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Research and innovation
News article7 December 2022Directorate-General for Research and Innovation2 min read

Commission appoints distinguished scientists and scholars as members of the European Research Council’s governing body

Today, the European Commission appointed five new members to the governing body of the European Research Council (ERC), the Scientific Council. These researchers are appointed for an initial period of four years and will replace members whose second term of office expired or will expire. The new members will take office on 1 January 2023.

By the same Commission Decision, the term of office of five current members of the ERC Scientific Council is renewed.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: 

“I welcome the five new members of the ERC Scientific Council. They will contribute, with solid scientific background, to strengthen ERC’s role as frontier research funding organisation. It is important for Europe to support early scientific ideas. They are the seed of a knowledge and inclusive society. Ideas that lead to moments of outstanding recognised achievements witnessed by this year’s Nobel Prize laureates who received ERC funding to support their research. I thank the outgoing members for their important contribution to the ERC Scientific Council’s work”

Professor Maria Leptin, President of the ERC, said:

“We very much look forward to working with the new members who come from diverse backgrounds in science and scholarship. This breadth is essential as the ERC’s independent governing body represents the entire scientific community in Europe. With these appointments, the quality and continuity of the Scientific Council is upheld, thanks to the work of the identification committee that was tasked with finding these new members.”

The five new ERC Scientific Council members are:

  • Professor Harriet Bulkeley, Durham University, Professor of Geography whose research focused on environmental governance and the politics of climate change, energy and sustainable cities.
  • Professor Thomas Henzinger, Institute of Science and Technology, ISTA, Austria,  Professor of Computer and Communication Sciences, researcher, and Founding President of ISTA.
  • Professor Leszek Kaczmarek, Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Professor of Neurobiology who researched the brain-mind connection.
  • Professor Luke O’Neill, Trinity College, Dublin, Professor of Biochemistry and leading immunologist.
  • Professor Björn Ottersten, University of Luxembourg, Professor and Founding Director of Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust. His research is focused on security, trust, reliable wireless communications, and statistical signal processing.

The five sitting members whose term of office is renewed are:

  • Professor Geneviève Almouzni
  • Professor Ben Feringa
  • Professor Mercedes Garcia-Arenal
  • Professor Eystein Jansen
  • Professor Jesper Qualmann Svejstrup


The European Research Council (ERC), set up by the European Union in 2007, awards grants through open competitions to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe. The sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence. The Scientific Council, the independent governing body of the ERC, defines the ERC's scientific funding strategy and methodologies. It is composed of 22 members, all eminent scientists and scholars, who represent the scientific community in Europe and are appointed by the European Commission following recommendations by an independent Identification Committee. The ERC President, since 2021 Prof. Maria Leptin, chairs the Scientific Council, ensures its leadership, and represents the ERC.

More Information

Press contact:

EC Spokesperson for Research, Science and Innovation


Publication date
7 December 2022
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation