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The fundamental activity of the European Research Council (ERC) is to provide attractive, flexible funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk/high-gain research. Its main aim is to stimulate research excellence by supporting and encouraging the very best, innovative and creative scientists, scholars and engineers and inspiring them to be adventurous, take risks and pursue ‘cutting edge’ research.

The ERC's frontier research grants operate on a 'bottom-up' basis, withough pre-determined priorities and researchers are encouraged to go beyond established frontiers of knowledge and the boundaries of disciplines.

ERC Funding Schemes

The ERC awards generous, long-term funding (up to five years)  to excellent invesigators looking to set up or consolidate their own independent research team or programme as well as to already established research leaders. The three main funding streams are:

  • Starting Grants - up to EUR 1 million over 5 years  for researchers between 2 - 7 years (*) from their PhD

  • Consolidator Grants -  up to EUR 2 million over 5 years for researchers between 7 - 12 years (*) from their PhD

  • Advanced Grants - up to EUR 2.5 million over 5 years for well-established researchers

An additional EUR 1 000 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover extraordinary costs

(*) Extensions to these eligibilty windows are applicable for documented periods of parental leave, long-term sick leave, clinical training or national service.

Call for the Synergy grant scheme under H2020 opened in 2019, 2019 and 2020. 

  • Synergy Grants -  up to EUR 10 million over 6 years for a small group of 2-4 PIs collaborating on an ambitious research questions.

The ERC also offers additional funding to ERC Principle Investigators to maximise the impact of their current ERC project by funding further work to verify the innovation potential of ideas arising from ERC funded research. This is supported through the following scheme:

Further useful and practical information about ERC grants, including testimonials from ERC grants holders and evaluators, can be found in a series of podcasts on the Careers Service website

The Research Operations Office employs a dedicated ERC Officer to offer advice and support to ERC applicants and grant holders.

Further information on applying for EC funding can be found here.

Contact the Research Operations Office European Team:

Assistant Director for Biological Sciences & EU Matters

Renata Schaeffer

Tel: 01223 761648

European & International Policy Manager 

Laura Carletti

Tel: 01223 748098

EC Coordinator Grants Manager

Catherine Hill

Tel: 01223 761647

European & International Research Facilitator - ERC Matters 

Francesca Nieto

Tel: 01223 335501

Senior EC Support Advisor - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Matters

Peter Martin

Tel: 01223 763141 

EC Research Support Advisors - Financial Matters

Pasquale Raiola

Tel: 01223 766736