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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 2million over 5 years  for researchers between 2 - 7 years (*) from their PhD
  • Consolidator Grants -  up to EUR 2.75million over 5 years for researchers between 7 - 12 years (*) from their PhD
  • Advanced Grants - up to EUR 3.5 million over 5 years for well-established researchers

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

Piloted in 2012 and 2013 but not available since the Synergy grant scheme is returning in the 2018 Work Programme (application deadline November 2017).

  • 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:

European Policy Manager

Renata Schaeffer

Tel: 01223 761648


European Policy Manager - Interim

Sara Imarisio

Tel: 01223 765418


EC Coordinator Grants Manager

Catherine Hill

Tel: 01223 761647


ERC Officer 

Bethan Hosking Jones

Tel: 01223 335501


EC Research Support Advisor - Financial Matters  

Jacopo Benincasa

Tel: 01223 332217


EC Research Support Advisor - Marie Curie Matters

Nivedita Pande

Tel: 01223 764791