Horizon 2020

ERC Grants

ERC grants are amongst the most prestigeous funding schemes in the Horizon 2020 framework programme, granted to researchers working on pioneering and ambitious projects.

The European Research Council (ERC) funds frontier research and ideas. Research projects should be novel and ground breaking with a significant element of risk, conducted by excellent Principal Investigators (PIs) and their teams. Grants are awarded to researchers working in Europe, across all diciplines.

At present there are 3 core funding schemes and one additional scheme for ERC grant holders. A total of 12 UiB researchers have been awarded ERC Grants since the funding scheme was first introduced in 2007.

Researchers with funding from ERC grants at UiB


ERC Starting Grant

Anna Nele Meckler

Department of Earth Science

Climate change across Cenozoic cooling steps reconstructed with clumped isotope thermometry

Anna Nele Meckler has her background from environmental science and geology. She specialises in reconstructions of past climate using ocean sediments and cave rock (stalagmite) as archives. The C4T project will mainly focus on 1) decreasing the necessary sample size as much as possible and 2) investigating secondary influences besides temperature. The proxy allows reconstruction of ocean temperature and global ice volume changes across major glaciation events in different eras. Read more here.

Saket Saurabh

Department of Informatics

Parameterized Approximation 

Professor Saket Saurabh at the Department of Informatics was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in June 2012. His research interests lie mainly in algorithms and graph theory. He is also a member of the Bergen Algorithms Research Group, underlining the strong algorithms research environment in Bergen. Read more here.


ERC Consolidator Grant

Andreas H. Hejnol

Sars International Centre for Marine Biology

The evolution of mesoderm and its differentiation into cell types and organ systems

Andreas H. Hejnol and his team sets out to find answers to an essential question about animal evolution: What is the nature of the molecular and genomic changes that gave rise to the animal diversity we have on this planet? In the project EVOMESODERM they aim to reconstruct the evolutionary history of specific embryonic cells of animals, the so-called mesoderm, on the search for new insights about the formation of more complex animal organ systems, such as musculature, blood vascular systems and the human kidney. Read more about the project here.

Noel Keenlyside

Geophysical institute / Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research

Synchronisation to enhance reliability of climate prediction

Keenslyside was the first UiB researcher to be awarded the ERC Consolidator Grant. The project STERCP aims to investigate the potential of an innovative technique to reduce systematic error in current climate models, and hence to improve climate prediction skill and reduce uncertainties in future
climate projections. Read more.


ERC Advanced Grant

Bruce Kapferer

Department of Social Anthropology

Egalitarianism: Forms, Processes, Comparisons

Professor Bruce Kapferer at the Department of Social Anthropology asks how does greater inequality create divisions in society? This is one of the central issues of his research project Egalitarianism: Forms, Processes, Comparisons. The project aims to study egalitarian structures and processes and the underlying values that inform them through methods the reseachers themselves describes as guerilla anthropology. Read more about the project here.

Pål Rasmus Njølstad

Department of Clinical Science

Novel Tools for Early Childhood Predisposition to Obesity

What roles do diets and genetics play in the development of obesity and diabetes? This is one of the questions Professor Pål Rasmus Njølstad at the KG Jebsen Centre for Diabetes Research is working on. Njølstad has recieved the grant for for his study of diet and genetics among mothers and children in Norway. Read more about the project here.

Nikolai Østgaard

Department of Physics and Technology

Terrestrial Gamma Flashes - the Most Energetic Photon Phenomenon in our Atmosphere

In the TGF-MEPPA project Professor Nikolai Østgaard and his colleagues at the Birkeland Centre for Space Science (BCSS) look at how earth connects electrically to space. The main phenomenon of interrest are the so-called gamma ray bursts (GRBs) that occur in clouds during thunderstorms. The first challenge is to map out how common these gamma rays are, and under which presice conditions they occur. Read more about the project here.

Fedor Fomin

Department of Informatics

Rigorous Theory of Preprocessing

Using an Internet search engine to find the hottest restaurant in town? Letting your car’s GPS tell you where to turn left to reach the parking house? Then most certainly, an algorithm has helped you. Professor and ERC Advanced Grant holder Fedor Fomin and the Bergen Algorithms Research Group develop new mathematical theories to provide better algorithms. Read more about their work here.

Kenneth Hugdahl

Department of Biological and Medical Psychology

Perception of voices that do not exist: Tracking the temporal signatures of auditory hallucinations

Kenneth Hugdahl has received ERC Advanced Grant both in 2009 and 2016. In his new project, the neuroscientist will use and develop new technology to help patients who are hearing voices. This research could represent a paradigm shift in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. Read more about the project here.

ERC Synergy Grant

The ERC Synergy Grants are intended to enable a small group of Principal Investigators and their teams to bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources in new ways, in order to jointly address research problems of high scientific importance.

Eystein Jansen / Kerim Hestnes Nisancioglu

Department of Earth Science

Arctic Sea Ice and Greenland Ice Sheet Sensitivity

UiB researchers Eystein Jansen and Kerim Nisancioglu are two of four principal investigators in ICE2ICE, an interdisciplinary climate project, encompassing Danish and Norwegian researchers, which aims to investigate what will happen with the Greenland ice sheet if the sea ice in the Norwegian Sea and the Arctic Ocean disappears. Ice2Ice combines understanding of interconnections of sea-ice and the Greenland ice sheet in the past with research on modern and future conditions.

Project homepage
News article on ICE2ICE