EURYI award 2005

08/16/05

Prizes awarded to 25 young researchers from 15 countries

The European Young Investigator (EURYI) Award, which is worth up to 1.25 million, has this year once again been awarded to outstanding young researchers. The 25 prizewinners will establish independent junior research groups to conduct research on their selected topics at research institutions of their choice in Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Germany. Three of the recipients applied for the prize through the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) to carry out research at German institutes over the next five years.

Irish chemist Angelos Michaelides will go to the Fritz Haber Institute in Berlin, where he will be able to use the latest quantum chemical simulations at the atomic level to find out how water interacts with fixed surfaces. These insights are important for subjects as varied and fundamental as the way fuel cells work, the chemistry of the troposphere, global warming, corrosion and catalysis and the operation of so-called nanomachines.

The project "Quantum transport in nanostructures" by Russian theoretical physicist Igor Gornyi focuses on one of the most difficult problems in solid state physics . Its aim is to develop a coherent picture of electronic transport in lower-dimension structures. This is important for the rapidly growing field of nanotechnology, in particular in semiconductor nanoelectronics and in molecular electronics, which is based on nano test tubes. Gornyi will set up his independent junior research group at the Institute for Theory of Condensed Matter at the University of Karlsruhe.

Lucas L. Pelkmans, a Dutch cell biologist, studies the underlying mechanisms of endocytosis, the processes by which cells internalise substances and larger structures. Originally, he wanted to establish his independent junior research group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, where he currently works. He has now changed his plans and will take his prize to the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

Two German research scientists also were awarded prizes this year: biochemist Daniel Gerlich and physicist Ilka Brunner, both of whom will be going to ETH Zurich to carry out their research studies.

The EURYI Award was initiated by the European Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCs) with the aim of supporting the career development of the next generation of leading researchers. At the same time it is designed to increase the appeal of the European Research Area on an international level for the long term. It was first announced in 2003, and the first 25 prize recipients were announced in July 2004. An evaluation carried out recently confirmed that the programme is highly competitive and has attracted international attention. Nineteen research funding and scientific organisations from 18 countries have now signed the agreement to participate in this excellence programme. The DFG is responsible for the programme in Germany. The third call for proposals will be issued on 1 September 2005, with an application deadline of 30 November.

The EURYI Award 2005 will be presented at the opening ceremony of the World Science Forum, to be held on 11 and 12 November 2005 in Budapest. Additional information will be available in October.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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