Forthcoming ERC Calls this September - ERC Starting Grants & ERC Synergy Grants

Two ERC calls are scheduled to open next month – September 2018.

ERC Starting Grants

The European Research Council’s (ERC) Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme in all scientific fields.

ERC Starting Grants in brief:

  • Open to researchers of any nationality with 2 – 7 years of experience since completion of PhD (or equivalent degree) and scientific track record showing great promise
  • Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries (including Switzerland)
  • Funding per grant: up to € 1.5 million. An additional € 0.5 million can be made available to cover eligible “start-up” costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or to an associated country and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities.
  • Duration: up to 5 years
  • Sole evaluation criterion: scientific excellence of researcher and research proposal
  • Calls for proposals: published once a year


ERC open to the world

The ERC strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world to come to Europe. To date, the ERC has funded some 7 000 top researchers at various stages of their careers. Currently, there are 621 principal investigators of non-ERA nationality, representing 8% of all grantees. These grant holders are mainly nationals of the US (212), Canada (61), Russia (40), Australia (35), India (35), and Japan (24). Please, note that ERC grants support projects carried outby an individual researcher (“Principal Investigator”) 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.

Expected deadline: 17 October 2018


ERC Synergy Grants

ERC Synergy Grants are designed to tackle truly bold scientific challenges by funding groups of up to 4 excellent Principal Investigators (PIs) who jointly address the frontier of knowledge.

This action is open to researchers of any nationality with early achievement or a 10-year track-record who intend to conduct their research activity in any Member State or Associated Country. The ERC's frontier research grants operate on a 'bottom-up' basis without predetermined priorities.

ERC Synergy Grants in brief:

  • Fund a small group of PIs (2 to 4) with a designated corresponding PI who applies.
  • Research projects must tackle ambitious scientific challenges through a unique combination of skills and knowledge of the PIs. Applications must demonstrate that the proposed research cannot be carried out by a single PI working alone.
  • Any field of research.
  • For researchers of any nationality presenting an early achievement or a ten-year track-record
  • Research must be conducted by all PIs in public or private research organisation(s) located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries (including Switzerland). One PI can be based outside of EU or AC [including the ASEAN member countries]. PIs can apply within the same host institution (HI) or through different HIs.
  • Each of the PIs shall spend a minimum of 50% of their total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country (expect the one located out of Europe, if any), and a minimum of 30% of their total working time on the ERC project.
  • Funding per grant: up to EU EUR 10 million (in some circumstances up to EUR 14 million)
  • Duration: up to 6 years
  • Sole evaluation criterion: scientific excellence of the proposal
  • Calls for proposals: published once a year


Please, note that as from July 2018, Synergy Grant Group can include up to one Principal Investigator based in a third country, including ASEAN countries.


Expected deadline: 8 November 2018


Related content:

ERC Calls 2019 – tentative timetable

Main changes expected in ERC work programme 2019

Meet the Southeast Asian ERC Grantees

Applying for an ERC grant: two-time awardee shares his advice

List of ERC National Contact Points