Bocconi Obtains Three Grants from the European Research Council for a Total of 5 Mln Euro

Bocconi Obtains Three Grants from the European Research Council for a Total of 5 Mln Euro


Bocconi University has obtained three of the 19 ERC Advanced Grants assigned this year by the European Research Council to Italian research bodies, thus gaining a total of ca. €5 Mln funding. The ERC has disclosed today the outcomes of the selection, announcing 277 grants out of 1,953 submissions.
While many Italian researchers obtain European grants as faculty members of foreign universities, one of the Bocconi grants this year has been won by a Norwegian professor, demographer Arnstein Aassve. A second grant has gone to Massimo Morelli, an economist who returned to Italy in 2014 after years spent at New York’s Columbia University.
“European grants assigned on a competitive basis, such as the European Research Council’s, are an important source of research funding”, the Dean for Research (and winner of the third ERC Grant), Eliana La Ferrara, says. “There are three factors behind Bocconi competitiveness in obtaining research financing: first of all, a recruiting policy on the international academic job market that looks for professors with strong research skills. Second, we established an administrative office able to support and counsel researchers who want to submit their projects. Last, the chance to discuss with colleagues who have gained grants in the past and can suggest improvements to the projects”.
The Advanced are the most prestigious ERC Grants, being reserved for professors with longer research experience.
  • Arnstein Aassve (Bocconi’s Dondena Centre), with his project IFAMID: Institutional Family Demography, aims to explain why different countries respond in different  ways to common global trends. The increase in female education is a global trend, but the demographic outcomes, in terms of fertility rates, differ across countries. The hypothesis is that the interaction between local culture and institutional quality plays a part. (CLICK HERE to watch Aassve explaining his project)
  • Eliana La Ferrara (IGIER Bocconi), with her ASNODEV: Aspirations Social Norms and Development, notes that too often poor people (both in developing and developed countries) struggle to escape their condition due to aspiration failures. The project aims to raise their aspirations through information policies and the use of the media (in the past she studied the social effects of Brazilian soap operas). (CLICK HERE to watch La Ferrara explaining his project)
  • Massimo Morelli (IGIER Bocconi), with his PolEc: The Political Economy of Power Relations, will study power relations from a multidisciplinary point of view. Among the expected outcomes: highlighting that military power is not the only cause of conflicts – the unbalance between economic and military power is often more important; and that political outcomes such as populism can be traced back to power relations. (CLICK HERE to watch Morelli explaining her project)
The latest three Advanced Grants bring to 23 the total of ERC Grants hosted by Bocconi since when the program has been established; for the most part they are grants won by Bocconi professors, but in a few cases they have followed professors recruited on the international market.
According to the data released today by the European Research Council, the 277 grants went to research bodies from 21 countries. The 19 grants to Italy trail behind 69 grants to the UK, 43 to Germany, 30 to France, 21 to the Netherlands and 20 to Switzerland. Italian researchers, with their 26 Grants are only behind researchers from Germany and the UK, with 47 Grants each.

by Fabio Todesco


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