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The Scientific Council establishes the work programme for the implementation of the ERC activities.


The Scientific Council is composed of eminent scientists and scholars. The members are appointed by the European Commission, on the recommendations of an independent Identification Committee.

The Chair of the Scientific Council  is the President of the ERC and the formal representative of the ERC, including its Scientific Council, to the European Commission and other bodies.

The President also chairs the ERC Board and Scientific Council meetings and prepares the agenda.

The President is assisted by three Vice-Presidents who are equally the Vice-Chairs of the Scientific Council. They represent the three ERC domains.

Jean-Pierre Bourguignon is currently President of the ERC on an interim basis. He will be in office until the next ERC President is selected and takes up duties.

The Vice-Presidents are: Fabio Zwirner (Physical sciences and Engineering), Dame Janet Thornton (Life Sciences) and Eveline Crone (Social Sciences and Humanities).

The term of office of the members of the Scientific Council is limited to four years, renewable once.

Picture of the ERC Scientific Council (Brussels, February 2020)


ERC President ad interim



Eveline CRONE






ERC Scientific Council members are appointed by the European Commission on the basis of a search process carried out by an independent Identification Committee.

The mandate of this independent Committee is twofold.
Firstly, it identifies new members for the staged renewal of the Scientific Council membership.
Secondly, it maintains a pool of candidates for future replacements of Scientific Council members.

The legal provisions for the identification of the Scientific Council members are set out here.

The Identification Committee consists of highly respected personalities in European research:

  • Carl-Henrik HELDIN (chair) - Uppsala University, Chairman of the Board of the Nobel Foundation, Sweden
  • Barbara FLUECKIGER - Zürich University, Switzerland
  • Kirsten GRAM-HANSEN - Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Michal KAROŃSKI - Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
  • Carlos MARTINEZ ALONSO - Spanish National Research Council
  • Mira MEZINI - Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany/Albania

The search for potential candidates for membership of the Scientific Council is currently ongoing. Nominations are accepted until 30 September 2020.


  • Prof. Mauro Ferrari  - ERC President from 1 January 2020 to 7 April 2020  
  • Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon - ERC President from January 2014 to December 2019
  • Prof. Helga Nowotny - ERC President from March 2010 to December 2013 and ERC Vice-President from 2007 to 2010
  • Prof. Fotis Kafatos - ERC President
  • Prof. Donald Dingwell’s - ERC Secretary General from September 2010 to December 2013
  • Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell - ERC Secretary General from July 2009 to August 2010
  • Prof. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker - ERC Secretary General from January 2007 to June 2009