"The Scientific Council will continuously monitor the operation of the ERC and its evaluation procedures and consider how best to achieve its broader objectives.” (Council Decision 743/2013 establishing the specific programme implementing Horizon 2020).
Since its creation a lot of effort has been employed for the analysis of the impact of ERC funding on the scientific community and on the research landscape at large. Several studies and comparative analyses, implemented by external beneficiaries and contractors or by the ERCEA departments, have been carried out to monitor the ERC's role and to help manage, monitor and measure qualitatively and quantitatively the programme implementation.
Under the 2016 Work Programme, the ERC has launched two studies to measure its impact at researcher and policy level.
The first is a Study on career impacts of ERC funding, which shall provide a comprehensive overview of the impact that ERC funding has on the careers of the ERC principal investigators and their teams, with a focus on younger researchers.
It shall provide insights on the impact on career advancement, but also on the type of careers that team members embark on after the end of the project. The winning tenderer is a consortium led by ICF Consulting Services Limited, for a total value of around 270,000 €.
- The second is a Study on Open Access to publications and research data management and sharing in ERC projects, which will investigate attitudes and practices among European Research Council (ERC)-funded researchers concerning open science. The study will provide a comprehensive overview of the current situation in these areas. Its aim is to identify not only common challenges encountered by ERC-funded researchers, but also incentives and support available to them, in particular at the level of ERC host institutions. This includes an analysis of costs and associated financial support. The winning tenderer is a consortium led by PPMI for a total value of around 480,000 €.
Both studies are going to make use of surveys addressed to Principal Investigators. The Study on career impacts of ERC funding will in addition also survey Team members, Research offices and Human Resources offices at ERC Host institutions, as well as Control groups for both Principal Investigators and Team members. The contractors implementing these surveys are bound by strict data protection rules as established in their contracts.