ERC Grants

ERC Starting Grant to research on migration and diamond coating

Pioneering research ideas on migration and diamond coating have given Marry-Anne Karlsen and Justas Zalieckas at the University of Bergen a Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

Marry-Anne Karlsen and Justas Zalieckas at the University of Bergen.
Marry-Anne Karlsen and Justas Zalieckas are awarded ERC Starting Grant 2022.
Kamilla Stølen, Jin Sigve Mæland / UiB

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On 22 November, the European Research Council (ERC) announced who will be awarded this year's ERC Starting Grant. At Norwegian institutions, UiB receives two out of six awards. These go to ground-breaking research in the field of migration and the development of diamond coatings for new areas of use.

Migration research

Migration researcher Marry-Anne Karlsen at the Centre for Women's and Gender Research (SKOK) at the UiB has been granted prestigious funding by the EU for conducting research on expert knowledge in the asylum field.

ASYNOW is based on the increasing degree of polarisation in the asylum field and the subsequent need to rethink the role of expert knowledge in this area.

"The ever-changing levels of conflict and politicisation in this field have led to a growing demand for expert knowledge as an impartial authority," says Karlsen.

Under the five-year project, Karlsen and her research group will conduct an ethnographic, comparative investigation of legal processes in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany.

"We want to find out how knowledge about asylum seekers and migration is mobilised, contested and established in asylum litigation, something which has not previously been systematically investigated or adequately theorised”, she says.

Widen the use of diamond coatings

At the Department of Physics and Technology, Postdoctoral Fellow Justas Zalieckas is also thrilled to receive the ERC Starting Grant. In his latest research project, smartGROW, he aims to widen the use of diamond coatings by making it applicable to 3D objects.

Due to diamonds inherent properties, diamonds are a desired material to coat a wide variety of objects within many different fields and industries. But the current techniques for creating diamond coatings are mostly applicable to flat 2D surfaces, limiting its use. Postdoctoral Fellow Zalieckas aims to change this.

“Thanks to the ERC Starting Grant I look forward to taking another step from flat surfaces to 3D coatings”, says Zalieckas.  

Achieving a uniform diamond coating on 3D objects opens a wide range of research fields and industrial applications, like medical implants, flexible electronics, aerospace-, and marine industries.