Granturi ale Consiliului European de Cercetare (ERC)

Poate participa oricine, clinic indiferent de cetenie, symptoms unica conditie fiind ca “cercetatorul principal” din echipa sa intentioneze sa lucreze la o institutie din UE sau din tarile candidate; ceilalti membri ai echipei pot fi domiciliati in orice parte a lumii. O alta caracteristica a acestor granturi este ca nu sunt cerinte privind numarul de parteneri sau mobilitati. Data-limita: 18 martie 2008.

ERC Advanced Grant Deadline 18 March 2008

The ERC represents a significant new initiative within the EU's Framework Programme (FP). Its budget will be around 7.5 Billion Euros over the period 2007-2013 (the yearly budget will increase linearly from around 300 million Euros in 2007 to around 1.7 billion Euros in 2013). This represents 15% of the total FP budget. Other FP initiatives, notably on mobility and thematic research, continue.

The ERC differs from other FP initiatives in that it focuses on investigator- driven research solely evaluated on scientific merits. This means there is no requirement for multiple partners or cross-border mobility of researchers. ERC grants will support "individual teams", where teams can be as small as one individual. Of course, co-authors can be "team members"; but the evaluation will focus on the scientific quality of the "principal investigator" (PI) (namely, his or her publications and general 'track record'), and the proposed research project.

In 2007, the budget was dedicated to 'Starting Grants', for researchers who had received their PhD between two and nine years before the deadline (which was April 2007). Around 300 grants have just been awarded, out of a very high number of submissions, i.e. more than 9,000. This high number was due in part to a very 'light' two-stage application process, where applicants only had to submit a four-page proposal in stage 1 (in stage 2, the project proposal amounted to ten pages).

In 2008, the budget is dedicated to 'Advanced Grants', i.e. for researchers with a substantial track record in the last 10 years (note that there is no age limit for applying). As a way to reduce oversubscription, there is only one stage of application now, where the page limit for the project is fifteen (plus a five-page summary). This remains light given that the ERC continues to plan to award substantial grants. In fact, one can apply for up to 2.5 million Euros over five years (and even 3.5 in specific circumstances) and the ERC expects to award grants of more than 1 million Euros on average. The grants are meant for top researchers planning to undertake ambitious, 'frontier research' projects in any field of science, including Social Sciences and Humanities. The grant will be usable flexibly, to pay for example for the PI's wage if needed, for a sabbatical, for teaching buyouts, for possible wage supplements, for equipment or travel expenses, and also for research co-authors, assistants or doctoral or post-doctoral grants.

Note finally that, while the bulk of the budget will go to individual grants as described above, it is possible, in the case of interdisciplinary research, to apply for a 'co-investigator grant'. This means having a 'co-principal investigator' from another discipline (i.e. not from 'economics, finance and management', to refer to the panel most relevant to you), whose profile will also be evaluated, together with the project. Remember also that one can have "team mates" within a 'regular individual project', but their profile will not be evaluated since they are not Principal Investigators.

Eligibility is not limited to any nationality and requires no mobility (nor does it prevent it, obviously). It does require that the PI intend to work in a "host institution" (a university, research institute, etc.) in the EU or the Associated Countries. This means either: (i) being already at such an institution and planning to stay there; or (ii) planning to join (from the EU or elsewhere) such an institution. Note that team members can be based anywhere.

It is important to note that the 2007 and 2008 budgets - given their limited sizes - have seen 2007 focusing solely on Starting Grants and 2008 solely on Advanced Grants. From 2009 on, one third of the annual budget is going to be devoted to Starting Grants and two thirds to Advanced Grants. Given the size of the 2009 budget, which will be of the order of the 2007 and 2008 budgets combined, there will be around of the same amount of money available for Advanced Grants in 2008 and in 2009. This is important because, again to limit oversubscription, researchers are allowed to apply only once in 2008 and 2009 (Moreover, researchers not meeting a 'quality threshold' determined by the panels will have to wait until 2011 to reapply, the idea being that it would take some time to sufficiently improve one's research profile). It is therefore important for you to consider carefully when to apply (even if there will be obviously aggregate uncertainty about the time distribution of applications …).

More information (on the ERC, the Grant Schemes, the disciplinary Panel structure, the application forms) can be obtained on the ERC website at
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