* The signatories of the Open letter
Professor May-Britt Moser, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2014 *
Professor Edvard Moser, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2014*
Professor Ben L. Feringa, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, 2016, Member of ERC Scientific Council*
Professor Peter J. Ratcliffe, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2019:
«I wholeheartedly endorse the call to secure funding for the European Research Council in the new, long-term EU budget. Now, more than ever, it is crucial for scientists to be able to drive forward discovery science for the current and future well-being of us all. «
Professor Jules Hoffmann, Professor at the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2011
Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, 2016
Professor Wolfgang Ketterle, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, 2001
Sir Christopher Pissarides, Regius Professor of Economics, LSE, Nobel Prize Laureate in Economic Sciences, 2010
Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, 1987
Professor Horst Störmer, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, 1998
Professor Ada Yonath, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, 2009
Professor Jack Szostak, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, 2009
Professor Andre Geim, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics, 2010
Professor M. Stanley Whittingham, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry, 2019
Professor Tim Hunt, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2001, Former ERC Scientific Council member.
Professor Christine Petit, Kavli Prize Laureate in Neuroscience 2018
Professor A. James Hudspeth, Kavli Prize Laureate in Neuroscience 2018
Professor Jennifer Doudna, Kavli Prize Laureate in Nanoscience 2018
Professor Virginijus Siksnys, Kavli Prize Laureate in Nanoscience 2018
Professor Thomas Ebbesen, Kavli Prize Laureate in Nanoscience 2014
Professor James Rothman, Kavli Prize Laureate in Neuroscience 2010
Professor Andrew Fabian, Kavli Prize Laureate in Astrophysics, 2020
Professor Paul Gilroy, Holberg Prize Laureate 2019
Professor Bruno Latour, Holberg Prize Laureate 2013
Professor Alessio Figalli, Fields Medalist 2018
Professor David Baulcombe, Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 2010, Balzan Prize Laureate for Epigenetics 2012
Professor Dame Caroline Dean, 2015 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award, Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 2020
Professor Leif Anderson, Wolf Prize Laureate in Agriculture 2014
Professor Richard Benton, EMBO Gold Medal 2016, EMBO membership 2019
Professor Stanislas Dehaene, Brain Prize Laureate, 2014
Professor Arthur Konnerth, Brain Prize Laureate, 2015
Professor Bart De Strooper, Brain Prize Laureate, 2018, Director at VIB, Belgium and at Dementia Research UK institute London
Professor Christian Haass, Brain Prize Laureate, 2018
Professor Pascale Cossart, Balzan Prize Laureate 2013, 2014 FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award
Professor Sierd Cloethingh, President, Academia Europaea*, Former Vice President ERC, Former President COST Association.
Professor Eystein Jansen, Member of ERC Scientific Council*
Professor Nektarios Tavernarakis, Member of ERC Scientific Council
Professor Kurt Mehlhorn, Member of ERC Scientific Council
Professor Nils Christian Stenseth, Former Member of ERC Scientific Council*
Professor Carl-Henrik Heldin, Chairman of the Board of the Nobel Foundation, Chair of the Identification Committee for selection of future ERC Scientific Council Members, Founding Member and Former Vice President of ERC
Professor Michal Karonski, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland, Member of the Identification Committee for selection of future ERC Scientific Council Members.
Robert-Jan Smits, President of Eindhoven University of Technology, Former Director-General of DG Research and Innovation, European Commission:
«Setting up the ERC is one of the best initiatives that the European Commission has taken to strengthen the European Research Area. Over the years, the ERC has become the world wide gold standard for frontier research and has allowed the most excellent scientists from across the globe to extend the frontiers of knowledge. The fruit of this all will be to the benefit of our citizen and society as a whole, be it in the field of health, energy, ICT or food. It is therefore essential that in the context of the ongoing discussions at political level on the MFF, the budget of the ERC is not only protected but further increased.»
