Maarten Schoukens awarded with European Marie Curie Grant
Eight postdocs will be starting work at TU/e this year funded by a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship. Thanks to this European grant, these young scientists have the opportunity to do two years' research within a research group at Eindhoven. Seven of them – four women and three men – will be coming to TU/e for two years, waaronder Maarten Schoukens who will start within the Control Systems (CS) group. One of them will first spend two years seconded to the University of Toronto before spending a year working at TU/e's Department of Applied Physics.
The Marie Curie Individual Fellowships are awarded every year. Last year they brought three researchers to TU/e. So eight is a good score, confirms Liaison Officer Karoline Duijvesz of the TU/e Innovation Lab. She cannot pinpoint any particular reason for this success, but she does know that the number of submissions this year - 24 - was quite a bit higher than, say, last year.
“As a general trend we are seeing an increasing interest in personal grants. These days we can see online when someone has created an account for such a grant and they've entered TU/e as the host institute.” These researchers are then offered assistance by the Research Support Office, tells Duijvesz. “This can be particularly useful when it comes to presenting reasons why TU/e is the best place to conduct their research.”
The successful applications include seven grants known as European Grants that will bring researchers to TU/e for a two-year period. Only Emiel Visser has received a Global Grant, which enables him to first spend two years at Canada's University of Toronto before starting at TU/e's Department of Applied Physics, in the group Molecular Biosensing for Medical Diagnostics.
Departments Applied Physics, IE&IS and Mechanical Engineering are also welcoming a Marie Curie Fellow, as is the group led by University Professor Bert Meijer – under the flag of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS). Chemical Engineering and Chemistry has achieved the greatest feat, with three fellowships, including two in the group Micro Flow Chemistry and Process Technology, under the supervision of Associate Professor Timothy Noël.
Noël is naturally very pleased with his two new colleagues. “That is an understatement; with their help we are all set to face the next few years.” He believes the Marie Curie Fellowships are the appropriate way of appointing postdocs. This time he received applications from four candidates, two of whom managed to secure a Fellowship.
“I worked with a fellow once in the past, some five years ago. But recently I've noticed that talented researchers are more likely to approach me. This is undoubtedly due to the very good articles we've published recently, like the one about the artificial leaf we have produced. That really did generate a great deal of positive publicity. In addition, it does help that we position ourselves at the interface of process technology and organic chemistry. This enables us to harvest in two fields.”
It should be said that this is not the first time that eight Marie Curie Fellows have come to Eindhoven. It happened back in 2010, under the forerunner of the current European funding program Horizon 2020. But, says expert Duijvesz, that situation is not entirely comparable. “These grants get more competitive every year.”