European Research Council (ERC) Grants

The European Research Council (ERC) is an independent Scientific Council made up of scientists, engineers and scholars of the highest repute and expertise. The ERC's mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence.

The European Research Council (ERC) grants support individual researchers of any nationality and age who wish to pursue their frontier research. The ERC encourages in particular proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields, and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches.

ERC principles in brief

  • 1 researcher; 1 host institution; 1 project; 1 selection criterion: scientific excellence
  • No consortia, no networks, no co-financing
  • “Bottom-up” approach: researchers can decide themselves upon the topic of their research project
  • Applications can be made in any field of research, including social sciences and humanities
  • Independent researchers from anywhere in the world, of any age and career stage can apply
  • Host institutions must provide conditions for the researcher to direct the research and manage its funding
  • The grant is 'portable' to another host institution, if the grantholder wishes so
  • Research must be carried out in one of the 28 EU member states or associated countries

Funding Schemes

  • ERC Starting Grants for early-career promising researchers (2-7 years after PhD) - up to 1.5 million euro for a period of 5 years
  • ERC Consolidator Grants for already independent top researchers (7-12 years after PhD) - up to 2 million euro for a period of 5 years
  • ERC Advanced Grants for senior exceptional research leaders with widely recognized scientific achievements in the last 10 years - up to 2.5 million euro for a period of 5 years
  • ERC Proof of Concept Grants for ERC grant holders to bring their research results closer to market - up to 150,000 euro for a period of 12 months
  • Synergy Grants (SyG) for small groups of excellent researchers (from 2 to 4 researchers). This type of grant should be reintroduced in the ERC Work Programme 2018

The University of Padova supports ERC applicants through the Talents@Unipd initiative.

International Research Office

via Martiri della libertà 8, 35137 Padova, Italy
tel. +39 049.827 1947 / 1948 / 1945
fax +39 049.827 1911