Professor emerita Helga Nowotny, former President, ERC:
Frontier research as funded by the ERC is the lifeline for our future. Science will come up with solutions, but preparedness must come from society. May the lessons to be drawn from the COVID19 crisis and the recent turmoil around the ERC strengthen the ERC spirit and result in giving it the means to fulfill its mission.
Professor Pavel Exner, founding member and former Vice President of ERC:
If Europe played over long periods an exceptional role in human history, it was always due to the inquisitive and daring minds it had. Challenges change but the way to address them remains the same, and this is the reason why the ERC deserves the highest priority.
Professor Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, Secretary General, Human Frontier Science Program, Former Secretary General, ERC, Former President, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
Professor Alain Peyraube, Founding member of the ERC Scientific Council (2005-2013), Emeritus director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique CNRS
Professor Mart Saarma, Former Vice-president of the ERC Scientific Council
Professor Giulio Superti-Furga, Former Member of ERC Scientific Council
Professor Hans-Joachim Freund, Former ERC Scientific Council member, Director and Scientific member of the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society.
President Dan Larhammar, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Professor Iva Tolic, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Croatia
Professor André Berger, Catholic University of Louvain. Pioneer of the interdisciplinary study of climate dynamics and history
Prof. Gijs van den Brink, SVP and Global Head Immunology, Infectious Diseases and Ophthalmology (I2O) Discovery and Translational Area Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, Roche Innovation Center Basel, Switzerland:
«The ERC starting grant has been one of the defining moments for my research and career, it is the single most important funding body in the EU and much more important than any other funding mechanism in Europe to generate the kind of research environment to make an impact on humanity, including for drug development.»
Prof. Dr. Diethard Tautz, Director, Department for Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
Professor Hugh Montgomery, Director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London, founding member of the UK Climate and Health Council:
«The ERC has my full support, driving as it does innovation and impact, as well as fostering collaboration and collegiality. It is unique in funding organisations. Precious, it should be treasured.»
Professor Liselotte Højgaard, University of Copenhagen, Former Chair of The Danish National Research Foundation and EMRC The European Medical Research Councils:
“ERC basic research by the best researchers is essential to overcome present and future societal challenges. Redirecting science towards short sighted innovation is wrong; it is stealing from future generations”
Member of European Parliament Clara Ponsatí, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Catalonia
Member of European Parliament Pernille Weiss– Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Denmark:
Excellent research and innovation is what makes Europe unique and strong, we need to do all we can to promote and preserve this.
Member of European Parliament Eva Kaili, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, Greece
Member of European Parliament Mohammad Chahim – Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, The Netherlands
Member of European Parliament Pietro Fiocchi – Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Italy
Professor Pearl Dykstra, Member of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission
Professor Nicole Grobert, Member of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors to the European Commission
Professor Janusz Bujnicki, Former Member of the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors, European Commission, Head of the Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Protein Engineering at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw.
Dr. Enno Aufderheide, Secretary General, The Alexander Humboldt Foundation
Professor Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General, LERU
Professor Jan Palmowski, Secretary-General, The Guild
Professor Ludovic Thilly, Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board Read statement
Jo Bury, Managing Director, VIB, Belgium, and Board member of European Innovation Council:
ERC allows research to think ‘big’ and reach beyond their current scientific horizon. The current Corona Pandemic has shown that basic science has the intrinsic flexibility to deal with crises like this. VIB is a living proof that ERC research is directly linked to excellence in technology transfer and impact to society. A perfect match with the new European Innovation Council!
Professor Günter M. Ziegler, President, Freie Universität Berlin, ERC Advanced Grant 2010-2015:
Science and Research are essential for Europe, and ERC is essential for Research in Europe.
