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The biggest reward

Image: Hans Dirksen

A Dutch ERC grant-winner describes his 10-year journey as encouraging for others

Timothy Noël, professor of flow chemistry at the University of Amsterdam, had been trying to secure a European Research Council grant since 2013. There was no ‘third time lucky’ for Noël—it took him seven applications to finally succeed.

In January this year, he travelled to Brussels to present his proposal for building organic compounds more efficiently using light, which could be of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry. An earlier proposal for the same idea had not succeeded as it was graded “medium risk”, which does not correspond to the ERC’s goal of funding high-risk basic research.

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