ERC Starting Grants

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Are you a highly motivated and successful young researcher? Are you keen to embark on an independent career and establish your own working group? Then apply for one of the European Commission’s ERC (European Research Council) Starting Grants. An institution that is largely independent of the Commission, the ERC provides funding for ambitious and outstanding research in the European Union. Successful applicants receive up to 1.5 million euros in funding for their research project, and if applicable for their team. The ERC Starting Grants are aimed at academics who completed their PhD two to seven years previously. Researchers from all disciplines are invited to apply.

Who can apply?

Requirements for applicants include the following:

  • at least one important publication not involving a PhD supervisor
  • articles as main author in leading international journals, (translated) monographs, patents, lectures at international conferences or national/international academic prizes
  • commitment from a host institution (university/university of applied sciences, research centre, international organisation or company based in an EU member state or one of the associated countries)

The permissible period of time that has elapsed after the PhD can be extended to take account of periods spent raising children or completing military service after the PhD, or if the candidate has suffered a prolonged period of sickness or has spent time caring for close family members (proof must be provided in each case that such periods have exceeded 90 days).

When applying for a grant, applicants should look at the typical achievement level in their field of research. The projects of successful grantees in the past are listed on the ERC’s website.

What form does funding take?

Grantees receive up to 1.5 million euros in funding for their research projects. An additional 500,000 euros are available to cover particularly high investments or to cover the costs of moving from a third country. The maximum project duration is five years.

When is the closing date for applications?

The closing date for 2017 applications is likely to be in mid-October 2016. Applications will be invited from mid-July 2016.

Terms and conditions of application

The terms and conditions of application can be found here: > Starting Grants