What happens when strange quarks are inserted into atomic nuclei? Which "habitable" universes are theoretically possible? These are just some of the questions Prof. Dr. Ulf-G. Meißner from the Helmholtz Institute for Radiation and Nuclear Physics at the University of Bonn wants to investigate. For this project, the researcher receives an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Funding for the project amounts to about 2.3 million euros.
"Yet to increase the numbers of historically underrepresented faculty in STEM, we must focus not just on recruitment but on retention as well." The National Science Foundation recently awarded the School of Education a $1.9 million grant to help bridge that gap.
With a concept for the first-time realization of optical clocks, in which highly charged ions are controlled by quantum techniques and measured by laser spectroscopy, Prof. Dr. Piet O. Schmidt (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt and Leibniz Universität Hannover) has now obtained one of the most prestigious research grants: an ERC Advanced Grant. Schmidt's goal: to achieve at least a 10-fold improvement in the limits for new forces and changes in natural constants.
Many safety-critical areas of our lives are being controlled by computer systems: from airbag controls in cars and landing gear on airplanes to essential infrastructure such as energy supply and telecommunications. But are these systems reliable? Computer science professor Jan Reineke of Saarland University thinks not - because a crucial component of today's computer systems renders the development of safe and secure IT applications impossible at a fundamental level.
How can we ensure that data and computation delegated to third parties are protected against espionage and run correctly? PICOCRYPT (Cryptography for Privacy and Integrity of Computation on Untrusted Machines) a project proposed by Dr. Dario Fiore, researcher at the IMDEA Software Institute, awarded with a Consolidator ERC grant, will investigate new cryptographic protocols to promote secure and efficient computing of data in the cloud.
Professor Kristin Ytterstad Pettersen at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics and Professor Henrik Koch at the Department of Chemistry at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have each been awarded the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council.
What are the antimicrobial effects of stabilized natural products to ensure food safety and quality? This question is at the heart of the new research chair directed by Professor Monique Lacroix of the Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS) and funded by the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a coveted Advanced Grant worth EUR 2.5 million over the next five years to Prof. Dr. William Martin, Head of the Institute of Molecular Evolution at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), for his work on life's origin and early evolution. This marks the third time that Prof. Martin has received an Advanced Grant, an extremely rare distinction among leading European researchers.
Daniel Gerlich, Senior Group Leader at IMBA - Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences - secured an ERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grant on a project addressing the three-dimensional organization of the human genome.
Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories recently used 22-foot-wide tethered balloons to collect samples of airborne dust particles to ensure the safety of an emerging solar-power technology. The study determined that the dust created by the new technology is far below hazardous levels, said Cliff Ho, the lead researcher on the project. Ho's team just received $25 million from the Department of Energy to build a pilot plant that will incorporate this technology.