ERA Chairs bring excellence to Estonian universities

European Union funded ERA Chairs projects bring outstanding academics to universities and research institutions, while also implementing structural changes to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis. Estonia has been the country with the highest number of funded ERA Chair applications each year. What lies behind this success?

Estonia has had a high success rate for receiving ERA Chair grants both in the 2017 and 2019 calls. All the largest Estonian universities – the University of Tartu, Tallinn University, Tallinn University of Technology and the Estonian University of Life Sciences hold at least two ERA Chair grants.

Estonia has been very successful in applying for ERA Chairs because in a short time, the country has received almost 30 million euros for science grants. This shows the quality of Estonian research.

In the following interview, Taivo Raud, Head of Grant Office at the University of Tartu, helped to analyse the current situation.

How do you explain the success behind the University of Tartu’s ERA Chair funding?

Taivo Raud: This is primarily due to the excellence of researchers at the University of Tartu. They have been active in applying for the measure and have used the money coming from it as intended. Secondly, these applications are built on existing strengths in some areas and are aimed to support their further development. Only countries with a R&D performance of up to 70% of the European Union average can participate in the application of the ERA Chair. The measure works because it helps our science to meet the European excellence.

Read futher from Research in Estonia web page.