If, as an established leading principal investigator, you are interested in the opportunity for long-term funding, the ERC is here to help. ERC Advanced Grants are designed to allow outstanding research leaders of any nationality and any age to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects in Europe.
The scheme targets researchers who have already established themselves as top independent research leaders.
Any nationality, any age. Applicants must be leaders in their respective field(s) of research and must demonstrate significant achievement in the last 10 years.
Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation(known as a Host Institution/HI). It could be the HI where the applicant already works, or any other HI located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries.
Up to € 2.5 million per grant.
Up to 5 years.
Sole evaluation criterion
Scientific excellence of researcher and research proposal(a description of the planned research activities, information on who will carry out the planned research, how much it will cost, and how much funding is required and requested).
Calls for proposals
Published once a year.
Projects being highly ambitious, pioneering and unconventional
Research proposed for funding to the ERC should aim high, both with regards to the ambition of the envisaged scientific achievements as well as to the creativity and originality of proposed approaches.
Proposals should rise to pioneering and far-reaching challenges at the frontiers of the field(s) addressed. They should involve new, ground-breaking or unconventional methodologies, whose risky outlook is justified by the possibility of a major breakthrough with an impact beyond a specific research domain/discipline.
For exceptional research leaders only
Applicants for the ERC Advanced Grants - called Principal Investigators (PI) - are expected to be active researchers who have a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years.
The Principal Investigators should be exceptional leaders in terms of originality and significance of their research contributions. No specific eligibility criteria with respect to the academic requirements are foreseen.
Attractive long-term funding
Advanced grants will be up to € 2.5 million for a period of 5 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However, an additional € 1.0 million can be made available to cover eligible “start-up” costs for Principal Investigators moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities.
An ERC grant can cover up to 100% of the total eligible direct costs of the research plus a contribution of 25% of the total eligible costs towards indirect costs.
The relevant terms and conditions for funding are described in the ERC grant agreement. It essentially consists of an ‘ERC core grant agreement’ between the ERC and the host institution, and a ‘Supplementary agreement’ between the Principal Investigator and the host institution (legal entity established in an EU Member State or in one of the Associated Countries under the national law of its place of establishment. The Legal entity could also be an international European interest organisation or the Commission's Joint Research Centre. It is the institution that engages and hosts the Principal Investigator).
In the hands of distinguished peers
Proposals are evaluated by selected international peer reviewers evaluate proposals on the basis of excellence as the sole criterion. It will be applied to the evaluation of both the research project and the Principal Investigator(the Principal Investigator (PI) is the lead scientist or engineer for a particularly well-defined science (or other research) project, such as a laboratory study or clinical trial.
The Principal Investigator is an individual who assembles a team to carry out an ERC-funded project under his/her scientific guidance. The rights and obligations of Principal Investigators are detailed in Section I Article II.3 of ECGA Annex II – General Conditions.) in conjunction.
Peer reviewers are in charge of assessing and scoring the proposals. Those who pass the quality threshold are ranked. Depending on the call budget available, a budgetary cut-off applies to the ranking list and only the highest ranked proposals are offered an ERC grant until the call's budget has been used.
See also Evaluation panels for more information.
For Non-European Researchers
The European Research Council (ERC) is a funding organisation for frontier research. It aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by funding the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, and supporting their innovative ideas. Researchers from anywhere in the world can apply for ERC grants provided the research they undertake will be carried out in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
ERC grants are becoming more and more internationally recognised as awards for scientific excellence.
Research projects funded by the ERC can last up to five years and can cover frontier research in any scientific domain, including social sciences, humanities and interdisciplinary studies. The grants may help both emerging research leaders ('ERC Starting Grants' and 'ERC Consolidator Grants') and already well-established and recognised scientists ('ERC Advanced Grants'). Find out more about the different ERC grants.
If you are moving to Europe (EU Member State or Associated Country), you can apply for additional funding, which can total up to €2 million for a Starting Grant (instead of €1.5 million for those already established in Europe), €2.75 million for a Consolidator Grant (instead of €2 million) and €3.5 million for an Advanced Grant (instead of €2.5 million).
How to apply
Applications can be submitted when an ERC call for proposals is opened. For successful applicants an agreement is then signed between the ERC and the institution that will host your research project ("Host Institution") in an EU Member State or an Associated Country.
In case you need to find a Host Institution in Europe for your future ERC project, please go to original link.
The selection of proposals is done by highly recognised international peer review panels.
Both the application, granting and reporting processes are very straightforward and user-friendly. Furthermore, you have the possibility to change host institution in Europe in the course of your project if useful, as ERC grants are "portable": the money follows the researcher and is not linked to the initial host institution.
Time to spend on the project
Researchers applying for ERC-funding must be strongly committed to the project and spend a significant amount of time on it. However, it is not obligatory to spend 100% of your time in Europe whilst carrying out the ERC-funded research.
For Starting and Consolidator Grants, the Principal Investigator should devote at least 50% of her/his total working time to the ERC-funded project, while spending at least 50% of her/his total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
For Advanced Grants, the Principal Investigator should devote at least 30% of her/his working time to the ERC project and spend at least 50% of her/his total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
Some testimonials from ERC-grantees of non-European nationality are featured in our brochure: ERC grants for top researchers from all over the world.
For more information click "Further official information" below.
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