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Donald Dingwell named new Secretary General of the ERC

LMU geoscientist assumes high-ranking function in EU funding body

Munich, 08/30/2011

Professor Donald Bruce Dingwell, Director of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at LMU, has been named Secretary General of the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC was set up in 2007 to stimulate basic research in Europe. Since then it has regularly awarded generous long-term grants to outstanding researchers, based on a highly competitive selection procedure. The Secretary General is the Permanent Representative of the ERC’s Scientific Council in Brussels. The Council currently comprises 22 leading researchers from institutions all over Europe. In selecting Donald Dingwell, who comes from Canada, as its new Secretary General, the ERC has now chosen a renowned volcanologist for the post. Dingwell himself received one of the coveted ERC Advanced Investigator Grants in 2009.

“LMU is not alone in regarding the European Research Council as one of the most important funding bodies on the European scene,” says LMU President Professor Bernd Huber. “We are delighted that, in appointing Donald Dingwell as its Secretary General, the ERC has chosen an eminent scientist with a pronounced international orientation, who will undoubtedly provide a new impetus for the future development of European research policy.”

Professor Dingwell takes up his new post in Brussels on 1 September 2011. His term of office will expire with the end of the EU’s Seventh Research Framework Program on 31 December 2013. For the duration of this term, Donald Dingwell has been granted partial leave of absence from his duties as incumbent of the Chair of Mineralogy and Petrology and his functions as Director of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Ongoing projects in his laboratory will be carried forward by his collaborators. Funding of his ERC Advanced Investigator Grant will be suspended for as long as he holds the post of ERC Secretary-General, and will resume when his term of office expires.

He becomes the third Secretary General of the ERC since its foundation in 2007. The first was LMU biochemist Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker, former President of the German Research Foundation and founding director of the Gene Center at LMU. He was succeeded by the Spanish economist Andreu Mas-Colell, who held the office from July 2009 until September 2010. Since then the position has been vacant.

Donald B. Dingwell studied Geology and Geophysics at the University of Newfoundland in his native Canada from 1975 to 1980. In 1984 he obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta. From 1987 until 2000 he served as Managing Director of the Bavarian Geoinstitute at Bayreuth University, completing his Habilitation there in 1992. He was appointed to the Chair of Mineralogy and Petrology at LMU in 2000, and has headed the Department of Geosciences and Environmental Sciences at LMU since 2006.

For further information on the ERC:

For further informationen on Professor Dingwell:
Prof. Dr. Donald Dingwell’s website
ScienceCast on Prof. Dingwell’s research


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