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european research council (ERC)
Benefits and types of grants
European Research Council (ERC) grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe.
The sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence.
- Offer independence, recognition, visibility and flexibility;
- Work on a research topic of own choice, with a team of own choice;
- Gain true financial autonomy for 5 years;
- Grantee can move within Europe with the grant;
- Attract additional funding and gain recognition - ERC is a quality label;
- Grantee can keep affiliation with home institute outside Europe ('significant part' of work time in Europe, at least 50%).
READ MORE about ERC funded projects
There are five main types of grants available:
- Starting grants (up to 1.5 € million for 5 years, for promising early-career researchers with 2 to 7 years’ experience after PhD)
- Consolidator Grants (up to 2 € million for 5 years, for excellent researchers with 7 to 12 years’ experience after PhD)
- Advanced Grants (up to 2.5 € million for 5 years, for established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements)
- Synergy Grants (up to 10 € million for 6 years to address ambitious research questions that can only be answered by the coordinated work of a small group of investigators)
- Proof of concept (up to 150.000 € for existing ERC grant holders to bring their research ideas closer to the market)
READ MORE about ERC funding
How to proceed:
- First determine which ERC grant and which call is relevant for you, then identify in which host institution in an EU Member State or Associated Country you would like to undertake your research project and then contact them to seek their support and agreement to host you.
You can check hosting opportunities on EURAXESS.
- As you will be submitting the proposal, ensure you carefully read the guidance documents for applicants. Gather all the concrete details needed for completing the application forms from your future host institution and start writing your proposal early enough to submit it for external opinions. Make yourself familiar with the Participant Portal Submission Service and do not wait until the last minute as Call deadlines are strictly enforced.
ERC grants support projects carried out by an individual researcher (‘Principal Investigator’) and his or her team. The constitution of the research teams is flexible and team members can be of any nationality, European or non-European, depending on the nature of a project.
Vacancies for team members of an ERC project can be published by the Principal Investigator on the EURAXESS Jobs portal.