ERC Starting Grants

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Funded by

European Research Council (ERC)

In brief

Postdoctoral researchers of any nationality can strengthen their research independence by establishing their own research team at a host institution (universities, research institutions, companies or international organisations) in Germany (or another EU member state or Horizon 2020 associated country).

Who can apply?

Junior researchers who

  • completed an excellent PhD, generally between 2 and 7 years ago
  • are at the beginning of an independent research career and have already shown research independence
  • have a promising academic track record
  • present a ground-breaking and ambitious research proposal

Further requirements

The host institution must employ the researcher for at least the duration of the project. Applicants must provide a letter of commitment from the host institution.

Type and extent of funding

Funding of up to 1.5 million euros, in exceptional cases up to 2 million euros, to complete a research project of the researcher’s choice. The researcher’s salary may also be (partly) paid out of these funds.


Up to 5 years.


Applications must be submitted online by the researcher on behalf of the host institution through the Funding & Tenders Portal (see link below). ERC Starting Grants are advertised once a year. The next application period will probably close in October 2019.