For Non-European Researchers
The European Research Council (ERC) is a funding organisation for frontier research. It aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by funding the very best, creative researchers of any nationality and age, and supporting their innovative ideas. Researchers from anywhere in the world can apply for ERC grants provided the research they undertake will be carried out in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
ERC grants are becoming more and more internationally recognised as awards for scientific excellence.
Research projects funded by the ERC can last up to five years and can cover frontier research in any scientific domain, including social sciences, humanities and interdisciplinary studies. The grants may help both emerging research leaders ('ERC Starting Grants' and 'ERC Consolidator Grants') and already well-established and recognised scientists ('ERC Advanced Grants'). Find out more about the different ERC grants.
If you are moving to Europe (EU Member State or Associated Country), you can apply for additional funding, which can total up to €2 million for a Starting Grant (instead of €1.5 million for those already established in Europe), €2.75 million for a Consolidator Grant (instead of €2 million) and €3.5 million for an Advanced Grant (instead of €2.5 million).
How to apply?
Applications can be submitted when an ERC call for proposals is opened. For successful applicants an agreement is then signed between the ERC and the institution that will host your research project ("Host Institution") in an EU Member State or an Associated Country.
In case you need to find a Host Institution in Europe for your future ERC project, please click here
Both the application, granting and reporting processes are very straightforward and user-friendly. Furthermore, you have the possibility to change host institution in Europe in the course of your project if useful, as ERC grants are "portable": the money follows the researcher and is not linked to the initial host institution.
Time to spend on the project
Researchers applying for ERC-funding must be strongly committed to the project and spend a significant amount of time on it. However, it is not obligatory to spend 100% of your time in Europe whilst carrying out the ERC-funded research.
For Starting and Consolidator Grants, the Principal Investigator should devote at least 50% of her/his total working time to the ERC-funded project, while spending at least 50% of her/his total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
For Advanced Grants, the Principal Investigator should devote at least 30% of her/his working time to the ERC project and spend at least 50% of her/his total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country.
ERC grants support projects carried out by an individual researcher ('Principal Investigator') and his or her team. The constitution of the research teams is flexible and team members can be of any nationality, European or non European, depending on the nature of a project.
Vacancies for team members of an ERC project can be published by the Principal Investigator on the Euraxess-Jobs portal.
Some testimonials from ERC-grantees of non-European nationality are featured in our brochure: ERC grants for top researchers from all over the world
Opportunities to join ERC-funded teams
New initiatives have been launched in the form of "Implementing arrangement" to boost opportunities for scientists supported by foreign agencies to come to Europe to join the research teams of European Research Council (ERC) grantees.
The first agreement of this kind was signed in July 2012 with the US National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide opportunities for early-career NSF researchers to join ERC-funded teams in Europe (read more here). In November 2013 a second agreement was closed with the Minister of Science, ICT and Future Planning of the Republic of Korea (read more here).