20 young researchers to receive Nobel Prize-sized awards for breakthrough ideasPublished On: Wed, Aug 1st, 2007 | Science Policy | By BioNews
August 1 : Entering its fourth and final year the European Young Investigator Awards (EURYI) scheme is “going out with style”.
Twenty young researchers, which have been selected by high-level scientific peer review, will gather in Helsinki, Finland on 27 September 2007 to receive awards of as much as €1.2 million that will allow them to create research teams in Europe to focus on cutting-edge science research. This year, the recipients include more female and younger researchers than any other year.
EURYI is designed to attract outstanding young scientists from around the world to create their own research teams at European research centres and launch potential world-leading research careers. Most awards are between €1,000,000 and €1,250,000, comparable in size to the Nobel Prize.
The average age of this year’s winners is 33.1, making it the youngest group in EURYI’s history. (The average age of last year’s winners is 35.4.). Six of the awardees are women, making it the highest number of female winners in any year.
The list of the 2007 Awardees includes researchers who will be based in eight countries – Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Their original ideas are ranging from new techniques to manipulate antimatter to disease gene mapping and functional genomics in the domestic dog.
“It has been amazing to witness how the EURYI scheme has evolved and become a force to be reckoned with in recognising young researchers’ works by granting them Nobel Prize-scale funding for the past four years,” commented Dr. John Marks, Chief Executive of the ESF.
“I am particularly proud of the selection this year as we see more female researchers included,” added Dr. Marks. “It is also with mixed feeling to acknowledge this would be the last EURYI awards, at least in its present form, that will be co-organised by EuroHORCs (European Heads of Research Councils) and the ESF. The future for this type of award will now be determined by the European Commission’s ERC (European Research Council) Starting Investigator Research Grant scheme. One thing that is certain is that the concept of EURYI has made a huge impact both scientifically and for the European Research Area.”
The EURYI awards have been offered in this 4th Call by 17 research councils from 15 countries in an open competition with no ‘juste retour’. Candidates are selected on the basis of their future potential and their academic and research excellence.
Competition this year has been as intensive as ever, with 474 applications received. The EURYI Awards scheme was developed by the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCS), in collaboration with the European Science Foundation (ESF), to attract outstanding young researchers from anywhere in the world to work in Europe for the further development of European science, contributing to building up the next generation of leading European researchers.
The First Call of the scheme was launched in September 2003, and the first three Calls have resulted in 75 awards. Candidates are selected by a two-stage process, firstly at the national level by the relevant Participating Organisation and secondly at the international level by high-level scientific panels managed by the ESF. ESF’s role in the coordination and selection processes of EURYI is supported by funds from the European Commission’s Framework Programme 6.
The 2007 Awardees will receive a diploma, presented by the Nobel-laureate Dr Tim Hunt, at a special ceremony being organised in Helsinki, Finland. Press invitations and more detailed information about the awards will be circulated in due time.
The European Science Foundation