European Research Council (ERC)
The European Research Council (ERC) consists of a Scientific Council and a Dedicated Implementation Structure. It is the first pan-European funding body set up to support investigator-driven frontier research.
Its main aim is to stimulate scientific excellence by supporting and encouraging the very best, truly creative scientists, engineers and scholars to be adventurous and take risks in their research. The scientists should go beyond established frontiers of knowledge and the boundaries of disciplines. Two types of ERC grants are available to support researchers in carrying out frontier research projects:
- the ERC Starting Independant Researcher Grant
- the ECR Consolidator Grants
- the ERC Advanced Investigator Grant
- the ECR Synergy Grant
- the Proof of Concept
General principles of ERC funding schemes and application processes:
- individual teams led by independent principal investigators are supported, but no trans-national partnerships nor consortia
- all fields of research are eligible, but no thematic or policy-driven research priorities
- proposal submission only in response to calls for proposals and only online via the web-based EPSS tool, but no paper or other transmission of proposals will normally be accepted
- scientific excellence is the sole selection criterion. No political influences nor national quotas
- attractive grants are provided to support the best researchers
The ERC complements other funding activities in Europe such as those of the national research funding agencies, and is a flagship component of the 'Ideas Programme' of the European Union's Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7).