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The ERC Starting Grant scheme

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					ERC funding opportunities for young researchers
The ERC Starting Grant scheme



                 Gianpietro van de Goor, PhD
          Deputy Head of Unit “Strategic matters and
           relations with the ERC Scientific Council”
                   ERC-DIS / European Commission




                     Research Connection 2009
                           8 May 2009, Prague
                                                                    European Research Council



 ERC <> Marie Curie
 Different aims and characteristics


Marie Curie Actions                           ERC Grants
support to early-career or established        support to early-career or established
individual researchers                        research leaders (Principal Investigators, PIs)
   support researchers at all career stages   and their research teams
   promote mobility (geographical,              Mobility is NOT a requirement
sectorial)                                      up to 5 years funding
   up to 3 years funding                        funding covers 100% of project costs
   funding covers salary costs mainly
Objectives:                                   Objectives:
Training - Mobility - Career                  Retain – Repatriate – Recruit (3R)
Development                                      Favour “brain gain” and “reverse brain drain”
   Improve career opportunities in both          Improve career opportunities and
private and academic sectors                  scientific/financial independence -
   Stimulate people to enter into the         especially for young researchers
profession of researcher                         Increase competition, recognition and
   Encourage researchers to stay in Europe    international visibility - for leading individual
   Attract researchers to move to Europe      scientists and scholars in Europe
                                                 Raise aspiration and achievement in basic
                                              research in Europe                                │2
                                                      European Research Council



ERC Grant schemes
Two complementary funding schemes


ERC Starting Grant (StG): attract & retain the next generation
of independent research leaders - up to € 2.0 Mio for 5 years
  Support researchers at the start of their independent research career and
establishing or consolidating their own independent research team
(or research programme)
  Provide a structure for transition from working under a supervisor to an
independent research leader

ERC Advanced Grant (AdG): attract & reward established
independent research leaders - up to € 3.5 Mio for 5 years
 Designed to support excellent investigator-initiated frontier research
projects by established independent research leaders
 Targeting researchers who have already established their independence
as team leaders and are exceptional leaders in terms of significance
of their research achievements (in the last 10 years)
                                                                                  │3
                                                          European Research Council



ERC Starting Grant
Who can apply? – General requirements


• Any nationality, age or current place of work
• Working / moving to work at Host Organisation in Europe
  (EU Member State, FP7 Associated Country)
• 3-8 (2-10!?) years of experience after PhD
      certain types of career breaks are accepted up to a maximum of 2 (3) years
• Potential for research independence and leadership
      evidence of scientific maturity to lead a team/programme
      track-record of early research achievements appropriate to their research
      field and career stage (Starters vs. Consolidators)
      at least one important publication without participation of PhD supervisor
      (may involve a new supervisor)
• Original and ambitious Frontier Research Project in any
  field of science, scholarship and engineering
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                                                     European Research Council



ERC Starting Grant
Specific features (PI profile, success rate)


First StG call 2007
       299 grantees (call budget: € 335 Mio. )
       21 host countries, 32 nationalities, 170 host institutes
       Average Age: 35 years (spans from 24, 28 to 44y)
       Average experience after PhD: 6 years
       Average grant size: € 1.1 Mio.
       Gender: 26% women (as low as 12% in LS2 up to 71% in SH4)
       Success rate: 3.3% (9167 applications: 17% SH, 37% LS, 46% PE)

Second StG call 2008
       Available budget/grants: ca. +€300 Mio. for ca. 300 grants
       Success rate: ±12% (2503 applications:19% SH, 37 % LS, 44% PE)

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                                                               European Research Council



ERC Grant schemes
Operational Principles



      Application in response to calls for proposals
            Principal Investigators applies in conjunction and on behalf of a
            research-performing host institution
            Electronic submission only - via EPSS https://www.epss-fp7.org/epss/
      Staged Evaluation Procedure
            to manage large number of expected applications
      Panel-based international peer review process
            Scientific Council defines panels, selects panel chairs/members
            and peer reviewers
            Panels assess and rank proposals (based on individual assessments
            by additional peer reviewers, panel meetings, interviews with StG applicants)

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                                                          European Research Council



ERC Starting Grants
Proposal content and submission (preliminary)



                            ERC Starting Grant proposal

                                        PART B1 – submitted as .pdf
 PART A – online forms
                                        Section 1 Track Record of PI
 A1 Proposal and PI info
                                        Scientific Leadership Potential               2 p.
 “A1T” “Track Record”
                                        CV (including “funding ID”)                   2 p.
 A2 Host institution info
                                        Early achievements track record               2 p.
 A3 Budget
                                        Extended synopsis                             5 p.

