September 04, 2023 | News | Congratulations

ERC Grant for Silvia Loi

Silvia Loi, deputy head of the Laboratory of Population Health, has successfully applied for a grant from the European Research Council (ERC). She will receive approximately 1.5 million euros to carry out her research project "Immigrant-Native Health Disparities in Ageing Societies".

Silvia Loi has been a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research since 2017. Since July 2022, she is deputy head of the Laboratory of Population Health under the leadership of Institute Director Mikko Myrskylä. Silvia Loi's project will investigate health inequalities between immigrants and natives at older ages.

In the video, Silvia Loi describes her project in detail.

"I will focus on the two most pressing demographic phenomena in Europe: migration and population aging. I will be addressing one of the most interesting and unsolved paradoxical puzzles in the field: Why do immigrants age in poorer health than natives? The paradox is that immigrants arrive in their receiving countries in excellent health. But their health deteriorates much faster than that of natives. This leads to poorer health in old age," she explains.

Silvia Loi received an ERC Starting Grant 2023. © MPIDR

Silvia Loi will take an innovative approach that combines two prominent theoretical frameworks in population health: the life course approach and the intersectional perspective. "Solving the puzzle of why immigrants age so unhealthily is crucial: immigrants are entering older ages with an increased risk of developing health problems, and at the same time immigration to Europe is likely to increase due to poverty, conflicts and the climate crisis. Therefore, studying health disparities between immigrants and natives in ageing societies is crucial to provide insights on healthy ageing" said Loi.

The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds innovative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants. With its additional Proof of Concept Grant scheme, the ERC helps grantees to bridge the gap between their pioneering research and early phases of its commercialization. The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since November 2021, Maria Leptin is the President of the ERC. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe program, currently under the responsibility of European Commission Executive Vice President Margarete Vestager. 


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The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.