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Don Dingwell (Postdoctoral Fellow, 1984-1986) Appointed Secretary General of the European Research Council (ERC)

Former Geophysical Laboratory Postdoctoral Fellow, Don Dingwell, was appointed by the ERC Scientific Council as the new Secretary General of the European Research Council (ERC). He took office on September 1 this year and his term lasts until December 2013.

Professor Dingwell is a prominent geoscientist currently heading the Department for Earth and Environmental Sciences at Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany. Originally from Canada, he holds dual citizenship (German and Canadian). Professor Dingwell's track record includes scientific distinctions such as the Bunsen Medal of the European Geoscience Union (2008) and he is a Distinguished Lecturer of the Mineralogical Society of America (2008/09). He was also awarded an ERC Advanced Grant in 2009. Professor Dingwell takes over after the previous Secretary General, Professor Andreu Mas-Colell, who returned to his academic position one year ago as Professor at Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona. Since then the post has been vacant.

The ERC Secretary General is the Scientific Council's permanent representative in Brussels with a key role to ensure an effective liaison between the Scientific Council, the ERC Executive Agency and the European Commission. Set up in 2007 by the EU, the European Research Council (ERC) is the first pan-European funding organization for frontier research. It aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by encouraging competition for funding between the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age. The ERC also strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. The ERC, which is the newest pioneering component of the EU's Seventh Research Framework Program ('Ideas' Specific Program), has a total budget of €7.5 billion from 2007 to 2013. The ERC Scientific Council is currently chaired by Professor Helga Nowotny and is composed of 22 eminent scientists and scholars, including a number of Nobel Prize winners.