The European Research Council (ERC) (English)


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The European Research Council funds excellent scientists and their teams with groundbreaking research projects in different funding lines for the appropriate career stage.

What is the European Research Council (ERC)?

The European Research Council (ERC) is an institution established by the European Commission to fund frontier research. It has existed since 2007 under several EU Framework Programs for Research and Innovation. It is headed by the Scientific Council, a body of top international scientists responsible for the strategic direction of the ERC.

Who receives funding?

You may apply for an ERC Grant if you have:

  • an innovative idea for a research project at the frontiers of science,
  • an excellent scientific track record (publications and other achievements),
  • a host institution in Europe (any research performing organisation, i.e. universities, research organisations or private companies).

What kinds of grants are available?

From 2021 - 2027, the ERC will be funded through the EU Framework Program for Research and Innovation "Horizon Europe". Funding is available to researchers from all disciplines. The decisive review criterion is the scientific excellence of the submitted research project and the applicant. Depending on career stage, applications are possible in the following four funding lines:

  • Starting Grants for researchers in a time window of 2 - 7 years after PhD, with up to 1.5 million euros over a maximum of five years
  • Consolidator Grants, for researchers in a time window of 7 - 12 years after PhD, with up to 2 million euros over a maximum of five years
  • Advanced Grants for experienced excellent researchers with up to 2.5 million euros over a maximum of five years
  • Synergy Grants for groups of 2 to 4 researchers and their teams, with up to 10 million euros over a maximum of six years.

Researchers who have already secured an ERC grant and would like to turn the ideas generated by the project into innovations can raise additional funds through the ERC's "Proof of Concept" calls.

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At a glance: What are the ERC's distinguishing features?

  • The ERC funds risky but groundbreaking "frontier" research.
  • The scientific excellence of the project idea and the applicant are the sole evaluation criteria in the review process.
  • The ERC funds open-topic projects, i.e. project ideas from all research areas.
  • The ERC funds individual researchers and their teams (no consortia).
  • The ERC Scientific Council defines the guidelines of the ERC calls and thus guarantees a program by researchers for researchers.

The ERC has set itself the goal of an unbureaucratic and transparent procedure.

Interested in doing groundbreaking research in Germany?

The European Research Council (ERC) provides funding opportunities in Europe for excellent researchers and their teams regardless of their nationality and current place of work. Germany’s research landscape offers a wide range of outstanding host institutions in all scientific areas. The impressive number of German research institutions and universities hosting one or more of the distinguished ERC grants speaks for itself. Here you will find the ideal place for your research project and team.

The EURAXESS network provides plenty of practical information for foreign researchers interested in living and working in Germany: 

Find research-performing organisations in Germany:

Who provides further information?

The German National Contact Point for the European Research Council (ERC) is jointly managed by the EU Office of the BMBF (in the DLR Project Management Agency) and the European Liaison Office of German research organizations (KoWi).

Logos of the National Contact Point E R C, the E U-Buereau of the B M B F, and of KoWi

You are welcome to contact us by phone or e-mail in order to seek advice with your application to the ERC. Please also contact the intended host institution (HI) to ensure their support and a smooth flow of information between researchers, HI and NCP.

Services and Publications of the NCP ERC:

  • General information on the ERC as well as consultation on grant application and grant management (by phone and e-mail, also in English)
  • Pre-Submission check of your application (at least two weeks before deadline)
  • Organisation of Workshops and information events (in German and English)
  • Publications (in German and English) 
  • Newsletter (in German and English

You can find all contact details of the NCP ERC here.

Flyer of the National Contact Point ERC (DE / EN)


Further Information on the ERC in English