We’re incredibly proud of Mansfield Professor, Stephen Blundell, upon being awarded a European Research Council (ERC) grant from the European Union (EU).

ERC grants are awarded to established top-tier researchers from all fields. The competition for ERC grants is always high, particularly this year: from the 1700 proposals submitted, only 14% of the applicants were successful.* We are thrilled that Mansfield College Fellow and Professor, Stephen Blundell, is one of the four excellent research leaders from Oxford to have been awarded the prestigious Advanced Grant by the ERC for his boundary-pushing research project in Physics.

Stephen’s project uses muons, spin-polarised radioactive particles, to study spin liquids, exotic phases of matter in which the individual magnetic moments form a liquid-like state. Stephen’s research will aim to develop new methods for identifying the preferred implantation sites of muons inside crystals and will deploy pulses of microwave radiation to control the state of the muon and other magnetic moments with which the muon interacts. These techniques will then be used to learn about the mysterious spin liquids and show how their quantum mechanical properties emerge.

You can find out more about Stephen’s research here and about ERC grants here.

Congratulations, Stephen!



*The holding of ERC awards by researchers based at UK institutions is subject to formalisation of the UK’s association to Horizon Europe, which remains the stated priority for the UK government, in line with the Trade and Cooperation Agreement agreed between the UK and the EU in December 2020. In the event that association is not confirmed by the final date for signature of grant agreements then the UK government’s Horizon Europe funding guarantee will apply, with UK awardees receiving equivalent funding via UKRI.