Deadline: 16 October 2019
Are you a talented early-career scientist who has already produced excellent supervised work, is ready to work independently and shows potential to be a research leader? The ERC Starting Grant could be for you.
Who can apply?
Researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (Extensions are possible under certain circumstances — see the latest ERC Work Programme), a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal
What proposals are eligible?
Applications can be made in any field of research
The ERC's grants operate on a 'bottom-up' basis without predetermined priorities.
Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (known as a Host Institution/HI). It could be the HI where the applicant already works, or any other HI located in one of the EU Member States (see also eligibility of UK legal entities) or Associated Countries
- Host Institution
Applications for an ERC grant must be submitted by a single Principal Investigator (PI) in conjunction with and on behalf of their Host Institution, called the applicant legal entity.
Grants are awarded to the Host Institution with the explicit commitment that this institution offers appropriate conditions for the Principal Investigator independently to direct the research and manage its funding for the duration of the project.
Any type of legal entity, including universities, research centres and undertakings can host the PI and his/her team. Legally the host institution must be based in one of the EU Member States, or one of the associated countries.
The PI does not necessarily need to be working at the host institution at the time when the proposal is submitted. However, a mutual agreement and the host institution’s commitment on how the relationship will be established are necessary, should the proposal be successful.
ERC grants support projects carried out by an individual researcher who can employ researchers of any nationality as team members. It is also possible to have one or more team members located in a non-European country.
Vacancies for team members interested in joining an ERC led research project, can be published on the Euraxess-Jobs portal.
Initiatives, under the form of 'Implementing Arrangements', exist for ERC-funded teams in Europe to host non-European talented scientists. Find out more about the agreements.
Starting Grants may be awarded up to € 1.5 million for a period of 5 years. (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However, an additional € 1 million can be made available to cover eligible “start-up” costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities and/or other major experimental and field work costs.
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.
How to apply?
Before the call is published:
Once the call is open:
- Read the call documents carefully.
- Contact the host institution and gather all the details you need for the application.
- Start writing your proposal. Allow time for other people to review your draft. Your NCP, peers and other scientists can all give you helpful support and feedback.
- Familiarise yourself with the EU submission service. This is the online system through which proposals must be submitted. (see also the online guide to using the proposal submission service and the H2020 Online manual.
- Submit your proposal as early as possible. Deadlines cannot be changed under any circumstances. You can update your submitted proposal any time before the deadline by simply submitting a new version, which will overwrite the old one.
- You will get an ‘acknowledgement of receipt’ by e-mail for each submission.
After the deadline:
- The ERC will check whether your proposal meets the call’s eligibility criteria.
- External experts will evaluate all the eligible proposals.
- You will receive further information as your proposal progresses through the evaluation. For more information we invite you to consult the timeframe for the current call.