European Research Council awards Rudolf Zeidler a “Starting Grant”
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded Dr. Rudolf Zeidler an ERC Starting Grant. The grant of 1.4 million euros enables Rudolf Zeidler, a mathematician at the University of Münster’s Mathematical Institute, to pursue the research project entitled “Comparison and rigidity for scalar curvature” (COMSCAL) for the next five years. This research topic combines the fields of geometry, topology and analysis, and the results will benefit basic research, as well as having a bearing on the mathematical description of general relativity.
An ERC Starting Grant is one of the most prestigious European awards for junior researchers. This year, the ERC awarded 400 such grants to researchers. For Rudolf Zeidler, the confirmation of the award is the second piece of good news within just a short space of time. In July, the German Research Foundation (DFG) accepted him to the Heisenberg Programme, which supports promising researchers on their way towards a tenured professorship.
“For me, these awards are a gratifying confirmation of my work,” says a delighted Rudolf Zeidler. He will be using the funds to set up his own research group with two doctoral researchers and a postdoc, with the aim of pushing forward his research in the area between geometric analysis, differential geometry and algebraic topology.
The main focus of Zeidler’s research is on scalar curvature. This is a concept from Riemannian geometry, and it describes subtle geometric phenomena in spaces in higher dimensions. Together with his team he plans to develop fundamentally new tools for investigating scalar curvature. “I anticipate that our results will turn out to be useful not only for geometry but also for many other fields of mathematics,” he says, “among other things in the context of mathematical general relativity, in order to gain a better understanding of geometric properties of so-called initial data sets for Einstein’s equations – certain three-dimensional sections through spacetime.”
“Here at the University of Münster, the conditions for our research project are ideal,” he adds. “The Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster, which I have been involved in since 2019, aims to connect various fields of mathematics and develop overarching tools – and that’s exactly what we are intending to do in our project.” He would like to invest some of the funding he has been awarded in organising an international conference, as well as in undertaking research visits to the USA in order to continue his collaboration with other experts working in the same field.
About Rudolf Zeidler
Rudolf Zeidler, who was born in Vienna in 1988, has been working as a postdoc at the University of Münster since 2016, where he is involved in research at the Cluster of Excellence Mathematics Münster, as well as in the Collaborative Research Centre 1442, “Geometry: Deformations and Rigidity”. He graduated from the University of Vienna and wrote his PhD at the University of Göttingen, where he was interim professor for one semester in 2020. In 2022 he completed his habilitation.
The ERC Starting Grants funding line supports young researchers who wish to set up their own, independent research group. Other funding lines which the European Research Council has are the Consolidator Grant and the Advanced Grant.
With its Heisenberg Programme, the German Research Foundation (DFG) supports young researchers who meet all the requirements for being appointed to a tenured professorship. At a location of their choice, the researchers can continue working on top-class projects and thereby boost their academic reputation.