The European Commission (EC) has promised to improve how research is funded in Europe. Responding to a critique of the European Research Council (ERC) today (October 22), the EC provided linkurl:timelines;http://ec.europa.eu/research/evaluations/pdf/archive/other_reports_studies_and_documents/commission_communication_on_the_erc_review_-_22_october_2009.pdf for appointing a scientist to head the council and for developing faster reimbursement procedures for peer reviewers of ERC grants.
These changes will make the ERC "more stable and efficient in the long term," said Catherine Ray, a spokesperson for the EC, adding that the council is a "work in progress," having been started just two years ago. In July, a panel of experts, led by Vaira Vike-Freiberga, the former president of Latvia, and including former NIH director Elias Zerhouni, criticized the ERC's overly bureaucratic organization and its sluggish distribution of funds. The panel also criticized the fact that non-scientists held the ERC's top positions. As an example of the linkurl:sharp language;http://ec.europa.eu/research/evaluations/pdf/archive/other_reports_studies_and_documents/erc_review_panel_report_-_23_july_2009.pdf used in the report, one...
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