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Q: What type of feedback will applicant be receiving during and after evaluation for a proposal submitted to the ERC Starting Grant 2018 (ERC-2018-STG) call?
A:

During each step of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 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 B 1 of the proposal, applicants will be informed that their proposal:
A. is of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation;
B. is of high quality but not sufficient to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation; or
C. 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:
A. fully meets the ERC's excellence criterion and is recommended for funding if sufficient funds are available; or
B. 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 2018 calls see restrictions on submission of proposals under 'Eligibility criteria'of the ERC Work Programme 2018.
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 (for more details, see Information for applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2018 Calls).
More information on the evaluation procedure can also be found in the ERC Work Programme 2018 section relevant to the call.

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: Under FP7, is it possible to reduce the duration of the project in order to allow the Principal Investigator to apply for another ERC Grant?
A:

In the context of FP7 and according to the Ideas Work Programme 2013, a Principal Investigator may hold only one frontier research grant from the ERC at any one time. In particular, a PI may not submit a proposal for another ERC frontier research grant, unless the existing project ends no more than two years after the call deadline.
A request for a reduction of the duration of the project entails the following consequences:
Once a project's duration was reduced, it cannot be extended afterwards (even in case of failure in the application/evaluation process), unless force majeure, maternity or parental leave;
A request for the reduction of the duration of a project has to be approved by the Scientific Department. It will evaluate if the goals of the project can be reached in a shorter time;
Shortening of the project duration might trigger a reduction of the maximum Union contribution.
Nevertheless, it is possible that an ERC grantee (Starting/Consolidator/Advanced/Synergy Grant) also holds a Proof of Concept Grant.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7, can expenses linked to the recruitment of project staff (such as relocation expenses, advertising and travel costs to interviews) be considered as recruitment costs?
A:

In principle, it is expected from the host institutions to have the human resources necessary for the action at the start of the project.However, for ERC grants in FP7, recruitment costs may be eligible as direct costs.
To be eligible, expenses linked to the recruitment of project staff have to be in line with the general management practice and rules of the Host Institution/beneficiary and comply with the eligibility criteria of Article II.14 of the General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement (Single and Multi-Beneficiary), being directly traceable to the ERC project.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7, how many hours make a person-month?
A:

For ERC projects under FP7, the number of hours that makes a person-month can vary between different Host Institutions.  Beneficiaries must calculate their specific productive hours according to the general practice in the Host Institution.
In case different categories of personnel have different working conditions, individual productive hours may be calculated. For the calculation method and examples, please refer to Part 2 B, section 1 on art.II.15 of ECGA, sub-section 1.(a), in the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues.The benchmark is 1680 hours based on 210 workable days and a 8 hour working day (Guide to financial issues Part 2B, section 1 on article II.15 of ECGA, sub-section 1.(a.2), in the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues).