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Q: Which panel should be chosen when applying to an ERC Synergy Grant call (ERC-2019-SyG)?
A:

Applications to a Synergy Grant (SyG) call should indicate only keywords, and not panels, cf. ERC Work Programme 2019 and Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2019 Call.

Q: Are there "Co-investigators" in ERC Synergy (ERC-2019-SyG) proposals?
A:

No, the concept of 'co-investigator' actually does not exist in the context of a Synergy (SyG) grant. All Principal Investigators (PIs) have equal status, although there is a 'Corresponding Principal Investigator' (cPI) designated to be the administrative contact with the ERCEA.

More information about the ERC-2019-SYG Grant Call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2019 and Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2019 Call.

Q: Can a Principal Investigator (PI) applying to an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) have a team working with them?
A:

Yes, for ERC SyG, each PI can work with a team and/or collaborators who are either at the same institution or at different entities.

More information about the ERC-2019-SYG Grant Call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2019 and Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2019 Call.

Q: Do all of the Principal Investigators (PIs) applying to an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) need to be affiliated to a Host Institution?
A:

Yes, any Principal Investigator (PI) involved in a Synergy Grant (SyG) proposal must be engaged and hosted by a Host Institution. In general, the Host Institutions should be established in one of the EU Member States or H2020 Associated Countries (AC) for at least the full duration of the project. In the 2019 SyG call, with the exception of the corresponding Host Institution, it is possible to have one PI applying with a Host Institution outside of the EU or H2020 Associated Countries.

The Principal Investigators (PIs) must also spend 50% of their time in Europe, except the PI who will be hosted be an institution outside of the EU or AC.

Institutions outside Europe may be involved, as additional beneficiaries to the grant, and may even receive funding provided that their participation is deemed essential for carrying out the action, but only as additional partners under the heading of one of the European based PIs. In addition, their presence must be well justified in the proposal.

More information about the ERC-2019-SYG Grant Call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2019.

Q: How many Principal Investigators (PIs) can apply to an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG)?
A:

For an ERC Synergy (SyG) grant, a minimum two and maximum four Principal Investigators (PIs) can apply.

More information about the ERC-2019-SYG Grant Call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2019.

Q: What are the required profiles of researchers to apply to an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) call?
A:

The Principal Investigators (PIs) with different profiles can apply to the ERC-2019-SYG call as long as they have competitive track records appropriate to their career stage. PIs must then present, as part of the proposal, either an early achievement track-record or a 10-year track-record, whichever is most appropriate for their career stage (cf. Starting, Consolidator, Advanced Grant profiles in the ERC Work Programme 2019).

Q: Does the geographical distance of Principal Investigators (PIs)/Host Institutions affect chances for winning an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG)?
A:

No, there are no specific constraints on the type of configuration. Being located in two different countries will not affect the chance of success. The PIs have to demonstrate convincingly that there will be significant synergies and sufficient time spent together in close collaboration.

More information about the ERC-2019-SYG Grant Call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2019 and the Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2019 Call.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the location of the Host Institutions (HIs) or Principal Investigators (PIs) applying to an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG)?
A:

Principals Investigators (PIs) can work at the same Host Institution (HI), or at different HIs within one country or at HIs based in different countries. The HIs must be established in an EU Member State or H2020 Associated Countries. In the 2019 Synergy (SyG) call, with the exception of the corresponding Host Institution, it is possible to have one PI applying with a Host Institution outside of the EU or H2020 Associated Countries.

More information about the ERC-2019-SYG Grant Call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2019.

Q: What is the format of an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) interview?
A:

The exact interview details will be communicated to the successful step 2 applicants shortly after the end of the 2019 Synergy grant (SyG) step 2 panel meetings, at the latest by the end of August 2019.

The interview details will be depending on the decision of the panels: interviews could last around 50 minutes in total. The panel may ask the applicants to give, a 10-20 minute presentation on the proposed research project. The remaining time could be devoted to questions and answers on the scientific content and implementation of the project, modalities of collaboration among the principal investigators and the project's budget and resources, and so on. All Principal Investigators are required to be present at the interview.

The presentation is an opportunity to elaborate on the synergies that the project aims to create.

Q: Are all Principal Investigators (PIs) interviewed during the evaluation of the ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) call?
A:

Yes, for Synergy Grants (SyG), all Principal Investigators (PIs) whose proposal has been retained after step 2 will be invited to an interview in Brussels (in the third evaluation step).

