Nobel Prize winner Dr Tim Hunt has called for more Serbian researchers to access the money provided by the European Research Council under Horizon 2020.

The member of the ERC Scientific Council made the comments during a recent five-day visit to Serbia at the invitation of the Crown Prince of Yugoslavia, Aleksandar Karađorđević. In a video discussing the blue sky research body, Hunt said there was no reason why Serbian scientists could not apply for funding across all ERC fields of research, citing ‘excellence’ as the only criterion for grants. He also drew attention to Serbia’s contribution to mathematical research.

However, in comments carried on the Serbian news website ‘Tanjug’, Gordana Popovic, ERC research programme officer and a scientist of Serbian descent, said researchers in the country were hesitant about applying for grants.

During his visit, Hunt said he hoped to help encourage greater Serbian participation in Horizon 2020. The principal scientist at Cancer Research UK also delivered a lecture at the University of Belgrade.