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The ERC Synergy Grant scheme, which ran under two pilot calls in 2012 and 2013, will be re-launched in the ERC Work Programme 2018. It is expected that the call will be published on 19 July 2017 (subject to the adoption of the Work Programme 2018 by the European Commission), with a deadline of 14 November 2017. The deadline might change depending on the actual date of adoption of the Work Programme. The perspective is to fund 25 to 30 projects in 2018, with grants of maximum 10 M€ for up to 6 years.
The aim of Synergy Grants is to address ambitious research questions that can only be answered by the coordinated work of a small group of two to four principal Investigators and their teams, bringing together their complementary skills, knowledge and resources in unprecedented ways. The ultimate goal of the scheme is to give support to a close collaborative interaction that will enable transformative research at the forefront of science, capable of yielding ground-breaking or even unpredictable scientific results and/or cross-fertilizing disciplines. The ambition is of course to open the way to results that are more than just the sum of the Principal Investigators' individual contributions.
The scheme is open to all researchers from anywhere in the world, based in Europe or in an Associated Country. Each Principal Investigator must be hosted by and spend 50% of their total working time in an institution established in an EU Member State or Associated Country. They shall spend a minimum of 30% of their total working time on the ERC project. There are no other specific requirements other than high scientific quality and ambition enhanced by the synergetic collaborative aspect of the project. Only exceptionally competitive proposals are likely to be funded.
Depending on the evaluation result, reapplication rules will apply to all Principal Investigators participating in a proposal, which may affect their application possibilities to all ERC calls under the 2019 ERC Work Programme.