For the first time 3 ERC Consolidator Grants in Cyprus under the same call
The Research and Innovation Foundation (RIF), would like to congratulate Dr Margarita Chli, Dr Stelios Timotheou and Dr Iosif Kovras, from the University of Cyprus, that have all been selected to be funded under the ERC Consolidator Grant Call 2022. It should be highlighted that it is the first time that in a Call for Proposals of the European Research Council (ERC), which is the premier funding organisation for excellent frontier research in Europe, researchers in Cyprus win three grants under the same call!
Overall, 2.222 proposals in all scientific fields were submitted and 321 Principal Investigators (PIs) will be funded. The President of the ERC, Prof. Maria Leptin, commented: “ERC Consolidator grants support researchers at a crucial time of their careers, strengthening their independence, reinforcing their teams and helping them establish themselves as leaders in their fields. And this backing above all gives them a chance to pursue their scientific dreams”.
Dr Margarita Chli, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering in the University of Cyprus. Her project is entitled “High-fidelity collaborative perception of small unmanned aerial vehicles” (SkEyes) and concerns the field of automating the navigation of small drones, in which over the past two decades, impressive advancements were witnessed. Despite dramatic progress, however, we still lack the technology to assist us in dire search-and-rescue situations such as disasters and wildfires. SkEyes promises to push the state of the art with the outlook of enabling robust, collaborative perception for a small swarm of drones, engaging them as eyes in the sky, for intelligent navigation and collaboration in real, challenging conditions.
Dr Stelios Timotheou is Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and a faculty member at the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, of the University of Cyprus. His project “Real-Time Urban Mobility Management via Intelligent UAV-based Sensing” (URANUS), proposes real-time, dynamic, and intelligent sensing of vehicular and pedestrian traffic via Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and the use of the collected information for urban mobility management. In this context, a holistic framework for real-time urban mobility monitoring and control, as well as UAV operational planning, is proposed. The solutions and tools to be developed can lead to step-change improvements in urban mobility with prominent environmental and socioeconomic benefits. URANUS is expected to transform our understanding of joint optimization of sensing, monitoring, and control not only in intelligent transportation systems, but also in other UAV-centric fields.
Dr Iosif Kovras is Associate Researcher in the Department of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Cyprus. His ERC project is entitled “Disappearing Act: Reconstructing the Crime of Disappearances in Times of Political Violence” (DISACT). Around 1,000 people now disappear daily, with high levels of public attention to the phenomenon. Yet, we know surprisingly little about the historical origins of the crime, the motives driving violent (state and non-state) actors to deploy it. For example, what explains the historical emergence of the crime of disappearances and how did the crime diffuse internationally? Why do certain armed groups deploy disappearances in their repertoire of violence in times of conflict, while others refrain? In answering these questions, the DISACT project will blend ethnographic, forensic, legal, and archival evidence to enrich our understanding of one of the most complex human rights violations of our time.
The ERC Consolidator Grants fund excellent researchers, with more than 7 and up to 12 years of experience after their PhD, that can already present promising achievements. The projects must be ambitious and high risk/high gain, pursuing frontier research in any scientific field. The funding can reach €2 m. (plus an additional €1 m. in certain occasions) for up to 5 years. The ERC CoG 2022 Call was part of Horizon Europe, the Framework Programme of the EU for Research and Innovation 2021-2027.
RIF supports interested researchers planning to submit proposals with a Host Institution in Cyprus, via proposal screenings, access to the ERC Mentoring Initiative, interview trainings, mock interviews and other services. For more information, please contact the ERC National Contact Points (Katerina Karakasidou Malla, [email protected], tel. 22205036 and Ioannis Theodorou, [email protected], tel. 22205038).