Esa Hämäläinen, Chairman HUMANE – Heads of University Management & Administration Network in Europe
President Christina Moberg, European Academies Science Advisory Council, EASAC
Professor Sandro Conticelli, President of the Italian Geological Society, Chairman of IGAG-CNR
BC Director, Professor Grubhoffer Libor, Biology Centre, Academy of Sciences, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
Managing Director Dr. Manuela Urban, Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Director General David Matthew Smith, Ruder Boskovic Institute, Croatia.
Professor Peter Adzic, Serbia’s Scientific delegate to the CERN Council, and former expert for evaluation of ERC proposals:
The ERC represents the unique and brilliant idea and the crucial step by the European Commission for the support of excellence of science in Europe. There was nothing similar before. It enabled creation and realization of many magnificent research projects particularly in basic science proposed by enormous number of outstanding young and extremely bright scientists. Unfortunately, we have been witnessing some cuts of the ERC budget in the past and any further decrease of the budget may bring a serious shadow on this original and splendid idea. We all expect from the EU Commission to continue supporting the ERC even at higher level than at present.
Professor Jens J. Gaardhøje, CERN Member state – Denmark, Head of subatomic physics section at Niels Bohr Institute, UCPH
Sveinung Hole, CEO, Trond Mohn Foundation
PI Alexandre Persat, PhD, EPFL Global Health Institutes, Switzerland – Cellular and Multicellular Mechanics
Group leader Silvia Monticelli, IRB – Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Switzerland.
Professor Antje Boetius, Director Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research and Vice President, Helmholtz Association, Germany:
«Climate, Polar and Marine Sciences for our Future need the ERC to support creative, risky and independent frontier science !»
Associate Professor Greta Guarda, Group Leader, Immune Mechanisms, IRB-Institutes for Research in Biomedicine, Switzerland.
Professor John McKinney, Head of Laboratory, Microbiology and Microtechnology, EPFL-Global Health Institutes, Switzerland.
Professor Bjørn Stevens, Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for Meteorology, Germany
Luis Serrano, ICREA Research Professor, Director of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and Chairman of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and María de Maeztu Units of Excellence (SOMMa), Spain
Professor H. J. A. Rottgering, Scientific Director Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands
Professor Carlos S. Frenk, Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology, Durham University, United Kingdom:
«As a holder of two ERC Advanced Investigator grants I know, from personal experience, that this programme has transformed the European research landscape, helping it acquire worldwide prominence.»
Professor Dirk Inzé, Scientific Director of the Plant Systems Biology department and winner of the World Agriculture Prize 2018:
“The ERC stands for game-changing frontier research that transforms European economy and global welfare.”
President Felipe Criado-Boado, European Association of Archeologists, EEA.
President Massimo Inguscio, G6, CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche/CFR – The National Research Council, Italy.
Professor Guido Martinelli, CERN Scientific Policy Committee (SPC).
Professor Kerstin Jon-And, CERN Member state – Sweden.
Professor Günther Dissertori, CERN Member state – Switzerland.
Head of laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, Prof. Melanie Blokesch, EPFL.
Head of laboratory of Systems Biology and Genetics, Prof. Bart Deplancke, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics.
Head of laboratory, Prof. John McKinney, EPFL: Microbiology and Mirotechnology.
Group leader Petr Cejka, IRB: Recombination Mechanisms.
Managing Director, Stefano Passerini, Ulm Helmholtz Institute.
