ERC Starting Grants
The ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition, and feasibility of their research proposal.
Size of ERC Starting Grants
Starting Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 1 500 000 for a period of 5 years. The maximum size of the grants is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. (This does not apply to ongoing projects).
Additional funding up to EUR 1 000 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover the following eligible costs when these are necessary to carry out the proposed work: (a) "start-up" costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant, and/or (b) the purchase of major equipment, and/or (c) access to large facilities, and/or (d) other major experimental and field work costs, excluding personnel costs.
Additional funding is not subject to pro rata temporis reduction for projects of shorter duration.
All funding requested is assessed during evaluation.
Profile of the ERC Starting Grant Principal Investigator
The Principal Investigators shall have successfully defended their first PhD at least 2 and up to 7 years prior to 1 January 2024. Cut-off dates: Successful defence of PhD between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2021 (inclusive).
The eligibility period can be extended beyond 7 years in certain properly documented circumstances. See section Admissibility and eligibility criteria of the ERC Work Programme 2024.
A competitive Starting Grant Principal Investigator should have already shown evidence of the potential for research independence, for example by having produced at least one important publication as main author or without the participation of their PhD supervisor. When submitting their proposal, the CV and a Track Record should include personal details, education, key qualifications, current position(s) and relevant previous positions, a list of up to ten research outputs that demonstrate how the applicant has advanced knowledge in their field, with an emphasis on more recent achievements, and a list of selected examples of significant peer recognition. A short explanation of the significance of the selected outputs, the role of the applicant in producing each of them, and how they demonstrate the applicant’s capacity to successfully carry out their proposed project may be included, as well as a short explanation of the importance of the listed examples of significant peer recognition. The applicant may also include relevant additional information on career breaks, diverse career paths, and life events, as well as any particularly noteworthy contributions to the research community. These will provide context to the evaluation panels when assessing the Principal Investigator’s research achievements and peer recognition in relation to their career stage.
For further information, please see the ERC Work Programme 2024.