Grand slam for the University of Oslo: five new ERC grants

Today, when the European Research Council (ERC) announced the Norwegian recipients receiving ERC Starting Grants, five of seven were from the University of Oslo.


“This is a day of joy. Five of our younger researchers received prestigious awards in fierce international competition,” says Svein Stølen, rector of the University of Oslo.

A victory for the humanities and social sciences

Of the five winning projects, two are from the Faculty of Humanities, two from the Faculty of Social Sciences and one from the Faculty of Law.

"It is interesting to note that all projects have social engagement as a common theme, despite the fact that this is an open arena without thematic guidelines, with research quality as an award criterion. We can learn from this when crafting research policy! We have said it before; we do not need to tell our researchers that they must be socially engaged through predetermined priorities on grants. Researchers are themselves the best at defining their research questions, and through these research questions, our researchers show their motivation to develop knowledge that will be useful to society.”

Of the five new ERC Starting Grant winners, three are women. “I am very happy that we are succeeding with our younger researchers and that they receive recognition for the excellent work they do,” Stølen continues. This is a strong foundation for the University of Oslo to develop further - with quality as a guiding star.

“A feather in UiO’s cap”

Minister of Research and Higher Education Iselin Nybø is also impressed. - Congratulations to the University Of Oslo for receiving five ERC Starting Grants. These are prestigious scholarships given to young researchers who show great potential, and is truly a feather in UiO’s cap,” she says.

“This award shows that Norway has young outstanding researchers who are able to assert themselves among the best international researchers,” continues Nybø.


Researcher Are Skeie Hermansen, Department of Sociology and Human Geography

Are Skeie Hermansen In his project OrgMIGRANT he will study economic integration of immigrants and their descendants form an organisational perspective. The project will examine segregation between workplaces and inequality within organisations by using data from Norway and other countries in Western Europe and North America.


Associate Professor Elisabeth Schober, Department of Social Anthropology

Elisabeth SchoberIn her project PORTS she will explore harbours as economic fronts between cities and the oceans. Schober also wants to investigate how maritime workers experience global trade, the race to the bottom and increased automation.



Researcher Ingrid Lossius Falkum, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas

Ingrid Lossius FalkumIn her project "The Developing Communicator: Pragmatics, Sense Conventions and Non-Literal Uses of Language" (DEVCOM), Falkum will illustrate the stages and factors that contribute to children's pragmatics development, that is, the ability to understand the speakers' intentions.



Researcher Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay, Department of Cultural Studies and Oriental Languages

Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay

His project "CoFutures: Pathways to Possible Presents" is based on fiction stories about the future. The aim of the project is to formulate new theory for how notions of the future change the present.



Professor Maja Janmyr, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights

Maja Janmyr

The BEYOND-project rethinks the effect of international refugee law in a time where protection of refugees has become increasingly politicized and many actors question the relevance of the UN Refugee Convention. The project is the first to develop a brand new global and theoretical framework to understand the position and behaviour of the many states that have not ratified the Refugee Convention, but still are host to many of the largest refugee groups in our time. The knowledge from the project will be important to develop a more efficient global Refugee Law, and to have a deeper insight into how international conventions actually work.

- This award means a lot. It provides a greater scope for action, and the opportunity to build a strong research team to study the impact of the UN Refugee Convention. That my research ideas are recognized internationally is of course such an encouragement for me to continue further on this scholarly path, says Maja Janmyr.

The University of Oslo now has 59 ERC grants in total, and there are still more calls that will be decided this year.

«Congratulations to our worthy winners, and also all our UiO employees who reached very far in this tough competition. Also a big thank you to our support staff who put in a lot of good work to make us successful. It is always great to be the rector at UiO,” concludes a satisfied Stølen, “but some days are extra nice. Today is a day like that.”

More about ERC

Published Sep. 3, 2019 12:52 PM - Last modified Sep. 3, 2019 1:21 PM