The ERC was created to address the need to develop long-term funding for researchers to pursue ground-breaking, high-risk/high-gain research where the intention is to establish excellent research environments in Europe. Scientific excellence is therefore the sole evaluation criterion for selecting the principal investigator and the scientific project. The ground-breaking nature and ambition of the project must be balanced by feasibility. In addition, the intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment of the principal investigator are evaluated. Proposals should cross the boundaries between different fields of research and ERC is welcoming pioneering proposals addressing new and emerging fields of Research.
The principal investigator of an ERC Starting Grant shall have been awarded his or her first PhD degree > 2 and < 7 years ago, while this period for the ERC Consolidator Grant is > 7 and < 12 years. Clinical training, long-term illness, maternity- and paternity leaves can be taken into consideration when calculating the effective elapsed time.
The ERC Starting and Consolidator Grants are looking for independent young and mid-career scientists who may become the future top notch researchers and/or leaders in their research field. What could, in your case, be seen as proof of research independence? It is expected that the applicant will have produced at least one important publication as main author or without the participation of their PhD supervisor for Starting Grant candidates, and several such publications for Consolidator Grant candidates.
For 2016, the success rate for Life Sciences proposals was 14 % for Starting and Consolidator Grant proposals; success rates which are in line with, or even higher than, similar programs from the Research Council of Norway.
We urge you to contact us if you consider applying for these grants during 2017 or 2018. The call for the Starting Grant will most likely open during summer 2017 and usually has deadline during October, while the Consolidator Grant call is expected to open during fall 2017 with the expected deadline during February 2018. In that respect, we want to make you aware of the ERC Starting and Consolidator Grants Course arranged by the Division of Research Administration at UiB. Representatives from the company Beacon Tech will guide you through the proposal elements and talk about presenting the research idea and yourself. You can book a session with them after lunch to discuss your idea and further questions. The course takes place 14 June at Hotel Ørnen and you can register via this link.
Helge, Eystein, Amra and Itana