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"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 €.

During the course of the Study on Open Access, a collection of 15 case studies will be produced, each based on a specific ERC project. The case studies examine some particularly interesting open science related activities by ERC PIs or their host institutions. The projects have been selected with a view to highlighting good practices, but also with the aim of pointing out the challenges encountered in implementing open science principles. The case studies cover all three themes addressed by the study (open access to publications; research data management, sharing and reuse; open science more broadly), from different scientific disciplines and within different institutional settings.

1st set of case studies based on these projects:

  • The Epistemology of data-intensive science (DATA SCIENCE)

  • WORDS FOR ART: The rise of a terminology in Europe (1600-1750) (LEXART)

  • The Metallurgical Nutcracker: Probing at the Nanoscale the Structure and Properties of Hard Second Phases in Alloys and Composites (PHASENANOCRACKER)

2nd set of case studies based on these projects:

  • Harnessing Proto-Enzymes for Novel Catalytic Functions (CompEnzymeEvolution)

  • Dynamics of Local Transcriptomes and Proteomes in Neurons (Neuronal Dynamics)

  • Neural circuits underlying complex brain function across animals - from conserved core concepts to specializations defining a species’ identity (BrainInBrain)

3rd set of case studies based on these projects:

  • Our Mythical Childhood... The Reception of Classical Antiquity in Children’s and Young Adults’ Culture in Response to Regional and Global Challenges (OurMythicalChildhood)

  • The Intergenerational Cumulative Disadvantage and Resource Compensation (INDIRECT)

  • Computational models for the discovery of the world's music (CompMusic)

4th set of case studies based on these projects:

  • Twelve Labours of Image Processing (Twelve Labours)

  • Predicting Environment-Specific Biotransformation of Chemical Contaminants (PROduCTS)

  • Layered Functional Materials – Beyond ‘Graphene’ (BEGMAT)

5th set of case studies based on these projects:

  • Repression and the Escalation of Conflict (RATE)
  • Translational and Transdisciplinary research in Modeling Infectious Diseases (TransMID)
  • Evolutionary reconstruction of viral spread in time and space (VIRALPHYLOGEOGRAPHY)