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The School of Arts and Humanities and the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences

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European Research Council Grants

ERC Frontier Grants - Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants

 

European Research Council Frontier Grants (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants) are aimed at supporting outstanding researchers from any discipline with ambitious and innovative research projects. The excellence of both the applicant(s) and their project remains the sole assessment criterion. Access the ERC Work Programme 2018 here and the draft ERC Work Programme 2019 here (the latter will be formally published in August 2018).

ERC Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants (streamed according to career stage) are designed around an 'individual team' concept whereby a single Principal Investigator designs and leads a substantial project which may involve senior researchers, postdoctoral researchers, PhD students and/or technical staff working on particular strands of the project, the organisation of workshops and conferences, and stretches of fieldwork, including archival and library-based studies, and more besides, depending on the nature of the project. ERC Synergy Grants (first piloted in 2012 and 2013, and brought back for the 2018, 2019 and 2020 ERC Work Programmes) enable between 2 and 4 Principal Investigators to design a very substantial, ground-breaking project. Please see details below.

The ERC gives the following dates for its 2018 and 2019 calls (subject to change):

  • ERC Advanced Grant 2018:       Call opens: 17 May 2018 / DEADLINE: 30 August 2017.

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  • ERC Starting Grant 2019:         Call opens: tbc August 2018 / DEADLINE: 17 October 2018
  • ERC Synergy Grant 2019:         Call opens: tbc August 2018 / DEADLINE: 14 November 2018
  • ERC Consolidator Grant 2019:   Call opens: 24 Oct 2018 / DEADLINE: 15 February 2019
  • ERC Advanced Grant 2019:       Call opens: 17 May 2019 / DEADLINE: 30 August 2020

See pages 6-7 of the ERC Work Programme 2018 for full details

Prospective applicants are advised to speak with their Faculties/Departments as soon as possible if they wish to apply. For academics applying in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the £1Million+ process should be followed. Please see: https://www.ahssresearch.group.cam.ac.uk/RGA/applications/policies 

For further information, please see the ERC website, including the projects it has funded since it was established in 2007: https://erc.europa.eu/projects-figures/erc-funded-projects

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ERC ADVANCED GRANT

  • Up to €2.5 million over up to 5 years (up to an additional €1 million can be requested in the proposal to cover eligible start-up costs, purchase of large equipment, access to large research facilities)
  • Minimum of 30% PI time to be spent on project, with minimum 50% working time to be spent in an EU member State or Associate Country.
  • There is no explicit requirement regarding years since award of PhD but PIs are expected to be exceptional leaders in terms of originality and significance of their research contributions and be able to demonstrate a track record within the last 10 years which meets particular benchmarks e.g. at least 10 publications as senior author in major peer-reviewed journals, and/or 3 monographs, for example.
  • Access the ERC Work Programme 2018 
  • The Guide for Applicants is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/other/guides_for_applicants/h2020-guide18-erc-adg_en.pdf 
  • Full Call information is available on the Participant Portal here, including submission guidance: See: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/erc-2018-adg.html
  • Applicants are advised to contact their Research Grant Administrators and Departmental Administrators to enquire regarding local research committee deadlines as soon as possible. Please note that applications must be submitted to the Research Operations Office at least 5 working days ahead of the external deadline for checking.
  • Applicants may also find the HSS School Research Grant Administration Team's cribsheet on the ERC Advanced Grant scheme useful, which is available here. Please note that applications submitted through Departments based in the School of the Humanities and Social Sciences are required to complete the £1million+ Checklist at least 4 weeks ahead of the external funder deadline. Please contact your local Departmental Administrator and HSS-Mplus@admin.cam.ac.uk for more information.

ERC Advanced Grant training events:

    • The UK Research Office (UKRO) hosted an information session on ERC Advanced Grants in June 2018; the slides and an example are available for download here.

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ERC STARTING GRANT:

  • Up to €1.5 million over up to 5 years (up to an additional €500,000 can be requested in the proposal to cover eligible start-up costs, purchase of large equipment, access to large research facilities)
  • Minimum of 50% PI time to be spent on project, with minimum 50% working time to be spent in an EU member State or Associate Country.
  • PI to have been awarded their first PhD at least 2 and up to 7 years prior to 1 January 2019
  • PIs must have already shown the potential for research independence e.g. by having produced at least one important publication without the participation of their PhD supervisor
  • Access full call information on the EC Participant Portal from 18 July 2017 onwards, please see the ERC Work Programme 2018. For last year's call see Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2018 Calls and the Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs. See also the ERC Work Programme 2018.

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ERC SYNERGY GRANT:

  • Up to €10 million over up to 6 years (up to an additional €4 million can be requested in the proposal to cover eligible start-up costs, purchase of large equipment, access to large facilities).
  • A minimum of 2 and maximum of 4 Principal Investigators and, as necessary, their teams, who may be hosted by more than one institution (one is designated the Corresponding Host Institution at application stage).
  • As for the Advanced Grant, there is no explicit requirement regarding years since award of PhD but PIs are expected to innovative and active and present an early achievement track-record or a 10-year track-record whichever is most relevant to their career stage (see PI profiles for Starting, Consolidator and Advanced, available in the relevant Work programme).
  • Minimum of 30% PI to be spent on the project, with minimum 50% working time to be spent in an EU Member State or Associate Country.
  • The submission page for this call is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/erc-2018-syg.html. The Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant scheme 2018 and also the ERC Work Programme 2018 are essential reading.

    An online resource containing key documentation, presentations, and further guidance around the ERC Synergy Grant scheme is available in the ERC Synergy Working Materials Folder.

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ERC CONSOLIDATOR GRANT:

  • Up to €2 million over up to 5 years (up to an additional €750,000 can be requested in the proposal to cover eligible start-up costs, purchase of large equipment, access to large research facilities)
  • Minimum of 40% PI time to be spent on project, with minimum 50% working time to be spent in an EU Member State or Associate Country.
  • PI must have bene awarded their first PhD at least 7 and up to 12 years prior to 1 January 2018
  • PI must have already shown research independence e.g. by having produced several important publications without the participation of their PhD supervisor
  • Access full call information on the EC Participant Portal from 24 October 2017 onwards, please see the ERC Work Programme 2018. For last year's call see Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2017 Calls and the Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs. See also the ERC Work Programme 2017.

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How to find out more:

    • The ERC's own website has an events page with information on other major ERC events, as well non-UK National Contact Point event.
    • The UK Research Office (UKRO) also hosts information events. To attend, you will need to register for a free account on the UKRO Portal: https://www.ukro.ac.uk/]

If you are considering applying to any of the schemes, please contact the School Research Facilitator for Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (International), Dr Matt Hann (), for further information or to arrange a personal surgery slot to discuss your project ideas.

It is important also to raise your intention to apply with your Faculty or Department as early as possible. The University is required to provide a host institution support letter at application stage given the size and resource implications of the grants, and this follows on from Faculty approval. With regards to costings and devising your project's budget, please contact your Research Grants Administrator or Departmental Administrator as appropriate.