Starting Grant Call
|Opening Date||25th of February 2021|
|Deadline||08th April 2021 (17:00)|
|Overall EC budget for 2021||619.000.000€|
|Maximum budget per project||1.500.000€|
|Number of projects to be funded (max.)||Max. 412 projects|
Consolidator Grant Call
|Opening Date||11th of March 2021|
|Deadline||20th April 2021 (17:00)|
|Overall EC budget for 2021||633.000.000€|
|Maximum budget per project||2.000.000€|
|Number of projects to be funded (max.)||Max. 316 projects|
What is the ERC starting grant success rate?
According to the 2020 call data:
|Field of Science||Submitted proposals||Selected proposals|
|Physical Sciences and Engineering||1409||186|
|Social Sciences and Humanities||940||126|
The success rate in 2020 was around 13,3%.
How to write an ERC grant?
You should frequently review the Funding and Tenders portal for updates on the call. Relevant information such as FAQs, topics updates…are usually uploaded and they might be relevant for the proposal.
Single Principal Investigator (PI) heading research teams
The ERC grants support individual researchers that are starting their own independent research team or programme and who can demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. In certain fields (e.g. in the humanities and mathematics), where research is often performed individually, the ‘team’ may consist solely of the Principal Investigator.
Research fields – no predetermined priorities
The ERC’s frontier research grants operate on a ‘bottom-up’ basis and applications can be made in any field of research with an emphasis on the frontiers of science, scholarship and engineering. In particular, the ERC encourages proposals of a multi- or interdisciplinary nature which cross the boundaries between different fields of research, pioneering proposals addressing new and emerging fields of research or proposals introducing unconventional, innovative approaches and scientific inventions. The focus is on the PI and on the individual team. Support for consortia is provided by other calls under Horizon Europe. Projects wholly or largely consisting of the collation and compilation of existing material in new databases, editions or collections are unlikely to constitute ground-breaking or frontier research, however useful such resources might be to subsequent original research. Such projects are therefore unlikely to be recommended for funding by the ERC panels.
Starting grant profiles:
- A competitive STG PI must have already shown the potential for research independence and evidence of maturity, for example by having produced at least one important publication as main author or without the participation of their PhD supervisor.
- All PIs should also be able to demonstrate a promising track record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage, including significant publications (as main author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in leading international peer-reviewed journals of their respective field. They may also demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes etc.
The HI must engage the PI for at least the duration of the project, as defined in the grant agreement. It must either be established in an EU Member State or an AC9 as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an international European research organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) or any other entity created under EU law.
International organisations with headquarters in an EU Member State or AC will be deemed to be established in this Member State or AC. Any type of legal entity, public or private, including universities, research organisations and undertakings can host Principal Investigators and their teams. The ERC welcomes applications from PIs hosted by private for-profit research centres, including industrial laboratories. Normally the PI will be employed by the HI, but cases where, for duly justified reasons, the PI’s employer cannot become the HI, or where the PI is self-employed, can be accommodated. The specific conditions of engagement will be subject to clarification and approval during the granting procedure or during the amendment procedure for a change of HI. During the granting process, the financial capacity of applicant legal entities will be assessed, if required.
ERC grants are open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any EU MS or an AC11. The research team may be of national or trans-national character. The PI does not need to be employed by the HI at the time when the proposal is submitted. If not already employed by the HI, the PI must be engaged by the latter at least for the duration of the grant. Grant proposals are submitted by the PI taking scientific responsibility for the project, on behalf of the host institution.
The requirements in terms of PhD award date are as follows:
The first PhD shall have been awarded:
- 2 and ≤ 7 years prior to 1 January 2021
- Cut-off dates: PhD awarded: from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2018 (inclusive)
The eligibility periods set out in the table above can be extended beyond 7 and 12 years for the Starting and Consolidator Grants respectively for certain properly documented circumstances such as for maternity and paternity leave, clinical training, long-term illness or national service (see Annex 4.4 for further details). The ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees, including specific provisions for holders of medical degrees, is provided in Annex 4.3.
Expected time commitment
With the support of the HI, the successful PIs are expected to lead their individual teams and devote a significant amount of time to the project. They will be expected to spend as a minimum 50% for STG of their working time on the ERC project and a minimum of 50% of their working time in an EU MS or an AC.