ERC President & Scientific Council

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.

Maria Leptin took office as the President of the ERC from 1 November 2021.

The ERC Vice-Presidents are: Gerd Gigerenzer (Social Sciences and Humanities), Eystein Jansen (Physical sciences and Engineering) and Jesper Svejstrup (Life Sciences).

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


Scientific Council




The role of the ERC Scientific Council is to:

  • Decide on a scientific strategy

Define and decide on the overall scientific funding and management strategy of the ERC, including an annual work programme where the calls for proposals and the corresponding funding rules and selection criteria are defined.

  • Monitor and control quality and performance

Oversee the ERC's operational management and the implementation of the work programme, including the outcome of calls for proposals, the execution of peer review evaluation processes and the selection of peer reviewers, and the grant management.

Assess the quality and achievements of operations, and make recommendations for improvements and future actions.

  • Establish a communication strategy

Ensure the transparency of ERC operations by establishing an open information strategy in communicating with the scientific community and stakeholders on the activities and achievements of the ERC.  





Appointment of members

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
  • Kirsten Gram-Hansen - Aalborg University, Denmark
  • Michal Karonski - Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
  • Carlos Martinez Alonso - Spanish National Research Council
  • Mira Mezeni - Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany/Albania
  • Heleen Murre-Van den berg – Radboud University, the Netherlands

(Previous announcement on search for candidates for membership.)


Former Presidents and Secretaries General

  • Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon - ERC President ad interim (27 July 2020 - 31 August 2021)
  • Prof. Mauro Ferrari - ERC President (1 January 2020 - 7 April 2020)  
  • Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon - ERC President (January 2014 - December 2019) 
  • Prof. Helga Nowotny - ERC President (March 2010 - December 2013) and ERC Vice-President (2007 - 2010)
  • Prof. Fotis Kafatos † - Founding ERC President (February 2007 - February 2010), First Chair of ERC Scientific Council (from 2006)
  • Prof. Donald Dingwell - ERC Secretary General (September 2010 - December 2013)
  • Prof. Andreu Mas-Colell - ERC Secretary General (July 2009 - August 2010)
  • Prof. Ernst-Ludwig Winnacker - Founding ERC Secretary General (January 2007 - June 2009)

Former members

Former member of the Scientific Council




24 - 25 Apr 2024
Agenda | Minutes

29 - 1 Mar 2024

Check the Document library for the minutes and agenda of previous ERC Scientific Council meetings