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Q: Is it possible to apply to the ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2018-SyG) for a Principal Investigator (PI) who holds an ongoing ERC grant?
A:

A Principal Investigator (PI) may hold only one ERC grant at any time. A new frontier research project can only start after the duration of the project fixed in a previous frontier research grant agreement has ended (ERC Work Programme 2018 page 19). These eligibility requirements are the same as for the other frontier research grants.
However, grantees can submit a proposal to the SyG call for proposals if their existing project ends no more than two years after the SyG call deadline (ERC Work Programme 2018 page 20). For the SyG 2018 call, this means that the current grant has to end before 14 November 2019.

Q: Under call ERC-2018-SyG, where is it possible to find information on the ERC Synergy Grants ?
A:

The information about the ERC Synergy Grants (SyG) can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2018, in the Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2018 Call, through the Participant Portal, in the Information Package of the submission webpage for the relevant call and through the ERC website.
 

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: Under call ERC-2018-STG, should the applicant provide the names and the Curriculum Vitae of the team members in the proposal ?
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 of the Starting and Consolidator 2018 Grants.

Q: Do peer reviewers receive all parts of a proposal in the case of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 (ERC-2018-STG) call?
A:

For the ERC Starting Grant 2018, 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 version of the retained proposals, including the full scientific proposal (Part B2).For more information on the evaluation process, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018 (section 'Evaluation procedure and criteria').

Q: Must the Principal Investigator applying for an ERC Starting Grant 2018 (ERC-2018-STG) choose the appropriate ERC peer review evaluation panel for their proposal?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 call, the applicant must choose a primary evaluation panel and may also indicate a secondary evaluation panel. They should indicate when they believe that their 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 agree to do so.

Q: According to the conditions applied to the ERC Grants 2018, can a researcher participate as PI in more than one ERC frontier research proposal at the same time? Is it possible to receive funding for more than one participation in such case?
A:

According to the conditions applied to the ERC frontier research Grants 2018 (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced, Synergy), there are three main restrictions to be considered for Principal Investigators in this regard:
 
A Principal Investigator may submit proposals to different ERC frontier research grant calls published under the same Work Programme, but only the first eligible proposal will be evaluated.
A researcher may participate as Principal Investigator[Including all Principal Investigators supported under the Synergy Grant in ERC Work Programmes 2012 – 2013 ] in only one ERC frontier research project at any one time [NB A new frontier research project can only start after the duration of the project fixed in a previous frontier research grant agreement has ended.]
A researcher participating as Principal Investigator in an ERC frontier research project may not submit a proposal for another ERC frontier research grant, unless the existing project ends [NB According to the duration of the project fixed in the previous frontier research grant agreement] no more than two years after the call deadline. .
 

These restrictions are specified in the ERC Work Programme 2018 and may be modified in future work programmes by the ERC Scientific Council in light of experience. As a team member, it is possible to participate in more than one ERC grant.

Q: If a Principal Investigator only has a Master Degree and no PhD, can they apply to the ERC Starting Grant 2018 (ERC-2018-STG) call?
A:

No, according to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 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 2018, Annex 2.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 (ERC-2018-STG) 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 Starting Grant 2018 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 (2-7 years after the date of award of the PhD or 4-9 years past the medical doctor degree completion for Starters).
For more information please consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2018 – Annex 2.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 (ERC-2018-STG) call, is a Medical Doctor degree equivalent to a PhD degree?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 (ERC-2018-STG) 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. 4-9 years past the medical doctor degree for Starters).
For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2018 .

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 call (ERC-2018-STG), which is the date to be considered for the granting of the PhD (or equivalent degree)?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 call (ERC-2018-STG), the reference date for calculating the eligibility period should be the date of the actual award according to the national rules in the country where the degree was awarded.
In the case of applicants having been awarded several PhDs, the reference date is the award date of the first PhD.
For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2018 .

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 call, what will happen if the PhD certificate is not submitted together with the proposal?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 call, as long as no PhD document or equivalent is uploaded in the Participant Portal Submission Service, 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 missing 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 2018 .

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 call, what are eligible career breaks that are considered for the extension of the eligibility window?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2018 call, eligible career breaks that can be considered for the extension of the eligibility window are:
Maternity or paternity leave,
Long-term illness (over ninety days for the Principal Investigator or a close family member),
Clinical training,
National service.
All these circumstances need to be properly documented. Please find below examples of such documents:

For maternity: a birth certificate/passport of the child (ren), family book or any other official document where the link between the PI and the child (ren) is indicated.

