Talent@Unipd: Call Starting Grant 2025

The Talent @Unipd programme is a scouting initiative promoted by the University of Padua, which aims at identifying outstanding candidates for the “European Research Council - ERC Starting Grant 2025" call, funded under the European Commission Framework programme Horizon Europe, with deadline on 15 October, 2024.

Selected participants will be supported at each stage of their ERC proposal preparation and submission.

  What does ERC fund?

The ERC mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through ambitious and competitive funding, and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence. Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (Host Institution), located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries.

  Who can apply?

The call is open to Principal Investigators (PIs), of any age and nationality, who have defended their first PhD thesis within a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 7 years prior to 1 January 2025. Extensions are possible, e.g. in case of maternity or paternity leave, long-term illness, national military service, clinical training, natural disaster, when seeking asylum.

  What are the features of a competitive projects proposal?

A competitive project proposal should demonstrate to be innovative and visionary. On the basis of recent changes introduced in the 2024 work programme, the evaluation process is mainly focused on the ground-breaking nature, ambition, and feasibility of the research proposal.
At the same time, ERC will evaluate the intellectual capacity, creativity, and commitment of the applicant PI, with a focus on the extent to which the candidate has the excellence and required scientific expertise to successfully execute the proposed project. PIs should have already shown evidence of potential for research independence and capacity to carry out original research.

Recurring features of PIs funded by the ERC include:

  • excellent research outputs (e.g. publications, patents, etc.);
  • a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences;
  • international prizes/awards;
  • research periods spent in prestigious institutions;
  • award of research grants as PI.

The CV should also point out:

  • career breaks;
  • unconventional career paths (also non-academic ones);
  • exceptional contributions to the research community.

  How to apply

If you have an ambitious project proposal and you intend to choose the University of Padua as Host Institution for your ERC grant application, please fill in the application form available at this link https://forms.gle/kffZknYUNBJfZ9tF8 and submit it by June 3rd, 2024, 1 p.m. (Italian time zone), including the following documents:

All documents will be treated confidentially.

Any incomplete application and/or CV and track record that are non-compliant with the provided templates will not be considered.

  Selected candidates and support offered by the University of Padua International Research Office

Successful participants will be supported throughout the process of their ERC project proposal preparation and submission, provided that they receive the approval from the Hosting Departments.

Candidates should send via email to the International Research Office the Host Institution support letter duly signed by the Head of the Hosting Department. This letter is mandatory for submitting the ERC project proposal. If the candidate does not receive the approval from the Department (i.e., the Director does not signed the Host Institution Support Letter), he/she will be excluded from the programme.

The candidate will be responsible for contacting the Host Department with adequate advance to obtain in due time the Host Institution Support Lettersigned by the Director of the Department.

Participants will benefit from a variety of consulting services, at the different stages of their ERC Starting Grant 2025 application.

A) Proposal Writing

  • Refinement and boost of the CV and proposal through focused meetings with experts.
  • Support throughout proposal preparation (part B1 and B2) and full review of drafts.
  • Budget definition and resources justification.

B) If your proposal is retained for step 2 of the ERC evaluation process and you are invited to the interview

  • Support in the interview preparation and mock interview coaching carried out in collaboration with a qualified expert team.

C) If you are funded by the ERC and carry out your project at UNIPD

  • You may be offered a tenure track position or permanent position at the University of Padua. The position offered to ERC awardees will be agreed with their Hosting Department.
  • You will be offered a variety of benefits, which are set according to the University current regulations.
  • You will be supported in the negotiation phase with ERCEA and in the management and reporting of the project, in cooperation with the Hosting Department.

D) If your project has received an “A” score, but it is not funded due to the limited budget of the ERC

The University of Padua offers the possibility to apply for alternative funding under the Supporting TAlent in ReSearch @University of Padua - STARS Grants Programme (Wild Cards category).

International Research Office

via Martiri della libertà 8, 35137 Padova, Italy
tel. +39 049.827 1947 / 1945
fax +39 049.827 1911