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European Research Council (ERC) Edward Ricketts University of Edinburgh 13 November 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "European Research Council (ERC) Edward Ricketts University of Edinburgh 13 November 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Research Council (ERC) Edward Ricketts University of Edinburgh 13 November 2013

2 Mission to facilitate effective UK participation in EU research, innovation and HE programmes Sponsored by the seven UK Research Councils Receives subscriptions from over 140 research organisations Range of services for sponsors and subscribers Research Council policy work Brussels liaison For more information see

3 Core subscriber* servicesOpen to non-subscribers Query service UKRO Portal Subscriber web pages Latest news articles alerts Meeting room in Brussels Annual briefing visits (UK subscribers) Training courses and information events Annual Conference Marie Curie Actions UK National Contact Point European Research Council UK National Contact Point British Council European RTD Insight publication * List of subscribing institutions:

4 The European Unions funding instrument for research and innovation from Budget of EUR 70,2 billion From research to innovation – from basic research to bringing ideas to the market Focus on societal challenges EU society is facing (e.g. health, clean energy, food security, integrated transport) Concentration of resources on areas of high growth and innovation potential Provides key measures to support industrial leadership, particularly innovative SMEs Significant investment in excellence Horizon 2020 overarching priority: Exiting the economic crisis through sustainable growth

5 Excellent Science European Research Council (ERC) Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Research Infrastructures Industrial Leadership Leadership in Enabling and Industrial Technologies (LEIT) - ICT, KETs, Space Access to Risk Finance Innovation in SMEs Societal Challenges Health and WellbeingFood securityTransportEnergyClimate action Societies Security Widening Participation; Science with and for Society European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) Joint Research Centre (JRC) EURATOM

6 Total budget 30% of Horizon 2020 Overall objective: to strengthen the excellence of European research New research and ideas are drivers of competition Attract and retain high potential individuals Fund the most talented and creative researchers Develop and maintain world-class research infrastructures

7 European Research Council Marie Sklodowska- Curie Actions Research Infrastructures Future and Emerging Technologies

8 The ERC shall provide attractive and flexible funding to enable talented and creative individual researchers and their teams to pursue the most promising avenues at the frontier of science….. scientific excellence shall be the sole criterion on which ERC grants are awarded. The ERC shall operate on a bottom-up basis without predetermined priorities. Horizon 2020 proposal text

9 The ERC seeks to fund the best frontier research proposals submitted by excellent researchers in the area of their choice Will fund projects led by a Principal Investigator, if necessary supported by a research team (no requirement for collaboration or forming consortia across different EU countries) 25 panels in 3 domains which proposals can be submitted to: Physical Sciences and Engineering (PE) Life Sciences (LS) Social Sciences and Humanities (SH) Total ERC budget: 11.6bn

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11 Post-docs Senior Professor Students Post Graduates Junior Professor/ Junior Researcher Associate Professor Full Professor Erasmus Marie Curie ERC Starters ERC Consolidators ERC Advanced Team members in ERC projects

12 Scientific excellence is the sole evaluation criterion Significant funding is provided to attract exceptional research leaders Grants are awarded to the host institution that engages and hosts the Principal Investigator – the PI will be employed by the host institution The host institution guarantees the PIs independence and provides the research environment to carry out the project and manage its funding

13 Aim to support excellent researchers at the stage of starting or consolidating their own independent research team or programme Eligibility windows for PIs (same as for 2013 calls): Starting Grants: 2 to 7 years after the PhD award Consolidator Grants: 7 to 12 years after the PhD award This is measured from the publication date of the call, and extensions are permitted only in a few strict cases (parental leave, long-term illness, etc)

14 Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants The ERC panel will evaluate the PIs intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment. This includes: ability to propose and conduct ground-breaking research and achievements going beyond the state-of-the-art abundant evidence of creative independent thinking the ERC grant would contribute significantly to the establishment and/or further consolidation of the PI's independence commitment to the project (minimum 50% of the PIs total working time) * please note that this is the wording from the 2013 ERC calls

