GSE Enjoys High Standing within Catalan and European Research Communities

Barcelona GSE faculty has been positively evaluated by external competitive programs such as the European Research Council, ICREA and, most recently, ICREA-Academia, indicating the school’s commitment to excellence.

The Barcelona GSE counts eleven ICREA researchers and four European Research Council (ERC) grant recipients among its faculty. Two of the researchers awarded ERC grants are also ICREA researchers.

ICREA, the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, is a publicly funded foundation designed to attract and retain talent in Catalonia. The institution is highly selective, operating through competitive international calls and very rigorous external evaluation of candidates.

Presently in its eighth year of operation, ICREA has hired over 222 researchers in different areas of research, including 22 researchers in social sciences. Fifty percent of all of the researchers in the area of social sciences are Barcelona GSE faculty (see full list below).

As further evidence of the exceptional quality of research supported by ICREA, in 2008 the European Research Council (ERC) awarded fifteen grants – eight Starting Grants and seven Advanced Grants – to ICREA researchers. The grants, totaling more than 800 million euros and spanning the areas of Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Engineering, Social Sciences and Humanities, will set the course of European research in the future, and the call for proposals resulted in over 11,000 applications for just over 550 grants.

Of the ICREA researchers awarded ERC grants, two are Barcelona GSE professors: Jan Eeckhout (ICREA-UPF) and Joachim Voth (ICREA-UPF). Antoni Calvó-Armengol (ICREA-UAB) was positively evaluated for a grant prior to his passing in 2007. GSE Affiliated Professors Marta Reynal-Querol (UPF) and Jordi Galí (CREI) were also awarded ERC grants.

The total number of ERC Grant recipients in Economics highlights the outstanding research that takes place in the Barcelona GSE community; no other institution in Europe counted four grant recipients in economics among their faculty. The institutions to receive the second-most number of grants in economics are LSE (3) and UCL (3).

The most recent initiative to maintain Catalonia’s standing as one of Europe’s leading areas of research activity has been the introduction of ICREA-Academia, a new initiative designed to award researchers already in Catalan universities for outstanding contributions to the international scientific community.

The first edition of the prize was awarded to forty researchers, seven of which are from the social sciences, including four Barcelona GSE Affiliated Professors: Juan Carlos Conesa (UAB), José García Montalvo (UPF), Jordi Massó (UAB), and David Pérez-Castrillo (UAB).

The award ceremony took place on February 18th, 2009, in the Palau de la Generalitat in Barcelona. The prize, to be awarded annually, will distribute €250,000 over the course of five years to support the awardee’s research.

All of these efforts, taking together, reinforce the sustainable status of the Barcelona GSE as a premiere research institution in Catalonia and Europe and highlight the far-reaching impact of the work being conducted by the institution.

ICREA Research Professors at Barcelona GSE

Recipients of the ICREA-Academia gather after the award ceremony at the "Palau de la Generalitat" government building


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