their research teams and to develop their most innovative ideas.

The UCD researchers successful under this funding round are: Dr Lorraine Brennan, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, for a project entitled “Metabolomics based biomarkers of dietary intake- new tools for nutrition research”; and Dr Madeleine Lowery, UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering, for a project entitled “Multiscale Modelling of the Neuromuscular System for Closed Loop Deep Brain Stimulation”.

Pictured (l-r): Dr Lorraine Brennan, UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science; Dr Madeleine Lowery, UCD School of Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering

Dr Brennan’s research will allow the development of new tools that will aid nutrition researchers to assess the relationship between diet and health which in the long term will impact on public health policies.

Dr Lowery’s research aims to create computer models of the human brain and neuromuscular system.  The models will be used to understand how stimulation of the deep structures of the brain can alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, and to develop new approaches for treating Parkinson’s disease using adaptive deep brain stimulation.

"With every project of this calibre, we're making Europe the laboratory of the world. Our most extraordinary and creative researchers benefit from EU funding and, in turn, Europe benefits every day from its investment in knowledge and people," said Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

According to the President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, “These Consolidator Grants awarded to 372 research leaders, still in an early stage of their career, will also back some 1,500 postdocs and PhD students as team members. This is one more way in which the ERC is fostering the next generation of bright research talent, and thereby the human basis for Europe’s competitiveness that conditions its economic growth.”

The 372 successful grantees in this round are located in the following countries: the UK (86 grants), Germany (66), France (53), Spain (32) and the Netherlands (32) are in the lead. Researchers are also based in Italy (16), Belgium (13), Israel (12), Denmark (9), Portugal (9), Sweden (9), Austria (6), Ireland (6), Hungary (5), the Czech Republic (4), Norway (4), Finland (3), Cyprus (1) and Greece (1).

The ERC Consolidator Grant was introduced in 2012. Previously, researchers with 7 to 12 years of experience after their PhD were eligible for the Starting Grant scheme. Due to sharply increasing numbers of applications, in 2012 the Starting Grant scheme was split into two: Starting Grant (2 to 7 years of experience after PhD) and the Consolidator Grant (7 to 12 years of experience after PhD).


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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