League of European Universities, LERU:
Hosting more than 20% of all ERC grantees, LERU is happy to support this petition for a strong Horizon Europe budget in general, and an increased budget for the ERC in particular! – Professor Kurt Deketelaere, Secretary-General
The Guild – European Research-Intensive Universities
EUA – European Universities Association
Coimbra Group Universities
Czech Academy of Sciences (CAS)
Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) Read statement
Accademia Nazionale Dei Lincei, Italy
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Slovenia
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Netherlands
Young Academy of Europe (YAE):
«ERC grants gave our founding members independence and prestige vital for establishing a strong voice for outstanding young scholars in Europe. The need for exactly this kind of bottom-up frontiers research is now more urgent than ever» – YAE Vice-Chair Toma Susi
EGU – European Geosciences Union Read statement
EASSH – European Alliance for Social Sciences & Humanities
European Brain Council
EASP – European Association of Social Psychology
ECRA– European Climate Research Alliance Read statement
EU-LIFE – Alliance of 14 Life Science Research Centres across Europe
Alliance4Life – 10 leading life science institutions in Central and Eastern Europe
European Association for Computer Graphics (Eurographics)
Foundation for Polish Science (FNP), Poland Read statement
Independent Research Fund Denmark
CRG – Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain
Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam and Hannover
Max Planck Institute for Informatics
Max Planck Society, Institute of Biochemistry
MATH+: The Berlin Mathematics Research Center
Biophotonic Laboratory, Helsinki, Finland
EPFL – Global Health Institutes, Switzerland: Microbiology and Microtechnology – Head of Laboratory, Prof. John McKinney
CISPA Helmholtz Centre for Information Security. Germany Read statement
Marie Curie Alumni Association
Charles University, Czech Republic Read statement
École Normale Supérieure Paris-Saclay, France
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Ghent University, Belgium
Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden*
KU Leuven, Belgium Read statement
Leiden University, The Netherlands
Masaryk University, Czech Republic Read statement
Maastricht University, the Netherlands Read statement
Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway*
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway*
Paris-Lodron-Universität Salzburg, Austria
Pavlos Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, Slovakia
Riga Technical University, Latvia
RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Saarland University, Germany
Sciences Po, Economics
Stockholm University, Sweden Read statement
The Technical University of Kosice, Slovakia
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain
Universitat Pompeo Fabra (Barcelona), Spain
Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy
Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium.
University of Antwerp, Belgium
University of Bern, Switzerland:
«Science knows no borders and the ERC plays a pivotal role in ensuring that researchers can push the frontiers of knowledge to deal with the challenges facing society. The ERC’s vital contribution to making Europe an attractive location for the world’s brilliant minds must continue. That is why the University of Bern from Switzerland is adding its voice to those of our colleagues in Europe and beyond in calling for a secure future for the ERC.» – Rector Christian Leumann
University of Bergen, Norway*
University of Coimbra, Portugal Read statment
University of Copenhagen, Denmark*
University of Freiburg, Germany
University of Geneva, Switzerland
University of Graz, Austria*
University of Göttingen, Germany
University of Helsinki, Finland*
University of Highlands and Islands, Scotland Read statement
University of Iceland, Iceland*
University of Leipzig, Germany*
University of Münster, Germany Read statement
University of Oulu, Finland
University of Oslo, Norway*
University of Parma, Italy Read statement
University of Perugia, Italy
University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic
University of Stavanger, Norway*
University of Stuttgart, Germany
Universtity of Tampere, Finland
University of Tromsø, Norway*
University of Tübingen, Germany
University of Warsaw, Poland
Uppsala University, Sweden*
Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Vienna University of technology, Austria
Vilnius University, Lithuania Read Statement
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
«The ERC has been instrumental in fostering excellent independent science, and scientific collaboration, that benefit our societies. These are attributes that one can only cherish and protect, particularly in these difficult times. In this context, the ERC should receive the unreserved support of the Commission and the broader community of academics and citizens interested in the current and future well-being of humanity. Investing in research and education is an investmentin the future, and the closest we will get to a ‘sure thing’. »
– Rector Magnificus, Prof.Dr. Vinod Subramaniam
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Belgium
«The ERC promotes wholly investigator-driven research. Its scientific council, composed of eminent scientists and scholars, defines the scientific funding strategy and methodologies and acts on behalf of Europe’s scientific community. These unique features have helped the ERC becoming the world’s top reference for frontier research. More budget should be made available to support promising new talents and excellent research in Europe and beyond.»
– Rector Caroline Pauwels
Aarhus University, Denmark*
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