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Two Aurora University Researchers Win ERC Starting Grants

Two Researchers from Aurora Universities University of Innsbruck and University Federico II of Naple have recently won a European Research Council starting grant.

These researchers are Donato Giovannelli of the University Napoli Federico II with its project “Coevolution of Life and Planet: role of trace metal availability in the evolution of biogeochemically relevant redox metalloenzymes (COEVOLVE)”, and Phillipp Schindler of the University of Innsbruck with its project “Quantum characterization and control of single molecules (QCOSMO)”.

The Quantum characterization and control of single molecules project aims to investigate the dynamics and leverage the computational ability of a more complex trapped ion system: polyatomic molecules. As a first mission, Mr. Schindler aims to tackle the long-standing challenges of planning, regulating and characterizing single polyatomic molecules at the quantum level using techniques developed for atomic ion quantum computing. The COEVOLVE project aims to better understand across deep time the impact of transition metal availability on microbial functional diversity, paving the way for new discoveries in Earth system sciences and microbial ecology and evolution. COEVOLVE’s framework was built to balance risks / gains of such an ambitious project.

The ERC starting grant is a prestigious grant for young researchers. The investment, totalling €677 million, would help these early-career scientists and academics develop their own teams and advance research in all disciplines. The grants are part of EU’s Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020. This round selected some 13 percent of applications for funding. These grants will generate an estimated 2,500 positions for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other host institutions personnel.

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