It is highly recommended that all PIs are present at the interview to facilitate the assessment of the Synergy group. In very exceptional cases, in case a Principal Investigator is unable to attend the interview (e.g. pregnancy, immobility due to illness, expedition), the ERC offers video- or phone- conference alternatives for a remote interview.

Q: Is it possible to apply to the ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) call if the same PI also intends to apply to an ERC Starting (StG), Consolidator (CoG) or Advanced Grant (AdG) call?
A:

Similarly to other ERC frontier calls, a Principal Investigator (PI) may submit proposals to different ERC frontier research calls published under the same Work Programme, but only the first eligible proposal will be evaluated. Ineligible or withdrawn proposals do not count against this limit (ERC Work Programme 2019).

Thus if a PI applies  to the ERC 2019 SyG call and the proposal is eligible and evaluated, their other application to a StG, CoG or AdG call under the ERC Work Programme 2019 will not be evaluated.

It is important to note that the year of an ERC call refers to the ERC Work Programme under which the call was made and can be established by its call identifier. A 2019 ERC call is therefore one that was made under the ERC Work Programme 2019 and will have 2019 in the call identifier (for example ERC-2019-SyG).

Example: A proposal submitted to ERC AdG 2019 call will not be evaluated if the PI had already applied to the ERC 2019 SyG call and the SyG proposal was considered eligible, even if the call deadlines are in two different calendar years (in 2018 for the SyG 2019 call and in 2019 for the AdG 2019 call).

Note that it is possible to apply both to the ERC AdG 2018 call and to the ERC 2019 SyG call. In case the PI is selected for funding in the AdG 2018 call and the Grant Agreement is signed, the PI becomes ineligible in the 2019 SyG call, because a PI can hold only one ERC frontier grant at any one time. For further questions please contact ERC-SyG-APPLICANTS@ec.europa.eu.

Q: Can one of the Principal Investigators of a Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) be based in a country outside of the EU Member States or Associated Countries?
A:

Yes. In case of a Synergy (SyG) Grant one of the Principal Investigators (PI), with the exception of the corresponding PI, can apply with a Host Institution outside of the EU Member States or H2020 Associated Countries.

Note, that except the PI applying with a third country host institution, each PI has to spend at least 50% of their working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country. All PIs have to devote at least 30% of their working time to the ERC-funded project. See then ERC Work Programme 2019.

Q: Are the eligibility conditions for the Principal Investigator (PI) submitting a Synergy Grant (ERC-2019-SyG) applicable to all PIs?
A:

The eligibility criteria, including the restrictions for submission, need to be fulfilled by all Principal investigators (PIs) submitting a Synergy (SyG) proposal of the ERC Work Programme 2019). Please, also note that any PI may participate as PI - in only one ERC frontier research project at any one time.

Q: May a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated in the ERC 2018 Synergy (SyG) call as category B or C in Step 1 or B in step 2 submit a proposal to the ERC 2019 SyG call?
A:

No, a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as category C at step 1 or, B at step 1 or 2 in the 2018 Synergy (SyG) call may not submit a proposal to the 2019 SyG call.

Further details in the ERC Work Programme 2019, section Restrictions on submission of proposals.

Q: May a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as category A or category B at step 3 in the ERC 2019 Synergy (SyG) call submit a proposal an ERC SyG 2019 call?
A:

Yes, a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as category A or category B at step 3 in the 2018 Synergy (SyG) call may submit a proposal to the 2019 SyG call.

Further details in the ERC Work Programme 2019, section Restrictions on submission of proposals.

Q: May a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was unsuccessful (not category A) in ERC StG/CoG/AdG 2018 or 2017 call submit a proposal to the ERC SyG 2019 call?
A:

A Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as:

  • category C at step 1 in the 2017 Starting (StG), Consolidator (CoG) or Advanced (AdG) calls, or;
  • category B at any step in the 2018 StG, CoG or AdG calls

may submit a proposal to the 2019 Synergy Grant (SyG) call.

Further details in the ERC Work Programme 2019, section Restrictions on submission of proposals.

Q: Under call ERC-2019-SyG, what are the restrictions for the (re-)submission of an ERC Synergy Grant?
A:

Please consult the section Restrictions on submission of proposals of the ERC Work Programme 2019.

