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Q: Are monographs, books, book chapters, etc. also covered by Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access? Are they covered by the ERC Open Access Guidelines?
A:

This is explained in detail in section 7.3 of the Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects (e.g. obtaining information about the journal policy on open access, informing the publisher about EU Commission policy on open access; requesting an amending clause to contracts to include open access, consider submitting to another journal, etc.). If it is not possible to deposit the publication in a repository and give it open access within six months, due to longer embargo periods imposed by the publisher, but it is possible to provide immediate open access by paying an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher, grantees are strongly encouraged to choose this second option.

Q: What does the term 'best effort' in Special Clause 39 ERC on Open Access mean?
A:

This is explained in detail in section 7.3 of the Guide to Intellectual Property Rules for FP7 projects (e.g. obtaining information about the journal policy on open access, informing the publisher about EU Commission policy on open access; requesting an amending clause to contracts to include open access, consider submitting to another journal, etc.). If it is not possible to deposit the publication in a repository and give it open access within six months, due to longer embargo periods imposed by the publisher, but it is possible to provide immediate open access by paying an article processing charge (APC) to the publisher, grantees are strongly encouraged to choose this second option.

Q: For ERC projects, is it necessary to provide open access to publications even for the non-main/corresponding author?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains Special Clause 39 ERC, its provisions apply to all scientific publications related to foreground of the project, regardless whether the ERC funded author (PI or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not. If the Grant Agreement does not contain Special Clause 39 ERC, grantees should nevertheless consider providing open access to all publications resulting from the project on a voluntary basis, regardless whether the ERC funded author (PI or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not, as recommended in the ERC Open Access Guidelines.

Q: For FP7 ERC projects, is it necessary to provide open access to publications that appear after the end of the project?
A:

If the Grant Agreement contains a Special Clause 39 ERC, then its provisions apply also to publications published after the end of the project (without time limitation). If the Grant Agreement does not contain a Special Clause 39 ERC, then grantees should nevertheless consider providing open access to the publications resulting from the project (even after the end of the project) on a voluntary basis, as recommended in the ERC Open Access Guidelines.

Q: Is open access to publications mandatory for all ERC grants in FP7?
A:

For FP7 grants resulting from calls in the Work Programmes 2007-2011, there is no formal obligation to provide open access to publications. However, all grantees are strongly encouraged to comply with the ERC Open Access Guidelines. ERC grants resulting from calls in the 2012 and 2013 Work Programmes will normally contain a Special Clause 39 ERC which requires the immediate deposit of all publications related to foreground from the project in a repository for scientific publications. Best efforts must be made to ensure open access to the publication through this repository within six months from publication (and immediately if the publication has been published "open access", i.e. if it is also available free of charge via the publisher.

Q: If a researcher working for a third party to an ERC project publishes an article based on results of the project, do the open access provisions of Special Clause 39 ERC also apply in this case?
A:

For ERC projects, the Special Clause 39 ERC refers to scientific publications related to foreground from the project (where 'scientific' includes publications in the Social Sciences and Humanities). Whether the researcher who has published the article works directly for the beneficiary or for a third party is irrelevant.

Q: Are costs related to running an institutional open access repository for publications, which will also be used by ERC grantees for the publications from their project, eligible costs (on a pro-rata basis)?
A:

For ERC projects, such costs will normally not be directly attributable to the project and can thus not be claimed as direct costs. However, they may be considered eligible under indirect costs. For more details, please, consult the section on 'Indirect costs' of the FP7 Guide to Financial Issues (Part 2B, section 1 on article II.15 ECGA, sub-section 2).

Q: Concerning research data that have been generated or collected as part of the ERC project, are costs for their deposit in an open access data repository (run by an external organization) eligible?
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 to the ERC Grant Agreement Single and Multi-Beneficiary.

Q: A former team member of an ERC project has published an article based on their work related to the project and wants to provide immediate open access to it by paying an article processing charge to the publisher. Is this an eligible cost?
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: An ERC funded researcher publishes a paper with a society publisher that offers large discounts on Open Access fees to its members. Are these membership fees eligible costs?
A:

Yes, if the net effect of taking out a membership in the society is a reduction in the cost of the article processing charges (APCs) that is higher than the cost of the membership fee, then the membership fee (for the year concerned) is an eligible cost, provided that it is 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: An ERC researcher wants to publish in a journal which allows 'green open access' with a six months embargo period. In case the researcher chooses instead 'gold open access' resulting in an article processing charge (APC), will this be an eligible cost?
A:

There is no requirement to use 'green open access' rather than 'gold open access'. If an ERC funded researcher opts for 'gold open access' although 'green open access' would be possible within the maximum acceptable delay of six months, costs related to APCs are still eligible, provided that they have been incurred during the lifetime of the project and that they are in line with the general rules for eligibility of direct costs as described in the Grant Agreement (see Article II.14.1.d of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement, Single and Multi-Beneficiary). If 'gold open access' is chosen, the publication must still be deposited in a repository for scientific publications and open access must be provided immediately to that deposited version (no embargo period).

