Waynflete Professor of Chemistry awarded prestigious ERC grant

Professor Véronique Gouverneur

16 April 2024

Magdalen’s Waynflete Professor of Chemistry, Véronique Gouverneur, has been awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant, one of the most prestigious and competitive funding schemes in the EU. 

The Grants are awarded to researchers with a proven track record of significant achievements in their field to provide them with the best opportunity to pursue ambitious projects that could lead to important scientific breakthroughs.

Professor Gouverneur will use the Grant to develop new methods in fluorine chemistry to convert naturally occurring fluorspar into fluorine-containing molecules.

Fluorochemicals are hugely important as they are used in the production of polymers, agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and batteries for phones and electric cars, but they are currently created using a toxic gas called hydrogen fluoride which is harmful to humans and animals, and bad for the environment.

“I am delighted to receive this award as it will enable my team to tackle some of the most pressing problems facing the fluorochemical sector,” said Professor Gouverneur. “Our objective is to develop new chemistry to produce critically needed fluorochemicals in a safe and clean manner directly from readily available natural minerals and waste products.”

The other researchers from the University of Oxford to receive this award are Professor Shadreck Chirikure from the School of Archaeology, Professor Vili Lehdonvirta from the Oxford Internet Institute and Department of Sociology, and Professor Jin-Chong Tan from the Department of Engineering Science.