European Research Council (ERC) Launches New Mentoring Scheme

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the launch of a new mentoring scheme to provide additional support to countries that have previously achieved comparatively lower success rates in ERC calls for proposals. The scheme will provide support to local and regional support offices in countries that have historically struggled to identify international experts to provide coaching and advice for the ERC grant applicants they work with.

The scheme will identify ERC grantees and former evaluation panel members to serve as external mentors and reinforce the local programmes that exist to support ERC applicants. Mentors will help to strengthen the quality of applications and provide expert scientific feedback on mock interviews and proposals prior to submission.

The local offices in charge of the national/regional support programme should coordinate their participation in the ERC Mentoring Initiative with the ERC’s National Contact Points (NCPs). NCPs will serve as the primary contact to the ERC concerning the local offices’ participation.

Commenting on the scheme, ERC Vice-President and Chair of the ERC Scientific Council’s Working Group on Widening European Participation Professor Andrzej Jajszczyk said: 

‘The ERC Mentoring Initiative will boost existing support programmes for ERC applicants by helping to identify international experts to provide coaching and advice. This initiative can advance our goal to widen participation in ERC calls and unlock the full potential for frontier research across Europe.’

The local offices should specify the expected workload (and potential compensations) of the external mentors.

The deadline for first round of expression of interest to participate in the initiative is 20 April 2021.

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