Frequently asked questions

For the up to date information on the FAQs please check the EU Funding & Tenders Portal.
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Under the ERC Work Programme 2023, in the context of a POC project, the situation for additional participants/beneficiaries from non-associated third countries is different for PoC compared to ERC main grants.

In contrast with the main ERC grants, there is no provision allowing for this possibility for PoC projects under the ERC Work Programme 2023. The applicable provision for PoC calls is Article 23.2.(b) of the Regulation establishing the Horizon Europe programme applies, i.e.:

Legal entities established in a non-associated third country shall bear the cost of their participation. However, a legal entity established in (…) non-associated third countries, shall be eligible for funding in an action if: (…) the Commission or the relevant funding body considers that the participation of the legal entity concerned is essential for implementing the action.”

Therefore, in accordance with this provision, for POC projects, the participation with EU funding of entities established in non-associated third countries is limited to entities whose participation is deemed essential.Applicants to the 2023 ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) call can therefore still include a beneficiary/participant from a non-associated third country, but EU funding may only be granted to this beneficiary/participant if their participation is deemed essential for implementing the action.

Yes, under the ERC Work Programme 2023, ERC PoC grants can be transferred to a new beneficiary, as described in Article 41 of HE Lump sum Model Grant Agreement.

Yes, Synergy Grant (SYG) Principal Investigators are eligible to apply to the ERC 2023 Proof of Concept (ERC-2023-PoC) call, only with the written consent of all Principal Investigators in the same Synergy Grant project (see ERC Work Programme 2023). Please note that the ERCEA may request the applicant PI at any time during the evaluation, to provide proof of the written consent obtained prior to the call submission deadline.

If the proposal is retained for EU funding, all applicants will be requested to sign a declaration of honour (see in the online e-submission form, Part A, under Section 1 - General Information: specific declaration (mandatory field)), as regards the consent obtained from participants and researchers. You can refer also to our Information for Applicants guidance.

Yes, under the ERC 2023 Proof of Concept (ERC-2023-PoC) call, submitting an application with a spin-off company as Host Institution (HI) is feasible, as long as it complies with the eligibility criteria for an eligible HI defined in the ERC Work Programme 2023. The HI of the ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) proposal does not have to be the same as the HI of the main frontier research Grant.

Under the ERC Proof of Concept (ERC-2023-PoC) Grant call, given the shorter length (in comparison to ERC main Frontier Research Grants), the project report is required only once, at the end of the project, and will combine the technical and financial aspects in one single document. Article 21 of the Multi & Mono Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sum Grants defines the reporting requirements. The ERC PoC report must be prepared and submitted online via the Funding & Tenders Portal.

Yes, under the ERC Work Programme 2023, the financial contribution will be awarded as a lump sum of EUR 150 000 for a period of 18 months. The ERC expects that normally ERC-2023-PoC projects should be completed within 12 months. However, to allow for those projects that require more preparation time, grant agreements will be signed for 18 months. Given this initial flexibility, extensions of the duration of proof of concept projects may be granted only exceptionally. More information can be found in the Multi & Mono Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sum Grants.

For ERC Proof of Concept (ERC-2023-PoC) Lump Sum actions, beneficiaries do not need to keep records on their actual costs for the purpose of triggering the payment of the lump sum. They only need to keep appropriate and sufficient evidence (documentation, records) that the action tasks (as described in Annex 1) were properly carried out. For more information, please refer to the Multi & Mono Model Grant Agreement for Lump Sum Grants.

The Principal Investigator (PI) should be engaged by the Host Institution of the ERC PoC Grant during its entire duration. There is no minimum commitment percentage of the working time required from the PI applying for the ERC-2023-PoC call. However, in the grant agreement, PIs must enter a minimum of their working time, as they are responsible for managing the ERC PoC project. It is essential that the cumulative percentage commitment that the PI spends on the ERC PoC action and on the main ERC StG/CoG/AdG/SyG Grant (if still ongoing) does not exceed 100%. For more information please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2023.

For the ERC Proof of Concept (ERC-2023-PoC) call, although it is not mandatory to provide the names of individual team members or their CVs, the PoC plan needs to include justification that the persons working on the tasks are well qualified for the purpose. The description of the team needs to be filled in the Part B form – section 1b.iii. Plan of the proof of concept – Description of the Action – Description of the team. More information on the submission and evaluation procedures can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2023, in the section relevant to the call, as well as in the Information for Applicants to the Proof of Concept Grant 2023 Call.

The Proof of Concept grant is evaluated based on the sole criterion of excellence, which comprises three evaluation elements. Reviewers will evaluate independently each eligible proposal submitted under the ERC PoC 2023 Proof of Concept (ERC-2023-PoC) call, and mark it as "very good", "good" or "fail" for each of the three evaluation elements. The applicants are provided with feedback on the outcome of the evaluation through an information letter and an evaluation report. The evaluation report indicates whether the proposal is retained for funding or not, and provides an overall "pass" or "fail" status for each of the three evaluation elements, the ranking range of the proposal in the final ranked list of all evaluated proposals and the written assessment of the evaluation elements by each external independent expert. More information on the evaluation procedure can be found in the ERC Work Programme 2023, in the section relevant to the call.