ERC Consolidator Grants 2019: six recipients at UGA

On the  December 10, 2019
ERC Consolidator Grants 2019
ERC Consolidator Grants 2019
On Tuesday, 10 December 2019, the European Research Council (ERC) announced the list of people who would receive the 2019 ERC Consolidator Grants. It includes 43 recipients who are living in France, 6 from Grenoble and one from the field of Human and Social Sciences. ERC grants are strong indicators of excellence in research. Having already exceeded 100 grants last April, these 6 new grants (which represent 14% of French recipients) only serve to reinforce Univ. Grenoble Alpe’s standing as one of the best-funded universities in France.
The “Consolidator” calls for proposals are addressed to researchers with between 8 and 12 years post-doctoral experience, and their purpose is to make it possible for them to consolidate their research efforts.

This year, 301 projects were chosen throughout Europe (out of 2,453 applications) for a total of 600 million euros in funds. France, with 43 chosen projects, ranks in 3rd place (among the 24 countries represented), after Germany (with 52 recipients) and the UK (with 50 recipients).

Who are the recipients from Grenoble?

Alexis Carlotti

Assistant astronomer (UGA) at the Grenoble Earth Sciences Observatory (OSUG), assigned to the Grenoble Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics (IPAG - CNRS/UGA)

EXACT: Exoplanet Adaptive Characterization with the ELT
EXACT’s main aim is to use a laboratory replica of the ELT-HARMONI instrument to prepare observations, determining its ultimate performance in terms of direct spectral imaging of exoplanets. Its secondary aim is to lay the foundation for a future ELT instrument that would be able to push the limits of detection and study the atmospheres of Earth-like planets, developing a new kind of high-resolution spectrometry, as well as a device that adapts to any changes in the ELT’s primary mirror and to the scientific aims.

Benoit Cerutti

CNRS research leader at the Grenoble Institute of Planetology and Astrophysics / OSUG (IPAG - CNRS/UGA).

SPAWN: Simulating particle acceleration within black hole magnetospheres
The SPAWN project seeks to model the magnetospheres of black holes using full ab-initio particle-in-cell simulations. The aim is to produce the very first self-consistent model of a rotating black hole magnetosphere. This work will be essential for understanding current and future observations made using the Gravity instrument and the Event Horizon Telescope of the black hole at the center of the galaxy, and nearby super massive black holes.

Marie-Aude Méasson

CNRS research leader at the Néel Institute (CNRS)

HiggS²: HiggS mode in Superconductors
The physics of quantum materials and particle physics sometimes reveal very similar things, such as the existence of a Higgs boson or mode. Observing its existence is, in fact, a challenge for these two groups of physicists. The project aims to study such a Higgs mode in the superconductor state, both to identify it, and to use it as a probe for other unconventional superconductor states.

Benjamin Sacépé

CNRS research leader at the Néel Institute (CNRS)

SUPERGRAPH: Topological Superconductivity in Graphene
In recent years, a lot of the work done by the scientific community on condensed matter has been concentrated on hybrid systems that join semiconductors together at different topological states of matter. Such a heterogeneous coupling is essential in order to allow new excitations to emerge - Majorana or parafermion - that can be used as quantum bits (qubits) with the unique properties of non-locality and immunity to external disruption. These properties are essential for coding and manipulating quantum information in robust, stable modes. This project aims to demonstrate that a new topological insulator, the quantum Hall topological insulator that appears within graphene, is an ideal platform for topological superconductivity. Majorana quantum bits will be consistently manipulated in hybrid devices, providing a major breakthrough in fault-tolerant quantum computers.

Anne Socquet

Physician from the Observatories (UGA) at the Grenoble Earth Sciences Observatory (OSUG), assigned to the Earth Sciences Institute (ISTerre - CNRS/IFSTTAR/IRD/UGA/USMB)

DEEP-trigger: Preparation of subduction Earthquakes: Slow, Deep, Large-scale trigger?
The DEEP-trigger project deals with a question that remains unresolved: are large subduction earthquakes preceded by a preparatory phase? Subduction zones that have been recently affected by sequences of earthquakes will be studied from a wide-ranging perspective, in terms of space and time. All the available observables will be used in combination, and they will be systematized by machine learning, with the clear aim of isolating the key processes that are hidden within these large data sets. The physical mechanisms at the origin of the destabilization of the subduction interface will be explored using modeling.

Sonja Zmerli

University professor (of political science) at Grenoble Political Sciences assigned to Pacte, a social science laboratory (CNRS/Grenoble Political Science/UGA)

POLINEQUAL: The Politicisation of Economic Inequality: The Impact of Welfare Regimes, Elites' Discourse and Media Frames on Citizens' Perceptions, Justice Evaluations and Political Behaviour
POLINEQUAL aims to study the causes and mechanisms that motivate citizens to respond to economic inequality. Conceptually, POLINEQUAL relies on the following hypotheses: 1) perceptions of economic inequality are biased, because they are influenced by evaluations of distributive justice and do not, therefore, reflect objective levels of economic inequality; 2) perceptions of economic inequality are based on ideological facts and predictors, media representations or personal experiences, 3) perceptions and evaluations are malleable, in so far as economic inequality is politicized and becomes politically salient, and 4) perceptions and evaluations of economic inequality that are politically salient can elicit emotional, attitudinal and behavioral reactions.

Université Grenoble Alpes is always in the race for ERC grants

Since the ERC grants were created in 2007, the Grenoble campus has been awarded the most grants outside of Île-de-France, and has received 113 ERC grants in total, of which 48 were Starting Grants, 26 Consolidator Grants, 26 Advanced Grants, 11 Proof of Concepts and 2 Synergy Grants. The most recent grants received by the researchers on the site confirm its position as a leading institution. The number of ERC Grant recipients is, in fact, a reliable indicator of the excellence of the research in Europe and in Grenoble.

These results are equally an excellent illustration of the importance of the FOSTERING Science support program, which is co-funded by IDEX Université Grenoble Alpes, and was set up with the collaboration of the 8 GIANT partners (CEA, CNRS, EMBL, ESRF, ILL, GEM, Grenoble INP, UGA) to encourage and support applications for European ERC grants. This program makes the site’s researchers aware of the possibilities that this financing can provide. It also helps them to evaluate their own eligibility, providing documentary information and support for their applications in order to maximize their chances of success.

A human and social sciences recipient - personalized support that has paid off

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation wants to reinforce support mechanisms for researchers in human and social sciences (SHS) in the call for ERC grants in the years to come. For this reason, in 2015, FOSTERING Science established specific actions for the benefit of these human and social science project leaders.
From candidate identification and joint analysis of their potential, to personalized support to motivate and support them throughout the evaluation process, all of their actions are fostering an increased interest among human and social science candidates.
Published on  February 14, 2020
Updated on February 14, 2020