Million euro grants for galaxies, stars and computers
Three researchers from SCIENCE have been given a total of EUR 6 million (DKK 45 million) from the European Research Council for their research.
Research into galaxies, stars and body-based user interfaces has received an injection of funding from the prestigious ERC Consolidator Grants which are presented by the European Research Council.
Funding for research in galaxies and stars
Two researchers in astrophysics from the Niels Bohr Institute each receive 2 million euro (almost DKK 15 million) for their research projects.
Sune Toft, associate professor at the Dark Cosmology Centre at the Niels Bohr Institute, together with two new postdocs and two PhDs who will be hired to form a new research group, will explore the evolution of the most massive galaxies in the history of the universe. His research project is entitled ‘Connecting the Extreme’.
“The technological advances of recent years have enabled us to study galaxies from the very early universe and this has revolutionised our understanding of the origins and evolution of the galaxies,” explains Sune Toft, who has played a central role in this new understanding.
The other grant goes to Jes Jørgensen, associate professor in Astrophysics and Planetary Science, who, along with 3 new postdocs and 3 PhD students, will spend the next 5 years studying the chemistry in the earliest stages of a young star in relation to the physical structure and the evolution of the star and its surroundings. They will examine which complex organic molecules are present in the clouds surrounding young medium sized stars like our Sun and will look at what the chances are that complex organic molecules formed in these stages might be incorporated in later planetary system.
The last grant given to a researcher at SCIENCE goes to Professor Kasper Hornbæk from Department of Computer Science. Over the next five years, he will be working with his proposed research project ”Using Embodied Cognition to Create the Next Generations of Body-based User Interfaces”.
Recent advances in user interfaces (UIs) allow users to interact with computers using only their body, so-called body-based UIs. Instead of moving a mouse or tapping a touch surface, people can use whole-body movements to navigate in games, gesture in mid-air to interact with large displays, or scratch their forearm to control a mobile phone. Microsoft Kinect and Nintendo Wii are among the best known examples of how the gestures of the body can be read by the computer and used as input.
FACTS: ERC grants
The European Research Council (ERC) gives out two types of grants: ERC Consolidator Grants and ERC Starting Grants.
ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support researchers at the stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme. The scheme will strengthen independent and excellent new individual research teams that have been recently created.
ERC Consolidator Grants are given to researchers of any nationality with over 7 and up to 12 years of experience since completion of PhD and scientific track record showing great promise. Grants amount to up to EUR 2.75 mill for five years.
ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish a proper research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It will support the creation of excellent new research teams. Grants amount to up to EUR 2 million for five years.
Read more about the European Research Council