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Q: For ERC projects, are costs charged by journal publishers for the provision of immediate open access to publications (article processing charges, APCs) eligible costs?
A:

Yes, these costs are eligible if they are incurred during the lifetime of the project and provided that they are in line with the requirements for direct costs as listed in Article II.14 of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement Single and Multi-Beneficiary.

Q: For ERC projects, if a grant is transferred from one host to another, which organisation is responsible for ensuring open access to publications based on work carried out at the first host institution?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains a Special Clause 39 ERC, then the initial host institution is responsible for providing open access to those publications that have been published while it was the beneficiary. For any publication after the transfer of host institution, the new host institution is responsible as far as the deposit in a repository and the provision of open access is concerned, irrespective whether the publication is based on work carried out at the old or the new host institution.

Q: For ERC projects, why are the reporting periods for financial (every 18 months) and scientific (every 30 months) reports different and how are they linked?
A:

One of the specificities of the ERC Grant Agreement is the split of the reporting into two distinct sets of reporting periods, in order to diminish the administrative burden on the researchers:

-Scientific reports, usually after half of the project (30 months) and at the end of the project in Starting and Advanced Grants and two intermediate reports (usually every 24 months) and one at the end of the project in Synergy Grants. Scientific reports are submitted by the Principal Investigator on behalf of the Host Institution/beneficiary;

- Financial reports, usually every 18 months and at the end of the project. Financial reports are submitted by the Host Institution with a contribution from the Principal Investigator, as per General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement, Article II.3.1.b for Single or Article II.3.bis.1.b for Multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements.

Two different departments/units in the ERCEA follow the (two) separate reporting streams to independently ensure appropriate work progress, follow-up and monitoring of the project. The templates are sent via advance notice letter 15 days before the end of the reporting period (in order to ensure that the beneficiary uses the latest version available).

If the scientific report has been approved without conditions, the payment will be performed at the end of the next financial reporting period without the need of any additional scientific requirements (if no new scientific issues arise meanwhile). If the scientific report has been approved conditionally, at the end of the next financial reporting period, the payment will be subject to verification that the suggested scientific recommendations have been properly fulfilled in the meantime. If the scientific report has been rejected and a revised version of the report was requested, the payment at the forthcoming financial reporting period will be suspended, until a satisfactory revised scientific report is submitted and approved by the scientific department. If the scientific report has been rejected, the ERCEA may start the procedure for termination of the Grant Agreement.

Final reports submitted within the framework of the termination will be due 45 days after the decision on termination became definitive.

In the evaluation of scientific reports, the ERCEA Scientific Department may require sometimes additional experts review. In these cases the time to evaluate the reports and disburse payments can be suspended till the review is satisfactory.

Q: For ERC projects, is it possible to include the names of individual researchers in a Description of Work?
A:

ERCEA does not recommend, as a common practice, to include names of individual researchers. Exceptions can be requested and have to be motivated. However, a list of all team members will be requested together with each financial report.

Q: For ERC projects, how does the Guarantee Fund works?
A:

At the beginning of a ERC projects, 5% of the maximum contribution will be offset from the pre-financing and transferred to the Guarantee Fund as a financial contribution from the beneficiary. The Guarantee fund aims at covering financial risks and specifically non-reimbursement of amounts due by a beneficiary. At the end of a project, the beneficiary usually recovers its full contribution to the Guarantee Fund.

Q: Where can I find the European Research Council (ERC) logo and when can I use it?
A:
The European Research Council (ERC) logo and European emblem can be downloaded from the ERC website logos and banners page. The ERC logo can be used by beneficiaries of ERC funding support for the sole purpose of acknowledging that suppport. No explicit permission is necessary to use the ERC logo in this case.
Q: Under the ERC 2019 Proof of Concept (PoC) call, is it still possible to have a project of 12 months?
A:

Yes. Under the ERC 2019 Work Programme, the financial contribution will be awarded as a lump sum of €150 000 for a period of 18 months. The ERC expects that normally PoC projects should be completed within 12 months. However, to allow for those projects that require more preparation time, projects will be signed for 18 months. Given this initial flexibility, extensions of the duration of proof of concept projects may be granted only exceptionally.

