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.
€1.9 billion will be made available by the European Research Council (ERC) in 2021 to allow some 1,000 top researchers to pursue frontier research. As in previous years, most of the funding (66%) is earmarked for early- to mid-career scientists and scholars. The funding will also support jobs for an estimated 6,860 postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and other research staff employed in ERC-funded teams.
The ERC actions are open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any EU Member State or Associated Country. Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application.
Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grant proposals are submitted by the Principal Investigator taking scientific responsibility for the project, on behalf of the host institution. There are specific eligibility criteria for a Principal Investigator applying to the Starting or Consolidator Grants based on the date of award of their first PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) as set out in the table below. This “streaming” allows applicants to be compared with researchers at a similar career stage.
The date of the first PhD considered for the calculation of the eligibility period is the date of the actual award according to the national rules of the country where the degree was awarded.
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 the following properly documented circumstances, provided they started before the call deadline:
- Maternity: 18 months extension for each child born before or after the PhD award. If the applicant can document a longer maternity leave, the eligibility period will be extended by the documented amount of actual leave taken until the call deadline.
- Paternity: extension by the documented time of paternity leave taken until the call deadline for each child born before or after the PhD award.
- Long-term illness or national service: extension by the documented amount of leave taken by the Principal Investigator until the call deadline for each incident which occurred after the PhD award date.
- Clinical training: extension by the documented amount of clinical training received by the Principal Investigator after the award of the first eligible degree and until the call deadline, up to a maximum of 4 years.
Proposal submission is made electronically. Early registration and submission is strongly recommended and should be done as early as possible in advance of the call deadline.
Extended Synopsis: 5 pages
Curriculum Vitae: 2 pages
Track Record: 2 pages
Scientific Proposal: 14 pages
Resources and Time Commitment: 2 pages
Host Institution Binding Statement of Support Ethics Review Table PhD record and supporting documentation for eligibility checking (for Starting and Consolidator Grants only).