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Q: ERC-2017-PoC call: If a proposal for an ERC PoC call was not granted in the first deadline (cut-off-date), can it be resubmitted by the second or third deadline of the same call?

No, as stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017, a Principal Investigator may submit only one application per the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call.Important note: More than one Proof of Concept Grant may be awarded per ERC funded frontier research project but only one Proof of Concept project may be running at any one time for the same ERC frontier research project.

Q: How can the EU emblem be used by beneficiaries of EU programmes and other third parties?

The European Union has a range of programmes which have been set up to support projects and initiatives in various domains across the EU and beyond.In accordance with the Commission's guidelines on visual identity, all EU programmes must be identified exclusively by the EU emblem and the mention of the programme name.The names of programmes, such as Horizon 2020 and FP7, will be used as verbal brands, i.e. references to them will be made without a specific logo.Commission services will apply the Commission’s visual identity guidelines when communicating about EU programmes. Beneficiaries of EU funding will use the European emblem in their communication to acknowledge the support received under EU programmes.The guidelines mentioned below are intended for beneficiaries of EU funding and other third parties who communicate about EU programmes to show how the European Union emblem can be used in conjunction with text which highlights the fact of EU funding.

For further information please see :  The use of the EU emblem in the context of EU programmes - Guidelines for beneficiaries and other third parties 

Q: What are the rules regarding using the EU flag as a logo?

The European emblem (flag) may be used by third parties only if is not:

  • likely to create confusion between the user and the European Union or the Council of Europe;
  • linked to aims or activities incompatible with the principles and objectives of the European Union or the Council of Europe.In the case of EU-funded projects:
  • logos that are developed for projects funded by the EU, and that are not owned by the EU, may not be identical or similar to the European emblem (this includes logos that incorporate the twelve stars);
  • the European emblem should be given appropriate prominence when displayed in association with a logo;
  • contractors are exempt from the obligation to obtain prior permission from the Commission to use the emblem, but are subject to the general third-party-use restrictions mentioned above. This tacit authorization to use the European emblem implies no right of exclusive use. It does not permit the appropriation of the emblem, or of any similar trade mark or logo, whether by registration or by any other means.For further information please see :  Europa - The European Flag  (see the Graphics guide to the European flag link for more details)
Q: What is the best practice for communication between the Host Institution (HI), the Principal Investigator (PI) and the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA) during the grant preparation and implementation?

In H2020 all interactions with the ERCEA will take place online via the Funding and Tenders Portal (F&T Portal).

The handling of documents will be fully electronic as there is no need anymore to exchange any paper document. The grants for the successful proposals submitted to the ERC calls will be prepared and then signed electronically. Requests of amendments will be prepared, submitted and either accepted or rejected electronically. All Reports will have to be submitted for review via the F&T Portal. According to the various phases of the project lifecycle the correct actors (HIs and/or PIs) will be informed via email that certain tasks must be performed in the F&T Portal.

Notwithstanding the above and in effort to keep on offering a high level service, the Agency strongly encourages both the Host Institutions and the Principal Investigators to contact the respective Agency staff for discussion in an informal phase about all developments of changes in their respective action. This is of utmost importance in order to avoid cancellation of documents or requests submitted via the F&T Portal which are incomplete or incorrect.

The name and surname of the ERC officer responsible for the Principal Investigator's grant can be found in the F&T Portal. The officer can be easily contacted via the messaging tool embedded in the F&T Portal, allowing the Principal Investigator to communicate directly with the officer without having to use emails.

Furthermore, the ERCEA has set up a helpdesk to provide Principal Investigators with assistance and guidance throughout the lifetime of the project. The helpdesk can be contacted by email at:

Q: What are the reporting requirements for ERC research frontier projects granted under H2020 Programme [Starting Grant (StG)/Consolidator Grant (CoG)/Advanced Grant (AdG)]/Synergy Grant (SyG)]?

The reporting requirements for an ERC research frontier projects granted under H2020 Programme (Starting Grant / Consolidator Grant / Advanced Grant or Synergy Grant) foresee two different reporting streams to cover the financial aspects, on the one hand, and the scientific aspects of the grant, on the other hand, as described in Article 20 of the ERC Model Grant Agreement.

Scientific reports are the sole responsibility of the Principal Investigator and are submitted via the Host Institution usually twice during the lifetime of a project (at mid-term and at the end). The financial reports are prepared by the Host Institution in consultation with the Principal Investigator and must usually be submitted every 18 months; this report must include information on the use of resources and the general implementation of the project (see Article 20.3 of ERC Model Grant Agreement).

At the end of a project, the Host Institution will also have to submit a Certificate on Financial Statements for each beneficiary (and linked third party) depending on the amount of the costs claimed (if the entity requests a total contribution of €325.000 or more). Both types of reports (Scientific and Financial) are prepared and submitted online via the Funding and Tenders Portal (F&T Portal).

Q: How can a candidate who was not continuously engaged in research or other professional activities during the previous ten years due to maternity/paternity leave, demonstrate her/his merit for the ERC-2018-AdG call?

When applying to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call, it is recommended that the researcher provides evidence of recent achievements of intellectual productivity and creativity. If a researcher returned to his/her original or new project(s) following a sabbatical leave, the reviewers are asked to take such circumstances into consideration.

For maternity, the track record considered can be extended by 18 months for each child born before or during the last ten years.

For paternity, the track record considered can be extended by the actual amount of paternity leave taken for each child born before or during the last ten years.

For long-term illness, clinical qualification or national service the track record considered can be extended by the amount of leave taken for each incident which occurred during the last ten years.

For more information, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018 or the Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grants 2018 call.

Q: Can a researcher who is nearing retirement apply to the call ERC-2018-Advanced Grant (AdG) call?

Yes, an experienced researcher is welcome to apply to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call at any stage of their career if (s)he can prove - independently of their age - that (s)he is still an active researcher with recent outstanding results. As stated in the ERC Work Programme 2018, Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application.

The commitment and official support of a Host Institution is nevertheless required for the whole duration of the grant.

For more information, see the ERC Work Programme 2018 or the Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grant call.

Q: Are only PhD holders allowed to apply to the ERC-2018-Advanced Grant (ADG) call?

No, a PhD is not formally required to submit a proposal to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call. As specified in the ERC Work Programme 2018, excellence is the sole criterion for the evaluation of a proposal.

However, a Principal Investigator is expected to have outstanding research results within the last 10 years.

For more information, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018, or the Information for Applicants relevant for the call.

Q: If a researcher has less than ten years of research experience, can (s)he apply to the ERC 2018 Advanced Grant (AdG) call?

A Principal Investigator can apply for an ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call even if (s)he does not yet have ten years of research experience. However, applicants for the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant are expected to be active and established research leaders and have a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years which must be presented in the application. The emphasis lies on recent outstanding research results which are not older than 10 years.

For more information on the expected profile of the Advanced Grant applicant, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018 or the Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grant call.

Q: Can a Principal Investigator whose proposal was submitted to the 2016 or 2017 ERC frontier research grants call and evaluated at the end of Step 1 as of insufficient quality to pass to Step 2 (C category), submit an application for the ERC 2018 AdG call?

No, a Principal Investigator whose proposal was evaluated as category C in the step 1 Starting (StG), Consolidator (CoG) or Advanced (AdG) Grant calls for proposals under ERC Work Programme 2016 and 2017 may not submit a proposal to the ADG call for proposals made under Work Programme 2018

For more information, please refer to the restrictions on submission of proposals in the ERC Work Programme 2018.