Frequently asked questions

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For ERC projects under FP7, the open access obligation involves all results of the project. Therefore, it also affects all team members working on the project, regardless whether the ERC funded author (Principal Investigator or team member) is the main/corresponding author or not.

The European Union has a range of programmes which have been set up to support projects and initiatives in various domains across the EU and beyond.In accordance with the Commission's guidelines on visual identity, all EU programmes must be identified exclusively by the EU emblem and the mention of the programme name.The names of programmes, such as Horizon 2020 and FP7, will be used as verbal brands, i.e. references to them will be made without a specific logo.Commission services will apply the Commission’s visual identity guidelines when communicating about EU programmes. Beneficiaries of EU funding will use the European emblem in their communication to acknowledge the support received under EU programmes.The guidelines mentioned below are intended for beneficiaries of EU funding and other third parties who communicate about EU programmes to show how the European Union emblem can be used in conjunction with text which highlights the fact of EU funding.

For further information please see :  The use of the EU emblem in the context of EU programmes - Guidelines for beneficiaries and other third parties 

In H2020 all interactions with the ERCEA will take place online via the Funding and Tenders Portal (F&T Portal).

The handling of documents will be fully electronic as there is no need anymore to exchange any paper document. The grants for the successful proposals submitted to the ERC calls will be prepared and then signed electronically. Requests of amendments will be prepared, submitted and either accepted or rejected electronically. All Reports will have to be submitted for review via the F&T Portal. According to the various phases of the project lifecycle the correct actors (HIs and/or PIs) will be informed via email that certain tasks must be performed in the F&T Portal.

Notwithstanding the above and in effort to keep on offering a high level service, the Agency strongly encourages both the Host Institutions and the Principal Investigators to contact the respective Agency staff for discussion in an informal phase about all developments of changes in their respective action. This is of utmost importance in order to avoid cancellation of documents or requests submitted via the F&T Portal which are incomplete or incorrect.

The name and surname of the ERC officer responsible for the Principal Investigator's grant can be found in the F&T Portal. The officer can be easily contacted via the messaging tool embedded in the F&T Portal, allowing the Principal Investigator to communicate directly with the officer without having to use emails.

Furthermore, the ERCEA has set up a helpdesk to provide Principal Investigators with assistance and guidance throughout the lifetime of the project. The helpdesk can be contacted by email at:

The reporting requirements for an ERC research frontier projects granted under H2020 Programme (Starting Grant / Consolidator Grant / Advanced Grant or Synergy Grant) foresee two different reporting streams to cover the financial aspects, on the one hand, and the scientific aspects of the grant, on the other hand, as described in Article 20 of the ERC Model Grant Agreement.

Scientific reports are the sole responsibility of the Principal Investigator and are submitted via the Host Institution usually twice during the lifetime of a project (at mid-term and at the end). The financial reports are prepared by the Host Institution in consultation with the Principal Investigator and must usually be submitted every 18 months; this report must include information on the use of resources and the general implementation of the project (see Article 20.3 of ERC Model Grant Agreement).

At the end of a project, the Host Institution will also have to submit a Certificate on Financial Statements for each beneficiary (and linked third party) depending on the amount of the costs claimed (if the entity requests a total contribution of €325.000 or more). Both types of reports (Scientific and Financial) are prepared and submitted online via the Funding and Tenders Portal (F&T Portal).

When applying to the ERC Advanced Grant (AdG) 2019 call, it is recommended that the researcher provides evidence of recent achievements of intellectual productivity and creativity. If a researcher returned to their original or new project(s) following a sabbatical leave, the reviewers are asked to take such circumstances into consideration.

For maternity, the track record considered can be extended by 18 months for each child born before or during the last ten years.

For paternity, the track record considered can be extended by the actual amount of paternity leave taken for each child born before or during the last ten years.

For long-term illness, clinical qualification or national service the track record considered can be extended by the amount of leave taken for each incident which occurred during the last ten years.

For more information, please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2019 or the Information for Applicants to the Advanced Grants 2019 call.

No, a Principal Investigator (PI) whose proposal was evaluated as category C in the step 1 Starting (StG), Consolidator (CoG) or Advanced (AdG) Grant calls for proposals under ERC Work Programme 2017 and 2018, as well as Synergy Grant (SyG) call for proposal under ERC Work Programme 2018, may not submit a proposal to the ADG call for proposals made under Work Programme 2019. For more information, please refer to the restrictions on submission of proposals in the ERC Work Programme 2019.

The call text of topic SC1-PM-15-2017 clearly refers to developing a proof of concept for radically new solutions.

These solutions should also be validated, so the focus is really on new research and development which means the project starting point may be associated with a lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) rather than a higher TRL. The outcome of a successful project that addresses the expected impact as required in the call text may be able to progress towards a higher TRL.

However, SC1-PM-15-2017 does not make any references to specific TRLs in the published call, therefore TRLs as such are not relevant for the evaluation.

The European emblem (flag) may be used by third parties only if is not:

  • likely to create confusion between the user and the European Union or the Council of Europe;
  • linked to aims or activities incompatible with the principles and objectives of the European Union or the Council of Europe.In the case of EU-funded projects:
  • logos that are developed for projects funded by the EU, and that are not owned by the EU, may not be identical or similar to the European emblem (this includes logos that incorporate the twelve stars);
  • the European emblem should be given appropriate prominence when displayed in association with a logo;
  • contractors are exempt from the obligation to obtain prior permission from the Commission to use the emblem, but are subject to the general third-party-use restrictions mentioned above. This tacit authorization to use the European emblem implies no right of exclusive use. It does not permit the appropriation of the emblem, or of any similar trade mark or logo, whether by registration or by any other means.For further information please see :  Europa - The European Flag  (see the Graphics guide to the European flag link for more details)

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting 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,

- National service.

All these circumstances need to be properly documented.

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

According to the conditions of the ERC Starting 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.