Sidney Fellow and four other researchers from the University of Cambridge were among the two hundred and twenty-two senior scientists from across Europe to be awarded grants from the European Research Council, representing a total of €540 million in research funding.

The European Research Council (ERC) is Europe’s premier research funding body, and this year the UK has 47 grantees, the most of any ERC participating country.

The grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe. The sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence.

ERC Advanced Grants are designed to support excellent scientists in any field with a recognised track record of research achievements in the last ten years.

Professor Christopher Reynolds, Sidney Fellow in Natural Sciences and Plumian Professor of Astronomy at Cambridge, will receive $2.5 million over five years to fund his research into the effect of black holes on their galactic-scale environment. This will fund a group of postdoctoral researchers based at the Institute of Astronomy. 

Professor Reynolds project is focused on the feedback from supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies. These supermassive black holes have a profound influence on the evolution of galaxies and galaxy groups/clusters, but fundamental questions remain.

To help address these questions, Reynolds and his team are studying the highly luminous central regions of galaxies around the black hole, known as active galactic nuclei (AGN). Reynolds’ ERC funding will support a set of projects to explore the multi-scale physics of AGN feedback. A new theoretical understanding of AGN feedback as a function of mass, environment, and cosmic time will be essential for interpreting the torrent of data from current and future observatories, and understanding some of the most powerful phenomena in the universe.

Other University of Cambridge researchers to win an Advanced Grant include Professor Clare Grey, Professor Cecilia Mascolo, Professor Alfonso Martinez Arias, and Professor Austin Smith. You can read more about their research projects on the University of Cambridge website.

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