The ERC (European Research Council) launches the yearly Advanced Grant, a funding scheme for Principal Investigators.
ERC Advanced Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.
The programme operates a bottom up approach with no predetermined priorities; thus applications can be made in any field of research. The ERC supports projects, which are carried out by individual research teams headed by a single Principal Investigator (PI) of any nationality. These teams may be of national or trans-national character.
Who can apply?
This action is open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any EU Member State or Associated Country.
Principal Investigators (PI) are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years which must be presented in the application.
Principal Investigators of Advanced Grant proposals will be expected to demonstrate A record of achievements appropriate to the field. No specific eligibility criteria with respect to the academic requirements are foreseen.
Principal Investigators funded through the ERC Advanced Grants will be expected to spend a minimum 30% of their total working time on the ERC project and a minimum of 50% of their total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
Eligible Host Institutions
The Host Institution must be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country as a legal entity created under national law. Any type of legal entity, public or private, including universities, research organisations and undertakings, can host Principal Investigators and their teams. The ERC welcomes applications from Principal Investigators hosted by private for-profit research centres, including industrial laboratories. Applications for an ERC grant must be submitted by a single Principal Investigator in conjunction with and on behalf of their Host Institution, called the applicant legal entity.
The PI does not need to be employed by the host institution at the time when the proposal is submitted, but the host institution must engage the Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the project. Should the proposal be successful, a mutual agreement and the host institution’s commitment on how the relationship will be established are necessary.
Funding per Advanced Grants
Advanced Grants can be up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 000 for a period of 5 years. An additional € 1 million can be made available to cover eligible “start-up” costs for researchers 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.
The European Union financial contribution will take the form of the reimbursement of up to 100% of the total eligible and approved direct costs and of a flat-rate financing of indirect costs corresponding to 25% of the total eligible direct costs.
Scientific excellence: the only evaluation criterion
For the planning and operation of the evaluation of ERC grant proposals by panels, there are 25 ERC panels to cover all fields of science, engineering and scholarship assigned to three research domains:
Social Sciences and Humanities (6 Panels, SH1–SH6)
Physical Sciences and Engineering (10 Panels, PE1–PE10)
Life Sciences (9 Panels, LS1–LS9).
The reviewers evaluate both the Principal Investigator and the research project on the basis of excellence. Grants are awarded to the Host Institution with the explicit commitment that this institution offers appropriate conditions for the Principal Investigator independently to direct the research and manage its funding for the duration of the project.
The submission deadline for the scientific domains is 31 August 2017, 17:00 CET
More information and the official documents are available on the Participant Portal