Go back

Top spot

Helga Nowotny has left the incoming president of the European Research Council, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, with large shoes to fill. Rebecca Hill asks how he’ll meet the challenge.

Last week, French mathematician Jean-Pierre Bourguignon officially took the reins at the European Research Council, replacing Helga Nowotny, an Austrian social scientist who led the agency for three years. During her time, the ERC went from strength to strength, earning itself a reputation for funding excellent fundamental research, free of excessive oversight from the European Commission.

Recently, though, there has been some concern. Many institutions are expected to outsource their activities to executive agencies during Horizon 2020, something for which the ERC has already found a successful formula. Last month, Nowotny expressed fears that the strong relationship between the ERC and its executive agency could be lost if the agency were forced to comply with a “one size fits all” model that would not suit its unique mission—to fund basic, and often risky, research.

This article on Research Professional News is only available to Research Professional or Pivot-RP users.

Research Professional users can log in and view the article via this link

Pivot-RP users can log in and view the article via this link.