The aim is to provide support for a small group of two to four Principal Investigators to jointly address ambitious research problems that could not be addressed by the individual Principal Investigators and their teams working alone.
Synergy projects should enable substantial advances at the frontiers of knowledge, stemming, for example, from the cross-fertilization of scientific fields, from new productive lines of enquiry, or new methods and techniques, including unconventional approaches and investigations at the interface between established disciplines. The transformative research funded by Synergy Grants should have the potential of becoming a benchmark on a global scale.
Principal Investigators of any career stage are welcome and must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. Principal Investigators must also demonstrate that their group can successfully bring together the scientific elements necessary to address the scope and complexity of the proposed research question.
One of the Principal Investigators must be designated as the Corresponding Principal Investigator. At any one time, one Principal Investigator per Synergy Grant Group except the Corresponding one can be hosted or engaged by an institution outside of the EU or Associated Countries.
Eligible Principal Investigators: Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application. A Synergy Grant Group must be composed of a minimum of two and a maximum of four innovative and active Principal Investigators and, as necessary, their teams.
No specific eligibility criteria regarding the academic training are required for PIs applying for ERC Synergy Grants. Each PI has to present their profile, consisting of a CV and track record, using a single template available for all career stages. The PIs are requested to use the template in part B1 available for download from the submission system.
Principal Investigators funded through an ERC Synergy grant shall spend a minimum of 30% of their working time on the ERC project and a minimum of 50% of their working time in the European Union or Associated Country except for a Principal Investigator hosted or engaged by an Institution outside the European Union or Associated Country (see Annex 3 of the ERC Work Programme 2024).
Eligible host institution: The host institution(s) (Applicant Legal Entity/ies) - up to four host institutions - must engage and host the Principal Investigators for at least the duration of the project, as defined in the grant agreement. It must either be established in the European Union or Associated Country (see Annex 3 of the ERC Work Programme 2024) as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an international European research organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), or any other entity created under EU law. Any type of legal entity, public or private, including universities, research organisations and undertakings can host Principal Investigators and their teams. One of these host institutions, with the exception the corresponding host institution, at any one time, may be a legal entity established outside the European Union or Associated Countries or an international organisation.
Where they bring scientific added value to the project, additional team members may also be hosted by additional legal entities which will be eligible for funding, and which may be legal entities established anywhere, including outside the European Union or Associated Countries, or international organisations. Legal entities established outside the European Union or Associated Countries are eligible for funding when they are one of the host institutions in a Synergy Grant at any one time, or they host additional team members bringing scientific added value to the project, or their participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action, provided that they are not excluded form participation or covered by restrictive measures set out in Annex 3 to the ERC Work Programme 2024.
A complete proposal is composed of:
a) Administrative proposal forms (including Ethics Review Table): available on this page below and online via the submission tool - EU Funding & Tenders opportunities Portal - registration to the EU Funding & Tenders opportunities Portal is required first.
b) Research Proposal (Parts B1 and B2), available in the submission tool below, should be uploaded in the submission tool as PDF files.
- Proposal Part B1
- Extended Synopsis: max. 5 pages (references do not count towards the page limit).
- Curriculum Vitae and Track Record: up to 4 pages for each Principal Investigator.
Proposal Part B2
- Scientific Proposal: max. 15 pages (References do not count towards the page limit).
- The Resources and Time commitment section: has to be detailed for each PI, it is not limited to 2 pages and will not count towards the page limit.
- Appendix – Funding ID: no page limits.
c) Host institution(s) binding statement(s) of support template is/are available in the submission tool below and should be uploaded in the submission tool as PDF files.
In the case of Synergy Grants, where the different Principal Investigators may be hosted by more than one host institution, each of the host institutions shall offer their support to the Principal Investigator(s) hosted by them for the duration of the grant. The host institutions must engage the Principal Investigators for at least the duration of the grant. Each host institution letter has to be uploaded at the time of submission.
d) Ethics review self-assessment (if applicable) and supporting documentation.
The Ethics Issues Table can be found in the administrative form in addition to this, where relevant, an ethics self-assessment, as a separate annex, needs to be attached to the proposal.