The European Research Council (ERC) has appealed to its grantees to provide temporary employment to refugee researchers and support staff, such as technician and lab managers, from Ukraine. The ERC has contacted all its 5,600 current grantees and is collecting information on possible job opportunities. This data will be compiled and progressively published on the ERC website and other channels. The initiative follows the ERC Scientific Council’s statement in support of Ukraine and its research community.
Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “This initiative is a demonstration of EU’s strong commitment and the openness of our R&I programmes to the participation of third countries. Involving ERC grantees in such an action towards Ukrainian peers adds to our willingness to support the EU-Ukraine alliance through research collaborations.”
Professor Maria Leptin, President of the ERC, said: “We call on ERC grantees and on universities and research centres hosting them: open your labs and open your teams to researchers who had to flee the war in Ukraine. You may be planning to hire team members for your ERC-funded project and I would ask you to consider refugee researchers and other staff members from Ukraine whose expertise matches your needs. This is only one way of giving a helping hand – it’s crucial that the scientific community stands together.”
In addition to this specific initiative for scientists, scholars and research staff from Ukraine, the Scientific Council had already prepared a proposal earlier this year to include a special provision in the ERC Work Programme 2023 on researchers who seek asylum more broadly. The aim is to facilitate grant applications from refugee researchers also from other countries and war zones. See also the Science4Refugees.
Note to the editors
In the context of this initiative, ERC grantees are encouraged to use their existing grants, already awarded, to fund new recruits.
The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe. The ERC offers four main grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants and Synergy Grants.
The ERC, that has just marked its fifteenth anniversary, has by now supported over 10,000 top researchers to pursue ground-breaking, high-gain/high-risk research pushing the frontiers of our knowledge in all fields. ERC grantees employ on average seven team-members, thus contributing to train a new generation of excellent researchers. Currently over 75,000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff working in their research teams.
The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since 1 November 2021, Maria Leptin is the President of the ERC. The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.