Frequently asked questions

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To be eligible for calls with deadlines in 2022, legal entities from an EU Member State (MS) or Associated Country (AC) must have a gender equality plan (GEP) or an equivalent strategic document in place. This information will not be provided to the evaluators and it will not be evaluated.

In the Part A online submission form, there is a ‘yes/no’ tick box question that the Host Institution (HI) contact person must fill in. Only public bodies, higher education institutions (including private research organisations and private higher education institutions) must answer this question. This answer will not affect the evaluation of the project. In case the proposal is selected for funding, the HI must have a GEP or an equivalent strategic document in place for the duration of the project. The GEP or equivalent must fulfil the mandatory requirements listed in Annex 5 of the ERC Work Programme 2022 and will be necessary before the signature of the grant agreement.

According to the conditions applied to the ERC frontier research Grants 2022, there are four main restrictions to be considered for Principal Investigators in this regard:

  • A researcher may participate as Principal Investigator [Including all Principal Investigators supported under the Synergy Grant] in only one main frontier research grant at a time. A new main frontier research grant project can only start after the duration of the project fixed in a previous grant agreement for one of the main frontier research grant has ended.
  • A researcher participating as Principal Investigator in one of the main frontier research grant may not submit another proposal for a main ERC grant, unless the existing project ends no more than two years after the call deadline. [NB According to the duration of the project fixed in a previous grant agreement of the main frontier research grant]
  • A PI who is a serving Panel Member for a 2022 ERC call or who served as a Panel Member for a 2020 ERC call may not apply to a 2022 ERC call for the same type of grant. [NB: As an exception to this rule, Principal Investigators who are not serving as Synergy Grant 2022 panel members can apply to the 2022 Synergy Grant call even if they served as Panel Members for the 2019 or 2020 Synergy Grant calls. The members of the ERC panels alternate to allow panel members to apply to the ERC calls in alternate years]
  • A Principal Investigator may submit proposals to different main frontier research grant calls published under the same Work Programme, but only the first eligible proposal will be evaluated.

These restrictions are specified in the ERC Work Programme 2022. The Scientific Council may decide in the light of experience that different or comparable restrictions will apply in subsequent years.

As indicated in the ERC Work Programme 2022, the eligibility periods can be extended in case of specific and properly documented circumstances. In case of maternity, the Principal Investigators (PIs) may request 18 months extension for each child born before or after the PhD award. If the applicant can document a longer maternity leave, the eligibility period will be extended by the documented amount of actual leave taken until the call deadline.

The ERCEA is trying to follow the national rules in order to accommodate different couple/family scenarios. Hence, for the partner who was entitled to ‘maternity leave’ according to the national rules we would apply the same, provided that it is properly documented.

If, in light of the above, the male applicant considers that he should be entitled to the extension based on maternity leave, he should make the case and together with his application submit all relevant supporting documentation, including also documents from the national Social Security scheme (see more details on the supporting documents in the Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant Calls 2022).

The budget table and description of resources are part of the online submission form Part A (Section 3 - Budget). The description and justification of the resources should be provided in the text box (Section C. Resources) under the budget table.

The budget section contains the proposal budget including the ‘total eligible project costs’ and the ‘Requested EU contribution’ for the project. The budget is subdivided in personnel costs, travel and subsistence, equipment, consumables, publications (including any costs related to Open Access), other additional direct costs, internally invoiced goods and services, and any envisaged subcontracting costs. The budget table will provide automatically one budget line per beneficiary. Applicants should indicate the costs for each cost category as accurately as possible using only Euro integers.

In case the ‘total eligible costs’ differ from the ‘requested EU contribution’, specify in the Resources section what exactly is funded from other sources.

Applicants should carefully check all the values of the budget table. The ‘Total eligible costs’ of the project will be automatically calculated based on the figures inserted in the individual columns. The ‘Requested EU contribution’ has to be filled in manually. Please make sure to update the ‘Requested EU contribution’ if updates are made in any of the cost categories.

In the Section C. Resources, the applicant should state and fully justify the amount of funding considered necessary to fulfil the objectives for the duration of the project. The project cost estimation should be as accurate as possible. The evaluation panels assess the estimated costs carefully; unjustified budgets will be consequently reduced.

Applicants should:

  • Take into account the dedicated working time to run the project when estimating personnel costs. They should describe the size and nature of the team, indicating, where appropriate, the key team members and their roles. The participation of team members engaged by other host institutions should be justified and in relation to the additional financial cost this may impose.
  • Include a short technical description of any requested equipment, why they need it and how much they plan to use it for the project.
  • Include a realistic estimation of the costs for Open Access to project outputs. Costs for providing immediate Open Access to publications (article processing charges/book processing charges) are eligible if they are incurred during the lifetime of the project.
  • Specify the cost items covered by 'Other personnel costs' category as well as ‘Other additional direct costs' category if applicable.
  • As regards ‘Internally invoiced goods and services’, costs for host institution invoices and invoices for other entities should be included under this heading e.g. access to large facilities, access to other services that are charged as unit costs.
  • Specify the requested amount for additional funding, if applicable (all items MUST be included in the overall budget table under the relevant individual columns) and they should justify the request.
  • Specify if they will use third parties providing in-kind contributions to the action (if applicable).

More explanations can be found in the document Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant Calls 2022.

The budget table and description of resources (as well as time commitment of the PI to the project) will be extracted from the online submission form Part A (Section 3 – Budget; section 5 - Other questions) and made available to the experts evaluating the proposal. Please see Annex 4.6 of the document Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grant Calls 2022 for an example of the Proposal Budget Report. It shows how experts will see the information entered in relevant sections of Part A.