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UC3M awarded two new ERC Starting Grants

Set to receive nearly 3,000,000 euros from the European Research Council


Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) will receive almost 3,000,000 euros from the European Research Council after obtaining two new Starting Grants, awarded to researchers of excellence with two to seven years of postdoctoral experience.

ERC Grant UC3M 2017

The European Research Council funds Starting Grants within Horizon 2020, the European Union Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The goal is for young researchers with exceptional ideas to become leaders of research groups whose activity is on the cutting edge of knowledge in any subject area.

In the last European call for ERC grants, Spain was awarded grants for 22 researchers, who will receive an average funding of 1,500,000 euros for a maximum of five years for them to develop to their scientific projects. Among universities in the Autonomous Region of Madrid, UC3M is the most successful in this call thanks to two new Starting Grants awarded to professors Jonas Radl and José Antonio Rodríguez.

Two new ERC research projects

Jonas Radl is a researcher in the UC3M Department of Social Sciences. The research project he will develop within the framework of the ERC is called “Effort and Social Inequality: Advancing Measurement and Understanding Parental Origin Effects.” Understanding that success in life depends on the formula “ability + effort,” the goal is to verify to what degree there are social differences in effort. In this regard, it is known that the cognitive abilities of children are related to, among other factors, family resources, but the role of effort has hardly been studied. To collect data on effort, studies on children in Madrid and Berlin will be carried out to reveal which individuals tend to make greater efforts: those from a privileged social background or those who come from families with fewer means. “The results of this project will help design policies to promote equal opportunities,” said Radl.

José Antonio Rodríguez is a researcher in the UC3M Department of Continuum Mechanics and Structural Analysis. The research project he will develop at the ERC is called “Opening a New Route in Solid Mechanics: Printed Protective Structures.” This research could help the use of 3D printing to make protection structures, which would drastically reduce costs of production, transport and repair. “This would be a revolution for strategic industrial sectors for Europe, such as aerospace and civil safety, in which mechanical elements of high structural responsibility are frequently subjected to impact loads,” said the researcher.

The University already has six ERC projects (four Starting Grants and two Consolidator Grants) with global funding of more than 8,000,000 euros from the European Research Council through the H2020 Excellent Science program. In general, the participation of UC3M has been very successful. It is in 15th place in Spain for the return obtained in this program and in 7th place among Spanish universities, according to the last report presented by the Center for Technological Industrial Development (CDTI in Spanish). The CDTI pertains to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, which monitored and evaluated participation of Spanish institutions three years after the start of H2020.

Further information:

ERC website: