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School of Politics and International Relations

Queen Mary academic wins €2m prestigious European Research Council funding

Professor Rainbow Murray from the School of Politics and International Relations has been awarded a €2M grant from the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator scheme to study the representation of men in politics. She is one of 308 leading researchers across Europe who have been awarded funding in the ERC (2023) competition.

A photo of Rainbow against a plain background

ERC Consolidator (CoG) Grants fund outstanding researchers with a promising scientific track record who have 7-12 years’ experience since their PhD, as emerging leaders to consolidate their teams at their host institutions to conduct pioneering research for up to 5 years in any topic or discipline, and with methods of their choosing. Worth in total €627 million, the grants are part of the EU’s Horizon Europe programme. 

The MENSREP project, a comparative study across the UK, US, France, and Norway, will investigate the representation of men in political bodies. Despite men and women making up approximately half of the electorates, nearly every legislature worldwide has a male majority. 

Previous studies around gender and politics have tended to address this issue by focusing on the underrepresentation of women. MENSREP aims to answer new questions by concentrating instead on understanding why elite male dominance in politics has led to inferior policy outcomes for men as well as women.  

Commenting on the award, Professor Murray said:  

“I am delighted to receive this award and very grateful to my inspiring Queen Mary colleagues for their generous support. This project helps us to learn more about how men are represented politically. It will explore how men’s interests are defined and defended, while also understanding how some men are marginalised from the political process. It will highlight how more diversity within politics can help improve policy outcomes for men and women.” 

Vice-Principal (Research and Innovation) at Queen Mary, Professor Andrew Livingston, said:  

“ERC Consolidator Grants are extremely competitive. I’m thrilled that that the panel has recognised Rainbow’s expertise and the excellence of research at Queen Mary through this award. The MENSREP project will challenge existing knowledge and generate new ways of thinking about creating a truly inclusive legislature. Warmest congratulations to Rainbow on her achievement, I am looking forward to hearing about the findings of this fascinating research project.” 

The laureates of this grant competition will carry out their projects at universities and research centres in 22 European Union Member States and other countries associated with Horizon Europe. There are nationals of 43 countries among the winners of this call and the grants will create around 1,800 jobs for postdoctoral fellows, PhD students, and other staff at the host institutions.  

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:  

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the brilliant researchers who have been selected for ERC Consolidator Grants. I'm especially thrilled to note the significant increase in the representation of women among the winners for the third consecutive year in this prestigious grant competition. This positive trend not only reflects the outstanding contributions of women researchers but also highlights the strides we are making towards a more inclusive and diverse scientific community.”



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