Today, the European Research Council (ERC) has announced the awarding of 400 Starting Grants to young scientists and scholars across Europe. In this latest round of Starting Grants, we saw one of the highest shares of female grantees to date, which I hope will continue to rise. His ERC research project focuses on testing high-risk/high-gain ideas to develop next-generation materials that have intrinsic resistance to hydrogen-induced damage. With the ERC Starting Grant, she will launch PHOTOCAT3.0; a project pioneering the development of next-generation photocatalysts that efficiently synthesise energy-dense chemicals with sunlight. Professor Qing said: ‘I am delighted to receive this ERC Starting Grant, which offers a rare opportunity for us to focus on a long-term and high-risk project.