Call by the ERC - Synergy Grants for small teams of ground-breaking scientists

The European Research Council (ERC) selects and funds the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age to run five-to-six year projects in a public or private research organisation based in the countries of the European Research Area (ERA), that includes EU Member States and Associated Countries to the Framework Programme Horizon 2020. 

The 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 with a ground-breaking research proposal. Any field of research is eligible.

Who may apply? 

A group of 2 to maximum 4 Principal Investigators (PIs) – of which one will be designated as the corresponding PI (cPI) – working together and bringing different skills and resources to tackle ambitious research problems. No specific eligibility criteria regarding the academic training are foreseen for ERC Synergy Grants. PIs must present an early achievement track-record or a ten-year track-record, whichever is most appropriate.

Proposals will be evaluated on the sole criterion of scientific excellence which, in the case the ERC Synergy Grants, takes on the additional meaning of outstanding intrinsic synergetic effect.

Note that the funded research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation(known as a Host Institution/HI) located in any of the EU Member States or associated countries. PIs can apply within the same HI or through different HIs.

Note that Synergy Grant Group can include up to one Principal Investigator based in a third country, including in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico or in any other LAC country.

What do the ERC Synergy Grants offer?

Synergy Grants can be up to a maximum of €10 million for a period of 6 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However an addition €4 million can be requested in the proposal in total to cover:

  1. eligible 'start-up' costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving an ERC grant and/or
  2. the purchase of major equipment  and/or
  3. 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.

Please find the call here.

Important information:

Recruitement of team members from allover the world:

ERC Synergy grants support projects carried out by 2 to 4 individual researchers who can employ researchers of any nationality as team members (PhD, postdoc, researcher levels). It is also possible to have one or more team members located in a non-European country if relevant. Vacancies for team members within an ERC project are usually published on the EURAXESS Jobs portal.

Deadline: 8 November 2018


h2020-guide19-erc-syg_en.pdf (1.62 MB) erc_grant_schemes.pdf (1.98 MB)