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Trinity Researchers Secure Prestigious European Research Council Grants

February 2016

Assistant Professor in Geography, School of Natural Sciences, Martin Sokol, has secured a prestigious European Research Council Consolidator Grants, worth a combined total of €4.5 million.

These highly competitive grants allow exceptional mid-career researchers to pursue ground-breaking research, consolidate their research teams, and develop innovative ideas.

This Consolidator Grant, along with another for the ERC Research Professor in Chemistry, Valeria Nicolosi, are the only ones to be awarded in Ireland for this funding cycle. The ERC forms part of the EU Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020.

Professor Sokol will use the grant to ask questions about the process of financialisation – the growing power of finance over societies and economies – to develop a better informed view of how banks, states and households across post-socialist East-Central Europe are interconnected by financial chains with each other and with a wider political economy.

Professor Sokol will use the grant to assess the growing power of finance over societies and economies, using Eastern Europe as a 'living laboratory'.

Professor Sokol, who is also a founding member and co-organiser of the Global Network on Financial Geography, said: “The objective is to examine how states, banks and households in post-socialist contexts have been financialised and to consider what implications this has for the societies in question and for Europe as a whole.”

“Eastern Europe will be used as a laboratory to understand how finance penetrates every nook and cranny of post-communist economies that were previously built on completely opposite principles. The project will open up new horizons in studies of finance, its geography and its future role in society.”