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ERC Grants: Exceptional research at LMU

LMU leads its German peers

Highly innovative, top-of-the-line research: LMU has won more ERC grants than any other German university. more

TenurERC Starting Grants
Additional Career Perspectives

LMU now offers the option of appointment to a Tenure Track Professorship (W2) to successful applicants for ERC Starting Grants. more

BeratungERC Grants
Coaching for Applicants

LMU’s Office for International Research Funding Programs provides targeted advice and assistance for researchers who plan to apply for ERC grants. more

The European Research Council provides generous grants to enable individual scholars and scientists to carry out innovative and unconventional research projects. LMU researchers have an enviable record of success in the highly competitive selection process.

LMU W2 Tenure-Track Professorships for ERC Starting Grantees
(Application Procudure)

List of LMU’s ERC Awardees

Introducing ERC Awardees and their Projects

ERC Grants facilitate the implementation of outstanding research ideas in all disciplines. The following portraits give an impression of the spectrum of fields covered by ERC projects at LMU.

Tackling the Big Questions in Metabolism

Prof. Dr. Alexander Bartelt studies metabolic processes in brown adipose tissue. He has now received a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) for a project on the role of muscle cells in metabolic homeostasis. mehr

aidelsburger_260Quantum Physics
A Bridge to the Quantum World

Monika Aidelsburger uses a special type of optical lattice to simulate quantum many-body phenomena that are otherwise inaccessible to experimental exploration. She has now been awarded an ERC Starting Grant to pursue this work. mehr

Dr. Alexander HögeleNanophysics
Thin Films, Bright Future

LMU physicist Alexander Högele studies ultrathin semiconducting films and carbon nanotubes, which possess astonishing physical properties. He has now received the second highly endowed European Research Council grant in his career. more


Dust to dust

Til Birnstiel studies the mode of formation of planets from miniscule dust grains. His own professional evolution has just entered a new phase, with a Starting Grant from the European Research Council – and a Physics professorship at LMU. more


Thutmusis III.Ancient Egypt
From occupiers to good neighbors

Some 3500 years ago, an Egyptian town was founded on an island in the Nile in what is now Sudan. LMU archaeologist Julia Budka’s work there shows how Egyptian immigrants and the local Nubians transformed it into a thriving community. mehr

Doni tondoArt History
Norms of the Sacred

What features distinguish a sacred image from a secular one? LMU art historian Chiara Franceschini studies how contested theological concepts found their visual expression in the art of Early Modern Europe. more

All a question of visibility

Ralf Jungmann recently won an ERC Starting Grant – and with it a physics professorship. His research utilizes DNA-based nanotechnology to visualize biological structures that have dimensions of a few nanometers. more


Back to the future

In a project funded by an ERC Starting Grant, Philipp Stockhammer will assess the impact of Late Bronze Age trading networks on the diet and cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean, and points to parallels with modern globalization. more

Teilen (Foto: S. Kobold /

Developmental psychology
Me and the others

In his ERC project, LMU psychologist Markus Paulus is studying the roles of social learning and cognitive development in the growth of moral awareness and moral behavior during early childhood. more

Automatic translation - how not to do it. - Computational linguist Alexander Fraser is taking a different tack.Computational linguistics
Sifting out the meaning

When machines translate texts, the results are often risible rather than right. Computational linguist Alexander Fraser seeks to enable computers to select the most likely meaning of a word or phrase on the basis of its context in the sentence. more

Magical materials

Honeycombs, crosses, bridges: Strands of DNA can be programmed to fold into such shapes spontaneously. LMU physicist Tim Liedl exploits this property to build 3D nanostructures for a variety of applications. more

haass_260_neu_webAlzheimer’s disease
“Definitely on the right track”

Alois Alzheimer, who first described what has become the most common form of dementia, died 100 years ago. What is known about the illness today and, above all, what can be done about it? LMU’s Christian Haass gives us a tour d’horizon. more


Sound check

Phonetician Jonathan Harrington uses technology to measure with scientific precision how individuals form and perceive sounds. The results suggest possible models of how languages evolve over time. more


Caring for the rare cases

Pediatrician and clinical researcher Christoph Klein focuses on rare diseases – teasing out their causes and seeking therapies that will help his patients. His work in this area has earned him a Leibniz Prize from the DFG and an ERC Grant. more

lebenskit_dpa_Sabine-Schäfer_260_webOrigin of life
Reassembling life’s starter kit

Dieter Braun wants to know how the first unicellular organisms evolved from prebiotic molecules. To find out he mimicks in experiment the environmental conditions that prevailed on the young Earth. more

A New Addition to the Molecular Toolkit

Dirk Trauner’s ERC project is devoted to photosensitive molecular switches which permit him to control nerve-cell activity by means of light. This new ScienceCast shows how this approach is revolutionizing the field of photopharmacology. more

Deconstructing disasters

Dozens of volcanoes erupt every year. Donald Dingwell wants to know how eruptions occur and why they happen when they do – so he simulates them in the laboratory. more

- Foto: Jan Greune / LMUNurturing excellence
Taking Time’s pulse

A journey to the briefest instants of time: Researchers at the Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics use ultrashort light pulses to study the motion of electrons in atoms – and are finding applications for “attosecond physics”. more

- Foto: Jan Greune

Protective particulates

Growing up on a farm reduces the risk of asthma and allergies. Allergy specialist Erika von Mutius is studying why this is so, as the answer could suggest new ways of preventing such disorders. more


Caught in a tight corner

Unrestrained immune reactions promote atherosclerosis. Clinical researcher Christian Weber is studying the web of molecular decisions that lead to this misdirected and potentially fatal response. more