Applications Open for Horizon Europe European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants

ERC funding scheme open to excellent early career researchers of any nationality who wish to carry out their frontier research, in any field or subject, in EU Member States or associated countries.

The European Research Council (ERC) is part of the Pillar I (Excellent Science) strand of Horizon Europe. The ERC provides attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high gain and high risk research.

The ERC operates five main grant programmes to support projects, and investigators, at progressive stages of development: the Starting Grant programme, plus the Proof of Concept Grant, Consolidator Grant, Advanced Grant and Synergy Grant programmes.

The submission system has now opened for the 2022 round of ERC Starting Grants. The awards are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

The Principal Investigators must have been awarded their first PhD at least two and up to seven years prior to 1 January 2022. The eligibility period can be extended beyond seven years in certain properly documented circumstances.

A competitive Starting Grant Principal Investigator must have already shown the potential for research independence and evidence of maturity, for example by having produced at least one important publication as main author or without the participation of their PhD supervisor. Applicant Principal Investigators should also be able to demonstrate a promising track record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage, including significant publications (as main author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals of their respective field. They may also demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes, etc.

The total budget available in this round of awards is €749 million to fund 502 grants. Individual grants of up to a maximum of €1.5 million are available for a period of five years. Additionally, up to €1 million can be requested to cover:

  • Eligible ‘start-up’ costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant.
  • Purchase of major equipment.
  • Access to large facilities.
  • Other major experimental and field work costs, excluding personnel costs.

Applications must be submitted by the 13 January 2022 (17:00 Brussels time) deadline.

(This report was the subject of a ResearchConnect Newsflash.)