European Research Council (ERC)

Competitive funding for excellent science

The European Research Council (ERC) is the foremost funding agency for excellent science in the EU under Horizon Europe.

Scope of the project

The European Research Council is a funding body of the European Commission which was created to boost scientific excellence of outstanding individual researchers. It specifically encourages Europe’s brightest minds to develop high-risk, ground-breaking projects of a fundamental nature which prepare society for the needs of a knowledge-based society, address global challenges, and raise the global profile of European frontier research.

About the ERC grants

 ERC grants are personal excellence (individual) grants which encourage the highest quality research in Europe. They are awarded through open competition to starting and established researchers, based in Europe or moving to work in Europe, irrespective of their nationality. Being ‘investigator-driven’, ERC grants allow researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in any field of research, the sole criterion for success being scientific excellence. The aim here is to recognise the best ideas, confer status and visibility on the best brains in Europe, and attract talent from abroad. Based on the stage of your scientific career, you can apply for an ERC Starting, Consolidator, Advanced, or Proof of Concept grant.

 For more information visit the ERC website.

“Co-developing competitive ERC projects with some of the brightest scientists in the field is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding aspects of working at ttopstart. Ensuring clients’ ideas coalesce into coherent research questions is both intellectually challenging and immensely satisfying, as it gives us a sneak peek at the scientific breakthroughs of tomorrow.”

–  Marie Günthel, MSc – Consultant AT TTOPSTART

ERC Starting Grant

The ERC Starting Grant aims to support researchers with 2 to 7 years of experience after their PhD. The ERC Starting Grant can help you start your own independent research team or programme.

Principal Investigators who apply should demonstrate potential for research independence and evidence of maturity. Starting Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of €1.500.000 for a period of 5 years. However, up to an additional €500.000 can be requested.

ERC Consolidator Grant

The ERC Consolidator Grant is designed to support researchers with 8 to 12 years of scientific experience after their PhD. At this stage, the Consolidator Grant can help you strengthen your own independent and excellent individual team with novel research lines.

Applicants to the Consolidator Grant must have shown potential for research independence and evidence of scientific maturity, and demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal. Consolidator Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of €2 million for a period of 5 years. However, up to an additional €750.000 can be requested.

ERC Advanced Grant

The ERC Advanced Grant is open to excellent established researchers who are leaders in their field of research. This grant can help established Principal Investigators pursue ground-breaking, high-risk projects to (become and) stay the best of the best.

Applicants to the Advanced Grant should be exceptional leaders with original and significant research contributions. Projects may be awarded up to a maximum of €2,5 million for 5 years, plus an optional, additional €1 million for infrastructural investments or for relocation to the EU.

How can ttopstart help you with your ERC application?

 ttopstart has an excellent track record in developing successful ERC projects. For these applications, we first analyse the chances for success based on the applicant’s CV. After a ‘go’, we use our FFWD method for winning grant applications to co-develop the research framework together with the researcher, define the core research questions, and support the entirety of the writing process. Drawing upon our extensive ERC skills, we place particular focus on refining the candidate’s personal vision, elucidating the project’s broader scientific impact within and beyond the field, and defining the proposed scientific novelty in contrast to the current state of the art.

Get in touch with us if you would like to receive more information.

Download the ERC Funding Guide

Would you like to know more about the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant? Download the ERC brochure.

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