European Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC) supports innovative ideas in all fields of knowledge. Research must be cognitive, pioneering, and cross current frontiers of knowledge. Particularly valued are interdisciplinary projects with a high degree of scientific risk, leading to breakthrough results. Both basic and applied research are funded.

The ERC funds several types of research grants:

  • ERC Starting Grant – for early career researchers, 2-7 years after PhD: up to €1.5 million for a project lasting up to 5 years,

  • ERC Consolidator Grantfor researchers at the threshold of research independence, 7-12 years after PhD: up to €2 million for a project lasting up to 5 years, ERC Advanced Grant – for experienced researchers with an established research record: up to €2.5 million for a project lasting up to 5 years,

  • ERC Synergy Grantfor 2-4 leaders (PIs) and their teams from different, complementary fields, for jointly solving challenging research problems: up to €10 million for a project lasting up to 6 years. The application must demonstrate that it is not possible to achieve the breakthrough results of the proposed research alone, but only with the collaboration of the leaders.

The ERC also funds two additional types of projects:

  • for contractors of the above research grants – Proof of Concept Grant – for commercialization of research results achieved in an ERC project (up to 150,000 euros), 

  • Coordination and Support Actions – projects for the implementation of tasks defined by the Scientific Council.

ERC projects are initiated by the researchers themselves, and carried out under the direction of a leader, who may work alone (which happens extremely rarely) or form a team, depending on the scientific field and the specifics of the project. Both the leader and team members can come from any country in the world. The implementation of the project must take place at the host institution chosen by the leader, which must be located in one of the European Union countries or countries associated with Horizon Europe. For scholars working in these countries, it can be the home institution. Each time, the institution where a potential ERC grant is to be implemented submits a letter of intent, which is a mandatory attachment to the application. Based on it, if the grant receives funding, the unit signs a so-called Supplementary agreement with the researcher specifying the terms of the project.

The ERC consists of an independent Scientific Council and the European Research Council Executive Agency (ERCEA). Scientific Council members act in their own name, independent of political or national interests. Applications are submitted electronically through the Funding & Tender opportunities portal:

Please apply, by email:, as soon as possible after deciding to apply.

IMPORTANT: EU research funding grants involve more work than national competitions. We know from experience that in the case of the Leader of an international application, it can take up to six months to prepare and then consult the substantive part and the budget. When UAM acts as a Partner the minimum time for fine-tuning the budget and paperwork is one month. A key element of the budget is the salaries for members of the research team, which must be calculated in accordance with UAM’s Salary Regulations. Failure to consult the budget with CWP and underestimation of salary costs may result in UAM not proceeding with the awarded project and the partnership agreement will not be signed.

In the process of preparing the application, our University provides support from people experienced both in preparing and evaluating applications for the European Commission.


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