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Three UiB researchers granted top EU funding

Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council for excellent research projects.

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Thomas Arnesen, Jill Walker Rettberg og Harald Sodemann har motteke ERC Consolidator Grants for sine prosjekt.
Thomas Arnesen, Jill Walker Rettberg and Harald Sodemann receives ERC Consolidator Grants for their projects.

Once a year, the European Research Council (ERC) hands out Consolidator Grants to researchers with projects of scientific excellence.

UiB was granted three: Jill Walker Rettberg with the Department of Linguistic, Literary and Aesthetic Studies, Thomas Arnesen from the Department of Molecular Biology, and Harald Sodemann with the Geophysical Institute.

In total, 329 researchers were granted €630 million.

How do we view ourselves through machines?

Rettberg was granted support for the project "Machine Vision in Everyday Life: Playful Interactions with Visual Technologies in Digital Art, Games, Narratives and Social Media", which will explore what happens to us when we, increasingly, view the world around us through machines.

"This makes it possible for me to build a team, and really work with the research. We research the cultural effects of a kind of technology which is key to our society," she says, stating the importance of this kind of humanities in a world where technology is evolving very quickly.

Rettberg has previously been awarded for her work with social media, receiving the John Lovas Award for her Snapchat research earlier this year.

First Norwegian grantee in Molecular and Structural Biology and Biochemistry

Thomas Arnesen is a grantee for his project "Discovery and functional significance of posttranslational N-terminal acetylation", which is to explore new systems of cellular regulation of proteins, with potencial effects in hormon regulation and cancer.

"It's fantastic and unreal to finally get a breakthrough after many years of work," says Arnesen, pointing out that this is the first Norwegian ERC supported project in the category "Life Sciences 1" –  Molecular and Structural Biology and Biochemistry.

"This is mainly the result of a team effort from the entire research group, thanks to everyone that has contributed!"

How is evaporation, cloud formations and rainfall connected?

Harald Sodemann was granted for the project "Isotopic links to atmopheric water's sources", taking a closer look at the hydrological cycle to build models for better understanding what effects rainfall. A central part of the project is use of research aircrafts to measure the water cycle in the Norwegian Sea.

"This is amazing, and at the same time unbelievable. I'll have to wait a few days before I really understand what this means. Now my big plans discussed in the application can be translated to real life. I'm looking forward to it!" says Sodemann.

Sodemann states there has to be done more research on the concrete mechanisms behind this, like the work done on rainfall in Wales.