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2007 EURYI: 20 researchers to receive Nobel Prize-sized awards in Helsinki

Twenty young researchers, who have been selected by high-level scientific peer review, will gather in Helsinki on 27 September 2007 to receive awards of as much as 1.2 million from the fourth and final Call of the European Young Investigator Awards (EURYI) scheme. These awards will allow the researchers to create teams in Europe to focus on cutting-edge science.

EURYI is designed to attract outstanding young scientists from around the world to create their own research teams at European research centres and launch potential world-leading research careers. Most awards are between 1,000,000 and 1,250,000, comparable in size to the Nobel Prize.

The average age of this years winners is 33.1, making it the youngest group in EURYIs history. (The average age of last years winners is 35.4.). Six of the awardees are women, making it the highest number of female winners in any year.

The list of the 2007 Awardees includes researchers who will be based in eight countries Czech Republic, France, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey. Their original ideas are ranging from new techniques to manipulate antimatter to disease gene mapping and functional genomics in the domestic dog.

It has been amazing to witness how the EURYI scheme has evolved and become a force to be reckoned with in recognising young researchers works by granting them Nobel Prize-scale funding for the past four years, commented Dr. John Marks, Chief Executive of the ESF. I am particularly proud of the selection this year as we see more female researchers included. It is also with mixed feeling to acknowledge this would be the last EURYI awards, at least in its present form, that will be co-organised by EuroHORCs (European Heads of Research Councils) and the ESF. The future for this type of award will now be determined by the European Commissions ERC (European Research Council) Starting Investigator Research Grant scheme.

The EURYI awards have been offered in this 4th Call by 17 research councils from 15 countries in an open competition with no 'juste retour'. Candidates are selected on the basis of their future potential and their academic and research excellence.

Competition this year has been as intensive as ever, with 474 applications received. The EURYI Awards scheme was developed by the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCS), in collaboration with the European Science Foundation (ESF), to attract outstanding young researchers from anywhere in the world to work in Europe for the further development of European science, contributing to building up the next generation of leading European researchers.

The First Call of the scheme was launched in September 2003, and the first three Calls have resulted in 75 awards. Candidates are selected by a two-stage process, firstly at the national level by the relevant Participating Organisation and secondly at the international level by high-level scientific panels managed by the ESF. ESF's role in the coordination and selection processes of EURYI is supported by funds from the European Commission's Framework Programme 6.

The 2007 Awardees will receive a diploma, presented by the Nobel-laureate Dr Tim Hunt, at a special ceremony being organised in Helsinki, Finland. Press invitations and more detailed information about the awards will be circulated in due time.

List of Awardees

Dr. Anastasia Ailamaki (Switzerland) - Efficient data management for scientific applications

Dr. Jeroen J.L.M. Cornelissen (The Netherlands) - Virus Capsids as Confined Reaction Spaces

Dr. Nynke Hester Dekker (The Netherlands) - Molecular Motors Handling DNA and RNA: Single-Molecule Experiments and Implications for Cellular Function

Dr. Hilmi Volkan Demir (Turkey) - Novel molecular optoelectronic nanodevices hybridized on micro chips for new functionality

Dr. Andre Fischer (Germany) - Epigenetic mechanisms in learning processes, age related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases

Dr. Karl Gademann (Switzerland) - Directing neurite outgrowth through synthetic natural products

Dr. Sonia Garel (France) - Wiring the forebrain: roles and mechanisms of tangential cell migration in the basal ganglia

Dr. Oscar Gelderblom (The Netherlands) - The evolution of financial markets in Pre-Industrial Europe: A Comparative Analysis

Dr. Masaki Hori (Germany) - Precise laser and microwave spectroscopy of antimatter atoms new techniques to manipulate antimatter

Dr. Kerstin Lindblad-Toh (Sweden) - Disease gene mapping and functional genomics in the domestic dog

Dr. Matthias Lutolf (Switzerland) - Bioengineering Microarrayed Stem Cell Niches

Dr. Gregor Rainer (Switzerland) - Cholinergic Mechanisms of Learning and Cognition

Dr. Philippe Schlenker (France) - Presupposition: A Formal Pragmatic Approach

Dr. Kai Phillip Schmidt (Germany) - Exotic phases and excitations of unconventional Mott insulators

Dr. Martin Schnabl (Czech Republic) - Exploring String Field Theory - Can It Explain Quantum Birth of the Universe or Properties of Elementary Particles"

Dr. Natalie Sebanz (Germany) - Cognitive and Neural Mechanisms of Joint Action

Dr. Sylvia Serfaty (France) - Mathematical study of some equations related to physics, mechanics and optimal control

Dr. Terence Strick (France) - Single-molecule studies of biological nanomachines

Dr. Rufin VanRullen (France) - Perceptual and Attentional Dynamics: Periodic Operations of the Brain

Dr. Maciej Wojtkowski (Poland) - Structural and functional imaging by Fourier domain Optical Coherence Tomography with Optical Frequency Comb method


Contact: Thomas Lau
European Science Foundation

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