12 puntos claves preparar propuesta ERC

12 key points for preparing your ERC proposal

ERC Grants are a great opportunity for researchers looking to continue their research in the field of excellent science.

We offer you 12 key points to keep in mind when preparing your ERC proposal in order to make it a success.


Ask for advice from other researchers who have previously presented an ERC proposal, ERC winners and even the institution in which you are going to carry out your research project.


Make sure your proposal answers the following questions:

  • · What problem or need does your research plan to solve?
  • · Why is this problem or need relevant or meaningful?
  • · How can your research solve said problem or need?


Clearly describe the differentiating point that your proposal sets out with regard to others and why it has not been carried out in the past.


Choose a good acronym for your proposal, one which is easy to pronounce and attractive to those evaluating your proposal. You can make use of tools like Acronym Creator to create the acronym.


Describe the impact your research may cause, and in what fields this impact will be seen: on a scientific level, financial, social…


If your proposal is a little risky, something which is valued in ERC calls, make sure to include a brief description of a Plan B which helps to mitigate the possible risks associated to your initial proposal.


It is important to demonstrate your leadership qualities in your proposal by giving details of your track record, like for example, your experience leading national or international research groups, your supervision of students in the past…


Show your excellence, your impact and position in the academic world and also your capacity to shape and create research fields. Always remember to highlight information that backs up your strengths and avoid drawing attention to points which could show you in a bad light when compared to other candidates. For more information and to consult details about evaluation criteria go to the ERC Work Programme 2017.


Make sure your important ideas and strong points t the beginning of your proposal  and emphasise them by using tools such as bold type, etc. The evaluators must understand the message you want to transmit the first time they see your proposal, so make it clear in the title, the initial summary and different elements of the proposal.


Be as specific as you possibly can in your affirmations and avoid including things which can not be independently verified. And, of course, avoid filling up with meaningless text: everything you say should be important and have its place in the proposal.


Present your ERC proposal in a clear, structured and easily-read way. Use subheadings, lists, highlighting. Furthermore, you can help the proposal through the use of tables and diagrams (in black and white to make them easier to read) to show information in a more visual way.


Make sure your proposal is written in perfect English, and if it is possible, have it reviewed by a native speaker. In the same way, share your proposal with a group of people who can give you their opinion and give you pointers on how to improve it.