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A Scientific Boost for Younger Scientists

September 24, 2018
15 talented scientists have been awarded prestigious grants from the European Research Council. The funds will be used to establish research groups focused on their ground-breaking ideas. They have set a new record for the number of Starting Grants, which have been awarded to Danish scientists.

The talented scientists of University of Copenhagen were awarded 8 out of 15 Starting Grants. The Technical University of Denmark and Aarhus University each receive two grants while the University of Southern Denmark and The Capital Region of Denmark each receive one grant. A new recipient i.e. Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) obtains its first European Research Council (ERC) Grant during this round. In terms of topic, the fifteen scientists cover research fields from chronic illnesses to chemical mechanisms as well as jihadist conflicts.

Mona Kanwal Sheikh, who is senior researcher at DIIS, was awarded almost DKK 1.5 million for a five-year research project concerning transnational jihadism, which focuses on Al-Qaeda and Islamic State. The positive message from ERC was cause for joy:

- It feels like a great recognition and, needless to say, the fact that ERC has believed in my project and found it important is a great honour. In addition to this, it opens a lot of doors due to the fact that I have the financing to assemble my own team, collaborate with leading research environments and pursue my ambitions regarding research without feeling limited by economy. The next step is to live up to the research agenda that I wish to set, and that is why I am incredibly delighted by the fact that ERC has believed in my ability to implement the project, says Mona Kanwal Sheikh.

Her project deals with the comprehension of the way in which jihadist conflicts obtain a transnational character. She wishes to approach this in a completely new way where she combines regression analyses based on quantitative data with qualitative studies of how the jihadists’ worldviews change when their fight is suddenly global.

An overview of the 15 ERC recipients


Name Organisation Project
Edyta Roszko University of Copenhagen TransOcean
Hugh Simons   The Technical University of Denmark 3D-PXM
Jan Komarek University of Copenhagen IMAGINE
Troels Kasper Høyer Scheel University of Copenhagen VIRUSES AND RNA
Søren T. Skou   The University of Southern Denmark MOBILIZE
Ida Moltke University of Copenhagen SELECTIONDRIVEN
Clara Velte The Technical University of Denmark UniEqTURB
Henrik Lundell The Capital Region of Denmark C-MORPH
Mikkel Jarle Christensen University of Copenhagen JustSites
Kirsten Marie Ørnsbjerg Jensen University of Copenhagen MatMech
Claudio Orlandi  Aarhus University SPEC
Ditte Andersen University of Copenhagen FlyGutHomeostasis
Mona Sheikh Danish Institute for International Studies TRANSJIHAD
Timothy Peter Lynagh University of Copenhagen iGLURs - A NEW VIEW
Martin Bækgaard Aarhus University POAB

Facts about Starting Grants

Starting Grants may be awarded up to € 2.0 million for a period of five years . The recipients are at the beginning of their scientific careers, i.e. two to seven years after PhD degree.


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Anne Overgaard Jørgensen
Tlf.: +45 72 31 84 51
Email: aoj@ufm.dk

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