ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or programme. Applicant Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.
Size of ERC Consolidator Grants
Consolidator Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 2 000 000 for a period of 5 years (The maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. This does not apply to ongoing projects).
However, up to an additional EUR 750 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover (a) eligible "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 (As any additional funding is to cover major one-off costs it is not subject to pro-rata temporis reduction for projects of shorter duration. All funding requested is assessed during evaluation).
Profile of the ERC Consolidator Grant Principal Investigator
The Principal Investigator shall have been awarded their first PhD over 7 and up to 12 years prior to 1 January 2017. The effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD can be reduced in certain properly documented circumstances (see ERC Work Programme 2017).
A competitive Consolidator Grant Principal Investigator must have already shown research independence and evidence of maturity, for example by having produced several important publications as main author or without the participation of their PhD supervisor. Applicant Principal Investigators should also be able to demonstrate a promising track record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage, including significant publications (as main author) in major international peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journals, or in the leading international peer-reviewed journals of their respective field. They may also demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes etc.
For further information please see the ERC Work Programme 2017
Topic conditions and documents
Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application (for more detailed information, please refer to the Information for Applicants to the Starting and Consolidator Grants 2017 Calls and the Frequently Asked Questions -FAQs):
List of countries and applicable rules for funding: The conditions specific to the ERC are described in the ERC Work Programme 2017 under the heading 'Eligibility criteria' and in 'Annex 3'. An overview is provided below:
The ERC actions are open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any Member State or H2020 Associated Country. Principal Investigators may be of any age and nationality and may reside in any country in the world at the time of the application. However, Principal Investigators funded throgh the ERC frontier research grants shall spend a minimum percentage of their total working time in an EU member State or Associated Country and a minimum percentage of their total working time on the ERC project.
The host institution must either be established in an EU Member State or H2020 Associated Country as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an International European Interest Organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) or any other entity created under EU law.
The conditions specific to ERC grants are described in the ERC Work Programme 2017 under the heading 'Eligibility criteria' and in the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation under Section 2.4. An overview is provided below:
Eligible proposals: All proposals must be complete and submitted before the relevant call deadline. A complete proposal entails all parts or sections (see 'Proposal page limits and layout' below). Incomplete proposals may be declared ineligible. The content of the proposal must relate to the objectives and to the grant type set out in the call, as defined in the ERC Work Programme 2017. A proposal will only be deemed ineligible on grounds of 'scope' in clear-cut cases.
Eligible Principal Investigator: The Principal Investigator shall have been awarded their first PhD (or equivalent doctoral degree) at least 2 and up to 12 years prior to 1 January 2017. The effective elapsed time since the award of the first PhD can be reduced in certain properly documented circumstances.
Eligible Host Institution: The host institution (Applicant Legal Entity) must engage the Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the project, as defined in the grant agreement. It must either be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an International European Interest Organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) or any other entity created under EU law. Any type of legal entity, public or private, including universities, research organisations and undertakings can host Principal Investigators and their teams.
Restrictions on submission of proposals: The restrictions for submission are related to the outcome of the evaluation in previous calls and are designed to allow unsuccessful Principal Investigators the time necessary to develop a stronger proposal. For further details please consult the ERC Work Programme 2017 or the Frequently Asked Questions.
Proposal page limits and layout: A complete proposal is composed of:
• Administrative Proposal Submission forms (including Ethics Review Table) are available in the submission tool below – registration to Participant Portal is required first.
• The Research Proposal (Parts B1 and B2), also available in the submission tool, should be uploaded and submitted via the submission tool as PDF files.
o Proposal Part B1:
Extended Synopsis: max. 5 pages (please note that references do not count towards the page limits)
Curriculum Vitae: max. 2 pages
Funding ID: no page limits
Track Record: max. 2 pages
o Proposal Part B2:
Scientific Proposal: max. 15 pages (please note that references do not count towards the page limit)
• Host Institution Binding Statement of Support (available on this page under Section 5 below and as a word-template in PPSS).
• PhD record and, if applicable, supporting documentation for eligibility checking.
• Ethics review self-assessment (if applicable) and supporting documentation.
The minimum font size allowed is 11 points. The page size is A4 (with single line spacing). Side margins should be at least 20 mm and the bottom and top margins at least 15 mm. Ensure that the font type chosen is clearly readable (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman). Experts will be instructed to disregard any excess pages.
The conditions specific to ERC are described in the ERC Work Programme 2017 under the heading 'Evaluation procedure and criteria' and in the ERC Rules for Submission and Evaluation. An overview is provided below:
A single submission of the full proposal will be followed by a two-step evaluation. The evaluation will be conducted by means of a structure of high level peer review panels as listed in Annex 1 of the ERC Work Programme 2017. The panels may be assisted by independent experts working remotely.
For all ERC frontier research grants excellence is the sole criterion of evaluation. It will be applied in conjunction to the evaluation of both: the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of the research project; and the intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment of the Principal Investigator. The detailed evaluation elements applying to the excellence of the research project and the Principal Investigator are set out in the ERC Work Programme 2017.
Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:
Please refer to the ERC Work Programme 2017 under the heading 'Indicative summary of main calls from the 2017 budget'.