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Commissioners Vassiliou and Geoghegan-Quinn welcome Nobel Prize for Chemistry award to EU-funded researcher

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 8 October 2014

Commissioners Vassiliou and Geoghegan-Quinn welcome Nobel Prize for Chemistry award to EU-funded researcher

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2014 was today awarded jointly to Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner “for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy”. While Professors Betzig and Moerner work in the US, Professor Hell is German and works at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg.

Throughout his career, Prof S. Hell has received support from the EU’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). He was himself an MSCA fellow at the University of Turku in 1996-1997, and then coordinator for three MSCA individual fellowships. On top of that, he and his colleagues participated in collaborative projects funded by the EU.

European Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, responsible for the MSCA scheme, and European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “We warmly congratulate Stefan W. Hell, Eric Betzig, and William E. Moerner on their achievement. Outstanding researchers like Stefan W. Hell are an excellent example of what European research mobility can achieve, and through his mentoring of younger MSCA researchers, in fostering excellence in the new generation of researchers in Europe. The MSCA support researchers’ mobility, thereby allowing them to acquire new knowledge and skills on cutting edge science.”

Stefan W. Hell was awarded a post-doctoral Individual Fellowship in 1996. He then became a mentor for several promising Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellows. His latest MSCA project ended as recently as May 2014.

The announcement of the Nobel Prize for Professor Hell comes only two days after this year’s award in Physiology or Medicine went to John O´Keefe, MayBritt Moser and Edvard I. Moser (MEMO/14/564). Both MayBritt and Edvard Moser are recipients of European Research Council grants, and all three have participated in EU-funded research projects including MSCA.

Moreover, Hiroshi Amano, one of this year’s laureates of the Nobel Prize in Physics awarded on 7 October, closely collaborated in the past with an EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Initial Training Network.


The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions support the career development and training of researchers – with a focus on innovation skills – in all scientific disciplines, based on trans-national and cross-sectoral mobility. The MSCA will become the main EU programme for doctoral training, supporting 25 000 candidates. This includes financing for industrial doctorates, joint doctorates, and other innovative forms of research training that enhance employability. Experienced researchers are encouraged to spend time outside academia, in enterprises and other organisations, during their fellowships.

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions, which offer international excellent research career development opportunities and training to highly talented researchers, will award a total of €6.16 billion for the period 2014-2020 under Horizon 2020, the €80 billion EU research funding programme. MSCA projects, which are managed by the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission, support the European Union goal to achieve one million more research jobs by 2020.

For more information

Nobel Prize press release

Horizon 2020

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

Innovation Union and Europe 2020 Strategy

Research Executive Agency

Contacts :

Dennis Abbott (+32 2 295 92 58); Twitter: @DennisAbbott

Michael Jennings (+32 2 296 33 88); Twitter: @ECSpokesScience

Dina Avraam (+32 2 295 96 67)

Monika Wcislo (+32 2 298 65 95)

For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by


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