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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.