More information can be found in the Multi-Beneficiary Model Grant Agreement for the ERC PoC Lump Sum Pilot (H2020 ERC MGA PoC Lump Sum Pilot — Multi & Mono).

Q: Under call ERC 2019 Proof of Concept (PoC), can a spin-off company be the Host Institution (HI)?
A:

Yes, submitting an application with a spin-off company as Host Institution (HI) is feasible, as long as it complies with the eligibility criteria for an eligible HI defined in the ERC Work Programme 2019. The HI of the ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) proposal does not have to be the same as the HI of the main frontier research Grant.

Q: According to the conditions of ERC-CoG-2019 call, how does ERC treat requests to extend eligibility time-window in case of clinical training? Is there a maximum nr of years of clinical training that can be claimed for extension of eligibility window?
A:

For clinical training, the effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD [for applicants whose first eligible degree is their MD such incidents can be considered from the date of the completion of their MD degree] will be considered reduced by the documented amount of clinical training actually received by the Principal Investigator after the award of the first eligible degree, and by up to 4 years maximum.

In case of part-time clinical training, the exact total training time will be calculated pro-rata to extend the eligibility window. Documented clinical training that has taken place between the award of the first eligible degree and the call deadline can be used to extend the eligibility window up to 4 years maximum.

Clinical training should be documented by an official signed testimonial from the employer indicating the start and end date of the training and preferably also the work pattern (full-time or part-time training).

Q: What type of feedback will I receive during and after the evaluation of my proposal submitted to the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call?
A:

During each step of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 evaluation, the two main elements of the proposal (Principal Investigator and research project) will be evaluated and rated. At the end of each evaluation step, the proposals will be ranked by the panels on the basis of the marks they have received and on the panels' overall appreciation of each proposal's strengths and weaknesses.

At the end of Step 1 of the evaluation, on the basis of the assessment of Part B1 of the proposal, applicants will be informed that their proposal:

  1. is of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation;
  2. is of high quality but not sufficient to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation; or
  3. is not of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation.

At the end of Step 2 of the evaluation, on the basis of the assessment of the full proposal, applicants will be informed that their proposal either:

  1. fully meets the ERC's excellence criterion and is recommended for funding if sufficient funds are available; or
  2. meets some but not all elements of the ERC's excellence criterion and will not be funded.

More information on the results of the peer review evaluation can be found at section 3.7 of the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation.

Applicants may also be subject to restrictions on submitting proposals to future ERC calls based on the outcome of the evaluation. Applicants will need to check the restrictions in place for each call (for 2019 calls, see restrictions on submission of proposals under 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2019).

In addition, once the evaluation of their proposal has been completed, applicants will receive an evaluation report which will include the ranking range of their proposal out of the proposals evaluated by the panel, the panel comment explaining the panel decision as well as the individual comments given by each reviewer (for more details, see Information for applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2019 Calls).

More information on the evaluation procedure can also be found in the ERC Work Programme 2019 section relevant to the call.

Q: Should the applicant provide the names and the Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the team members in the proposal for the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call?
A:

The CVs of individual team members should not be included. Although it is not mandatory to provide the names of individual team members, the proposal should describe the composition of the team that will carry out the proposed activities.

Further explanations can be found in the Information for the applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2019 Calls.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call, is it possible to choose ERC panels from different domains?
A:

For the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019, the applicant must choose a primary evaluation panel and may also indicate a secondary evaluation panel. He/she should indicate when he/she believes that his/her proposal is of a cross-panel or cross-domain nature.

Further explanations can be found in the Information for the applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2019 Calls. The primary panel structure and description is also described in Annex 1 of the ERC Work Programme 2019.

Q: Do peer reviewers receive all parts of a proposal in the case of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call?
A:

For the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019, Step 1 of the peer review evaluation process is based only on the extended synopsis, the Principal Investigator's CV and the track record (Part B1 only), and peer reviewers do not have access to the full scientific proposal. At Step 2, the peer reviewers base their assessment on the complete versions of the retained proposals - Part B1 and Part B2 (the scientific proposal). Please note that experts do not have access to any supporting documentation during the evaluation.

