Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : ERC Starting Grant

Topic identifier: ERC-2016-STG
Publication date: 29 July 2015

Types of action: ERC-STG Starting Grant
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
single-stage
29 July 2015
Deadline: 17 November 2015 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Excellent Science
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Work Programme Part: European Research Council (ERC)
Topic Description
Scope:

Objectives

ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

Size of ERC Starting Grants

Starting Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 1 500 000 for a period of 5 years1.

However, up to an additional EUR 500 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover (a) eligible "start-up" costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant and/or (b) the purchase of major equipment and/or (c) access to large facilities2.

Profile of the ERC Starting Grant Principal Investigator

The Principal Investigator shall have been awarded their first PhD at least 2 and up to 7 years prior to 1 January 2016. The effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD can be reduced in certain properly documented circumstances.

A competitive Starting Grant Principal Investigator must have already shown the potential for research independence and evidence of maturity, for example by having produced at least one important publication without the participation of their PhD supervisor. Applicant Principal Investigators should also be able to demonstrate a promising track record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage, including significant publications (as main author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals of their respective field. They may also demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes etc.

For further information please see the ERC Work Programme 2016.

1. The maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. This does not apply to ongoing projects.

2. As any additional funding is to cover major one-off costs it is not subject to pro-rata temporis reduction for projects of shorter duration. All funding requested is assessed during evaluation.

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application (for more detailed information please refer to the Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2016 Calls and the Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs):

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: The conditions specific to the ERC are described in the ERC Work Programme 2016 under the heading 'Eligibility criteria' and in 'Annex 3'. An overview is provided below: The ERC actions are open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any Member State or Associated Country. Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application. However, Principal Investigators funded through the ERC frontier research grants shall spend a minimum percentage of their total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country and a minimum percentage of their total working time on the ERC project. The host institution must either be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an International European Interest Organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) or any other entity created under EU law.

 

  1. Eligibility conditions: The conditions specific to the European Research Council (ERC) are described in the ERC Work Programme 2016 under the heading 'Eligibility criteria' and in the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation under Section 2.4. An overview is provided below:

    Eligible proposals: All proposals must be complete and submitted before the relevant call deadline. A complete proposal entails all parts or sections (see 'Proposal page limits and layout' below). Incomplete proposals may be declared ineligible. The content of the proposal must relate to the objectives and to the grant type set out in the call, as defined in the ERC Work Programme 2016. A proposal will only be deemed ineligible on grounds of 'scope' in clear-cut cases.

    Eligible Principal Investigator: The Principal Investigator shall have been awarded their first PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least 2 and up to 7 years prior to 1 January 2016. The effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD can be reduced in certain properly documented circumstances.

    Eligible Host Institution: The host institution (Applicant Legal Entity) must engage the Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the project, as defined in the grant agreement. It must either be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an International European Interest Organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) or any other entity created under EU law. Any type of legal entity, public or private, including universities, research organisations and undertakings can host Principal Investigators and their teams.

  1. Evaluation

    3.1 Evaluation procedure and criteria: the conditions specific to the European Research Council (ERC) are described in the ERC Work Programme 2016 under the heading 'Evaluation procedure and criteria'. An overview is provided below:

    Evaluation procedure
    A single submission of the full proposal will be followed by a two-step evaluation. The evaluation will be conducted by means of a structure of high level peer review panels as listed in Annex 1 of the ERC Work Programme 2016. The panels may be assisted by independent experts working remotely.

    Evaluation criteria
    For all ERC frontier research grants, excellence is the sole criterion of evaluation. It will be applied in conjunction to the evaluation of both: the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of the research project; and the intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment of the Principal Investigator. The detailed evaluation elements applying to the excellence of the research project and the Principal Investigator are set out in the ERC Work Programme 2016.
     

    3.2  Guide to the submission and evaluation process: please refer to the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation. For more information on the peer review evaluation methodology, please refer to the ERC Frontier Research Grants Guide for Peer Reviewers.

 

  1. Proposal page limits and layout:

    o Administrative Proposal Submission forms (including Ethics Review Table) available online via the Participant Portal Submission System (PPSS) - pre-registration is required first.

    o The Research Proposal (Parts B1 and B2) (available on this page under Section 6 below and as word-templates in PPSS) should be uploaded and submitted via PPSS as PDF files.

    Proposal Part B1:
    • Extended Synopsis: max. 5 pages (please note that references do not count towards the page limits)
    • Curriculum Vitae: max. 2 pages
    • Funding ID: no page limits
    • Track Record: max. 2 pages

    Proposal Part B2:
    • Scientific Proposal: max. 15 pages

    o Host Institution Binding Statement of Support (available on this page under Section 6 below and as a word-template in PPSS).
    o PhD record and, if applicable, supporting documentation for eligibility checking (for Starting and Consolidator Grants only).
    o Ethics review self-assessment (if applicable) and supporting documentation.

    The minimum font size allowed is 11 points. The page size is A4 (with single line spacing). Side margins should be at least 20 mm and the bottom and top margins at least 15 mm. Ensure that the font type chosen is clearly readable (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman). Experts will be instructed to disregard any excess pages.
     

  2. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement: please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2016 under the heading 'Indicative summary of main calls from the 2016 budget'.

 

  1. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    ERC Starting Grant:
    Specific provisions and funding rates: please refer to the
    ERC Work Programme 2016 under the headings 'Funding rates' and 'Starting Grant profile'.
    ERC standard proposal template (administrative forms and research proposal)
    ERC standard evaluation form for STG/COG: please refer to
    ERC Work Programme 2016 under the heading 'Evaluation procedure and criteria'.
    H2020 Annotated Model Grant Agreement
     

 

  1. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility: please refer to the
    ERC Work Programme 2016 under the heading 'Budget'.  

 

  1. Open access: the ERC supports the principle of open access to the published output of research, including in particular peer-reviewed articles and monographs, as a fundamental part of its mission. It also supports the basic principle of open access to research data and data related products such as computer code. The ERC considers that providing free online access to all these materials can be the most effective way of ensuring that the fruits of the research it funds can be accessed, read and used as the basis for further research. Under Horizon 2020, beneficiaries of ERC grants must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to its results. The detailed requirements on open access to publications are contained in the Horizon 2020 ERC Model Grant Agreement.
     

 

Additional documents

Download all documents
(EN only, incl. the additional docs.)

  • Legal basis - Framework Programme H2020 en
  • Legal basis - Specific Programme H2020 en

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