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High-Caliber Funding for Three Researchers’ Innovative Projects

The European Research Council is supporting excellent Humboldt-Universität projects

In the ERC Consolidator Grants competition, the proposals of three researchers of Humboldt-Universität have been successful. This award is presented by the European Research Council (ERC) and is one of the highest endowed and most prestigious research funding schemes in Europe. The format of the Consolidator Grants is aimed at excellent scientists and promotes projects that develop innovative research approaches or deal with new research issues. The funding is awarded for a period of up to five years and comprises a maximum of two million euros.

Radically new concept for rechargeable batteries

The team around Philipp Adelhelm, Professor of Physical Chemistry of Materials, is taking on a technical challenge that is important for e-mobility and the entire energy transition: the storing of large amounts of electrical energy. New batteries are being intensively developed worldwide that could supplement or in some cases even replace current lithium-ion technology. The SEED project aims at a radically new concept: the ions are not incorporated into the electrodes of the battery in their pure form, as is usually the case, but rather together with other molecules like “solvated ions.” The goal? Batteries that store electricity especially efficiently and conserve resources. Adelhelm submitted his proposal with FSU Jena and switched to Humboldt-Universität in October 2019.

From the nerve cell to the network

The ANewSpike project deals with the interaction of the nerve cells of our brain: the cells “communicate” by means of electrical impulses, so-called action potentials. The group, led by Susanne Schreiber, Professor of Theoretical Neurophysiology, is investigating a new type of action potential that has been largely overlooked in research so far. The team is analyzing the nerve cells using mathematical models and computer simulations. The building of a link from the nerve cell to the network should reveal whether this unknown type is an integral part of the dynamics of a healthy or diseased brain. ANewSpike will investigate basic neuronal mechanisms responsible for epilepsy, for example.

What structures visual perception?

A quick glance at your watch or a look over your shoulder – almost without noticing, our eyes are constantly looking for new information. Like lightning-fast cameras, they provide us with every detail of the visual world on demand. The VIS-À-VIS project is investigating our ability to be physically active as a key component of visual perception. Martin Rolfs, Heisenberg Professor of General Psychology - Active Perception and Cognition, is combining innovative technologies and state-of-the-art psychophysical tools to characterize the systematics of visual actions. In an interdisciplinary team, he is posing the question of whether the specific laws of our movements fundamentally structure our visual perception of the world.

Further information

ERC press release


Hans-Christoph Keller
Press spokesperson of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Phone: +49 (0)30 2093–2646