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Starting grants

Two starting grants for the UB

Maria Rodó Zárate and Nadejda Blagorodnova will develop their projects thanks to two starting grants, given by the European Research Council (ERC)

Two researchers of the University of Barcelona will carry out their projects thanks to two starting grants, given by the European Research Council (ERC) to Young researchers. Today, January 10, ERC published the last grant call, which selected innovative projects by 397 researchers from different fields of research. Catalonia obtained thirteen out of the twenty-three that were given in Spain, two of them from the UB.

The starting grants account for nearly 3 million euros

Maria Rodó Zárate, Serra Hunter tenure-track 1 lecturer at the Faculty of Education of the University of Barcelona, will receive a grant accounting for 1.2 million euros to conduct the project Mapping Intersectionality: A Conceptual and Methodological Model for the Study of Inequalities and Discrimination (INTERMAPS). The objective is to create “a new model both theoretical and methodological for the study of discriminations and inequalities from an intersectional and feminist perspective”. Rodó states that the project “will contribute to a better understanding of how structural inequalities occur and how these affect people’s daily life”.

The main innovation of the project consists on “developing and applying empirically a new methodological tool that includes qualitative, quantitative and spatial analysis approaches that enable the systematization and characterization of discriminations and intersectional inequalities”. INTERMAPS, which will last for five years, will count on an interdisciplinary team of experts on gender studies, human geography, social psychology, sociology and geographical information systems.


Starting grants


Nadejda Blagorodnova, researcher who will carry out her project at the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the UB (ICCUB), received 1.48 million euros for the project Common Envelope Transients: Progenitors, Precursors and Properties of Their Outbursts (CET-3PO), to study how massive stars merge with close partners. With this purpose, it will use observations of transitory astronomical events (transients) called luminous red nova.

The luminous red nova, similar to supernovas, represent the fast expulsion of the gas envelope in which both stars orbited before merging. This project will be pioneer in combining observations and theoretical models of these transitory events. On the one hand, data from worldwide telescopes will enable to find and monitor these energy explosions. On the other, the interpretation and modelling of these observational data will be key for the understanding of how one of the most important albeit unknown phases takes place in the evolution of binary stars, which is the coevolution within this common envelope.

“The ICCUB will be the ideal place to carry out this research, since the group has a broad experience in the study of stellar populations and observational techniques”, notes Blagorodnova.

According to the European Research Council, the starting grants of the researchers in this call have received a 43% of the grants, 6% more than in 2020. These grants are aimed at researchers from any country and with a 2-7-year research experience since their doctorate.