Frequently asked questions

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According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, as long as no PhD document or equivalent is uploaded in the Participant Portal Submission Service (PPSS), it will not be possible to validate/submit the proposal. A warning message will inform the applicant of the missing document. If another document is uploaded instead and the PhD certificate is finally missing in the proposal, the proposal is not eligible and will not be evaluated.

For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2017.

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, the reference date for calculating the eligibility period should be the date of the actual award according to the national rules in the country where the degree was awarded.

In the case of applicants having been awarded several PhDs, the reference date is the award date of the first PhD.

For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2017.

According to the conditions of the ERC Consolidator Grant 2017 call, eligible career breaks that can be considered for the extension of the eligibility window are:

  • Maternity or paternity leave,
  • Long-term illness (over ninety days for the Principal Investigator or a close family member),
  • Clinical training,
  • Military service.

All these circumstances need to be properly documented.

For more information, see section 'Eligibility criteria' of the ERC Work Programme 2017.

As a Research and Innovation Action the interdisciplinary topic H2020-SC1-PM-15-2017 should include testing and validation on a small-scale prototype in a laboratory or simulated environment.

It should, however, also allow for appropriate user involvement (e.g. patient involvement), even if the number of users may be small, in order to base the project's proof of concept on real user needs and to ensure end-user acceptance.

In addition, proposals may contain closely connected but limited demonstration or pilot activities.

Regarding the validation of effectiveness and usefulness of the solution, the proposal should include key performance indicators and appropriate metrics to measure the progress towards the expected impact, if successful.

No, according to the conditions of the ERC Starting 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 in themselves 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.

Yes, an applicant can submit to the ERC Proof of Concept 2017 call and at the same time to one of the 3 main ERC frontier research calls (since the restrictions stated in the ERC Work Programme 2017 do not apply to Proof of Concept grants).

Where an ERC PoC proposal has initially indicated a duration of 12 months, during grant preparation Principal Investigators (PIs) are usually advised to go for a longer timespan (18 months) just in order to cope with eventual delays and always finish the ERC PoC project in an acceptable period of time, although the final decision will be with the PI. The reason is that under H2020, extensions of duration to PoC projects are typically not granted once the project has started. It should also be noted that in case a PI opts for the 18 months duration, but the project’s activities are finished within 12 months (or any other month before the 18th), the costs cannot be claimed for reimbursement immediately, but the PI will have to wait until the contractual end of the Grant in order to submit the Final Reports and cost claims (Article 20 of the GA).

More information can be found in the H2020 Model Grant Agreements for ERC Proof of Concept grants:

ERC POC mono-beneficiary MGA

ERC POC multi-beneficiary MGA


Yes, the time sheets are needed if the PI charges salary to the ERC PoC action. All team members for which personnel costs are being charged should maintain timesheets of the hours worked on the project. See also Article 18.1 of the Annotated Model Grant Agreement.

Although there is no minimum commitment percentage regarding the time that the Principal Investigator (PI) is required to work on the action, in the grant agreement the PI must enter a minimum of their working time, as the PI is responsible for managing the ERC PoC project. The cumulative percentage commitment that the PI spends on the ERC PoC action and on the main ERC StG/CoG/AdG grant (if still ongoing) must not exceed 100%.For more information please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017.

Yes, the related costs for establishing a company (i.e. accountant, notary) could be considered eligible, but only if the establishment of the company happens during the duration of the project and only if there is a need to bring a product on the market. The establishment of the company should not be an end in itself, it must be a mean to an end.Hence, either the POC project will bring a finished product on the market (and this result will happen during the project lifetime), or the cost of establishing the company is not eligible. As this result can hardly be planned in advance, it would be advisable not to include this type of costs in the budget.