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€4m European Research Council funding for UCD researchers

Posted December 01, 2017

Dr Barry Molloy, UCD School of Archaeology, and Professor Susi Geiger, UCD College of Business, have each been awarded a €2 million European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant. The funding will help to establish 10 new research positions at UCD.

Dr Molloy’s project titled The Fall of 1200 BC will explore the collapse of Europe’s first urban civilisation in the Aegean and early-urban groups of the Balkans at the end of the Bronze Age (ca. 1300-1000 BC).

It will focus on the role of migration and conflict as factors shaping rapid social change at this turning point in European prehistory.

The research team will examine the remains and artefacts of the people who experienced the crisis first hand. This will help to understand how the movement of people and spread of new traditions influenced their social worlds.

“Looking at how the dead were honoured - or not - by the people who buried them will be a key factor that will enable cutting-edge science to help define relations between personal mobility and status, gender, identity and health,” said Dr Molloy.

“This will provide new insights into social scenarios in which people moved between groups. Ultimately, I want to learn if the movement of people and new types of conflict were catalysts for, or consequences of, unstable social systems, leading to the collapse of these early complex societies.”

Professor Geiger’s study titled Misfires and Market Innovation will investigate problems and concerns in biomedical markets.

These include overpricing, limited access to medicines and data privacy issues. It will establish how alternative market instruments could be conceived to solve these problems.

Professor Geiger’s project will ask how market failures in biomedical markets can be identified and diagnosed. It will also investigate how government bodies, medical and pharmaceutical industries, patient groups and other actors can work together to solve these market failures.

The overall objective of the collaborative project is to guide new academic and policy thinking by establishing what research can do to make markets more inclusive and to open them up to the concerns of those who are let down by them.

“We need new conceptual frameworks to understand how to reorganise societally significant markets such as healthcare from the inside to give voice to otherwise disadvantaged groups within these markets, and we urgently need empirical insights into how collaborative action in markets with social and political stakes may translate into market innovation,” said Professor Geiger

“By investigating how markets can open up to civic values, MISFIRES will have important theoretical and public policy implications.”

ERC Consolidators Grants are awarded under the ‘excellent science pillar’ of Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation programme. Researchers of any nationality with 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD, a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal can apply for an ERC Consolidator Grant.

“[Professor Susi Geiger’s and Dr Barry Molloy’s] success in this highly competitive and Europe-wide funding call is indicative of the quality of the world-class research being carried out at UCD,” said Professor Orla Feely, UCD Vice-President for Research, Innovation and Impact.

By: Jonny Baxter, digital journalist, UCD University Relations