Nearly €2 billion investment in top European researchers – the ERC plan for 2018

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Tags: ERC

The European Research Council (ERC) announces its 2018 grant competitions with a total budget of around €1.86 billon, most of which earmarked for early - to mid-career researchers across all fields of research. It also includes social science and humanities.

In addition, the ERC is reintroducing Synergy Grants, the funding scheme for groups of two to four scientists who jointly address ambitious research problems.

Two grant competitions – for Starting Grants and for Synergy Grants – Open on 3 August 2017.

The Work Programme, established by the ERC Scientific Council, was pre-announced on 19 July, and adopted on 3 August 2017 by the European Commission.

The Work Programme includes all the well-known and established ERC funding schemes: Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants, as well as Proof of Concept Grants for ERC grantees who wish to explore the innovation potential of their research results.

What is new is the Synergy Grants scheme. Building on the experience of the 2012 and 2013 pilot competitions, the ERC Scientific Council decided to reintroduce Synergy Grants for groups of two to four excellent principal investigators. The grants may be awarded for up to €10 million for 6 years.

The ultimate goal of the scheme is to give support to close collaborative interactions that will enable transformative research, cross-fertilizing disciplines and capable of yielding groundbreaking scientific results.

The first 2018 grant competitions open on 3 August 2017:

• Starting Grants competition with an application deadline of 17 October 2017. To know more, click here.

• Synergy Grants competition with an application deadline of 14 November 2017. To know more, click here.

The other competitions will follow, according to the indicative calendar in the Work Programme. 

Some 900 new grantees are expected to benefit from ERC funding next year across all schemes. They will employ an estimated 6,000 post-docs, PhD students and other members as part of their research teams. The Work Programme foresees that the ERC will continue to qualitatively analyse the scientific output of its funded projects with a particular focus on any potential breakthroughs and discoveries.