European Research Council (ERC) has approved and recommended for funding the project of the Laboratory for Bioarchaeology - BIRTH: Births, mothers and babies: prehistoric fertility in the Balkans between 10,000-5000 BC, with Professor Dr Sofija Stefanović as the Principal Investigator.

During the next five years, ERC will support the BIRTH project with 1,7 million €. Within the project, the Laboratory for Bioarchaeology team consisting of Professor Dr Vesna Dimitrijević, Assistant Professor Dr Marko Porčić, Dr Marija Radović, Ivana Živaljević, Jelena Jovanović and Tamara Blagojević, and Dr Dragana Filipović from the Institute for Balkan Studies will investigate the causes of fertility increase in prehistory. The population growth in the Neolithic was essential for the further development of the humankind, and is therefore considered to be one of the major events in human evolution. BIRTH project will investigate which changes in human biology and culture might have had positive effects on fertility increase, a topic which is still insufficiently studied in contemporary science.
With regards to the news that BIRTH is the very first project from Serbia to receive ERC support, Sofija Stefanović has stated that “This is a very important day for science in Serbia, and I hope that the accomplishment of our team will inspire scientists throughout the country to materialize their groundbreaking research ideas (and I am sure that there are many!) with the support of ERC in the near future. ERC could provide significant support to the development of Serbian science, given that Serbia possesses both groundbreaking research ideas and excellent scientists, which is precisely what ERC aims to encourage.