European Research Council (ERC) was established in 2007. ERC supports (from the EU budget) excellent research in all disciplines. ERC does not support networks or international consortia, but individual investigators (Principal Investigator, PI) and their research teams. PI may be of any nationality, but chosen host institution must be in EU Member State or in associate country within the FP program. The only evaluation criterion is scientific excellence (excellence of the project as well as PI itself). Researcher should come up with a whole new revolutionary idea that is not just a continuation of his earlier achievements. Idea, which can greatly influence a given discipline, move its boundaries or open new research perspectives.
You can download our overview - ERC funding opportunities
ERC Starting Grants
ERC Starting Grants support the independent career of outstanding young scientists at the stage of establishing their own independent research teams or programs. Applicants may be researchers of any age or nationality who have obtained Ph.D. in the range of 2 to 7 years before a fixed date of 1 January of the year to which the current ERC work programme relates. The Principal Investigator must commit to working on the ERC project at least 50% of the time and at least 50% of the time in an EU Member State or a country associated to the Framework Programme. Starting Grants may be awarded up to € 1.5 million for a period of 5 years.
ERC Consolidator Grants
ERC Consolidator Grants support the independent career of outstanding young scientists in the consolidation phase of their own independent research teams or programs. Applicants may be researchers of any age or nationality who have obtained Ph.D. in the range of more than 7 to 12 years before a fixed date of 1 January of the year to which the current ERC work programme relates. The Principal Investigator must commit to working on the ERC project at least 40% of the time and at least 50% of the time in an EU Member State or a country associated to the Framework Programme. Consolidator Grants may be awarded up to € 2 million for a period of 5 years.
ERC Advanced Grants
ERC Advanced Grants support internationally renowned scientists who have already established themselves in their field of research. They are outstanding scientific leaders (in terms of the importance of scientific achievements and originality) that have proven to have influenced the field in the last 10 years by achieving groundbreaking, highly original outcomes. Advanced Grants may be awarded up to € 2,5 million for a period of 5 years.
ERC Synergy Grants (calls from 2022)
ERC Synergy Grants support groups of 2 to 4 of PIs and their teams in jointly investigated excellent research project. These projects need to be fundamentally different from the traditional collaborative projects, networks or consortia supported in other parts of Horizon Europe. They are not just about successful collaboration between individual researchers, but about connecting disciplines, fields, unique knowledge and infrastructures using new, unconventional methods, techniques and approaches with the ambition to deliver breakthroughs on a global scale. The mutual synergy, the unique complementarity of knowledge and resources of the principal investigators, must be so high that it implies breakthroughs that could not be achieved if each investigator worked alone. All Principal Investigators must commit to work on the ERC project at least 30% of the time and at least 50% of the time in an EU Member State or a country associated to the Framework Programme.
Proof-of-Concept grants (only for ERC Principal Investigators)
Proof of Concept is aimed at supporting successful ERC grant holders at the earliest stage of exploiting the results of their research activities and putting them into practice, be it for commercialisation or for the potential use of the results in the societal sphere. ERC project promoters that are still ongoing or have ended less than 12 months before 1 January of the year of the work programme (i.e. 2021 for the ERC Work Programme 2021) are eligible to apply. The project proposal must be substantially based on the results of research carried out under an ERC grant. The amount of financial support is EUR 150 000 for a period of 18 months. However, most projects are expected to end in 12 months.
Do you want to learn more about ERC? See the current work programme or .