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European research grant for Bielefeld mathematician

Published on 3. September 2019, 11:50 h
ERC Starting Grant for highly promising young scientists goes to Dawid Kielak

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded an ERC Starting Grant to the Bielefeld mathematician Dr Dawid Kielak for his innovative approaches to research on geometric group theory, a field of mathematics. The European Union uses this award to promote early-career scientists with an excellent scientific track record who also show great promise. Dawid Kielak’s research will receive roughly 1.5 million euro over a period of 5 years. He is the second young academic at Bielefeld to be awarded this special grant within a year and the fifth researcher at Bielefeld University to receive an ERC grant - one of the most important lines of EU research funding.

Mathematiker Dr. Dawid Kielak erhält einen ERC Starting Grant.  Foto: Magdalena Kielak
Mathematiker Dr. Dawid Kielak erhält einen ERC Starting Grant. Foto: Magdalena Kielak
‘The award shows that Bielefeld University is an outstanding location for young researchers. And promoting scientific talents - a central policy at our university - provides international recognition. It is particularly pleasing to see that Dr Dawid Kielak is the second person at Bielefeld University to receive the ERC Starting Grant within such a short time - congratulations,’ says Professor Dr Martin Egelhaaf, Bielefeld University’s Vice-Rector for Research, Young Scientists, and Equal Opportunities.

‘Receiving an ERC Starting Grant confirms the relevance of research on the structures of geometric spaces - my specialization in geometric group theory,’ says the award winner Dr Dawid Kielak. This is how he explains his project: ‘In our daily lives, we humans have developed a trick that we use to understand four-dimensional space-time: we conceive it as three-dimensional space that changes over time. In my project, I am studying how we can apply a similar trick to understand geometries in even higher dimensions.’ 

Born in Poland, Dawid Kielak studied at Oxford (Great Britain) where he obtained his doctorate in mathematics. In 2017, he completed his post-doctoral habilitation at Bielefeld University where he continues to do research and teach as a post-doc. Further stages in his academic career have been the Institute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw and the University of Bonn.
The ERC Starting Grant is awarded to young researchers at the beginning of their independent scientific careers in the first seven years after completing their PhDs. Applicants must have already published their own work as first authors and shown their potential to be a research leader by, for example, editing special issues in international scientific journals.

The following four scientists at Bielefeld University Bielefeld have been awarded an ERC grant in the past:
  • The sociologist Professor Dr Elena Esposito received an ERC Advanced Grant, the most important line of funding in the EU, in March 2019. She is studying how algorithms and the predictions they make impact on society.
  • Like Dr Dawid Kielak, the sociologist Professor Dr Minh Nguyen was awarded an ERC Starting Grant in July 2018. She is studying how the welfare state is changing in the emerging industrial nations of China and Vietnam. 
  • The cognitive scientist Professor Dr Christoph Kayser came to Bielefeld University in 2017 after being awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant. He is studying how and where senses merge in the brain. ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded to scientists who already run a research group.
  • In 2012, the chemist Professor Dr Achim Müller was awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for his research in nanochemistry. This was funded until 2015.

Further information:
•    The ERC Starting Grant
•    The ERC press release

Posted by JBömer in General
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