Working Group on Mapping Frontier Research

Over the years, the ERC has funded more than 10.000 research projects through its ‘bottom-up’ approach, encouraging top researchers at various stages of their careers to pursue risk-taking and high-impact research in any scientific field.

With the aim to better understand and demonstrate how ERC-funded research pushes the frontiers in research and advances scientific fields, the ERC decided to embark on an in-depth ex-ante analysis of what it has funded. In order to do so, the Scientific Council has designed a unique classification system to analyse and map the research landscape of ERC funded projects under the FP7 and Horizon 2020 programmes.

The ERC’s “Science behind the Projects” Working Group leads this effort. Its role is to further develop the classification system across all domains of science and the humanities, steer its implementation, and define how to use the data collected.

Mapping ERC frontier research

The methodology, tailored to ERC frontier research, allows for collecting structured information about the scientific content of projects with a common approach across disciplines.

A snapshot of the research funded between 2014 and 2020 was published in 2022 in the form of factsheets, detailing the scientific landscape in each of the ERC’s 25 panels under H2020. The analyses also include connections between disciplines and topics, and synergies with other panels and domains based on shared disciplines.

Furthermore, the Working Group has selected three EU policy areas as case studies to show how ERC-funded research contributes to making the European Union climate neutral in 2050, to shaping Europe’s digital future, and to tackling public health challenges. The Working Group is set to continue the ERC portfolio analysis, mapping frontier research and emerging fields of science funded under Horizon Europe.


ERC Executive Agency secretariat: Dace Rambaka, Unit Support to the Scientific Council