Björn Rasch receives ERC grant

Fribourg University Professor Björn Rasch has been awarded one of the largest EU research grants, a Starting Grant of the European Research Council (ERC) amounting to 1.5 million Euros.

The sleep researcher and biopsychologist Prof Björn Rasch of the University of Fribourg has received one of the largest European grants.  The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded him a Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros (1.63 million CHF). This year there were in total 2920 candidates for these grants.

Sleep better without medication

The ERC grant provides funding for a research project for a period of five years. Björn Rasch will use the funding for basic research in the area of sleep: his goal is to discover how psychological factors activated before sleep can influence sleep in an objectively measurable manner. In particular he would like to increase deep sleep which is important for health and mental recovery. The research project is entitled: Longing for a good night’s sleep: A memory-based mechanism to improve sleep and cognitive functioning (Acronym: MemoSleep).

This new approach is intended to aid sufferers of stress-related sleep disorders. It could also help aged persons enjoy more restful sleep without medication. Commonly prescribed sleeping pills reduce deep sleep and their long-term use may lead to drug dependency and side effects.

ERC Starting Grants

The European Research Council’s Grant programs are open to top-level researchers of any nationality and any age who wish to carry out their ground-breaking research projects in one of the 28 EU member states or associated countries.

Prof Dr Björn Rasch, Cognitive Biopsychology und Methods, Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg,, 026 300 7637