Research & Innovation > Research management > Research Funding > ERC

European Research Council - ERC

The mission of the ERC is to promote the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research in all fields based on scientific excellence.

The research support office offers you personal information about the different funding opportunities and advises you on funding possibilities for your project idea!

The ERC approach is "bottom-up" and allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in each research area, rather than being guided by pre-set priorities or thematic calls. This ensures that funds are directed to new and promising research areas with a greater degree of flexibility.

For all ERC grants, scientific excellence is the sole evaluation criterion.

The ERC's funding portfolio comprises a total of five measures:

ERC Starting Grant

Researchers applying for ERC Starting Grants must have already demonstrated their potential for scientific independence and maturity.

Requirements:

  • Applicants 2-7 years after PhD
  • At least one high-profile publication written without the involvement of the PhD supervisor.
  • Evidence of promising track record of initial research according to research area and career stage
  • Outstanding publications as lead author in major international peer-reviewed journals across disciplines or in the leading peer-reviewed international journals in the field.
  • Invited presentations at prestigious international conferences, patents, awards, prizes, etc.

Funding:

  • €1.5 million for a funding period of 5 years.
  • 50% minimum of a PI's working time, must be spent
  • Additional up to €1M for "start-up" costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country, purchase of larger equipment, access to large-scale facilities, cover other major costs for experiments and fieldwork.

Next call for proposals: 23.09.2021-13.01.2022

ERC Consolidator Grant

Researchers applying for ERC Consolidator Grants must have a promising scientific track record and an excellent research project proposal.

Requirements:

  • Applicants 7-12 years after PhD.
  • Support for excellent PIs at the career stage where they are still in the process of consolidating their own independent research team or program.
  • Evidence of scientific independence and maturity through several notable publication authored without involvement of PhD supervisor.
  • Evidence of promising track record of previous achievements according to research areas and career stage.
  • Significant publications as a lead author in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals in their respective fields.
  • Invited presentations at prestigious international conferences, patents, awards, prizes, etc.

Funding:

  • 2 million Euro for a funding period of 5 years.
  • Min. 40% of a PI's working time must be used for the ERC grant
  • Additional up to 1 M € for "start-up" costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country, purchase of larger equipment, access to large facilities, cover other major costs for experiments and fieldwork.

Next Call for proposals: 19.10.2021-17.03.2022

ERC Advanced Grant

Researchers applying for ERC Advanced Grants must have made significant research achievements in the last 10 years. PIs should be outstanding in terms of originality and significance of their research.

Prerequisites:

  • A competitive Advanced Grant PI must have established a record of achievement that demonstrates exceptional leadership in terms of originality and significance of the research contributions.
  • In most research areas, PIs of Advanced Grant applications are expected to provide a record of achievement appropriate to the field and meeting at least one or more of the following benchmarks, including:
  • 10 publications as lead author* in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals and/or leading international peer-reviewed journals and peer-reviewed conference proceedings in the respective field;
  • 5 issued patents;
  • 10 invited presentations at established, internationally organized conferences and advanced schools;
  • 3 established international conferences or congresses in which the* PI participated as a member of the organizing committee;
  • significant contributions to the careers of outstanding researchers;
  • Recognized leadership in innovation.

Funding:

  • €2.5 million for a funding period of 5 years.
  • 30% minimum share of a PI's working time, must be spent
  • Additional up to €1M to cover "start-up" costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country, purchase of larger equipment, access to large-scale facilities, other major experimental and fieldwork costs.

Calls for proposals:

  • 20.05.2021-31.08.2022
  • 20.01.2022-28.04.2022

ERC Synergy Grant

Funding for researchers who wish to tackle a research problem that is so challenging that it cannot be accomplished with their team alone (ERC Synergy Grant).

Requirements:

  • A group of two to four PIs - one of whom is designated as the corresponding PI (cPI) - work together, bringing diverse skills and resources to bear on ambitious research problems.     Applications must demonstrate that the proposed research cannot be accomplished by a single PI alone.

Funding:

  • €10 million for a funding period of 6 years.
  • 30% minimum of a PI's working time, must be spent
  • additional up to €4M to cover "start-up" costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country, acquisition of larger equipment, access to large-scale facilities, other major experimental and fieldwork costs.

Next Call for proposals: 15.07.2021-10.11.2021 (preliminary)

ERC Proof of Concept Grant

All PIs in an ERC project that is either ongoing or has been completed less than 12 months before January 1, 2020 are eligible and may apply for an ERC Proof of Concept Grant.

PIs must be able to demonstrate the link between the idea to be brought to Proof of Concept and the respective ERC project (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy).