Frequently asked questions
Yes, if the net effect of taking out a membership in the society is a reduction in the cost of the article processing charges (APCs) that is higher than the cost of the membership fee, then the membership fee (for the year concerned) is an eligible cost, provided that it is in line with the requirements for direct costs as listed in Article II.14 of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement Single and Multi-Beneficiary.
There is no requirement to use 'green open access' rather than 'gold open access'. If an ERC funded researcher opts for 'gold open access' although 'green open access' would be possible within the maximum acceptable delay of six months, costs related to APCs are still eligible, provided that they have been incurred during the lifetime of the project and that they are in line with the general rules for eligibility of direct costs as described in the Grant Agreement (see Article II.14.1.d of the General Conditions of the ERC Grant Agreement, Single and Multi-Beneficiary). If 'gold open access' is chosen, the publication must still be deposited in a repository for scientific publications and open access must be provided immediately to that deposited version (no embargo period).
If the Grant Agreement contains a Special Clause 39 ERC, then the initial host institution is responsible for providing open access to those publications that have been published while it was the beneficiary. For any publication after the transfer of host institution, the new host institution is responsible as far as the deposit in a repository and the provision of open access is concerned, irrespective whether the publication is based on work carried out at the old or the new host institution.
One of the specificities of the ERC Grant Agreement is the split of the reporting into two distinct sets of reporting periods, in order to diminish the administrative burden on the researchers:
-Scientific reports, usually after half of the project (30 months) and at the end of the project in Starting and Advanced Grants and two intermediate reports (usually every 24 months) and one at the end of the project in Synergy Grants. Scientific reports are submitted by the Principal Investigator on behalf of the Host Institution/beneficiary;
- Financial reports, usually every 18 months and at the end of the project. Financial reports are submitted by the Host Institution with a contribution from the Principal Investigator, as per General Conditions to the ERC Grant Agreement, Article II.3.1.b for Single or Article II.3.bis.1.b for Multi-beneficiary Grant Agreements.
Two different departments/units in the ERCEA follow the (two) separate reporting streams to independently ensure appropriate work progress, follow-up and monitoring of the project. The templates are sent via advance notice letter 15 days before the end of the reporting period (in order to ensure that the beneficiary uses the latest version available).
If the scientific report has been approved without conditions, the payment will be performed at the end of the next financial reporting period without the need of any additional scientific requirements (if no new scientific issues arise meanwhile). If the scientific report has been approved conditionally, at the end of the next financial reporting period, the payment will be subject to verification that the suggested scientific recommendations have been properly fulfilled in the meantime. If the scientific report has been rejected and a revised version of the report was requested, the payment at the forthcoming financial reporting period will be suspended, until a satisfactory revised scientific report is submitted and approved by the scientific department. If the scientific report has been rejected, the ERCEA may start the procedure for termination of the Grant Agreement.
Final reports submitted within the framework of the termination will be due 45 days after the decision on termination became definitive.
In the evaluation of scientific reports, the ERCEA Scientific Department may require sometimes additional experts review. In these cases the time to evaluate the reports and disburse payments can be suspended till the review is satisfactory.
ERCEA does not recommend, as a common practice, to include names of individual researchers. Exceptions can be requested and have to be motivated. However, a list of all team members will be requested together with each financial report.
At the beginning of an ERC project, 5% of the maximum contribution will be offset from the pre-financing and transferred to the Guarantee Fund as a financial contribution from the beneficiary. The Guarantee Fund aims at covering financial risks and specifically non-reimbursement of amounts due by a beneficiary. At the end of a project, the beneficiary usually recovers its full contribution to the Guarantee Fund.
The choice of user groups should correspond to the specific goals and research claims of the project.
It should allow for appropriate user involvement in the design and development of the virtual coach and the proof of concept.
The proposal should convincingly explain the criteria for user recruitment, the research claims and the testing and validation methods.
During each step of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 evaluation, the two main elements of the proposal (Principal Investigator and research project) will be evaluated and rated. At the end of each evaluation step the proposals will be ranked by the panels on the basis of the marks they have received and on the panels' overall appreciation of each proposal's strengths and weaknesses.
At the end of Step 1 of the evaluation, on the basis of the assessment of Part B1 of the proposal, applicants will be informed that their proposal:
A. is of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation;
B. is of high quality but not sufficient to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation; or
C. is not of sufficient quality to pass to Step 2 of the evaluation.
At the end of Step 2 of the evaluation, on the basis of the assessment of the full proposal, applicants will be informed that their proposal either:
A. fully meets the ERC's excellence criterion and is recommended for funding if sufficient funds are available; or
B. meets some but not all elements of the ERC's excellence criterion and will not be funded.
More information on the results of the peer review evaluation can be found at section 3.7 of the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation.
Applicants may also be subject to restrictions on submitting proposals to future ERC calls based on the outcome of the evaluation. Applicants will need to check the restrictions in place for each call (see restrictions on submission of proposals under 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2017).
In addition, once the evaluation of their proposal has been completed, applicants will receive an evaluation report which will include the ranking range of their proposal out of the proposals evaluated by the panel (for more details, see Information for applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant 2017 Calls).
More information on the evaluation procedure can also be found in the ERC Work Programme 2017 section relevant to the call.
The CVs of individual team members should not be included. Although it is not mandatory to provide the names of individual team members, the proposal should describe the composition of the team that will carry out the proposed activities.Further explanations can be found in the Information for the applicants of the Starting and Consolidator 2017 Grants.
For the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017, the applicant must choose a primary evaluation panel and may also indicate a secondary evaluation panel. He/she should indicate when he/she believes that his/her proposal is of a cross-panel or cross-domain nature. Further explanations can be found in the Information for the applicants of the Starting and Consolidator 2017 Grants. The primary panel structure and description are also described in Annex 1 to the ERC Work Programme 2017.
For the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017, Step 1 of the peer review evaluation process is based only on the extended synopsis, the Principal Investigator's CV and the track record (Part B1 only). At Step 2, the peer reviewers base their assessment on the Step 1 document (Part B1) and the scientific proposal (Part B2).For more information on the evaluation process, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017 (section 'Evaluation procedure and criteria').
According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, the applicant must choose a primary evaluation panel and may also indicate a secondary evaluation panel. He/she should indicate when he/she believes that his/her proposal is of a cross-panel or cross-domain nature.In most cases the proposal will be evaluated by the primary panel indicated by the applicant. However, if the scope of a proposal does not correspond to the expertise of the primary panel, the proposal can be reallocated to another panel, if the panel chairs of the original and the new panel unanimously agree to do so.
According to the conditions applied to the ERC frontier research grants 2017, there are three main restrictions to be considered for Principal Investigators in this regard:
- A Principal Investigator 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 Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator (NB: Projects with Co-Investigators were supported under the Advanced Grant in ERC Work Programmes from 2008 – 2011) 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 Principal Investigator 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 2017 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.
No, according to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, the Principal Investigator must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree to be eligible. First-professional degrees will not be considered 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 2017, Annex 2.
According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 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 (7-12 years after the date of award of the PhD, or 9-14 years past the medical doctor degree completion, for Consolidators).
For more information please consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2017 – Annex 2.
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.
According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, in order to be eligible to apply, a Principal Investigator must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent doctoral degree. It is recognised that in certain fields some other doctoral titles have the same status and represent variants of the PhD. All of them have similar content requirements. These cases will be 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 mentioning the title "Doctor".
For more information please consult the ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees in the ERC Work Programme 2017 - Annex 2.
According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, 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) needs 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. 9-14 years past the medical doctor degree for Consolidators).
For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2017.