€ 1.5 million grant will help research why and when we help others

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash A psychologist from the University of Birmingham received a prestigious scholarship from the European Research Council research why and when people make decisions to help others. The prize, worth

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

A psychologist from the University of Birmingham received a prestigious scholarship from the European Research Council research why and when people make decisions to help others.

The prize, worth € 1.5 million, is one of some 400 seed grants announced today (January 10, 2022) by the ERC as part of its new Horizon Europe program. Seed grants are aimed at ambitious young researchers, allowing them to launch their own projects, form teams and pursue their best ideas.

The University of Birmingham project, called PROFUSE, is led by Dr Patricia Lockwood, associate professor in the School of Psychology and the Center for Human Brain Health. It will use machine learning techniques and portable brain imaging technology to conduct studies of prosocial behavior in participants of different ages.

Dr Lockwood said: “Understanding how people make decisions to help others is especially important as we face major global challenges such as infectious diseases, climate change and aging populations.”

“I am delighted and incredibly honored to receive an ERC Seed Grant. With this very generous support from the European Research Council, I will be able to create a network of collaborators across the United Kingdom, Germany and Canada and use the latest advances in portable brain imaging techniques, learning automatic and big data. ‘

Announcing the new round of grants, the President of the European Research Council, Prof. Maria Leptin, said: “Letting young talents flourish in Europe and pursue their most innovative ideas – this is the best investment for our future, especially with ever-increasing global competition. We need to trust young people and their ideas on the areas that will be important tomorrow. I am therefore delighted to see these new ERC Starting Grant winners ready to innovate and create their own teams. Some of them will come back from overseas, thanks to ERC grants, to do science in Europe. We must continue to ensure that Europe remains a scientific power.

Notes to editor:

  • For media inquiries, please contact Beck Lockwood, Press Office, University of Birmingham, tel. : +44 (0) 781 3343348.
  • The University of Birmingham is ranked among the top 100 institutions in the world. Her work brings people from all over the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and over 6,500 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The ERC, created by the European Union in 2007, is the leading European funding body for excellence in frontier research. It funds creative researchers of all nationalities and ages to carry out projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four core grant programs: Seed Grants, Consolidation Grants, Advanced Grants, and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept Grants program, the ERC helps grantees bridge the gap between their pioneering research and the early stages of commercialization. The ERC is governed by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since November 1, 2021, Maria Leptin is the president of the ERC. The global budget of the CER from 2021 to 2027 amounts to more than 16 billion euros, within the framework of the Horizon Europe program, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, education and youth, Mariya Gabriel.


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