Launch of European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants and Synergy Grants

8 September 2019

The 2020 ERC Starting Grants and Synergy Grants are accepting applications.

The European Research Council (ERC) aims to provide long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams in their pursuit of ground-breaking, high-gain/high-risk research.

ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators (PIs) at the career stage when they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Applicant PIs must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. PIs must also have been awarded their first PhD at least two and up to seven years.

Starting Grants are available to researchers of any nationality residing in any country in the world at the time of the application, but the host institution must be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country.

Grants of up to a maximum of €1.5 million are available for a period of five years. An additional €1 million can be requested to cover eligible start-up costs for PIs moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving an ERC grant; and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities.

Applications for Starting Grants should be submitted via the Funding & Tenders Portal until 16 October 2019.

Synergy Grants can be up to a maximum of € 10 million for a period of 6 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However an addition € 4 million can be requested in the proposal in total to cover:

  1. eligible ‘start-up’ costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving an ERC grant and/or
  2. the purchase of major equipment  and/or
  3. 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.

Before you apply members should

  1. Find out which ERC grant and which call is suitable for you.
  2. Think carefully who could be a suitable PI to complement your expertise to best address the complex and ambitious research question.
  3. Each PI should identify their Host Institutions. Note that the portability of the action applies to each PI.
  4. Identify further team members you would like to work with, and think of justifying their presence in the project (see also the online research partner search services). Please note that the written consent of any researcher mentioned in the proposal as participating in the project is required.
  5. Contact the National Contact Point (NCP) in your country for support or contact the Synergy applicants’ mailbox: [email protected]
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