Please note that the restictions apply to each of the Principal Investigators (PIs) and not only the corresponding Principal Investigator (cPI).

Q: Is it possible to apply to the ERC Synergy Grants (ERC-2019-SyG) for a Principal Investigator (PI) who holds an ongoing ERC grant?
A:

A Principal Investigator (PI) can submit a proposal to the SyG call for proposal if their existing ERC project ends no more than two years after the SyG call deadline (cf. ERC Work Programme 2019, section Restrictions on submission of proposals). For the SyG 2019 call, this means that the ongoing Grant has to end before 8 November 2020.

A 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 (cf. ERC Work Programme 2019). These eligibility requirements regarding grantees are the same as for the other frontier research grants.

Q: Under call ERC-2019-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 2019, in the Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2019 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 I receive during and after the evaluation of my proposal submitted to the ERC Starting Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-STG) call?
A:

During each step of the ERC Starting 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 panels' overall appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses taking into account the marks they have received.

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:

  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.

Q: Should the applicant provide the names and the Curriculum Vitae of the team members in the proposal for the ERC Starting Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-STG) 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 of the Starting and Consolidator 2019 Grants.

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

For the ERC Starting 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 to the ERC Work Programme 2019.

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

For the ERC Starting Grant 2019, Step 1 of the peer review evaluation process is based only on Part B1 only (the extended synopsis, the Principal Investigator's CV and the track record) and peer reviewers do not have access to the full research 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 Starting Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-STG) choose the appropriate ERC peer review evaluation panel for their proposal?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting 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 her/his 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 frontier research Grants 2019, can a researcher participate as PI in more than 1 ERC frontier research proposal at the same time? Is it possible to receive funding for more than 1 participation in such case?
A:

According to the conditions applied to the ERC frontier research Grants 2019, there are three main restrictions to be considered for Principal Investigators in this regard:

  • A researcher may participate as Principal Investigator [Including all Principal Investigators supported under the Synergy Grant] 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 no more than two years after the call deadline
  • 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.

These restrictions are specified in the ERC Work Programme 2019 and may be modified in future work programmes by the ERC Scientific Council in light of experience.

Please note however that it is possible to participate in more than one ERC grant as a team member.

Q: If a Principal Investigator only has a Master Degree and no PhD, can they apply to the ERC Starting Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-STG) call?
A:

No, according to the conditions of the ERC Starting 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 Starting Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-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 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 (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 2019 – Annex 2.

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

According to the ERC Work Programme 2019, in order to be eligible to apply a Principal Investigator must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree. It is recognised that there are some other doctoral titles that enjoy the same status and represent variants of the PhD in certain fields. 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 Starting Grant 2019 (ERC-2019-STG) call, is a Medical Doctor degree equivalent to a PhD degree?
A:

According to the ERC Work Programme 2019, 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 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 Starting Grant 2019 call (ERC-2019-STG), which date is considered a PhD date (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 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.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2019 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 2019 call, as long as no PhD document or equivalent is uploaded in the Participant Portal Submission Service (PPSS), 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 2019.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC Starting Grant 2019 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 2019 call, eligible career breaks that can be considered for the extension of the eligibility window are:

  • Maternity or paternity leave (before or after PhD award),
  • Long-term illness (over ninety days for the Principal Investigator or a close family member) (after PhD award),
  • Clinical training (after award of first eligible degree and by up to 4 years max.),
  • National service (after PhD award).

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 2019.

Q: According to the conditions applied to the ERC 2018 frontier research Grants 2018 [Starting (StG)/Consolidator (CoG)/Advanced (AdG)/Synergy (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 2018 frontier research Grants, there are three main restrictions to be considered for Principal Investigators (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 no more than two years after the call deadline (NB: This is according to the duration of the project fixed in the previous frontier research grant agreement).

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: Are changes to ERC projects possible? How are these changes implemented in the Grant Agreement?
A:

Changes to the original proposal can be introduced during the preparation phase of the Grant Agreement and during the implementation of the action. Both types of changes require the ERC Scientific Department's approval. If the change intervenes after the signature of the grant agreement usually an amendment is required (cases of amendments are listed in the FP7 Guide for Amendments).

An amendment of the Description of Work (Annex I) is always needed for: a change in the scientific work or a change in the project's objectives; the removal/addition of tasks or substantial changes in the distribution of the work between beneficiaries (in case of multi-beneficiary grants); the introduction/removal of third parties and/or subcontractor (except for subcontracting of minor tasks); and the addition or removal of a beneficiary (including change of host institution).

