Six UCL academics receive European Research Council Consolidator Grants

Six academics - Top row (L to R): Dr Athena Akrami,   Timothy Christensen, Dr Ve
Six academics - Top row (L to R): Dr Athena Akrami,  Timothy Christensen, Dr Veronika Fikfak
Six UCL researchers received EU funding to support their work for the next five years in a range of fields including economics, neuroscience and archaeology.

The European Research Council (ERC) awards its Consolidator Grants to outstanding researchers with a proven track record, and between seven to 12 years of experience after completing their PhD.

The UCL recipients are:

Dr Athena Akrami (UCL Sainsbury Wellcome Centre), Senior Research Fellow, for her project titled "Circuit mechanisms for computing and exploiting statistical structures in sensory decision making".

Professor Timothy Christensen (UCL Economics), Professor of Economics, for his project titled "Econometrics for New Data: Theory, Methods, and Applications".

Dr Veronika Fikfak (UCL Political Science), Associate Professor in International Law, for her project titled "Break The Bias: For equal access to human rights justice".

Professor Gabriele Lignani (UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology), Professor of Translational Neuroscience, for his project titled "Transient Reset Of The Pathological Brain".

Dr Miljana Radivojevic (UCL Institute of Archaeology), an Associate Professor in Archaeological Science, for her project titled "Discovering the (R)Evolution of EurAsian Steppe Metallurgy: Social and environmental impact of the Bronze Age steppes metal-driven economy".

Dr Amand Floriaan Schmidt (UCL Population Science & Experimental Medicine), Principal Research Fellow, for his project titled "Identifying novel & repurposing drug targets for Atrial Fibrillation MEDicines".

The ERC awarded grants to 308 top scientists and scholars from across Europe as part of its EU Horizon Europe research and innovation programme.

The fund is worth ¤627 million [£547 million] on total of which more than ¤12 million [£10 million] was awarded to UCL researchers.

The recipients of this year’s Horizon Europe awards come from 23 countries across Europe and represent more than 40 nationalities.

The UK was one of the leading countries receiving grants, with 43 awarded, making it second overall.

Six of the 43 grants awarded to UK institutions have been given to UCL researchers.

This year, 38% of grants were awarded to female researchers, the highest proportion since the start of the Consolidator grant scheme and the third consecutive year of growth.  

The proposed research projects cover a wide range of topics in physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, social sciences and the humanities.

Professor Geraint Rees (UCL Vice-Provost, Research, Innovation and Global Engagement) said: "I am very excited to hear that six UCL researchers have been selected for these ERC grants. The range of research being recognised highlights the breadth of important and impactful work done at UCL and reflects our commitment to supporting research with world-reaching benefits. I’m looking forward to seeing how the ultimate results of these researchers’ promising scientific ideas will result in meaningful changes to people’s lives."

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: "I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the brilliant researchers who have been selected for ERC Consolidator Grants.

"I’m especially thrilled to note the significant increase in the representation of women among the winners for the third consecutive year in this prestigious grant competition. This positive trend not only reflects the outstanding contributions of women researchers but also highlights the strides we are making towards a more inclusive and diverse scientific community."

  • Bottom Row (L to R): Professor Gabriele Lignani, Dr Miljana Radivojevic, Dr Amand Floriaan Schmidt
  • Mike Lucibella

  • E: m.lucibella [at]

  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000