ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.
Size of ERC Starting Grants
Starting Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 1 500 000 for a period of 5 years (The maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. This does not apply to ongoing projects).
However, up to an additional EUR 1 000 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover the following eligible costs when these are necessary to carry out the proposed work: (a) « start-up » costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant and/or (b) the purchase of major equipment and/or (c) access to large facilities and/or (d) other major experimental and field work costs, excluding personnel costs.
Additional funding is not subject to pro rata temporis reduction for projects of shorter duration.
All funding requested is assessed during evaluation.
Profile of the ERC Starting Grant Principal Investigator
The Principal Investigator shall have been awarded their first PhD at least 2 and up to 7 years prior to 1 January 2020. The eligibility period can be extended beyond 7 years in certain properly documented circumstances.
A competitive Starting Grant Principal Investigator must have already shown the potential for research independence and evidence of maturity, for example by having produced at least one important publication as main author or without the participation of their PhD supervisor. Applicant Principal Investigators should also be able to demonstrate a promising track record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage, including significant publications (as main author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals of their respective field. They may also demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes, etc.
For further information please see the ERC Work Programme 2020.