Launch of European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants and Synergy Grants

 

The European Research Council (ERC) aims to provide long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams in their pursuit of ground-breaking, high-gain/high-risk research.

ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators (PIs) at the career stage when they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Applicant PIs must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. PIs must also have been awarded their first PhD at least two and up to seven years.

Starting Grants are available to researchers of any nationality residing in any country in the world at the time of the application, but the host institution must be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country.

Grants of up to a maximum of €1.5 million are available for a period of five years. An additional €1 million can be requested to cover eligible start-up costs for PIs moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving an ERC grant; and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities.

Applications for Starting Grants should be submitted via the Funding and Tenders Portal until 16 October 2019.

In addition, ERC Synergy Grants are available to address ambitious research questions that can only be answered by the coordinated work of a small group of 2-4 PIs working together and bringing different skills and resources to tackle ambitious research problems. PIs can apply within the same host institutions (HIs) or through different HIs, and the HIs must be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country.

Proposals are submitted by a group of PIs – of which one will be designated as the corresponding PI (cPI). Applicants must present an early achievement track-record or a 10-year track-record - whichever is most appropriate for their career stage. A single submission of the full proposal will be followed by a three-step evaluation, including interviews. Proposals will be evaluated on the sole criterion of scientific excellence, including outstanding intrinsic synergetic effect. Synergy evaluations will be unique, fit for complex projects and without predefined panels.

Up to a maximum of €10 million for a period of six years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration) is available for synergy grants. An additional €4 million can be requested in the proposal in total to cover eligible 'start-up' costs for PIs moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving an ERC grant, as well as for the purchase of major equipment and access to large facilities.

An ERC grant can cover up to 100% of the total eligible direct costs of the research plus a contribution of 25% of the total eligible costs towards indirect costs.

Applications for Synergy Grants should be submitted via the Funding and Tenders Portal by the 8 November 2019 deadline.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.