European Research Council (ERC)

The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-initiated frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence. Being ‘investigator-driven’, or ‘bottom-up’, in nature, the ERC approach allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in any field of research, rather than being led by priorities set by politicians.

Five ERC frontier research grants will be available under the ERC Work Programme 2020.

  • Starting Grants
  • Consolidator Grants
  • Advanced Grants
  • Synergy Grants
  • Proof of Concept Grants

The ERC Scientific Council has analysed the pilot phase of the ERC Synergy Grant (calls were made under Work Programmes 2012 and 2013) and decided to reintroduce the call for Synergy grants under the Work Programme 2018.

ERC Principal Investigators will also continue to be able to apply for the Proof of Concept Grant, first introduced under the revised Work Programme 2011.



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Security research in ERC grants awarded during FP7 and Horizon 2020

Daniel Frank and Zdeněk Kučera from the Technology Centre CAS in Prague, Czech Republic, have analysed which ERC funded research under FP7 and Horizon 2020 was executed/is in progress on security topics, more specifically categorised along four security programme lines in the Societal Challenge 7 (Secure societies – protecting freedom and security of Europa and its citizens), which are DS – Digital Security; FCT – Fight against Crime and Terrorism, Criminology, Criminality prevention; DRS – Disaster-Resilience: Safeguarding and securing society and BES – Border Security and External Security. Under FP7 and Horizon 2020 a total of 236 ERC grants were devoted to security research amounting to 2% and 2.6% of the total of ERC grants.


Pathways to an ERC Grant: Learning from Success and Failure - Jørgen Carling

Based on his experience of applying, Jørgen Carling has written this paper that extracts insights for future applicants. Carling is a Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). His current ERC project is called "Future migration as present fact (FUMI)"


ERC research and outreach to the wider public

Two projects were funded under ERC which were dedicated to the communication of ERC projects: 'ERCComics' and 'ERC=science2'


Call for ERC president applications and nominations

The Commission appointed an independent Search Committee that will make recommendations to the Commission on the best candidates for the position of president of the ERC.


ERC – Number of proposals submitted Proof of Concept 2020 call, 3rd cut-off

A total of 205 proposals were submitted in response to the third and final deadline (17 September 2020) of the ERC 2020 Proof of Concept Lump Sum Pilot Call (ERC-2020-PoC).