The European research network has been strengthened with a decision to expand the League of European Research Universities (LERU) to 23 members.
Part of the expansion will see the addition of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, from 1 January 2017 – and the launch in Brussels, Belgium, on 21 November of the Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities.
LERU is a university network of highly selected research universities chosen on the basis of research volume, impact and funding, strengths in PhD training and recognition in academic excellence.
LERU secretary general Kurt Deketelaere said: “With the addition of these two excellent universities, we gain added perspectives from two countries where LERU did not have members.
“Each of them is unquestionably the top research university in their country. Having them join will significantly strengthen LERU’s position and enrich its capacity to contribute to European research, innovation and education policy.”
The University of Copenhagen has had a strong track record in its participation in the Horizon 2020 programme, notably in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) section.
Professor Henrik C Wegener Chair of the High Level Group of Scientific Advisors to the European Commission, said: “The University of Copenhagen shall be developed through a non-compromise investment in research freedom, sharp prioritising, recruiting researchers from all over the world and providing inspirational and demanding teaching of highest international quality.”
Research Development Manager at Trinity College Dublin, Doris Alexander, said: “Trinity College’s approach to Horizon 2020 is to enable a symbiosis between its research diversification strategy and its industry engagement and global relations strategies.
“Using this approach Trinity’s mechanism has primarily focused on broadening our participation base across the college as well as providing in-depth support for European Research Council (ERC) applicants and co-ordinators through the design and roll out of specially developed college initiatives.”