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Birkbeck academic awarded £2.5million for a European Research Council grant

This year’s Consolidator Grants were awarded to 308 academics out of 2,130 candidates.

Professor Emily Jones

Professor Emily Jones, Head of Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange in the Faculty of Science, has been granted £2.5million by the European Research Council (ERC) to fund her research into neurodevelopmental conditions. 

Professor Emily Jones commented: "I am delighted to have received ERC support to understand the earliest developmental origins of neurodevelopmental conditions like autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)". 

Neurodevelopmental conditions can affect up to 10% of children and are associated with other mental health difficulties. Both autism and ADHD are associated with reduced educational attainment, occupational success, and quality of life, making effective identification and intervention imperative. Although autism and ADHD are not typically recognised until school age or older, underpinning genetic and environment factors are present prenatally, and behavioural and brain changes can be detected from early infancy. Professor Emily Jones’s research will investigate behavioural and brain changes in a cohort of infants with a family history of autism and/or ADHD and their development will be tracked over a period of 2 years.  

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the brilliant researchers who have been selected for ERC Consolidator Grants. I'm especially thrilled to note the significant increase in the representation of women among the winners for the third consecutive year in this prestigious grant competition. This positive trend not only reflects the outstanding contributions of women researchers but also highlights the strides we are making towards a more inclusive and diverse scientific community.” 

The grants will support scientific projects spanning all disciplines of research from engineering to life sciences to humanities. The ERC was set up by the European Union in 2007 to fund creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. 

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