€1.75 billion for new ERC research projects

A total budget of €1.75 billion was announced today by the European Commission to support projects funded by the European Research Council in 2013. Open to independent researchers of any age or career stage, the new ERC calls are meant to help top scientists from all fields (Physical Sciences and Engineering, Life Sciences, and Social Sciences & Humanities) to produce the very best cutting-edge science and to affirm Europe’s place as a world class destination for research. It is estimated that this funding will support around 900 excellent researchers in 2013 (each employing a further 6 team members on average). It is part of the European Commission’s final, and biggest, call for proposals for research projects under its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

ERC President Prof Helga Nowotny said that: “These new calls, which I hope will stir the curiosity of many researchers, will continue to provide the best talents working in Europe with generous and long-term funding. I am personally convinced that it is crucial to allow researchers the freedom they need to explore new ideas in rapidly-emerging fields.” She added: “Excellence is not an academic indulgence – it is the uncompromising driving force in frontier research”.

Two new major features are introduced in this year’s calls:

  • The existing “ERC Starting Grant” (aimed at outstanding researchers who are establishing their first research teams or programmes) will be split into two calls: the “ERC Starting Grant” (StG) for researchers with at least 2 and up to 7 years after their PhD and the “ERC Consolidator Grant” (CoG) for researchers with over 7 and up to 12 years after their PhD.
  • There will now be one single deadline for each call, instead of different deadlines for each of the three scientific domains, as there has been in the past.

The money invested in 2013 will be allocated as follows:

  •  ERC Starting Grants : €398 million
  • ERC Consolidator Grants: €523 million
  • ERC Advanced Grants: €662 million
  • ERC Synergy Grants: €150 million
  • ERC Proof of Concept Grants: €10 million

The ERC’s Scientific Council, the governing body of the ERC, has established the following budget split between each of the three scientific domains as follows: Physical Sciences and
Engineering (44%), Life Sciences (39%) and Social Sciences & Humanities (17%).

The “Advanced Grant call” (AdG) will be published on the same day as the StG call (10 July 2012), with a deadline in November, a departure from the practice of previous years. The call for Consolidator Grants will be published in the Autumn.

The pilot “Synergy grant” will be repeated this year, following its great popularity in its first year. More than 700 proposals were submitted, which are currently being evaluated, for a
very limited number of available grants.
ERC grant holders will also be able to submit proposals for the Proof of Concept grants, to develop the innovative and commercial aspects of their ERC project


Publication dates of the ERC calls 2013 and their deadlines

Publication Date Deadline
Starting Grant (ERC-2013-StG)  10 July 2012 17 October 2012
Advanced Grant (ERC-2013-AdG)  10 July 2012  22 November 2012
Synergy Grant (ERC-2013-SyG)  10 October 2012  10 January 2013
Consolidator Grant (ERC-2013-CoG)  7 November 2012  21 February 2013
Proof of Concept (ERC-2013-PoC)
10 January 2013  24 April 2013 &
3 October 2013

(*) For existing ERC grantees only

The official deadlines are only those indicated on the Participant Portal.

For more information on:

The ERC funding schemes and new callshttp://erc.europa.eu/funding-and-grants/apply-funding/call-proposals

The Work Programme 2013: http://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/document/file/erc_work_programme_2013.pdf