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Professor Michał Karoński from the Faculty of Mathematics - Deciding Europe’s scientific future

Professor Michał Karoński from the Faculty of Mathematics of Adam Mickiewicz University became a member of the six-person European Research Council Identification Committee. The committee, chaired by Prof. Carl-Henrik Heldin from Uppsala University, head of the Nobel Foundation, is tasked with presenting candidates for the new ERC Scientific Council.

For a scientist, being chosen as a member is one of the greatest distinctions. According to Professor Karoński, the fact that he created the Polish National Science Center NCN, of which he was the head for over six years, may have contributed to his appointment.

The Scientific Council is the highest governing body of the European Research Council and is responsible for allocating funds for pioneering basic research in various fields. It determines the type of grants offered and the level of their financing, develops an annual agenda, sets the procedure for assessing applications, appoints experts to review them, and monitors programme implementation. Members of the council are appointed by the European Commission for a four-year term and act on their own behalf, outside of political or national interests.

Prof. Michał Karoński: Being appointed is very difficult, because the bar for membership is set very high. Members are often ERC grant holders. They are among the elite of European scientists. Some are Nobel Prize winners. The ERC provides funding for the best researchers from across Europe. Members working in the Council are asked to forego any loyalty to national interests or their scientific field during their term. Their task is to work for the benefit of science. The next ERC budget is EUR 13 billion.

Outside of his work as a member of the European Research Council Identification Committee, Professor Michał Karoński conducts research on discrete mathematics and theoretical computer science. From 2010 to 2016, he was chairman of the board of the National Science Centre, and since 2016, he has been a member of the prestigious Academia Europaea.