The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded one of its prestigious Advanced Grants to STEPS director Prof Ian Scoones. Ian will take this opportunity to build upon his earlier work on pastoralism in Africa and share lessons from the margins to address global challenges (see the book Pastoralism and Development in Africa).
Ian’s project will explore how to respond to uncertainty and build resilience, across countries and sectors. Responding to the grant announcement, Ian said: ‘Pastoralists in Africa, Asia and Europe have always lived with uncertainty, and have developed diverse ways of building resilience. This project asks whether we can learn from these experiences for wider society, whether for global financial systems, international migration or climate change responses.’
Ian is amongst 231 leading researchers in Europe that have the chance to realise their most creative ideas to have a major impact on science, society and the economy.
Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said:
‘The ERC grants, funded by the EU programme Horizon 2020, give freedom to scientists to follow their best ideas and make a real difference in science and beyond. ERC grantees’ work and accomplishments are the best way for the EU to reconnect and engage with its citizens. With those new results, I’m very proud to see that now all the 28 EU countries host ERC grants.’
The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the first European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe.
The funding, worth a total of €540 million has been allocated to grantees based in 20 countries across the European Research Area, with Germany (45 grants), United Kingdom (41), Switzerland (25) and France (23) as leading locations.
The project aims to lead to practical policy insights for pastoral areas and beyond. In the process of conducting the research, the project team will create new networks – linking pastoral studies to a much wider set of fields – and build capacity amongst the core team and associated policy and practice communities.