What is the European Research Council?
The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence.
Being ‘investigator-driven’, or ‘bottom-up’, in nature, the ERC approach allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in any field of research, rather than being led by priorities set by politicians. This ensures that funds are channeled into new and promising areas of research with a greater degree of flexibility.
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. The aim here is to recognise the best ideas, and confer status and visibility on the best brains in Europe, while also attracting talent from abroad.
The ERC aims to:
- Support the best of the best in Europe across all fields of science, scholarship and engineering
- Promote wholly investigator-driven, or ‘bottom-up’ frontier research
- Encourage the work of the established and next generation of independent top research leaders in Europe
- Reward innovative proposals by placing emphasis on the quality of the idea rather than the research area
- Raise the status and visibility of European frontier research and the very best researchers of today and tomorrow.