Other changes require only an information letter, such as requests for sabbatical leaves and a change of authorised representative of the Host Institution.

Some changes do not require any amendment, such as changes in budget breakdown in between costs categories or in between reporting periods, etc. In this case the Project Officer should be informed.

When in doubt whether an amendment is needed, beneficiaries are encouraged to contact the ERCEA via the amendments functional mailbox: ERC-C2-AMENDMENTS@ec.europa.eu.

Q: Is it possible to extend an ERC Grant under FP7 without receiving further funds?
A:

In exceptional cases, the ERCEA may prolong the duration of a project. An extension may be granted in the following situations:

(1) on well-justified scientific grounds and provided that a high scientific value has been demonstrated in the project implementation;

(2) if the request was caused by events that were not reasonably foreseeable at the point of signing the grant;

(3) in cases of force majeure;

(4) for health reasons of the principal investigator (PI);

(5) in case of parental/maternity leave of the PI in line with the social legislation applicable in the Host country and Host Institution of the PI.

However, late starts or delays of administrative nature (e.g. purchase of equipment, recruitment of staff) are expected to be caught up during the life time of the project.

Only one extension may be accepted for one project. The ERC grant agreements may be extended by a maximum of 12 months, except for 'Proof of Concept' (PoC) grants for which the maximum extension is 6 months. These time limits do not apply in the above-mentioned cases relating to force majeure, health reasons and parental/maternity leave.

A request for extension can be submitted to the ERCEA only after the approval of the mid-term scientific report and no later than 6 months before the end of the project. Retro-active demands for extension will not be accepted. To extend a project, the ERC Grant Agreement has to be amended.

See Article II. 33 and II.35 of the General Conditions to FP7 ERC Grant Agreement.

Q: For ERC projects, are open access fees for monographs 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, in which cases the question box in the scientific report, with refers to whether a publication has been or will be made open access, should be ticked?
A:

The box "Open access has been or will be provided?" should be ticked if: (1) the publisher has provided immediate open access, possibly after payment of an author publication charge (APC); or (2) the publication has been deposited in a repository for scientific publications and open access has been or will be provided through this repository either immediately or after the elapse of an embargo period.

If the Grant Agreement contains a Special Clause 39 ERC, then in principle the box should be ticked for all publications related to foreground from the project. In this case, if for some reason open access has not been provided to a publication related to foreground from the project and will not be provided within six months from publication, a justification must be included in the report, explaining the best efforts that have been made to provide open access to the publication, in line with the details explained in section 7.3 of the Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects.

Q: For ERC projects, what do the terms 'green open access' and 'gold open access' mean in the context of research publications?
A:

For ERC projects, there are two main routes towards open access to publications, both equally valid:

(1) Self-archiving (also referred to as 'green open access') means that the published article, monograph, book chapter etc. or the final peer-reviewed manuscript is archived (deposited) by the author - or a representative - in an online repository before, alongside or after its publication. Repository software usually allows authors to delay access to the article (embargo period);

(2) Open access publishing (also referred to as 'gold open access') means that open access to an article, monograph, book chapter etc. is provided by the publisher immediately upon publication. This route towards open access often (but not always) requires the payment of an open access fee to the publisher to compensate for lost income from subscriptions or from the purchase of the monograph/book. In the case of journal articles, these fees are usually called APCs (article processing charges).

Q: In order to provide open access to the publications of ERC-funded researchers, is it enough to post them on the project's webpage or on the department's website?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains Special Clause 39 ERC, posting the publications on the project's webpage or the departments' website is not enough. The Special Clause clearly states that publications must be immediately deposited in a repository for scientific publications and that best efforts must be made to provide open access through this repository. The ERC Open Access Guidelines also state that publications should be deposited in a suitable repository immediately upon publication, with open access being provided as soon as possible.

Q: Are reviews covered by Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access? Are they covered by the ERC Open Access Guidelines?
A:

Special Clause 39 ERC refers to scientific publications related to foreground from the project. Reviews typically provide an overview of developments in a specific area, but do not present the author's own new research results that have not been published elsewhere already. Therefore, reviews will typically not be covered by the Special Clause. However, ERC grantees are encouraged to provide open access also to any reviews that they may publish.