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Scott Bremer and Randi J. Bertelsen receive prestigious EU grant

Scott Bremer and Randi J. Bertelsen have been awarded the prestigious ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

Scott Bremer og Randi J. Bertelsen
PRESTIGIOUS GRANT: Scott Bremer og Randi J. Bertelsen have been awarded the ERC Starting Grant from the European Research Council. The grant consists of €1.5 million over a period of five years
Photo:
Eivind Senneset og Kim E. Andreassen

"This means a lot to me personally, to my research group and to my department. This grant implies that my ideas have a strong impact, and it will also strengthen my research", Randi J. Bertelsen says.

A new understanding of lung diseases

Bertelsen tells us that the grant will give her an opportunity to organize her research work in a new way, as the grant will allow her to build her own team of researchers.

“It gives me the opportunity to recruit strong PhD and Post Doc candidates, and establish my own research group," says Bertelsen.

Bertelsen receives the ERC grant to continue her work examining how the composition of bacteria in the mouth affects lung disease.

"The composition of bacteria in your mouth has a lot to do with your lung health, but it could also have a strong influence on the development of infections throughout the whole body. For example, research has shown that infection in the gums influences the risk of cardiovascular disease", she says.

Opening up for "the great ideas"

Scott Bremer is both overwhelmed and grateful about the happy news:  

"Well, having recovered from the initial shock, I now feel really very privileged. Ive been thinking about the CALENDARS project for the past four years, so to be given the chance to actually embark on this discovery is overwhelming. Its so rare to have the time, money and team for deeply exploring the 'big ideas' that we all harbour as researchers. Its an immense freedom to be bold and creative", Bremer says.

The ERC Grant consists of €1.5 million over a period of five years. For Bremer this means that he can set up a small four-person research team over the next years, to pursue research on how society represents seasons, and how these representations help or hold us back from adapting to seasonal change.

Innovative climate research

"I believe that this can make some important contributions to the scholarship on climate adaptation governance, and hopefully also contribute to the already strong on-going climate research here at UiB. I'm excited to continue working with my colleagues in different departments, from the Bjerknes Centre to the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformations. Ultimately I hope this research can also have a real impact on how wider society - including the people of Bergen - think about changing seasonal rhythms."

Curiosity-driven research

Pro-Rector Margareth Hagen is also delighted about the great news:

"This is very pleasing and important for the University of Bergen. ERC grants are awarded to strong curiosity-driven research, and this kind of research is a significant testimony in reference to UiB’s quality. It is also nice to discover that we now have ERC researchers in many of our academic communities. These excellent researchers inspire and produce a good spiral effect in our communities. I would like to congratulate the new ERC winners, and I'm looking forward to follow their projects in the future."