What type of grants does the ERC fund in Horizon 2020?
All ERC grants operate on a 'bottom-up' basis across all research fields (apart from nuclear energy research), without predetermined priorities. The four main funding schemes are Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grants. These fund projects led by a Principal Investigator (PI) (or 2-4 PIs for Synergy) and excellence is the sole criterion for funding, both of the PI and the research project.
Starting Grants are designed to support PIs at the stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. To be eligible, the PI must be 2-7 years from their PhD, which is extendable in certain strict cases.
Consolidator Grants are designed to support PIs at the stage at which they are consolidating their own independent research team or programme. To be eligible, the PI must be over 7 and up to 12 years from their PhD, which is extendable in certain strict cases.
Advanced Grants are intended to promote substantial advances in the frontiers of knowledge, and to encourage new productive lines of enquiry and new methods and techniques. Applicants must have a recognised track record of research achievements.
Synergy Grants are intended to enable minimum two to maximum four Principal Investigators and their teams to bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources in new ways, in order to jointly address ambitious research problems.
The Proof of Concept scheme funds ERC grant holders to establish the innovation potential of an idea developed during the course of an ERC-funded project. The scheme aims to build upon ideas which draw substantially from research that has been funded by the ERC, increasing the opportunities for commercial or societal application of the frontier research.