ERC Starting Grants: a great opportunity to achieve job security

ERC Starting Grants: a great opportunity to achieve job security

Are you a researcher and ready to work independently? If you would like to demonstrate your potential in leading your own research group, an ERC Starting Grants could be your big chance.

Below, we have given the answers to 8 questions that you ought to know if you are going to apply for an ERC Starting Grant.

Who is eligible to apply for an ERC Starting Grants?

Researchers of any nationality who meet the following requirements:

    • ・ Have finished their doctorate in the past 2 to 7 years*
    • ・ Have a promising track record as a researcher
    • ・Put together an excellent research proposal

*Researchers with greater postdoctoral experience may be accepted under certain circumstances which can be seen in the latest ERC Work Programme

What type of research proposals are suitable for applications to ERC Starting Grants?

The research proposals can be from any field and are assessed upon their criteria of excellence. The ERC grants are assessed in ascending order with no predetermined priority, i.e., chosen proposals are selected independently of the field of research to which they belong.

Where must the research be carried out?

The research can be carried out in a public or private institution, which is known as the host institution. The host institution can be located where the researcher works or any other located in member states of the EU or associated countries.

What role does the host institution play?

Applications for an ERC grant should be carried out by one Principal Investigator in cooperation with and in name of the host institution, known as the applicant legal entity.
The grants are given to the host institution with the express commitment that they will provide the appropriate conditions for the Principal Investigator to independently lead his/her research and administer his/her own funding for the duration of the project.
The PI does not have to be working in the host institution when the application is made. However, there must be a mutual agreement and a commitment from the host institution of how the relation between the two parties will be established, if the proposal is successful.


What is the UDC offering for this call?



Do the ERC Starting Grants fund more than one researcher?

The ERC grants fund projects carried out by an individual researcher who can hire researchers of any nationality as his/her team members. It is possible to have one or more of those team members located in a non-European country.

How much funding is on offer from the ERC Starting Grants?

The Starting Grants can fund up to 1.5 million euros over a period of 5 years (or the proportional amount for shorter-term projects). However, an additional amount of 0.5 million euros can be made available to cover set up costs, such as:

    • Moving from a third country to the EU or associated country
    • Purchasing of major equipment
    • Access to large facilities

The grant can cover up to 100% of the total of eligible direct expenses of research, plus a 25% contribution (of the total of eligible expenses) of indirect expenses.

Who can clear up doubts I may have about the ERC Starting Grants?

The UDC offers an expert advisory team to all potential researchers which will advise, help and accompany you in putting together your proposal. You can write to or call +34 981 167 173 and request a meeting via Skype.

Below you can find a series of resources for ERC applicants:

Héctor Gómez, winner of an ERC Starting Grant: “The UDC allows you to carry out daring research projects with potential for large returns”

José Mahía, scientific coordinator of InTalent, speaks to us about the UDC’s commitment to retaining, recovering and recruitment of excellent research talent

12 key points for preparing your ERC proposal

Link to the webpage for ERC Starting Grants