For paternity leave taken: an official testimonial from employer or state benefit record certifying the actual duration of the paternity leave. The total number of days and the exact dates need to be specified. Part-time paternity leave is also accepted.
For clinical training: (an) official testimonial(s) certifying the actual duration(s) of the clinical (specialty) training(s)
For long-term illness (over ninety days),the documentation of the periods of medical / sick leaves must be issued by an official authority (e.g. the applicant's employer, health insurances, etc.) or by an authorised person such as the physician of the applicant (medical certificates).  
For national service: only the documented amount of leave taken for national service will be considered if they are issued by an official authority.
For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2018 .

Q: According to the conditions applied to the ERC frontier research Grants 2018 (StG / CoG / AdG / SyG), can a Principal Investigator (PI) cover this role in more than one proposal at the same time?
A:

According to the conditions applied to the ERC frontier research Grants 2018, there are three main restrictions to be considered for PIs in this regard:
- A PI may submit proposals to different ERC frontier research Grant calls made under the same Work Programme, but only the first eligible proposal will be evaluated.
- A researcher may participate as PI or Co-Investigator  in only one ERC frontier research project at any one time.(NB: A new frontier research project can only start after the duration of the project fixed in a previous frontier research grant agreement has ended).
- A researcher participating as PI in an ERC frontier research project may not submit a proposal for another ERC frontier research grant, unless the existing project ends. (NB: According to the duration of the project fixed in the previous frontier research grant agreement, no more than two years after the call deadline)
These restrictions are specified in the ERC Work Programme 2018 (https://webgate.ec.testa.eu/ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/... ) and may be modified in future Work Programmes by the ERC Scientific Council in light of experience.
NB: As a team member, it is possible to participate in more than one ERC Grant.

Q: Under the ERC 2018 Proof of Concept (PoC) Grant, is it preferable to have a project of 12 or of 18 months?
A:

Where an ERC PoC proposal has initially indicated a duration of 12 months, during grant preparation, PIs are usually advised to go for a longer timespan (18 months), just in order to cope with eventual delays and always finish the project in an acceptable period of time, although the final decision will be with the Principal Investigator (PI). The reason is that under H2020, extensions of duration to PoC projects are typically not granted once the project has started.
It should also be noted that in case a PI opts for the 18 months duration, but the project’s activities are finished within 12 months (or any other month before the 18th), the costs cannot be claimed for reimbursement immediately. The PI will have to wait until the contractual end of the Grant in order to submit the Final Reports and cost claims (Article 20 of the GA).
More information can be found in the H2020 Model Grant Agreements for ERC Proof of Concept grants:
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/mga/erc/h2020-m...
http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/mga/erc/h2020-m...

Q: Under an ERC 2018 Proof of Concept (PcC) project, are time sheets needed for the Principal Investigator?
A:

Yes, the time sheets are needed if the PI charges salary to the ERC.
All team members of a PoC project for which personnel costs are being charged should maintain time sheets of the hours worked on the project (see also Article 18.1 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement).

Q: Under ERC 2018 PoC call, which is the general rule for Principal Investigator (PI) commitment?
A:

There is no minimum commitment percentage of the working time required to the PI applying for an ERC 2018 Proof of Concept (PoC) call. However, in the grant agreement, PIs must enter a minimum of their working time, as they are responsible for managing the ERC PoC project. It is essential that the cumulative percentage commitment that the PI spends on the ERC PoC action and on the main ERC StG/CoG/AdG Grant (if still ongoing) does not exceed 100%.
For more information please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018.

Q: Under the ERC 2018 PoC call, can the related costs for establishing a company (i.e. accountant, notary) be considered eligible in the proposal?
A:

Yes, the related costs for establishing a company (i.e. accountant, notary costs) could be considered eligible, but only if the establishment of the company happens during the duration of the project and only if there is a need to bring a product on the market. The establishment of the company should not be an end in itself, it must be a mean to an end.
Hence, either the POC project will bring a finished product on the market (and this result will happen during the project lifetime), or the cost of establishing the company is not eligible. As this result can hardly be planned in advance, it would be advisable not to include this type of costs in the budget.

Q: Under call ERC 2018 PoC, can a Co-investigator from an ERC Advanced (AdG) funded project be eligible to submit a ERC PoC proposal as Principal Investigator (PI)?
A:

No, Co-investigators are not eligible for an ERC PoC  Grant.
Only Principal Investigators (PIs) in research main grants (ERC StG, CoG or AdG Grants), as well as PIs and corresponding PI of Synergy Grants (SyG) are eligible to submit a proposal to the ERC PoC Call.
More information on the eligibility criteria for the PIs can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2018, in the section relevant to the call.

Q: Under call ERC 2018 PoC, can a spin-off company be the Host Institution ?
A:

Yes, submitting an application with a spin-off company as Host Institution is feasible, as long as it complies with the eligibility criteria for an eligible Host Institution defined in the ERC Work Programme 2018
The Host Institution (HI) of the ERC PoC proposal does not have to be the same as the HI of the main frontier research Grant.