Q: In some countries, 'habilitation' is a scientific degree awarded to formally acknowledge the achievement of research independence. Are holders of this degree eligible to apply to the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, there is no eligibility restriction to holders of a 'habilitation'. The reference date used for calculation of the applicant's eligibility is the PhD award date or medical doctor degree award date. 

For more information please consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2017, Annex 2.

Q: ERC- 2017 PoC: Can an applicant submit to the ERC Proof of Concept call and also submit a proposal to one of the 3 main ERC Frontier Research calls (StG, CoG or AdG)?
A:

Yes, an applicant can submit to the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call and at the same time to one of the 3 main ERC frontier research calls (since the restrictions stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017 do not apply to Proof of Concept grants).

Q: For a ERC 2017 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 Principal Investigators (PIs) are usually advised to go for a longer timespan (18 months) just in order to cope with eventual delays and always finish the ERC PoC project in an acceptable period of time, although the final decision will be with the 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, but 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:

ERC POC mono-beneficiary MGA

ERC POC multi-beneficiary MGA

 

Q: For a European Research Council (ERC) 2017 Proof of Concept (PoC) grant, are timesheets needed for the Principal Investigator?
A:

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

Q: For the European Research Council (ERC) 2017 Proof of Concept (PoC) call, what is the general rule of Principal Investigator commitment?
A:

Although there is no minimum commitment percentage regarding the time that the Principal Investigator (PI) is required to work on the action, in the grant agreement the PI must enter a minimum of their working time, as the PI is responsible for managing the ERC PoC project. 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) must not exceed 100%.For more information please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017.

Q: ERC-2017-PoC: In a Proof of Concept proposal, can the related costs for establishing a company (i.e. accountant, notary) be considered eligible?
A:

Yes, the related costs for establishing a company (i.e. accountant, notary) 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: ERC 2017 PoC: Can a Co-investigator from a 2008-2011 European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant call be eligible to submit a ERC PoC proposal as Principal Investigator (PI)?
A:

No, Co-investigators (Co PI) are not eligible for an ERC Proof of Concept grant.

Only Principal Investigators (PI) in Research main grants (ERC Starting, Consolidator or Advanced grants), as well as PI and corresponding PI of Synergy grants are eligible to submit a proposal to the ERC Proof of Concept Call.

More information on the eligibility criteria for the Principal Investigator can be found in the ERC_Work_Programme_2017, section relevant to the call.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: Can a spin-off company be the Host Institution for an ERC PoC proposal?
A:

Yes, submitting an application with a spin-off company as Host Institution is feasible, as long as it complies with the eligibility criteria defined in the ERC Work Programme 2017.

The Host Insitution (HI) of the ERC Proof of Concept proposal does not have to be the same as the Host Institution of the main frontier research grant.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: What are the reporting requirements for an ERC Proof of Concept grant?
A:

In the ERC Proof of Concept grants, given the shorter length, the project report is required only once, at the end of the project, and will combine the technical and financial aspects in one single document.Article 20 of the H2020 ERC Proof of Concept Grant Agreement defines the reporting requirements. 

The ERC POC report must be prepared and submitted online via the Participant Portal.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: What type of feedback will I receive for my proposal during and after evaluation for the European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept call?
A:

ERC Proof of Concept 2017 proposals are evaluated on a 'Pass/Fail' basis on each of the evaluation criteria. The applicant receives an evaluation report on the outcome. This indicates whether the proposal is retained for funding and provides the passed/failed status for each of the evaluation criteria, with corresponding comments given by the panel.

 

More information on the evaluation procedure can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2017, section relevant to the call.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: Should the applicant to the Proof of Concept call provide the names and the Curriculum Vitae of the team members in the proposal?
A:

For the Proof of Concept 2017 Call, although it is not mandatory to provide the names of individual team members or their CVs, the Proof of Concept plan needs to include justification that the persons working on the tasks are well qualified for the purpose: the description of the team needs to be filled in Part B - section 3.

More information on the submission and evaluation procedures can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2017, section relevant to the call.

Q: ERC 2017 PoC: Do peer reviewers receive all parts of a proposal submitted to a Proof of Concept Call?
A:

For the Proof of Concept 2017 Call, applicants submit the whole proposal that is evaluated in a single step by the peer reviewers.For more information on the evaluation process, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017.

