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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?

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?

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?

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?

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:

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

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?

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?

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)?

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 ?

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.

Q: Under an ERC 2018 PoC, what are the reporting requirements of a project?

In the ERC PoC 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 PoC Grant Agreement defines the reporting requirements. 
The ERC POC report must be prepared and submitted online via the Participant Portal.