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Hitting the ceiling

The European Research Council is subject to staff constraints that limit its ability to innovate, Thomas König, a former policy adviser at the ERC, tells Cristina Gallardo.

Since the European Research Council’s inception in 2007, its structure has been criticised for not giving it enough independence from the European Commission. Just two years after its creation, that structure was adjusted. Then, following a review in 2011, the French mathematician Jean-Pierre Bourguignon was appointed as the ERC’s first full-time president in December 2013.

ERC policy is now driven by its Scientific Council, chaired by Bourguignon and comprising 18 prominent scientists from various disciplines. ERC operations are run by an executive agency, attached to the Commission and subject to most of its rules and regulations.

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