From vaccines to climate change, we need science and scientists more than ever to make sense of the world around us. Today, the European Research Council launched the second ERC Public Engagement with Research Award contest. The aim is to recognise ERC grantees who have demonstrated excellence in engaging with audiences beyond their field of research. The three awards are worth €10,000 each.
On this occasion, Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Europeans are more and more interested in science. And over 50% of them, according to a recent Eurobarometer, think that scientists need to engage better with the public. ERC grantees can help meet this expectation and bring their research closer to citizens. Their engagement will be crucial if we want to effectively face current and future challenges in public health, climate change and digital transformation. I hope more scientists will be inspired and follow in their footsteps.”
ERC Vice-President of the Scientific Council, Eveline Crone, commented: “I’m delighted that the European Research Council is today launching the second edition of its Public Engagement with Research Award. Our grantees are great ambassadors for science in Europe. Their efforts to engage the public can serve as an inspiration for the wider research community. We look forward to announcing the winners at the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in July 2022!”
About the award
After a successful pilot competition in 2020, the Public Engagement with Research Award returns for its second edition. A prize of €10,000 will be awarded to the best applicant in each of three different categories:
Involve - citizen science
Inspire - public outreach
Influence - media and policy
The competition opens on 4 November 2021, with a submission deadline of 3 February 2022. More than 6,800 ERC grantees are eligible to enter the competition. The winners will be announced during the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) in July 2022.
Full details and how to enter the competition.
Winners of the pilot Public Engagement with Research Award
In 2020, the ERC recognised three excellent communicators with its Award:
Anna Davies (Trinity College Dublin). Her project SHARECITY studies urban food-sharing practices.
Konstantinos Nikolopoulos (University of Birmingham). His project ExclusiveHiggs explored the interface between science and art to inform, educate and inspire the public.
Erik Van Sebille (University of Utrecht). Within his ERC-funded TOPIOS project, he has actively engaged with journalists, policymakers and the public to bust myths related to plastic pollution.
Read more about last year’s award ceremony.
About the ERC
The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept Grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation.
The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since 1 November 2021, Maria Leptin is the new President of the ERC. Her predecessor was Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. There are three ERC Vice Presidents: Eveline Crone, Andrzej Jajszczyk and Nektarios Tavernarakis. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel