Posted by Erik Svensson
Last Friday (October 9, 2015), our colleague and one of EXEB:s three PI:s Jessica Abbott found out that she has been awarded an "Starting Grant" from the European Research Council (ERC). This is a very large grant of up to 1.5 million Euro, spread out over a five-year period, and it is highly competitive and prestiguous.
This ERC-grant will give Jessica the opportunity to further consolidate her research group and hire more postdocs and PhD-students, and will also give her higher job security, as she has sofar only been on a temporary position as Junior Researcher, funded by the Swedish Research Council (VR). It means that we can hopefully soon look forward to see some new faces in the form of students and postdocs at future EXEB-meetings. This will of course further strengthen an already strong and intellectually stimulating scientific environment.
This was the third time Jessica applied for these ERC-grants, and likewise the third time she went to Brussels for an interview with the evaluation panel. Jessica has worked long and hard to get this grant, and she should therefore be proud of this strong achievement. It is the first ERC-grant awarded to any researcher at the Department of Biology in Lund, but hopefully Jessica's example will inspire others to follow in her footsteps.
On behalf of myself, EXEB and many other of our colleagues in the Biology Department and the Evolutionary Ecology Unit, we hereby congratulate Jessica to her achievement. Well done! I am sure you will use this grant money wisely to consolidate your group and develop your research programme further.