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ERC Starting Grants

Are you a talented early-career scientist who has already produced excellent supervised work, is ready to work independently and shows potential to be a research leader? The ERC Starting Grant could be for you.

ERC European Research Council

Who can apply?

Researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD(Extensions are possible under certain circumstances), a scientific track record showing great promise and an excellent research proposal

Prospective applicants to the 2023 Starting and Consolidator Grant Calls should note that the ERC is aiming to change the PhD reference date for the calculation of the eligibility period from the date of the actual award according to the national rules of the country where the degree was awarded to the date of the successful PhD defence. Whenever the PhD certificate does not show the PhD defence date, applicants should provide a written confirmation from the awarding institution stating the said date. This change will bring both clarity to the prospective candidates and significant simplification to the eligibility process.

Swiss Participation

If Swiss-based researchers are still not eligible at the deadline, the Federal Council will propose funds for a corresponding transitional measure and the SNSF will open an integrative call for proposals in November 2022 in the form of the “SNSF Starting Grants 2023”. Further information on Swiss Participation can be found at the Website of SERI and SNSF.

What proposals are eligible?


  • Applications can be made in any field of research
  • The ERC's grants operate on a 'bottom-up' basis without predetermined priorities.


  • Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (known as a 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

Host Institution

  • 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.
  • Grants are awarded to the Host Institution with the explicit commitment that this institution offers appropriate conditions for the Principal Investigator independently to direct the research and manage its funding for the duration of the project.
  • Any type of legal entity, including universities, research centres 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.
  • 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.


  • ERC grants support projects carried out by an individual researcher 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.
  • Vacancies for team members interested in joining an ERC led research project, can be published on the Euraxess-Jobs portal.
  • Initiatives, under the form of 'Implementing Arrangements', exist for ERC-funded teams in Europe to host non-European talented scientists. Find out more about the agreements.

How much?

Starting Grants may be awarded up to € 1.5 million for a period of 5 years. (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However, an additional € 1 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 and/or other major experimental and field work costs.

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.

How to apply?

  • ERC grant applications can only be submitted in response to a Call for Proposals.
  • The ERC has yearly calls for proposals covering all scientific fields.
  • For an ERC grant application to be complete, it needs to include the administrative forms, the research proposal and the supplementary documents. The completed proposal should be submitted by the specified closing date.
  • Calls are published on this page, the European Commission’s Funding and Tenders Portaland in the Official Journal of the European Union.

ERC-StG-2023 Applicants' Training Session 30.8.

Given the possibility that researchers will be eligible to submit an ERC project that will be hosted in Switzerland, Euresearch is planning an Applicants' Training Session for the ERC-StG-2023. This event is open to all researchers who would submit an ERC-StG with a Swiss host. You will get tips and advice on the proposal itself and the evaluation process from a range of people, including a past ERC-StG recipient, a panel member, and a member of the ERC. The Euresearch National Contact Points for the ERC will moderate the session and also provide an update about Swiss association status. Registration and further information.


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