The European Commission appointed the new members – each of them distinguished scientists or scholars from different countries, ranging from Ireland to Poland, and coming from diverse scientific backgrounds, including, but not limited to biochemistry, computer science, immunology and geography – for a four year term. In the meantime, the Commission also extended the term of five current members. Information on the newly elected members to the 22 person Scientific Council can be found here. ERC President Prof. Maria Leptin formally welcomed the new members alongside Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.
Following this, during its December Plenary Meeting, the council decided on changes to ERC application forms and evaluation procedures, to be implemented for 2024 calls. The key principle behind the changes in application is simplification: certain templates will be merged, and applicants will be given the opportunity to add narrative descriptions. This is in line with ERC becoming a signatory of the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA)’s agreement – of which EuChemS is an early signatory of.
Earlier last year, Prof. Leptin also participated in an exchange of views with the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). In her address on 29 November 2022, she expressed ERC’s stance on Research Assessment reforms and defining “Scientific Excellence”. While highlighting the key achievements of ERC to illustrate its success, she expressed the Council’s openness to evolve its practices, however, also emphasized its commitment to its core principles established at the foundation of ERC in 2007.