FNR ATTRACT Fellow secures prestigious ERC grant

Dr Massimiliano Esposito, a Fellow on the FNR’s ATTRACT Programme, has been awarded a prestigious ERC Consolidator grant by the European Research Council.

ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support researchers at the stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme. The grants are awarded to selected top researchers with 7 to 12 years’ experience after PhD. The scheme strengthens independent and excellent new individual research teams that have been recently created. The awarded grants are up to 2 million Euros for five years.

Dr Massimiliano Esposito has been a Fellow on the FNR’s ATTRACT Programme since January 2012. He currently leads a research group in the Physics and Materials Science Research Unit at the University of Luxembourg. He earned his PhD from the University of Brussels (BEL). After two postdoctoral positions at the University of California (USA) in Irvine and San Diego (USA), he left a contract researcher position at the University of Brussels to join the University of Luxembourg.

He started his FNR ATTRACT-funded research project ‘A New Thermodynamic Theory for Small Fluctuating Systems: From Nano devices to Cellular Biology – NEWTHERMO’ in January 2012. Dr Esposito has expressed that his newly-awarded ERC grant ‘Energy Conversion and Information Processing at Small Scales’ is based on the contributions obtained during his ATTRACT Fellowship.

“Through my ATTRACT fellowship, the FNR allowed me to build a world-leading research group in a very promising field of basic research: nanosystems thermodynamics.

“The fundamental discoveries that we made in the last four years on the performance of small energy converters as well as on the energetics of chemical networks served as the basis to formulate my ERC research proposal ‘Energy conversion and information processing at small scales’. Since the main selection criteria for ERC grants is scientific excellence, this award also indirectly indicates that the FNR is supporting excellent basic science.

“Mine is the second ERC grant awarded to a member of the Physics and Materials Science Research Unit. I am therefore also very happy to see that my Research Unit is becoming a flagship for excellent research in Luxembourg.”Dr Massimiliano Esposito


The ATTRACT programme aims to support the national research institutions by expanding their competences in strategic research areas – by attracting outstanding young researchers with high potential to Luxembourg.

Bringing excellent researchers with a high level of expertise in science and technology to Luxembourg is a key mission of the FNR. The ATTRACT programme is designed for researchers not yet established in Luxembourg and offers them the opportunity to set up their own research team within one of the country’s research institutions.

Host institutions will offer candidates the prospect of building up their research programme and integrating it into one of the institution’s focus research areas, as well as the chance to develop their research career within the institution.

More information

Find out more about Dr Esposito’s work under the ATTRACT Programme in the video below, or visit the ATTRACT Programme page.

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