ERC rewards CERN researchers

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded starting grants to Magdalena Kowalska, a member of the ISOLDE physics team, and Claude Duhr, CERN Theory Division. The funding will enable them to build their own research teams at CERN, engaging postdocs and PhD students.


Magdalena Kowalska and Claude Duhr.

The ERC fosters scientific excellence in Europe through competitive funding. Its grants are awarded to projects headed by researchers – both beginning-of-career and established – via an open, peer-reviewed competition. In December 2014, Magdalena Kowalska and Claude Duhr were awarded grants to pursue research in ultra-sensitive nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in liquids and mathematical structures in scattering amplitudes, respectively.

“Our research project aims to apply an ultra-sensitive NMR technique using radioisotopes to liquids in order to study the interaction of metal ions with biological molecules such as proteins, DNA or RNA,” says Magdalena. “Most of the project cost will be covered by the ERC grant, and the rest will be covered by CERN.”

Claude Duhr received his grant to perform high precision computation. “We want to study the properties of the quantities appearing in our computation by looking at them from the angle of number theory," explains Claude. “These mathematical methods will be used to make very concrete predictions for the LHC and might also be useful in other fields, such as string theory.”

Thanks to the ERC funding, both research fields will be further developed, with the participation of postdocs and PhD students.

by Rosaria Marraffino