Planned opening date: 11 March 2021
Deadline date: 20 April 2021 17:00:00 Brussels time
The ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating 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 Consolidator Grants
Consolidator Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 2 000 000 for a period of 5 years. The maximum size of the grants is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. (This does not apply to ongoing projects).
Additional funding up to 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 Consolidator Grant Principal Investigator
The Principal Investigators shall have been awarded their first PhD at least 7 and up to 12 years prior to 1 January 2021. Cut-off dates: PhD awarded from 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2013 (inclusive).
The eligibility period can be extended beyond 12 years in certain properly documented circumstances.
A competitive Consolidator Grant Principal Investigator must have already shown research independence and evidence of maturity, for example by having produced several important publications 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 2021.
Topic conditions and documents
1. Admissibility and Eligibility Conditions:
The conditions specific to ERC grants are described in the ERC Work Programme 2021 under the heading ‘Admissibility and eligibility criteria’ and in the ERC Rules of Submission. An overview is provided below:
Admissible and eligible proposals: All proposals must be complete, readable and accessible. They must be submitted by eligible Principal Investigators before the relevant call deadline. A complete proposal needs to include all parts or sections (see “Proposal submission and description” below). Proposals which do not meet these criteria may be declared inadmissible. The content of the proposal must relate to the objectives and to the grant type set out in the call, as defined in the ERC Work Programme 2021. A proposal will only be deemed ineligible on grounds of ‘scope’ in clear-cut cases.
Applications where the Principal Investigator proposes to commit less time in the EU or an Associated Country or to the project than the minimum percentages set out in the section “Minimum time commitment” of the Work Programme will be declared ineligible. If it becomes clear before, during or after the peer review evaluation phase, that one or more of the admissibility or eligibility criteria have not been met, the proposal will be declared inadmissible or ineligible and it will be rejected. Where there is a doubt on the admissibility or eligibility of a proposal, the peer review evaluation may proceed pending a decision following an admissibility and eligibility review committee.
Eligible Principal Investigator: The ERC actions are open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any EU Member State or Associated Country (see annex 3 of the ERC Work Programme 2021). Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application.
There are specific eligibility criteria for a Principal Investigator applying to the Consolidator Grants based on the date of award of their first PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) as described in the ERC Work Programme 2021 (see also Annex 2 ‘PhD and Equivalent Doctoral Degrees’ and specific provisions for holders of medical degrees).
All Principal Investigators funded through an ERC Consolidator Grant must spend a minimum of 50% of their working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country and a minimum of 40% of their working time on the ERC project.
Eligible Host Institution: The host institution (Applicant Legal Entity) must engage and host the Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the project, as defined in the grant agreement. It must either be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country (see annex 3 of the ERC Work Programme 2021) as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an International European research organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) or any other entity created under EU law. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or associated country will be deemed to be established in this Member State or associated country. Any type of legal entity, public or private, including universities, research organisations and undertakings can host Principal Investigators and their teams.
Restrictions on submission of proposals: The restrictions for submission related to the outcome of the evaluation in previous calls are designed to allow unsuccessful Principal Investigators the time necessary to develop a stronger proposal. For further details please consult the ERC Work Programme 2021, heading ‘Restrictions on submission of proposals’ or the Frequently Asked Questions.
Proposal submission and description:
- The Administrative online form Part A (including the Ethics Issues Table and the Budget Section) is available in the submission tool below. The budget table and the justification of the Resources are part of this online form Part A (Section 3 – Budget). For more details please refer to section 2.3 of the ERC Information for Applicants.
- Part B1, Part B2 and the Host Institution Binding Statement of Support templates are provided in the submission system as word-templates (they should be completed, uploaded and submitted via the submission tool as PDF files).
A complete proposal consists of the following elements (with the following page limits):
- Extended Synopsis: 5 pages
- Curriculum Vitae: 2 pages
- Track Record: 2 pages
- Scientific Proposal: 14 pages
- Resources and Time Commitment:2 pages
- Host Institution Binding Statement of Support
- Ethics Review Table
- PhD record and supporting documentation for eligibility checking.
Complete proposals must be submitted via the submission tool available through the Funding & Tenders Portal (to access the submission tool, you need to register first).
2. Eligible countries: The conditions specific to the ERC are described in the ERC Work Programme 2021 under the heading ‘Admissibility and eligibility criteria’ and in Annex 3. An overview is provided below:
The ERC actions are open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any EU Member State or Associated Country (see annex 3 of the ERC Work Programme 2021). Principal Investigators may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application. Principal Investigators funded through the ERC frontier research grants shall spend a minimum percentage of their working time on the ERC project and a minimum percentage of their working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
For details about the eligible host institution (Applicant Legal Entity) see section 1 above on ‘Admissibility and Eligibility Conditions’.
3. Financial and operational capacity and exclusion
Financial capacity: Please refer to the ERC Rules of Submission, section 4, Award Decision and Preparation of Grant Agreements.
Operational capacity: As indicated in the ERC Work Programme 2021, page 9, footnote 2: Applicants whose proposals are recommended for funding are deemed to fulfil the operational capacity requirements of Article 198(3) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1046/2018 (the ‘Financial Regulation’).
Exclusion: Please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2021, Annex 4.
For the Consolidator grant call a single submission of the full proposal will be followed by a two-step evaluation. The evaluation will be conducted by means of a structure of high level peer review panels as listed in Annex 1 of the ERC Work Programme 2021. The panels may be assisted by independent external experts.
For all ERC frontier research grants scientific excellence is the sole criterion of evaluation. It will be applied in conjunction to the evaluation of both: the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of the research project; and the intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment of the Principal Investigator. The detailed evaluation elements applying to the excellence of the research project and the Principal Investigator are set out in the ERC Work Programme 2021.
5. Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement:
Please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2021 under the heading ‘Indicative summary of main calls from the 2021 budget’
6. Legal and financial set-up of the grants:
Please refer to the MGA used for ERC actions under Horizon Europe (HE General MGA).
Call documents and annexes:
The submission link will be available in the coming days. Until the submission link is open, you can find the editable templates of Part B1, Part B2 and of the Host Institution letter on the ERC Website homepage.