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Q: May a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was unsuccessful (not category A) in ERC StG/CoG/AdG 2018 or 2019 call submit a proposal to the ERC SyG 2020 call?
A:

Yes, a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as category B or C at Step 1 or as category A or B at Step 2 in the 2018 or 2019 Starting Grant (StG), Consolidator Grant (CoG) or Advanced Grant (AdG) calls may submit a proposal to the 2020 Synergy Grant (SyG) call.

Further details can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2020, section "Restrictions on submission of proposals".

Q: May a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated in the ERC 2018 or 2019 Synergy Grant (SyG) call as category B or C in Step 1 or B in Step 2 submit a proposal to the ERC 2020 SyG call?
A:

A Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as category C at Step 1 in the 2018 Synergy Grant (SyG) call or B and C at Step 1 in the 2019 Synergy Grant (SyG) call may not submit a proposal to the 2020 SyG call.

A Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as category B at Step 1 or 2 in the 2018 Synergy Grant (SyG) call or B at Step 2 in the 2019 Synergy Grant (SyG) call may submit a proposal to the 2020 SyG call.

Further details can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2020, section "Restrictions on submission of proposals".

Q: Under call ERC-2020-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 2020. Please note that the restrictions apply to each of the Principal Investigators (PIs) and not only the corresponding Principal Investigator (cPI).

Q: Are the eligibility conditions for the Principal Investigator (PI) submitting a Synergy Grant (ERC-2020-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 2020. Please also note that any PI may participate as PI - in only one ERC frontier research project at any one time.

Q: Can one of the Principal Investigators of a Synergy Grant (ERC-2020-SyG) be based in a country outside of the EU Member States or Associated Countries?
A:

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

For more information, please see the ERC Work Programme 2020.

Q: Are all Principal Investigators (PIs) interviewed during the evaluation of the ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2020-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 when 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: What is the format of an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-2020-SyG) interview?
A:

The exact interview details will be communicated to the successful Step 2 applicants shortly after the end of the 2020 Synergy Grant (SyG) Step 2 panel meetings and at the latest in the second half of August 2020. The interview details will depend on the decision of the panels: interviews could last around 50 minutes in total. The panel may ask the applicants to give a 10-15 minutes 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 there any restrictions on the location of the Host Institutions (HIs) or Principal Investigators (PIs) applying to an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC- 2020-SyG)?
A:

Principal Investigators (PIs) can work at the same Host Institution (HI), or at different HIs within one country, or at HIs based in different countries. HIs must be established in an EU Member State or an Associated Country. In the 2020 Synergy Grant (SyG) call, similarly to 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 Associated Countries. More information about the ERC-2020-SyG call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2020.

Q: Does the geographical distance of Principal Investigators (PIs)/Host Institutions (HIs) affect chances for winning an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC- 2020-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-2020-SyG call is available in the ERC Work Programme 2020 and in the Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2020 Call.

Q: How is synergy defined in an ERC Synergy Grant (ERC-SyG-2020)?
A:

The term 'Synergy' cannot be defined in one single way. Synergy projects should generally involve composite teams that are capable of tackling bold new research themes that require novel approaches and unique fusions of researchers. Such teams are typically characterised by exceptional combinations of knowledge and skills, in which the 2, 3 or 4 Principal Investigators hold a central role. A Synergy project could incorporate novel multi- or trans-disciplinary approaches or innovative combinations of knowledge and skills in a single discipline or research field. Each Synergy proposal must demonstrate that its objectives can only be achieved through the specific combination of knowledge and skills brought together by the participating PIs. In other words, a major scientific question of pressing significance, an integrated team and the transformative scientific potential are crucial elements in conceiving a Synergy proposal. More information about the ERC-2020-SyG call is available in the Information for Applicants to the Synergy Grant 2020 Call.