Q: ERC-2017-PoC: Can an applicant submit a proposal to the ERC Proof of Concept call and also submit a proposal to one of the 3 main ERC Frontier Research calls (StG, CoG or AdG)?
A:

Yes, an applicant could submit a proposal to the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call and at the same time to one of the 3 main ERC frontier research calls (since the restrictions stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017 (http://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/data/ref/h2020/wp/2016_2017/erc/h2020-wp17-erc_en.pdf) do not apply to Proof of Concept grants).

Q: ERC-2017-PoC: Are there any share or quota limitations per domain or discipline for the ERC Proof of Concept calls?
A:

There are no shares or quotas by domain or discipline for the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call. No domain or field is excluded (*) and the possibility for innovation arising from the social sciences and humanities to apply for a Proof of Concept funding is fully recognised.

(*) As stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017, page 15: "Research proposals within the scope of Annex I to the Euratom Treaty, namely those directed towards nuclear energy applications, shall be submitted to relevant calls under the Euratom Framework Programme."

Q: ERC-2017-PoC call: If a proposal for an ERC PoC call was not granted in the first deadline (cut-off-date), can it be resubmitted by the second or third deadline of the same call?
A:

No, as stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017, a Principal Investigator may submit only one application per the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call.Important note: More than one Proof of Concept Grant may be awarded per ERC funded frontier research project but only one Proof of Concept project may be running at any one time for the same ERC frontier research project.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7: where should I deposit/publish my open access articles?
A:

For ERC projects under FP7, ERC strongly encourages ERC funded researchers to use discipline-specific repositories for their publications (for Life Sciences Europe PubMed Central, http://europepmc.org; and for Physical Sciences and Engineering arXiv, http://arxiv.org. If there is no appropriate discipline specific repository, researchers should make their publications available in institutional repositories or in centralized ones, such as Zenodo,  http://www.zenodo.org. Although ResearchGate, Academia.edu and LinkedIn are well-known networking and information exchange portals among scientists and scholars, they do not qualify as an open access repositories.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7: Does the open access obligation concern only Principal Investigators or all the participants working on the grant's research?
A:

For ERC projects under FP7, the open access obligation involves all results of the project. Therefore, it also affects all team members working on the project, regardless whether the ERC funded author (Principal Investigator or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not.

Q: For ERC projects under FP7, is it acceptable to provide open access only to the most important publications related to my ERC project?
A:

For ERC projects under FP7, it is not acceptable to selectively provide open access. Open access should be ensured (and ERC should be acknowledged) in all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to the ERC project results.

Q: How can the EU emblem be used by beneficiaries of EU programmes and other third parties?
A:

The European Union has a range of programmes which have been set up to support projects and initiatives in various domains across the EU and beyond.In accordance with the Commission's guidelines on visual identity, all EU programmes must be identified exclusively by the EU emblem and the mention of the programme name.The names of programmes, such as Horizon 2020 and FP7, will be used as verbal brands, i.e. references to them will be made without a specific logo.Commission services will apply the Commission’s visual identity guidelines when communicating about EU programmes. Beneficiaries of EU funding will use the European emblem in their communication to acknowledge the support received under EU programmes.The guidelines mentioned below are intended for beneficiaries of EU funding and other third parties who communicate about EU programmes to show how the European Union emblem can be used in conjunction with text which highlights the fact of EU funding.

For further information please see :  The use of the EU emblem in the context of EU programmes - Guidelines for beneficiaries and other third parties 

Q: What are the rules regarding using the EU flag as a logo?
A:

The European emblem (flag) may be used by third parties only if is not:

  • likely to create confusion between the user and the European Union or the Council of Europe;
  • linked to aims or activities incompatible with the principles and objectives of the European Union or the Council of Europe.In the case of EU-funded projects:
  • logos that are developed for projects funded by the EU, and that are not owned by the EU, may not be identical or similar to the European emblem (this includes logos that incorporate the twelve stars);
  • the European emblem should be given appropriate prominence when displayed in association with a logo;
  • contractors are exempt from the obligation to obtain prior permission from the Commission to use the emblem, but are subject to the general third-party-use restrictions mentioned above. This tacit authorization to use the European emblem implies no right of exclusive use. It does not permit the appropriation of the emblem, or of any similar trade mark or logo, whether by registration or by any other means.For further information please see :  Europa - The European Flag  (see the Graphics guide to the European flag link for more details)
Q: How can a candidate who was not continuously engaged in research or other professional activities during the previous ten years due to maternity/paternity leave, demonstrate her/his merit for the ERC-2018-AdG call?
A:

When applying to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call, it is recommended that the researcher provides evidence of recent achievements of intellectual productivity and creativity. If a researcher returned to his/her original or new project(s) following a sabbatical leave, the reviewers are asked to take such circumstances into consideration.

