Research & Innovation - Participant Portal

TOPIC : ERA Chairs

Topic identifier: WIDESPREAD-03-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Planned opening date:
12 April 2017
Deadline: 05 October 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Spreading excellence and widening participation
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Outstanding researchers can have a decisive and positive impact on the culture and performance of research institutions. Yet issues such as the availability of research funding, institutional rigidities and access to resources can hamper the mobility of such leaders to promising institutions, particularly in low R&I performing countries. ERA Chairs actions will address the specific challenge of creating the appropriate conditions and opportunities for high quality researchers and research managers to move and engage with willing institutions to improve the excellence of their research and thereby modify their research and innovation landscape.


The ERA Chairs actions will support universities or research organisations with the objective of attracting and maintaining high quality human resources under the direction of an outstanding researcher and research manager (the "ERA Chair holder") and in parallel implementing the structural changes necessary to achieve excellence on a sustainable basis.

The scientific field can be any domain of research and innovation addressed under the Treaty, however it needs to be closely connected with the activities of the ERA Chair holder and fully capitalise on his/her presence and expertise.

Research organisations interested in establishing an ERA Chair shall submit a proposal based on a SWOT analysis, aimed at facilitating structural change in the institution and ensuring that the conditions are in place to foster excellent research. Proposals should include arrangements for compliance with ERA priorities[1] including the European Charter for Researchers & Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers[2], the gender equality in research teams and decision making bodies, better use of the installed research capacity (in particular of EU co-funded research infrastructures & facilities) and/or a description of the necessary investments in facilities and infrastructures. For the latter, interactions with national or regional authorities and other stakeholders to coordinate actions and mobilise support, including, where relevant, from European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) or Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA II) funds, are desirable. If relevant, any links with sustainable development objectives are to be outlined.

ERA Chair holders should be outstanding researchers and research managers in the given field of research, with a proven record of effective leadership. They should establish their own team and help the research organisation to significantly improve its research performance and to be more successful in obtaining competitive funding. The ERA Chair holder should have a position within the organisation/university, professor or similar, that will allow her/him to make appropriate resource allocation decisions, supervise team members and freely apply for research funding in order to raise the level of research excellence of the team and the institution. Proposals will need to describe clearly the roles, level of responsibility and obligations of the ERA Chair holder allowing for the determination of the feasibility of his/her tasks.

The position of the ERA Chair holder must be open to all EU and non-EU nationals. The appointment of an ERA Chair holder will be undertaken by the host institution at the beginning of the action and must follow an open, transparent and merit-based recruitment process that will be monitored by the European Commission.

It is expected that the Chair holder will commit him/herself for the full duration of the grant. In principle, the ERA Chair holder is to be appointed in a full-time position (permanent or non-permanent) in accordance with the national legislation of the institution hosting the grant but part-time arrangements might be agreed by the parts, if deemed beneficial for the action.

The grant that can have a duration of five years maximum will cover the appointment of the ERA Chair holder and a number of team members (e.g. their salaries, recruitment costs[3], administrative costs, travel and subsistence costs).

The grant will also provide a contribution towards measures aimed at facilitating structural changes in the institution (e.g. costs for trainings, meetings, publications and managing IPR.While the action does not focus on equipment, these could be accepted if they constitute only a minor part of the total Horizon 2020 funding requested and may be deemed necessary to fulfil the action's specific scope and objective). Hence, the grant is not a measure to fund research per se and for grants awarded under this topic , the following cost categories will be ineligible costs:

- infrastructure costs;

- research costs (including consumables).

The respective option of Article 6.5.C of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 2.5 million, would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting lower amounts.

Expected Impact:
  • Increased attractiveness of the institution, host region and country for internationally excellent and mobile researchers.
  • Increased research excellence of the institution in the specific fields covered by the ERA Chair holders.
  • Improved capability to compete successfully for internationally competitive research funding.
  • Institutional changes within the ERA Chair host institution to implement the European Research Area priorities, (including an open recruitment policy, gender balance, peer review, and innovative doctoral training).



[3]That can be considered under the category of "other direct costs".

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong &Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme [, with the following exceptions]:

    The topic WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017 is open only to those applicants that have been successful in the 2014 Teaming Phase 1 (under the topic WIDESPREAD-1-2014: Teaming, of the call H2020-WIDESPREAD-2014), and who have concluded a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the Commission in the context of that Call.

            The requested EU contribution shall not exceed a maximum of EUR 15 million for a period between 5 to 7 years.

            Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the specific proposal template.


           3. Evaluation

          3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme 

         3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

         4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

        Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
        Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


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

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard evaluation form
H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

The topic WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017 is open only to those applicants that have been successful in the 2014 Teaming Phase 1 (under the topic WIDESPREAD-1-2014: Teaming, of the call H2020-WIDESPREAD-2014), and who have concluded a Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) with the Commission in the context of that Call.
A specific proposal template has been sent to the above mentioned applicants.

               6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

Classified information

Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

 7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

8. Additional documents:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Teaming 2

H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Spreading excellence and widening participation

H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation

H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes


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