Record number of researchers in Sweden to get ERC Starting Grant

It has now been decided who will get ERC Starting Grants under this year’s call. In total, 436 researchers from 25 different countries will share 677 million euro, to be used in developing their research and building up their own teams. 23 of them have a Swedish host institution.

Among the 23 researchers receiving ERC Starting Grants, 5 are active in social sciences and humanities, 5 in physical and engineering sciences and 13 in life sciences.

–This is a record year for Sweden, both for the number of research projects approved, but also for the number of funded projects within humanities and social sciences. The number approved within life sciences also breaks the record. Sweden’s approval rate of 15% is also higher than the overall approval rate for ERC Starting Grants, which is 13%, says Lena Renner, national contact person for the ERC.

Approved research projects 2020

Chalmers University of Technology

  • Jessica Jewell: MANIFEST MechANIsms and actors of Feasible Energy Transitions
  • Marianne Liebi: MUMOTT Multi-Modal Tensor Tomography

University of Gothenburg

  • Björn Redfors: De-StunHeartAttacks Re-defining clinical care and reasoning in ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) by shifting focus to ischemic myocardial stunning - Mechanisms prognostic implications and a new treatment
  • Bettina Schulz Paulsson: NEOSEA Neolithic Seafaring and Maritime Technologies shaped a New World of Megalithic Societies (4700-3500 cal BC)

Karolinska Institutet

  • Niklas Björkström: RESIDE Dissecting tissue-resident lymphocyte homeostasis in humans
  • Nils Landegren: SEXimmune Deciphering sex differences in the human immune system
  • Janina Seubert: OLFLINK Olfaction as the link between flavor preference formation and retrieval during food consumption

KTH, Royal Institute of Technology

  • Ian Hoffecker: DNA_MICROSCOPY In situ DNA sequencing-based microscopy for subcellular spatial transcriptomics

Linköpings universitet

  • Eric Glowacki: OPTEL-MED Optoelectronic medicine - nerve cell regulation with light

Lund University

  • Paul Bourgine: hOssicle Bioengineering of human ossicles as advanced in vivo hematopoietic model
  • Nathalie Feiner: EvoOnRepeat Unravelling the developmental origins of parallel evolution
  • Alison Gerber: SHOW AND TELL Show and Tell: Scientific representation, algorithmically generated visualizations, and evidence across epistemic cultures
  • Emma Hammarlund: ParadOX The hardships for life to become big – rethinking hypoxia as an evolutionary driver for the rise of complex multicellularity
  • Rik Ossenkoppele: TAU-NOW Tau Pathology in Alzheimer’s disease: Spreading and Resilience
  • Pablo Villanueva Perez: 3DX-FLASH Probing MHz processes in 3D with X-ray microscopy

Stockholm University

  • Mikael Lundqvist: Hot-Coal WM The Hot-Coal hypothesis of working memory
  • Ben Wilson: REFU-GEN A Better Life for the Children of Exile: Intergenerational Adaptation of the Descendants of Refugees

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

  • Barbara Locke Grandér: BEE NATURAL A sustainable future for honeybees by unravelling the mechanisms of natural disease resistance
  • Maria Westerholm: SYNAG Deciphering the network of microbial, environmental and physical factors underlying aggregation and enhanced performance in syntrophic microorganism communities

Umeå University

  • Jonas Barandun: PolTube A molecular model of the microsporidian infection apparatus

Uppsala University

  • Magnus Johansson: SMACK Single-molecule tracking for live-cell protein synthesis kinetics
  • Gabriele Messori: CENAE compound Climate Extremes in North America and Europe: from dynamics to predictability
  • Chao Zhang: DeepProton Deep multi-scale modelling of electrified metal oxide nanostructures

The ERC website has more statistics and a list of all the grant recipients External link.

Sweden and ERC Starting Grant 2016–2020

Over the last five years, 89 researchers in Sweden have received an ERC Starting Grant.

Number of grants awarded per year

Diagram showing number of grants awarded over the last five years.

Source: ERC

Number of grants awarded per subject area

Diagram showing number of grants awarded per subject area.

Source: ERC

Aproval rate over time

Diagram over aproval rate over time. Sweden compare to total aproval rate for all countries.

Source: ERC

Swedish Research Council and ERC

The Swedish Research Council works to encourage more Swedish researchers to apply for and be awarded ERC grants. Some of our work consists of arranging interview training for researchers who have been selected for stage 2 of the application process, and visiting higher education institutions to inform about the application process and upcoming ERC calls.



Pdf / Printout

The ERC Starting Grant is aimed at researchers at the beginning of their careers, who were awarded a doctoral degree 2–7 years ago. The grant amount is 1.5 million EUR, over a period of maximum 5 years.


NCP for the European Research Council

Lena Renner


  1. ERC Reception 2024

    We are celebrating researchers in Sweden who have received project funding from the European Research Council, ERC, in 2023, with a reception in the Swedish Research Council’s premises.

  2. 10 researchers in Sweden to receive an ERC Advanced Grant 2023

    The ERC has published the results of last years call for ERC Advanced Grant. 255 researchers from 20 different countries are awarded the grant. 10 of them are affiliated to a Swedish host institution.

  3. Interview training for the ERC Starting Grant

    The Swedish Research Council is organising a workshop series for European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant step 2 candidates to obtain advice and inspiration for the interview with the ERC panel. Target group is Reseachers that have applied with...