ERC Starting Grants support promising researchers who are at the beginning of an independent research career. The creation of their own research team will be funded with the grant.
For the evaluation of the researcher profile several benchmarks according to research domain and career development are taken into account. For instance, applicants should have at least one important publication without their PhD supervisor. Other benchmarks include publications as first author in high-ranking international journals, (translated) monographs, patents, conference presentations or (inter)national prizes and awards.
Starting Grants in brief:
Who is qualified: 2 to 7 years after PhD (extension to 11.5 years is possible, e.g. for parental leave; special rules for MDs)
Budget and duration of the funding: up to EUR 1.5 million for a maximum of 5 years (an additional top-up of up to EUR 500,000 can be granted)
Topic of the project: open to all fields of research ("bottom-up")
What will be funded: 100 % direct costs plus 25 % overhead for indirect costs
Application: one-step submission online at specific deadlines and two-step evaluation (including interview in Brussels at step 2)
Evaluation: Proposals submitted for the ERC are being evaluated by independent experts within an internationaly oriented peer-review-procedure
The sole selection criterion is scientific excellence. This applies to the profile of the principle investigator as well as to the project idea. Marks will be given for both criteria (A/B/C).
Step 1 (only part B1 will be evaluated):
- A: of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation
- B: of high quality but not sufficient to pass to Step 2
- C: of insufficient quality
Step 2 (full proposal will be evaluated):
- A: project is recommended for funding
- B: project is not recommended for funding
Open calls are published via the Participant Portal.
Results of the previous calls (lists of funded projects and statistics) can be found at the ERC’s website.