European Research Council
The European Research Council (ERC), under the Horizon Europe programme framework, funds fundamental research across all fields. It supports investigator-driven frontier research based on scientific excellence, providing attractive and long-term funding to starting and established Principal Investigators who are working or moving to work in Europe.
ERC comprises several individual funding opportunities, including:
- Starting Grants: support Principal Investigators starting their own independent research team or programme.
- Consolidator Grants (CoG): support Principal Investigators that are consolidating their own independent research team or programme.
- Advanced Grants (AdG): support Principal Investigators already established as research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements.
- Synergy Grants (SyG): support a small group of two to four Principal Investigators to jointly address ambitious research problems that could not be addressed by the individual Principal Investigators and their teams working alone.
Complementary funding for ERC Principal Investigators is also available through:
- Proof of Concept Grants, that aim at facilitating exploration of the commercial and social innovation potential of ERC-funded research.
- Public Engagement with Research Award to recognise those who successfully engage audiences outside their domain with ERC-funded research.
The maximum grant amount varies depending on the grant type. Grants up to €1,5 million (Starting), €2 million (Consolidator) and €2,5 million (Advanced) are available for a period of 5 years. Additional funding, up to €1 million, can be requested. For Synergy Grants, the funding goes up to €10 million for a period of 6 years and additional funding can go up to €4 million. Eligible project costs are reimbursed at a funding rate of 100% for direct costs plus a flat-rate of 25% for indirect costs.
The application process is based on a written proposal, submitted for given annual deadlines. In the proposal, besides the Principal Investigator(s) CV(s) and track record, the scientific and technical aspects of the project need to be described, demonstrating the ground-breaking nature of the research, its potential impact, and research methodology.
For Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants, the proposal is submitted as a single submission, but the evaluation follows a two-step process: (1) assessment of the extended synopsis, PI track record and CV, and (2) for the retained proposals, the whole application will be assessed, and the PI will be invited for an interview. For Synergy Grants, the single submission of the proposal is followed by a 3-step evaluation, where the interview takes place only for the most competitive retained proposals.
- Principal Investigator(s) have a minimum % of their working time that must be spent on the ERC project (30-50%, depending on the Grant) and in a Member State or Associated Country (50%).
- The host institution must either be established in a Member State or Associated Country as a legal entity created under national law or it may be an International European Research Organisation or other entity created under EU law.
- Principal Investigators applying to the Starting or Consolidator Grants have specific eligibility criteria, based on the date of award of their first PhD (> 2 years and ≤ 7 years for Starting Grants; > 7 years and ≤ 12 years for Consolidator Grants).
Do you need help validating your match or preparing your application?
For more detailed information and latest updates, see the official programme website.