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Research and innovation
News article24 July 2020Directorate-General for Research and Innovation

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon appointed as interim President of the European Research Council

The European Commission has appointed Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon as interim President of the European Research Council (ERC), the EU's funding body for investigator-driven frontier research.

The mandate as ERC President ad interim will start on 27 July 2020. The new ERC President is expected to take office in 2021.    

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

“I am pleased that Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon has accepted the position as ERC President ad interim until the next ERC President will take office. He has the experience and the trust of the scientific community and I have full confidence that he will provide the leadership necessary to ensure a proper functioning of the European Research Council during the final stages of Horizon 2020 and at a crucial moment of preparations for Horizon Europe”.

Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon commented:

“I am honoured by the continued trust from Commissioner Mariya Gabriel and the ERC Scientific Council. I see it as my duty to come back in the interim to lead an organisation that is so close to my heart. Designed by researchers for researchers, the ERC gives bright minds the freedom to push the frontiers of our knowledge and has now become a model worldwide. It helps the EU up its game at a global level in challenging times. I will do my utmost to uphold the ERC’s successful ethos.”

Professor Bourguignon is a mathematician and French national. He was the President of the European Research Council from January 2014 until December 2019. His successor was Professor Mauro Ferrari, who was in office until April 2020.

The Commission has also renewed the mandates of two members of the ERC Scientific Council until the end of 2020: Professors Kurt Mehlhorn and Nektarios Tavernarakis.


The European Research Council 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 governing body of the European Research Council, 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. The ERC President chairs the Scientific Council, ensures its leadership and represent it in the world of science.

More information

Biography of Professor Bourguignon

ERC press statement


Publication date
24 July 2020
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation