Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : ERC Advanced Grant

Topic identifier: ERC-2018-ADG
Publication date: 17 May 2018

Types of action: ERC-ADG Advanced Grant
Opening date:
17 May 2018
Deadline: 30 August 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Excellent Science
Work Programme Year: ERC-2018
Work Programme Part: European Research Council (ERC)
Topic Description


Advanced Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are already established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

Size of ERC Advanced Grants

Advanced Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 2 500 000 for a period of 5 years. The maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. This does not apply to ongoing projects.

However, up to an additional EUR 1 000 000 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 facilities. 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.

Profile of the ERC Advanced Grants Principal Investigator

ERC Advanced Grant Principal Investigators are expected to be active researchers and to have a track record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years which must be presented in the application. There is little prospect of an application succeeding in the absence of such a record, which identifies investigators as exceptional leaders in terms of originality and significance of their research contributions.

Thus, in most fields, Principal Investigators of Advanced Grant proposals will be expected to demonstrate a record of achievements appropriate to the field and at least matching one or more of the following benchmarks:

  • 10 publications as main author (or in those fields where alphabetic order of authorship is the norm, joint author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, and/or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals and peer-reviewed conferences proceedings of their respective field;
  • 3 major research monographs, of which at least one is translated into another language. This benchmark is relevant to research fields where publication of monographs is the norm (e.g. humanities and social sciences).

Other alternative benchmarks that may be considered (individually or in combination) as indicative of an exceptional record and recognition in the last 10 years:

  • 5 granted patents;
  • 10 invited presentations in well-established internationally organised conferences and advanced schools;
  • 3 research expeditions led by the applicant Principal Investigator;
  • 3 well-established international conferences or congresses where the applicant was involved in their organisation as a member of the steering and/or organising committee;
  • International recognition through scientific or artistic prizes/awards or membership in well-regarded Academies or artefact with documented use (for example, architectural or engineering design, methods or tools);
  • Major contributions to launching the careers of outstanding researchers;
  • Recognised leadership in industrial innovation.
Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: The conditions specific to the ERC are described in the ERC 2018 Work Programme 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 EU Member State or H2020 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. ERC Principal Investigators do not have to be based full-time in Europe.

The host institution must either be established in an EU Member State or H2020 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.

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions:

The conditions specific to ERC grants are described in the ERC Work Programme 2018 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 needs to include all parts or sections (see “Proposal submission and description” 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 ERC Work Programme 2018. A proposal will only be deemed ineligible on grounds of ‘scope’ in clear-cut cases.

Eligible Principal Investigator: Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application. All Principal Investigators funded through an ERC grants shall spend a minimum of 50% of their total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country and a minimum of 30% of their total working time on the ERC project.

Eligible Host Institution: The host institution (Applicant Legal Entity) must engage the Principal Investigator(s) 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 H2020 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.
In a Synergy grant up to four Host Institutions could engage a Principal Investigator. Where they bring scientific added value to the project, additional team members may also be hosted by additional legal entities which will be eligible for funding, and which may be legal entities established anywhere, including outside the European Union or H2020 Associated Countries, or international organisations. Legal entities established outside the European Union or Associated Countries are eligible for funding provided that their participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action.

Restrictions on submission of proposals: The restrictions for submission are related to the outcome of the evaluation in previous calls and are designed to allow unsuccessful Principal Investigators the time necessary to develop a stronger proposal. For further details please consult page 19-20 of the ERC Work Programme 2018 or the Frequently Asked Questions.

Proposal page limits and layout: A complete proposal is composed of:

• Administrative proposal forms (including Ethics Review Table): available in section 5 of the topic conditions and in the submission tool below. To access the submission tool, you need to register to the Participant Portal first.

Research Proposal (Parts B1 and B2), available in the submission tool below, should be uploaded and submitted via the submission tool as PDF files.

Host Institution Binding Statement of Support (available as a word-template in the submission tool below). The host institution of the Principal Investigator must confirm its association with and its support to the project and the Principal Investigator.

Ethics review self-assessment (if applicable) and supporting documentation.

Proposal Part B1
Extended Synopsis: max. 5 pages (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 (references do not count towards the page limit).

3. Evaluation:

The conditions specific to ERC are described in the ERC Work Programme 2018 under the heading 'Evaluation procedure and criteria' and in the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation. 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 2018. The panels may be assisted by independent experts working remotely.

Evaluation criteria

For all ERC frontier research grants scientific 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 2018.

4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

Please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018 under the heading 'Indicative summary of main calls from the 2018 budget'.


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

ERC Advanced Grant

Specific provisions and funding rates: please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018 under the headings 'Funding rates' and 'Advanced Grant profile'.

Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grant 2018 Call

Quick guide to HTML5 submission

AdG 2018 Proposal templates: ERC standard proposal template

ERC Guide for Peer Reviewers – STG, COG, ADG
H2020 ERC MGA – Multi-Beneficiary
H2020 ERC MGA – Mono-Beneficiary
H2020 Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility


 7. 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 (including journal articles, monographs, book chapters, edited volumes, etc.) related to the results of the project as set out in Article 29.2 of the ERC Model Grant Agreement.

In addition, for the first time under Horizon 2020, beneficiaries of ERC frontier research grants funded under this Work Programme will automatically be covered by the provisions on research data sharing as set out in Article 29.3 of the ERC Model Grant Agreement unless they specifically decide to opt-out.

Beneficiaries that do not opt-out should also ensure appropriate management (including preservation and curation) of the research data they generate in order to ensure its sustainability. These provisions are designed to facilitate access, re-use and preservation of research data generated during the ERC funded research work. For more guidance, please see the related ERC guidelines and ERC Template for the Data Management Plan (DMP).

Beneficiaries should carefully check the additional obligations related to open research data contained in Article 29.3. They may opt-out of the provisions of the previous paragraph at any stage, thereby freeing themselves retroactively from the associated obligations.

8. Additional documents:
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


There is no obligation to conclude a consortium agreement.

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Type of Action Advanced Grant [ERC-ADG]
Topic ERC Advanced Grant - ERC-2018-ADG
Guidance on proposal submission: H2020 online manual
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