In DepthResearch Funding

At 10, Europe's ‘excellence’ fund ponders changes

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Science  10 Mar 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6329, pp. 1002-1003
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6329.1002

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Summary

The European Research Council (ERC), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this month, has funded close to 7000 basic research projects using excellence as the only yardstick. But ERC is facing mounting pressure for change. Critics argue that the agency has too often played it safe in its funding choices, while scientists in southern and eastern Europe think they deserve a bigger part of the pie. Meanwhile, it's unclear how ERC will be affected by the departure of its biggest beneficiary, the United Kingdom, from the European Union. And even after 10 years, some still worry about ERC's independence from the bureaucracy of the European Commission.

  • * With reporting by Elisabeth Pain.