2004 EU Marie Curie Awards announced: European Excellence in Research rewarded

November 9, 2004

Brussels, 7 November 2004

The European Commission announced today (November 7) in Warsaw the winners of the 2004 Marie Curie Awards, with grants of up to €50,000 going to five outstanding European researchers.

The Marie Curie Awards are given in recognition of the excellence achieved by researchers who have benefited from EU support schemes and to boost their careers by contributing to their international exposure. This year’s graduates include two Germans, two Italians and an Israeli.

They made scientific breakthroughs on issues such as the creation of galaxies, the roots of human empathy, quantum physics, new catalysts and the science of materials.

“The EU has some of the best scientists in the world. We have to recognise their excellence,“ said European Research Commissioner Louis Michel. “The Marie Curie Awards help address this issue by showing how bright European researchers, who have made the most of our mobility grants by acquiring and sharing knowledge, can achieve outstanding results.”

Fostering excellence

The Awards are part of the opportunities provided by a four-year €1.56 billion programme intended to support the training and mobility of researchers in Europe, coming from all over the world. Each year, between one and five prizes are presented to former “Marie Curie” fellows or other researchers who have benefited from EU funded mobility research programmes. EU “Marie Curie” actions foster the training, mobility and career development of researchers. Fellowships are available in any scientific discipline. They contribute directly to the objectives of the EU Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6 2002-2006) and the Lisbon Strategy - to make Europe the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010.

The Grand Jury

The 2004 winners were chosen by a six member Grand Jury chaired by Professor Gerard ‘t Hooft, Dutch Nobel Prize winner for Physics in 1999. The project disciplines were in Chemistry, Engineering, Life Sciences, Mathematics & Information Sciences and Physics. (See annex for further details)

And the winners are...

The 2004 Marie Curie Award winners are:

Benedetta Ciardi (Italy): for her work on the effect that the radiation of the first stars had on the different gases in the Universe and on the process of galaxy formation.

Christian Marc Keysers (Germany): for his research into the neural processes to uncover how and why people empathise with each other.

Jens Marklof (Germany): for his studies in quantum physics and the localisation properties of chaotic quantum states.

Gadi Rothenberg (Israel): for searching for new catalysts using a combination of advanced computational and experimental methods.

Stefano Zapperi (Italy): for his investigations into internal avalanches and crackling noises in different materials.

Further information about the Marie Curie Excellence Awards may be found at


Item source: IP/04/1344 Date: 05/11/2004 =>=>

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