ERC Starting Grants for PhD Researchers

Deadline: 25 March 2014
Open to: PhD researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any EU Member State or Associated Country
Grant: € 1.5 million for a period of 5 years


Europe currently offers insufficient opportunities for young investigators to develop independent careers and make the transition from working under a supervisor to being independent researchers in their own right. This structural problem leads to a dramatic waste of research talent in Europe. It also limits or delays the emergence of the next-generation of research leaders, who bring new ideas and energy, and it encourages highly talented researchers at an early stage of their career to seek advancement elsewhere.

ERC Starting Grants aim to support up-and-coming research leaders who are about to establish a proper research team and to start conducting independent research in Europe. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders. It will support the creation of excellent new research teams.

ERC Starting Grants in brief

  • For researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (or equivalent degree) and scientific track record showing great promise
  • An excellent research proposal
  • Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (known as a Host Institution/HI) located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries
  • Funding per grant: up to € 1.5 million (in some circumstances up to € 2 million)
  • Duration: up to 5 years
  • Sole evaluation criterion: scientific excellence of researcher and research proposal


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. This action is open to researchers of any nationality who intend to conduct their research activity in any Member State or Associated Country.

Applications for an ERC grant must be submitted by a single Principal Investigator(PI) in conjunction with and on behalf of their host institution, called the applicant legal entity. Grants are awarded to the host institution with the explicit commitment that this institution offers appropriate conditions for the Principal Investigator independently to direct the research and manage its funding for the duration of the project. See HERE for a map of all current ERC host institutions.


Normally grants will be € 1.5 million for a period of 5 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However, an additional € 0.5 million can be made available to cover eligible “start-up” costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities.

An ERC grant can cover up to 100% of the total eligible direct costs of the research plus a contribution up to 20% of the total eligible costs towards indirect costs.


The deadline for all domains of this call is 25 March 2014, 17:00:00 (Brussels local time). Download all application documents from the website HERE.

An ERC grant application should be submitted by the candidate with the support, and on behalf of, the host institution. It can be submitted only in response to an open call for proposals via the web-based Participant Portal Submission Service (PPSS).

Contact your national contact point HERE for further information.

For more details, please see the official website HERE.

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