For maternity, the track record considered can be extended by 18 months for each child born before or during the last ten years.

For paternity, the track record considered can be extended by the actual amount of paternity leave taken for each child born before or during the last ten years.

For long-term illness, clinical qualification or national service the track record considered can be extended by the amount of leave taken for each incident which occurred during the last ten years.

For more information, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018 or the Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grants 2018 call.

Q: Can a researcher who is nearing retirement apply to the call ERC-2018-Advanced Grant (AdG) call?
A:

Yes, an experienced researcher is welcome to apply to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call at any stage of their career if (s)he can prove - independently of their age - that (s)he is still an active researcher with recent outstanding results. As stated in the ERC Work Programme 2018, Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application.

The commitment and official support of a Host Institution is nevertheless required for the whole duration of the grant.

For more information, see the ERC Work Programme 2018 or the Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grant call.

Q: Are only PhD holders allowed to apply to the ERC-2018-Advanced Grant (ADG) call?
A:

No, a PhD is not formally required to submit a proposal to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call. As specified in the ERC Work Programme 2018, excellence is the sole criterion for the evaluation of a proposal.

However, a Principal Investigator is expected to have outstanding research results within the last 10 years.

For more information, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018, or the Information for Applicants relevant for the call.

Q: If a researcher has less than ten years of research experience, can (s)he apply to the ERC 2018 Advanced Grant (AdG) call?
A:

A Principal Investigator can apply for an ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018 call even if (s)he does not yet have ten years of research experience. However, applicants for the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant are expected to be active and established research leaders and have a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years which must be presented in the application. The emphasis lies on recent outstanding research results which are not older than 10 years.

For more information on the expected profile of the Advanced Grant applicant, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2018 or the Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grant call.

Q: Can a Principal Investigator whose proposal was submitted to the 2016 or 2017 ERC frontier research grants call and evaluated at the end of Step 1 as of insufficient quality to pass to Step 2 (C category), submit an application for the ERC 2018 AdG call?
A:

No, a Principal Investigator whose proposal was evaluated as category C in the step 1 Starting (StG), Consolidator (CoG) or Advanced (AdG) Grant calls for proposals under ERC Work Programme 2016 and 2017 may not submit a proposal to the ADG call for proposals made under Work Programme 2018

For more information, please refer to the restrictions on submission of proposals in the ERC Work Programme 2018.

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC-2018-Advanced Grant (ADG) call, can a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) qualify as Host Institution (HI) to support an ERC project?
A:

Yes. Any SME (as defined by Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC) can be a Host Institution for an ERC grant as long as it meets the conditions of eligibility of the Host Institution laid down in the ERC Work Programme 2018. The Principal Investigator decides in which Host Institution (s)he would like to implement the proposed project.

Q: Call ERC-2018-ADG: Can a Principal Investigator simultaneously engaged part-time by 2 different research organisations and leading a research group at both apply for an ERC AdG grant with both research groups executing the proposed project as one team?
A:

Yes, according to the conditions of the ERC Advanced Grant 2018 call, this is possible as long as the Principal Investigator is supported by one of the two research organisations as Host Institution (applicant legal entity) for the full duration of the grant (see the ERC Work Programme 2018). Other research organisation(s), the location of additional team members, should be referred to as (an) additional partner(s) in the research proposal (Part B) and their details should be given in the administrative proposal submission form in the Participant Portal Submission Service.

Q: Can a Principal Investigator who holds a permanent position in a research organisation in the US, apply to the call ERC-2018-ADG, with a Host Institution located in Europe?
A:

Yes, a Principal Investigator engaged in the US or in a third country, can apply for an ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2018, as long as (s)he will be engaged and hosted by a Host Institution based in an EU Member State or an Associated Country for the whole duration of the grant (see the ERC Work Programme 2018 for the eligibility conditions).

Principal Investigators funded through the ERC Advanced Grants have to spend a minimum of 50% of their total working time in an EU Member State or Associated Country and a minimum of 30% of their total working time on the ERC project (see the ERC Work Programme 2018 for the Advanced Grant Profile).

Q: According to the conditions of the ERC AdG 2017 call, do the re-submission rules apply only to Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators, or also to team members? Can a team member, working in a project financed by an ERC AdG, apply for a StG or CoG?
A:

According to the conditions of the ERC Advanced Grant 2017 call, the restrictions on applications only apply to Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators (Co-Investigator projects were supported under the Ideas Work Programmes from 2008 – 2011).

There is no restriction for a team member to submit a proposal to an ERC grant as Principal Investigator as long as the required working-time commitment can be respected.

For more information, please see the ERC Work Programme 2017 : Restrictions on submission of proposals.