Women get record number of European grants
MAASTRICHT. Vera Schrauwen-Hinderling has received a so-called ‘starting grant’ from the European Research Council. The amount could be up to 1.5 million euro. She intends to use the money to develop a method to measure the promising compound NAD+, which is formed during exercising.
Schrauwen-Hinderling is one of the 35 European researchers to receive a starting grant. The grant is intended for young scientists with two to seven years of research experience after having completed their PhD. The scientists can use the grants to set up their own research team.
What Schrauwen-Hinderling is going to do? “Animal models have shown that the compound NAD+ has favourable effects. It improves insulin sensitivity and in general also promotes longevity in animals. Very little is known about the effects in humans, because the compound is difficult to measure. I am going to develop a method for this, a variant of the imaging technique Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS). Should measuring prove possible, then we should be able to find out whether NAD+ also has a positive effect on humans.”
A total of more than three thousand proposals were submitted for this ERC round and 406 (thirteen per cent) were accepted. The total value was 605 million euro, 120 million more than in 2016. This time, forty per cent of the starting grants went to women, more than ever before in the history of ERC.
In the Netherlands, the University of Amsterdam received most grants again: six, compared to seven last year. Groningen also did very well with five grants. Utrecht had four laureates last year, but none this year.
A remarkable fact is the large number of grants for the United Kingdom. The UK did much better than Germany, which was in first place in the country classification last year.