Each winner will receive up to 1,250,000 over a five-year period in an award that is comparable in scope to the Nobel Prize.
Organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the association of the heads of public national research and research funding organisations in Europe (EuroHORCS), the pioneering EURYI annual award scheme enables outstanding young scientists in any area of scientific research, from any country in the world, to create their own research teams at European research centres. This will help boost European science, and contribute to building up the next generation of leading European researchers.
One of the 2005 award winners is Angelos Michaelides, who is an excellent example of this budding next generation.
The 29-year-old Irishman a former Gonville and Caius College Research Fellow at the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, England, and a staff scientist at the Fritz-Haber Institute in Berlin, Germany will use his 986,000 award funds to unravel the mysteries of how water interacts with solid surfaces.
"There are few, if any, molecules more important than water," Michaelides said. "Yet remarkably little is known about how it interacts with solid surfaces. Water-solid interactions play a crucial role in the activity of fuel cells, the chemistry of the troposphere, global warming, corrosion, catalysis, the operation of so-called 'nanomachines', and so on. Thanks to the EURYI Award, we aim to develop the necessary theoretical tools with which this crucial knowledge gap can be addressed and an unprecedented understanding of the properties of aqueous-solid interfaces obtained."