For more information on the evaluation process, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2019 (section 'Evaluation procedure and criteria').

Q: Must the Principal Investigator applying for an ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) choose the appropriate ERC peer review evaluation panel for his/her proposal?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 call, the applicant must choose a primary evaluation panel and may also indicate a secondary evaluation panel. He/she should indicate when he/she believes that his/her proposal is of a cross-panel or cross-domain nature.

In most cases the proposal will be evaluated by the primary panel indicated by the applicant. However, if the scope of a proposal does not correspond to the expertise of the primary panel, the proposal can be reallocated to another panel, if the panel chairs of the original and the new panel unanimously agree to do so.

For more information on the ERC-2019-CoG call, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2019.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call, is a Principal Investigator holding a Master Degree and no PhD entitled to apply to this call?
A:

No, according to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 call, the Principal Investigator must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree to be eligible. First-professional degrees will not be considered in themselves as PhD-equivalent, even if recipients carry the title "Doctor".

For more information, please consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2019, Annex 2.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call, for medical doctors who hold both a medical doctor degree and a PhD, which degree will be taken into consideration for the calculation of the eligibility window?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 call, for medical doctors who have been awarded both a medical doctor degree and a PhD, the date of the earliest degree that makes the applicant eligible takes precedence in the calculation of the eligibility time-window (7-12 years after the date of award of the PhD or 9-14 years past the medical doctor degree completion for Consolidators).

For more information, please consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2019 – Annex 2.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call, what degrees are considered equivalent to a PhD?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 call, in order to be eligible to apply a Principal Investigator must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree. It is recognised that in certain fields some other doctoral titles have the same status and represent variants of the PhD. All of them have similar content requirements. These cases will not be automatically considered eligible or ineligible but examined individually, as part of the ERCEA's decision on eligibility. First professional degrees will not be considered in themselves as PhD-equivalent, even if recipients carry the title "Doctor".

For more information, please, consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2019 - Annex 2 and section 4.3 of the Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2019 Calls.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call, is a Medical Doctor degree equivalent to a PhD degree?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 call, for medical doctors (or applicants holding a degree in medicine), a medical doctor degree will not be accepted by itself as equivalent to a PhD award. To be considered an eligible Principal Investigator, medical doctors (or applicants holding a degree in medicine) need to provide the certificates of both a medical doctor degree and a PhD or proof of an appointment that requires doctoral equivalency (e.g. post-doctoral fellowship, professorship appointment). Additionally, candidates must also provide information on their research experience (including peer-reviewed publications) in order to further substantiate the equivalence of their overall training to a PhD. In these cases, the certified date of the medical doctor degree completion plus two years is the time reference for calculation of the eligibility time-window (i.e. 9-14 years past the medical doctor degree for Consolidators).

For more information, see sections 'Eligibility criteria' and 'ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees – Annex 2' of the ERC Work Programme 2019 and section 4.3 of the Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2019 Calls.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call, what will happen if the PhD certificate is not submitted together with the proposal?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 call, as long as no PhD document or equivalent is uploaded in the Funding and Tenders Portal (F&T Portal), it will not be possible to validate/submit the proposal. A warning message will inform the applicant of the missing document. If another document is uploaded instead and the PhD certificate is finally missing in the proposal, the ERCEA may contact the PI and ask for a clarification and the missing document.

For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2019.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-CoG) call, which is the date to be considered for the granting of the PhD (or equivalent degree)?
A:

According to the ERC Work Programme 2019, the reference date towards the calculation of the eligibility period should be the date of the actual award according to the national rules in the country where the degree was awarded. The Information for Applicants to Starting and Consolidator Grant 2019 Calls complements that this is "generally, the date of successful defense/viva".

In the case of applicants having been awarded several PhDs, the reference date is the award date of the first PhD.

In case of medical doctor degrees considered equivalent to PhD the certified date of the medical doctor degree completion plus two years is the time reference for calculation of the eligibility time-window.

For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2019 and its Annex 2.