|Posted on February 3, 2014 at 9:40 AM|
2013 has been a great year. I started the year knowing that my project DFTCorr was selected for the final stage of the Starting Grant (StG). I had the interview in Brussels on April. Unfortunately, it did not went as good as I would like to; one of the members of the committee was clearly against my proposal. On June I got the outcome. It was very good (A) but it was not enough to be granted the StG. I was on the 53%-55% ranking range (the 1-50% range was awarded). Since then, I started working on the Consolidator Grant 2014 proposal, which I will submit at the end of May 2014.
On May 2013, I got the outcome of the Ramon y Cajal grant (Spanish five-year tenure track). It did not matter that I have passed to the final stage of the StG... this time they did not even rank me among the first fifty. I gave up on this proposal, is too much biased towards high-IF research. My research does not get published in JACS or Angewandte. In my humble opinion it is completely unfair to those of us who work on more theoretically-oriented research, but I cannot help it. I better focus on non-Spanish calls, which are less driven by this IF craziness.
At the end of the year I got two good news. On one side, I was one of the eight researchers awarded a Europa Excelencia project (€75,000). Only those researchers that submitted a StG in the last call (2013), passed to the last stage in Brussels and get the maximum score (A), could apply. IMHO it is a bit unfair that other researchers who also made it to the final stage in Brussels but got a B could not apply for these projects. I'm using this money to purchase a small workstation and hire several people to work on the DFTCorr project.
On December I learnt I was awarded a five-year position at the Basque Country with possibility of permanent position after evaluation on the fourth year. The position comes also with some startup money and a travel allowance from the Ikerbasque foundation [total funding: €215,408].
Research-wise it was also a very good year. Several important results have been obtained, including a very precise approximation for the third-order reduced density matrix (3-RDM) [work submitted], a new stringent condition for the density matrix functional theory (DMFT) [work to be submitted soon] -that in principle can be extended to DFT- and several partial results on the DFT project that can be used to reinforce the CoG application of 2014. I just need the time to write down all this stuff... :-) Hopefully I can start before the end of May!
Addendum 1 (March 2014): Several newspapers and websites published the news about the Europa Excelencia and the Ikerbasque position. Local News: UdG, Science & Technology Park. Catalan Newspapers: Punt Avui, Diari de Girona and La Vanguardia. Spanish Newspaper: ABC.
Addendum 2 (April 2014): My PhD student, Mauricio Rodriguez, who is working on the DFTcorr project, was awarded the Master Thesis award and obtained a national PhD grant. On the other hand, Eloy Ramos obtained his PhD diploma, and he will be soon hired as postdoc to continue his work on DFTcorr.
Addendum 3 (May 2014): Verònica Postils was awarded the Sant Jordi award for his work 'Electrides. Tomorrow's compounds', based on her Master Thesis (September 2013) that I co-supervised.