The Department of Economics is proud to announce that two of our faculty- - Abi Adams Prassl and Alex Teytelboym  - have been awarded prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants to fund cutting-edge research projects into the future of work, trade and economic theory. Teodora Boneva who was Associate Professor of Economics at Oxford until April 2020 when she moved to a post at the University of Zurich – has also received an ERC Starting grant. Our warmest congratulations to Abi, Alex and Teodora.

ERC Starting Grants are intended to support exceptional early career researchers to become research leaders in their fields. The highly-coveted awards, funded through the European Union, are each worth more than 1 million euros and will provide the researchers with the resources to conduct pioneering research, and expand learning into exciting new areas.

Dr Alexander Teytelboym has been granted funding for DUALMARKETS, ‘Duality in Market Design: Theory and Applications’.  

One of the first problems students encounter in economics is how to allocate a divisible resource - like a cake - among people who have limited budgets. In practice, such allocation problems often involve indivisible resources. For example, the government might decide to run an auction in order to figure out which electricity companies should build new power stations (which are indivisible). Economists use tools from the field of market design to suggest how best to run such auctions. It turns out that allocating a cake is a lot easier than procuring power stations. DUALMARKETS will develop new tools to better allocate indivisible resources among market participants with limited budgets.

Dr Teytelboym said: ‘I’m delighted and honoured to receive the ERC Starting Grant. DUALMARKETS will tackle market design problems in which participants cannot always afford what they want to have. My main aim in this project is to inject ideas from classic microeconomics into the theory and applications of market design. The grant will allow me to focus on time-intensive theoretical research, foster new collaborations, and hopefully inspire young economists to work on market design.’

About the ERC

The European Research Council, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premiere European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. Every year, it selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialisation.

To date, the ERC has funded over 9,500 top researchers at various stages of their careers, and over 50,000 postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams. The ERC strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. Key global research funding bodies, in the United States, China, Japan, Brazil and other countries, have concluded special agreements to provide their researchers with opportunities to temporarily join ERC grantees' teams. 

The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. The (ad interim) ERC President is Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The overall ERC budget from 2014 to 2020 is more than €13 billion, as part of the Horizon 2020 programme, for which the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel is responsible.

Notes for Editors

ERC Starting Grants 2020 can be found here

  • The funding, worth a total of €677 million, will help these early-career scientists and scholars to build their own teams and conduct pioneering research across all disciplines. The grants are part of the EU’s Research and Innovation programme, Horizon 2020.
  • The grantees are a diverse group with 40 different nationalities. Amongst the winners, 20 researchers are moving to Europe from further afield thanks to the funding. The new grantees will be based in 25 countries across Europe, with Germany (88 grants), the UK (62), the Netherlands (42) and France (38) as top locations. Some 13% of applications were selected for funding in this round. These Starting Grants will create an estimated 2,500 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students and other staff at the host institutions.

More information

ERC website

Horizon 2020