The 25 recipients of the fourth and final year of the European Young Investigator Awards (EURYI) have been announced. These young scientists will each be offered up to €1.25 million over the next five years to start their own research teams in Europe.
Established in 2003, the awards aim to attract outstanding young researchers from around the world to Europe, as well as to retain and draw back Europe's best brains. The over-arching goal is to help these budding scientists launch world-leading careers.
Talent is in abundance among this year's winners, whose average age is 33.1, making them the youngest in the EURYI's history. With fellowships, professor assistantships, and a stack of published papers to their names, these researchers will now start putting together their teams to pursue scientific excellence in a wide range of fields.
Topics to be investigated include therapeutic strategies for cognitive diseases; a string field theory to understand the quantum birth of the universe; and the evolution of financial markets in pre-industrial Europe. Some of the more unusual topics are disease gene-mapping in dogs and manipulating anti-matter.
'It has been amazing to witness how the EURYI scheme has evolved and become a force to be reckoned with in recognising young researchers' works,' said Dr John Marks, Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation. He pointed out that awards granted were comparable in scale to the Nobel Prize awards. Dr Marks also said he was proud to see that the number of female winners had increased, from five in 2006 to six this year.
The 2007 winners will pick up their awards at a ceremony in Helsinki, Finland, on 27 September. Although these will be the last EURYI awards to be organised jointly by the ESF and the European Heads of Research Councils (EuroHORCs), Dr Marks is confident that the scheme will live on in a different form: 'The future for this type of award will now be determined by the European Commission's ERC (European Research Council) Starting Investigator Research Grant scheme. One thing that is certain is that the concept of EURYI has made a huge impact both scientifically and for the European Research Area.'
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