European Research Council Starting Grants

European Research Council

Grant amount: Up to €2,000,000

Anticipated deadline: Oct 17, 2019 8:00am PDT

Applicant type: Unaffiliated Researcher Faculty Working Professional Postdoctoral Researcher

Funding uses: Research

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Albania; Austria; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria Expand all

Degree requirements: Applicants must be within 7 years of receiving their PhD

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If, as a young scientist, you're interested in making the transition from working under a supervisor to becoming and independent investigator, the ERC is here to help. ERC Starting Grants are designed to encourage young talented research leaders to gain independence in Europe and to build their own careers. The scheme targets promising researchers who have the proven potential of becoming independent research leaders.

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 of 25% of the total eligible costs towards indirect costs.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • ERC grants are open to researchers of any nationality in the world, any scientific field, any age.
  • Researchers must have 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (plus 18 months for each child).
  • Researchers must be on a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal.
  • The research itself must be conducted in a public or private research organization (refered to as the Host Institution/ HI). It could be the HI where the applicant already works, or any other HI located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries. Click on the links which follow to determine if your HI is located in an EU Member State or Associated Country.  
  • Any type of legal entity, including universities, research centers and undertakings can host the PI and his/her team. Legally the host institution must be based in one of the EU Member States, or one of the associated countries.
  • 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.
  • The PI does not necessarily need to be working at the host institution at the time when the proposal is submitted. However, a mutual agreement and the host institution’s commitment on how the relationship will be established are necessary, should the proposal be successful.
  • Principal Investigators must have already shown the potential for research independence and evidence of maturity. For example, by having produced at least one important publication without the participation of their PhD supervisor.
  • Applicants 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.


  • ERC grants support projects carried out by an individual researcher ('Principal Investigator') who can employ researchers of any nationality as team members. It is also possible to have one or more team members located in a non-European country.
  • Applicants may demonstrate a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes etc (vacancies for team members interested in joining an ERC led research project, can be published on the Euraxess-Jobs portal).