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Prof. Ralph Wijers at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute has been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

Prof. Ralph Wijers at the University of Amsterdam's (UvA) Anton Pannekoek Astronomical Institute has been awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC is an institute that finances pioneering research in the European Union. Wijers received €3.5 million, one million of which is for equipment. Wijers is the fourth UvA researcher to receive an ERC Advanced Grant in 2009. Earlier this year, Prof. Patti Valkenburg, Prof. Annemarie Mol and Prof. André Nollkaemper received the same amount. In total, the UvA was awarded some 10 million euros in ERC Advanced Grants in 2009.

The ERC Advanced Grant is a prestigious European research award for individual researchers. It is part of the European Framework Research Programme (KP7), a subsidy programme for the 2007-2013 period. The ERC Advanced Grant is awarded to outstanding individual researches for pioneering research. Each candidate's track record and research environment is taken into consideration in addition to the proposed topics of study.

Prof. dr. Ralph Wijers - Amsterdam-ASTRON Radio Transient Facility And Analysis Centre: Probing the

Using a new radio telescope, Ralph Wijers studies radio explosions in the universe. Often these are signals from "black holes" and other extreme objects. He investigates what types of heavenly bodies can demonstrate such energy explosions and how they work. Together with ASTRON in Dwingeloo he is fitting out the LOFAR radio telescope with a 24/7 all-sky monitor to locate and analyse the rare explosions. In doing so Wijers hopes to find the answers to a number of pressing, fundamental questions of physics: How does a black hole form? How powerful can a magnetic field be? Where does cosmic radiation originate?

Piet van Leeuwen, Professor Emeritus of Homogenous Catalysis at the UvA, also received an ERC Advanced Grant worth €3.5 million. He is currently working at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ) in Tarragona (Spain).

Prof. Piet van Leeuwen - A New Vision on Nanocatalysts (NANOSONWINGS)

Piet van Leeuwen aims to apply molecular concepts from the homogenous catalysis to nano metal particles. The proposal is to stabilise the particles by covering part of the surface using concave organic ligands, which at the same time can function as a platform for additional modification. Van Leeuwen hopes to find new catalytic reactions for fine chemicals, biomaterials and synthetic gas.

UvA-AMC Knowledge Transfer Office

Researcher Ralph Wijers received assistance in the application process from Bea Krenn, senior advisor European research financing at the UvA-AMC Knowledge Transfer Office. The ERC Advanced Grant call for proposals is open once again. Deadlines are in February, March and April 2010. For advice on research subsidies, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the UvA-AMC Knowledge Transfer Office (see link below).