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14 researchers in Sweden to receive an ERC Starting Grant

The European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant 2021 has awarded 397 researchers in Europe up to 1,5 million euro, to develop their research project and to building their own research teams. 14 of them have a Swedish host institution.

The ERC starting grant is awarded to promising early-career researchers and has scientific excellence as the only selection criteria. The ERC starting grant recipients and their research proposal undergo a stringent and competitive peer-review process. This year more than 4000 researchers applied for an ERC starting grant.

In total, 397 researchers in Europe will share more than 619 million euro, with a success rate of about 10 per cent.

Among the 14 researchers in Sweden receiving ERC Starting Grants, six are active in social sciences and humanities, five in physical and engineering sciences and three in life sciences.

Approved research projects 2021

University of Gothenburg

  • Ann-Kristin Koelln: INTRAPARTY The Benefits of Conflict: How Factions Can Enhance Political Parties' Electoral Performance
  • Tintin Wulia: THINGSTIGATE Things for Politics' Sake: Aesthetic Objects and Social Change

Karolinska Institutet

  • Marcus Buggert: TRACE Tracing virus-specific CD8+ T cell clonotype zonation and function in humans

KTH, Royal Institute of Technology

  • Michael Liverts: DYNPRESS Towards materials at extremes: from intense dynamic compression to expansion

Linköping University

  • Eleni Stavrinidou: 4D-PhytoHybrid Plant based 4D biohybrid systems

Lund University

  • Carmelo D'Agostino: SUperSAFE SUrrogate measures for SAFE autonomous and connected mobility
  • Lea Fuenfschilling: ENDINGS Towards a theory of endings in innovation studies

Stockholm University

  • Jon Gudmundsson: CMBeam Transforming cryogenic optics for cosmic microwave background experiments
  • Ragnhild Lunnan: TransPIre Transients Illuminating the Fates of the Most Massive Stars
  • Peter Sörgaard Jörgensen: INFLUX Emerging pests and pathogens as a novel lens for unravelling social-ecological cascades
  • Birgit Wild: PRIMETIME Rhizosphere priming: Quantifying plant impacts on carbon dioxide emissions from a warming Arctic

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

  • Derek Lundberg: SPHINOCULANT Revealing the secrets to success of Sphingomonas, a versatile bacterial genus with exceptional potential as a beneficial agricultural inoculant
  • Petra Marhava: HOT-AND-COLD How plants deal with heat and cold: Molecular mechanisms of auxin transport and signaling in response to temperature stress

Uppsala University

  • Ylva Söderfeldt: ActDisease Acting Out Disease. How Patient Organizations Shaped Modern Medicine


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

Next deadline for ERC Starting Grant is January 13, 2022. Read more and apply here. External link.

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. We also plan to organise webinars with information about upcoming ERC calls. Dates for these events will be published on this website.

If you have questions, please contact Anethe Mansén, the national contact point (NCP) for ERC: anethe.mansen@vr.se

Impact of ERC funded frontier research again confirmed

In an evaluation, a randomly selected sample of 225 finalised projects was analysed by a peer review panel consisting of independent, high-level scientists. Some 81 per cent of projects funded by the European Research Council resulted in a scientific breakthrough or major advance, according to an annual independent review. This result is in line with previous evaluations and shows the significant impact of frontier research funded by the ERC.

Read more about the study at ERC website External link.

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