STEREO researcher Diego Miralles wins ERC Consolidator Grant


Published on 1 February 2023

321 researchers have won 2022 European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grants. Among them is STEREO researcher Diego Miralles with the HEAT project. The funding – worth in total €657 million – is part of the EU’s Horizon Europe programme. It will help excellent scientists, who have 7 to 12 years’ experience after their PhDs, to pursue their most promising ideas.

A little more on Diego's HEAT project 

Heatwaves and droughts are becoming synchronized. In our warmer world, soils dry faster, heating up the air even further. These compound dry–hot events propagate like a wildfire: the drying upwind can trigger heat stress episodes on populations located hundreds of kilometers downwind. What are the physical mechanisms that drive these compound events and cause heat stress episodes on societies? Can we forecast these episodes weeks-to-months in advance using recent technological progress? Can intelligent land management attenuate the intensity and frequency of future events?

In HEAT, Diego Miralles and his team will aim to answer these questions. This will be achieved through a combination of satellite data, physics-driven atmospheric models, artificial intelligence, and state-of-the-art climate model simulations. Altogether, HEAT will enhance preparedness and resilience against extreme hot and dry events by providing accurate seasonal forecasts, novel mechanistic understanding, and land management strategies to mitigate future events and their impact on societies.

Prof. Dr. Diego Miralles (image source: National Geographic)

Prof. Dr. Diego Miralles (image source: National Geographic)

ERC Consolidator Grants

“ERC Consolidator grants support researchers at a crucial time of their careers, strengthening their independence, reinforcing their teams and helping them establish themselves as leaders in their fields. And this backing above all gives them a chance to pursue their scientific dreams”, said President of the European Research Council Prof. Maria Leptin.

The grants will be invested in scientific projects spanning all disciplines of research from engineering to life sciences to humanities. The laureates of this grant competition proposed to carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 18 EU Member States, plus other countries associated with Horizon Europe. This call attracted 2,222 applicants, while the proposals were reviewed by panels of renowned researchers from around the world. The grants will create around 1,950 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, and other staff at the host institutions.


Universiteit Gent. (2023, January 1). Six Ghent University researchers win ERC Consolidator Grant.…