Three Slovenian researchers get ERC grants

Ljubljana, 7 August - Three Slovenian researchers received grants of the European Research Council (ERC) this year. After the Ljubljana University announced that Jaka Tušek got funds to develop an elastomer cooling device, the STA has learnt that grants were also given to Veronika Fikfak of Cambridge University and David Šarlah of University of Illinois.

All three got the ERC Starting Grant 2018, capped at EUR 1.4m. In total, the ERC approved grants for 403 projects this year, amounting to a total of more than EUR 603m.

Fikfak got the funds for HRNUDGE - A Nudge in the Rights Direction? Redesigning the Architecture of Human Rights Remedies, a project looking into the implementation of rulings handed down by the European Court of Human Rights.

She wants to determine which of the measures used by the court are the most effective in changing legal cultures and legislation in six different countries, including Slovenia, Fikfak told the STA.

Šarlah received the funds for SUSDRUG - Sustainable Approach to Drug Discovery, focusing on studying new reactions that may allow for faster access to medicinally relevant compounds. The research will be done at the University of Pavia in Italy.

"We are interested in converting simple chemicals, like those gained from oil, into structurally more complex compounds used to create new drugs: for example in antibiotics and cytostatics," Šarlah told the STA.