€2.5M funding for outstanding early-career researchers

12 September 2018 11:23
Dr Lukasz Grabowski and Dr Kathryn Toghill
Dr Lukasz Grabowski and Dr Kathryn Toghill

Two Lancaster University researchers have been awarded more than €2.5M by the European Research Council (ERC) in recognition of their potential as ”future research leaders”.

ERC Starting Grants are for talented early-career researchers who completed their PhDs within the last seven years.

Dr Kathryn Toghill, Lecturer in Chemistry, and Dr Łukasz Grabowski, Lecturer in Pure Mathematics, won the highly competitive awards in recognition of their research excellence.

Dr Toghill’s research programme focusses on the challenge of meeting energy demands. She will lead work that looks at a new approach to electrochemically converting CO2 into high-value hydrocarbon products. The project will run for five years and she was awarded €1,499,994.

Dr Łukasz Grabowski was awarded a grant of €1.15M to further his research project "Limits of structures in Algebra and Combinatorics" over a period of five years. Professor Gabor Elek (Department of Mathematics and Statistics) will be part of the research team.

Professor Peter Fielden, Head of the Department of Chemistry, said: “Kathryn is a bright and ambitious electrochemist with a passion for energy-based applications. This grant will allow her to flourish in this exciting and environmentally significant field into which she brings a rich collection of new ideas. Her programme will continue to strengthen the growing innovative research portfolio between Chemistry and Energy Lancaster.”

Dr Alexander Belton, Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, said: “Łukasz is a talented mathematician with exciting ideas. This grant will allow him to realise a highly innovative research programme within the excellent environment afforded by Lancaster University.” 

Professor Peter Atkinson, Lancaster University Dean for Science and Technology, said: “I’m very pleased to see our early-career researchers winning such prestigious and competitive awards with these two very different research projects, one highly theoretical and the other with great application potential.

“Lancaster University is committed to the development of early-career researchers in all faculties and it is gratifying to see that the ERC has recognised their potential with two awards this year.”

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