European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants Open for Applications

The European Research Council (ERC) runs five main grant programmes to support projects and investigators at progressive stages of development: Starting Grants, Proof of Concept Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants, and Synergy Grants.

The ERC is now accepting applications for Starting Grants, the Council’s first call under the new Horizon Europe programme. Eligible investigators should have been awarded their first PhD more than two years and less than seven years prior to application. Applicants are expected to have produced at least one important publication without the participation of their PhD supervisor.

Applicant Principal Investigators (PIs) 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.

PIs of any age and nationality may apply to carry out research in a host institution established in an EU Member State or Associated Country. The researcher may be residing in any country in the world at the time of application, but the host institution must be in an EU Member state or Associated Country. PIs must intend to spend at least 50% of their working time on the ERC project in an EU Member State or Associated Country.

Research funded by the ERC is expected to lead to advances at the frontiers of knowledge and to set a clear and inspirational target for frontier research across Europe. Applications may be made in any field of research; the sole criteria for projects is scientific excellence. Proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches are particularly encouraged.

While there are currently no countries officially associated to Horizon Europe, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries, or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe, including the United Kingdom, are eligible to apply on a conditional basis and will be eligible to receive funding provided that an association agreement is signed by the applicant’s country at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

Applicants may request up to a maximum of €1.5 million for a period of five years, in addition to a maximum of €1 million in additional start-up costs to move country, purchase major equipment or access large facilities.

Applications should be submitted by the 8 April 2021 deadline.

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.