Four scientists from Poland have been awarded prestigious ERC grants
Four scientists from Poland have been awarded prestigious ERC grants
photophysics / / Clash

Four scientists from Poland were among the 408 winners of an ERC grant – prestigious grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Two researchers represent the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, and one represents the Jagiellonian University and the Institute for Experimental Biology. M. Nencki PAN.

The list of scholarship winners was announced on Tuesday noon.

In this release, the ERC has allocated a total of €636 million for all grants. The projects will be implemented in 26 European countries. Most of them are in Germany (81 projects), Great Britain (70), the Netherlands (40) and France (39) – informs the ERC press service.

Starting grants can be awarded to scholars from 2 to 7 years post-doctoral, for a project lasting up to 5 years. ERC supports innovative ideas in all areas of science. Winners are free to choose their research program and build their own team.

She was among the researchers who will carry out the scholarship in the Polish centers Dr. Hub. Katarina Boguslawski of the Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. You will lead the project ‘Creating reliable electronic chassis diagrams through selective design’. The ERC awarded her a grant of over €1.2 million.

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“I plan to break the computational paradigms used in organic electronics, for example to design more efficient photovoltaic cells,” explained the researcher quoted in the National Science Center (NCN) issue. Some of her research findings can be applied to industry. As part of the project, a black box computational tool will also be created, which will be available to users who wish to model materials using quantum chemistry.

According to the National Science Center, Boguslawski is a quantum chemist, who combines chemistry, physics, mathematics, and applied computer science in her research. Focuses on developing innovative computational methods that allow modeling the properties of chemical macromolecules without the need for experimental research.

The second winner of the Egyptian Red Crescent grant He received his PhD from Nicolaus Copernicus University. Piotr WcisłoWho will implement the project “New Experimental Methods for Capturing Cold Molecular Hydrogen”. According to NCN, the research will last 5 years and the scientist will receive 1.9 million euros. Wcisło studies the simplest atomic and molecular systems, the structure of which can be calculated from the basic laws of quantum theory, and measures their properties with extreme precision, using the latest laser technology.

The hydrogen molecule is very attractive for studying fundamental physics, because it is the simplest molecule found in nature – it has only two protons and two electrons. It can be calculated very precisely from the principles of quantum theory, but it is very difficult to measure experimentally because it interacts weakly with electromagnetic fields. “There is no discussion in the community about trapping a hydrogen molecule. In our application, we have not only shown that there are no fundamental physical constraints to doing so, but also proposed a specific scheme on how to do it, using, among other things, very powerful lasers and superconducting coils” – noted the researcher from Nicolaus Copernicus University, citing the press release of the National Science Center.

An ERC start-up grant has also been won Dr. Adam Kosin of Them Institute of Experimental Biology. Ninki of the Polish Academy of Sciences in WarsawWho will implement the project “Spatial regulation of gene regulation in embryonic development”. Adam Kosen is a cell biologist and geneticist who studies the mechanisms of gene regulation in eukaryotes. The scientist wants to study the processes that regulate spatial regulation of gene expression during embryonic development and response to stress in embryos of the model organism, the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, according to the National Science Center.

“The grant is for research on gene regulation processes. The committee appreciated my project because what I am doing has so far been tested on cells, and we want to test our assumptions about model organisms – nematodes, ”says Adam Kozen in the Ninki press release.

According to the institute, the grant of PLN 1.95 million spread over 5 years will allow the purchase of highly specialized research equipment, in this case a microscope, materials necessary for conducting analyzes and the employment of additional scientists.

He is the fourth winner of the scholarship Dr.. Rafa Kucharsky, a transfer and machine learning specialist from the School of Mathematics and Computer Science at Jagiellonian University – Project Manager “Playing Urban Mobility Games with Intelligent Machines. A Framework for Detection and Mitigation of Human-Machine Conflicts.” The ERC awarded him €1.49 million and the project will run for five years.

The National Science Center explained that Kucharski will study the impact of artificial intelligence on urban mobility.

“The way cities function and that some roads are congested, that tramways or buses are more loaded, results from the interactions between people and our decisions about when to leave, what means of transportation and which route to choose. If robots or machines start making decisions for us using artificial intelligence , There is a danger that they will conquer us ”- says the scientist, quoted in the NCN release. In his opinion, it may turn out that owners of cars equipped with artificial intelligence will lose less time in traffic jams, and those who do not have access to technology will incur increased costs, because limited resources will be used by artificial intelligence. “In my project, I want to check if this is really the case, how we will coexist with machines and how we will face these negative scenarios,” explains Kucharski.

According to the ERC, nearly 3,000 people traveled in the just-resolved version. Scientific project proposals. 408 of them will receive grants. More than 2,000 postdoctoral researchers, doctoral students, and other administrative staff will be employed thanks to ERC funding.

The European Research Council has been awarding ERC grants since 2007. It has a budget of over €16 billion and is part of the Horizon Europe programme. The members of the Scientific Council – the governing body – are appointed by the European Commission.

Author: Urszula Kaczorowska

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