Two Trinity researchers receive combined funding of €3.5 million from the ERC

Dr Emma Tomlinson was the only Irish researcher out of 313 to win an ERC Consolidator grant, while Dr Fiona Smyth was awarded a Starter Grant.

Two Trinity College Dublin (TCD) researchers have been awarded European Research Council (ERC) grants with a combined total value of almost €3.5 million.

According to the latest results announced today (17 March), Dr Emma Tomlinson, Associate Professor of Geology in the School of Natural Sciences at TCD, has been awarded an ERC Consolidator grant worth up to €2 million to his project called LITHO3 which examines the formation of the cratonic lithosphere.

According to Tomlinson, the grant will allow him to investigate what was “a key event in Earth’s history that led to the development of the first stable continents and laid the foundation for our habitable planet.”

Tomlinson was the only Irish researcher to receive a Consolidator grant in this round, which saw a total of 313 awards with a total value of approximately 632 million euros. The grants will benefit mid-career researchers working on projects based in 24 different EU countries.

Dr Fiona Smyth from the School of Education and Trinity Long Room Hub, has been awarded an ERC Starting Grant worth up to €1.5 million for her project, Specters and Camouflage, which explores the links between architecture and construction, and music, military history and acoustics. The project aims to discover how different disciplines propelled each other in the design of the silent environment in the 20th century.

Smyth said she was “excited and honoured” to receive the funding to complete her work, adding that “it’s a really exciting time to be conducting this research – just as documents that were previously classified now come into the public domain”.

TCD Provost Linda Doyle congratulated the researchers on their success. “The ERC Awards are a great recognition of quality research and it is wonderful to see the ERC supporting such a variety of brilliant research,” she said.

“The awards demonstrate the importance of supporting ambitious, curiosity-driven research that produces impactful new knowledge at the frontiers of disciplines.”

The Dean of Research at TCD, Professor Wolfgang Schmitt, a former ERC Consolidator Fellow, echoed Doyle’s congratulations, adding that this represented an opportunity for Tomlinson and Smyth to “build their research teams, mentor a new generation of doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers and advance their ambitious academic research programs”.

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