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Dependency of ERC-funded research on US collaborations

Annually, the European Research Council (ERC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) allocate resources to promote research excellence in Europe and the USA. We observe that European Union (EU)-based researchers rely strongly on United States (US) collaborations to secure top EU funding, while the reverse is much less common.

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Fig. 1: Asymmetric landscape of EU- and US-funded research: collaborations and mobility.
Fig. 2: Collaboration patterns of ERC and NSF grant winners.
Fig. 3: Collaboration imbalance across scientific domains.

Data availability

The data from used in this work is openly accessible for download using the API Details of grant winners were downloaded for the ERC from and for the NSF from

Code availability

The code used in this study is available at


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F.B. acknowledges support from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research under award number FA8655-22-1-7025. N.D. acknowledges J. Marino for his hospitality at Harvard University in 2018 and the valuable discussion during which the preliminary idea of this study was conceived. This work is supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy EXC2181/1-390900948 (the Heidelberg STRUCTURES Excellence Cluster).

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S.C. led the study and performed the analysis. N.D. conceived the initial idea. F.M. provided methodological insights. F.B. provided methodological insights, organized the research questions and supervised the study. All authors substantially contributed to the interpretation of the analysis. S.C. and F.B. wrote the draft, and all authors revised the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Federico Battiston.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Nature Physics thanks the anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Chowdhary, S., Defenu, N., Musciotto, F. et al. Dependency of ERC-funded research on US collaborations. Nat. Phys. 19, 1746–1749 (2023).

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