Israel’s Hebrew University (HU) of Jerusalem ties with Oxford University in the number of new European Research Council (ERC) starting research grants awarded in the past two years, according to figures released by the ERC.

In that period, both the Hebrew University and Oxford received the second-highest number of grants (11 each), exceeded only by Cambridge University (with 12 grants), of all the universities in Europe and Israel that were eligible for such financial grants. The ERC starting grants are intended to provide support and encouragement for young research scientists.

In all, the Hebrew University received the impressive sum of $42,557,540 in both starting and advanced European Research Council grants in the last two-year period, with ten HU scientists receiving advanced grants in 2008-2009.

Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson says that the figures provide solid confirmation of HU’s, leading research role in Israel and “as compared to some of the most outstanding universities in the world.”

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology was awarded nine such grants for the two-year period, while the Weizmann Institute received eight.