 Annexes – submitted as .pdf
                                        PART B2 – submitted as .pdf
 Statement of support by host
                                        Section 2 Scientific proposal                 15 p.
 PhD certificate (incl. supporting
 documents for eligible career
                                        Section 3 Research Environment 2 p.
 breaks)
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                                             European Research Council


ERC Grant schemes
Proposal evaluation




 Submission                Step 1                     Step 2

  Proposal - B          Proposal – B1              Proposal – B1+B2

   Section 1             Section 1                       Section 1

   Section 2              Section 2                      Section 2

   Section 3              Section 3                      Section 3

   + Annexes                                 Evaluation
                      Evaluation             - Indiv. assessments
                      - Indiv. Assessments   - Interdisciplinary flag
Eligibility Check     - PANEL MEETINGS       - Interviews (StG only)
                      - Ranking              - PANEL MEETINGS
                                             - Ranking                   │8
                                                          European Research Council



ERC Grant Schemes
Evaluation: Scientific Excellence is the sole criterion




  Evaluation of Excellence at three levels:
          •   Quality of Principal Investigator
          •   Quality of Research Project
          •   Research Environment

  Referees and panels evaluate and score criteria under Heading 1 and
  Heading 2 numerically which will result in the ranking of the projects:
                −   1-4 per criterion
                −   Threshold ≥ 2 per criterion

  Criteria under Heading 3 will be considered as "pass/fail" and
  commented but not scored
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                                                                          European Research Council

 ERC Grant Schemes
 International Peer Review with 25 Evaluation Panels


                                                     Social Sciences and Humanities
                                                        SH1 Individuals, institutions & markets
Life Sciences                                           SH2 Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour
   LS1 Molecular & Structural Biology &                 SH3 Environment & society
   Biochemistry                                         SH4 The Human Mind and its complexity
   LS2 Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics &             SH5 Cultures & cultural production
   Systems Biology                                      SH6 The study of the human past
   LS3 Cellular and Developmental Biology
   LS4 Physiology, Pathophysiology &                 Physical Sciences & Engineering
   Endocrinology
                                                        PE1 Mathematical foundations
   LS5 Neurosciences & neural disorders
                                                        PE2 Fundamental constituents of matter
   LS6 Immunity & infection
                                                        PE3 Condensed matter physics
   LS7 Diagnostic tools, therapies & public health
                                                        PE4 Physical & Analytical Chemical sciences
   LS8 Evolutionary, population & environmental
   biology                                              PE5 Materials & Synthesis
   LS9 Applied life sciences & biotechnology            PE6 Computer science & informatics
                                                        PE7 Systems & communication engineering
                                                        PE8 Products & process engineering
                                                        PE9 Universe sciences
                                                        PE10 Earth system science                         │ 10
                                                    European Research Council



Next Call for StG proposals
Preliminary information



       Indicative budget: ~ € 340 Mio.
       Call launch end of July 2009
       3 call deadlines in autumn 2009

       3 main domains + interdisciplinary research (cross-
       domain), with separate indicative budgets
             -   PE: Physical Sciences & Engineering (39%)
             -   LS: Life Sciences (incl. medical) (34%)
             -   SH: Humanities & Social Sciences (14%)
             -   Interdisciplinary (13%)


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                                       European Research Council


 Up-to-date Information
 ERC website at http://erc.europa.eu




NEW SECTION
Funded
Projects




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                                                           European Research Council



ERC-funded Research & PIs
Case studies


 •   ERC website ‘Funded projects’ section:
         List with names of StG PIs and host institutions, grant size,
         duration, project abstracts of 299 funded projects (1st call 2007)
         List with names of AdG PIs and host institutions of 275 retained
         proposals
         ERC Starting Grant brochure with Case Studies
 •   Various brochures on Starting Grant case studies
     produced by national actors (e.g. in DE, AT, BE, FR)
 •   List of 299 Grantees (1st StG competition 2007)
     http://erc.europa.eu/pdf/ERC_Starting_Grantees_2007.xls
 •   ERC event, 7 October 2008, Paris
     Video of presentations & 2 discussion roundtables with 10 Starting Grantees
     http://www.canalc2.tv/video.asp?idEvenement=423
 •   FP7 project database (FP IDEAS projects)
     http://cordis.europa.eu/fp7/projects_en.html
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                                                    European Research Council



Applicants Services
Information and helpdesks



     ERC News Alert
     http://erc.europa.eu/?fuseaction=reg.edit#01

     ERC National Contact Points
     inform, raise awareness and provide advice on ERC funding
     opportunities, application, follow-up
     http://erc.europa.eu/index.cfm?fuseaction=page.ncpList

     ERC helpdesk
     https://www.epss-fp7.org/epss/helpdesk.jsp

     EPSS helpdesk
     technical support on electronic proposal submission
     https://www.epss-fp7.org/epss/helpdesk.jsp
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             European Research Council




  Merci!
Thank you!
  Danke!


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