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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: 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).