15 Starting Grants Who is a competitive candidate? Must be able to show potential for excellence and evidence of maturity: expectation for at least one important publication without the participation of the PhD supervisor promising track record of early achievements appropriate to field and career stage, including: significant publications (as main author) in major international peer- reviewed journals and/or monographs invited presentations, granted patents, awards, prizes etc good leadership potential and must convince the ERC panel that the PI will be able to lead an ambitious frontier research project

16 Consolidator Grants Who is a competitive candidate? Must be able to show potential for excellence and evidence of maturity: it is expected that applicants will have produced several important publications without the participation of their PhD supervisor promising track record of early achievements appropriate to field and career stage, including: significant publications (as main author) in major international peer- reviewed major scientific journals and/or monographs invited presentations, granted patents, awards, prizes etc good leadership potential and must convince the ERC panel that you will be able to lead an ambitious frontier research project

17 Aims to support excellent, leading researchers to pursue groundbreaking research which opens up new directions in the field of their choice Aims to encourage substantial advances at the frontier of knowledge; as well as new productive lines of enquiry, methods and techniques No eligibility requirement concerning a PhD, but the PI must have an excellent track record of research achievements during the last 10 years

18 Advanced Grants The ERC panel will evaluate the PIs intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment and their track record should be characterised by: groundbreaking research & achievements going beyond the state-of-the-art abundant evidence of creative independent thinking sound leadership in the training and advancement of young scientists commitment to the project (minimum 30% of the PIs total working time) * please note that this is the wording from the 2013 ERC calls

19 Advanced Grants Who is a competitive candidate? track record of significant achievements in last 10 years: 10 publications (as senior author) in major international journals or 3 major research monographs if appropriate to the research field, also: granted patents invited presentations led expeditions organised international conferences international recognition (awards, prizes) contributions to launching the careers of outstanding researchers an exceptional leader in terms of originality and significance of research contribution, with international recognition * please note that this the wording from the 2013 ERC calls

20 Pilot scheme which funds ambitious, groundbreaking proposals submitted by a group of between 2 to 4 PIs (and their teams) Very low success rate for first call in 2012, and the 2013 call results expected to be announced in late 2013 No call is expected to be launched in 2014 /15 …… But the scheme could continue within Horizon 2020, as a limited part of the ERCs portfolio of schemes (tbc)

21 Scheme for ERC grant holders to undertake further work to establish the innovation potential of an idea developed during the course of an ERC-funded project Maximum grant: 150,000 Project duration: up to 18 months Original ERC grant must be either ongoing or have ended less than 1 year before the publication date of the call

22 Applications submitted online through the Research Participant Portal Apply to discipline-specific panel Applications are in three parts Part A: Admin forms Part B1: Information on applicant and extended synopsis (5 pages) of proposal Part B2: Detailed proposal (15 pages)

23 Life Sciences LS1:Molecular and Structural Biology and Biochemistry LS2: Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology LS3: Cellular and Developmental Biology LS4: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Endocrinology LS5: Neurosciences and Neural Disorders LS6: Immunity and Infection LS7: Diagnostic Tools, Therapies and Public Health LS8: Evolutionary, Population and Environmental Biology LS9: Applied Life Sciences and Non-Medical Biotechnology Physical Sciences and Engineering PE1: Mathematics PE2: Fundamental Constituents of Matter PE3: Condensed Matter Physics PE4: Physical and Analytical Chemical Sciences PE5: Synthetic Chemistry and Materials PE6: Computer Science and Informatics PE7: Systems and Communication Engineering PE8: Products and Process Engineering PE9: Universe Sciences PE10: Earth System Science Social Sciences and Humanities SH1: Individuals, institutions and markets SH2: Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviours SH3: Environment, space and population SH4: The human mind and its complexity SH5: Cultures and cultural production SH6: The study of the human past

24 Proposals evaluated solely on the basis of excellence (excellence of the PI and of the research project), and should address: B1 Extended Synopsis (5 pages) B2 Scientific Proposal (15 pages) To what extent does the proposed research address important challenges? To what extent are the objectives ambitious and beyond the state of the art? How much is the proposed research high risk/high gain? To what extent is the outlined scientific approach feasible? To what extent is the proposed research methodology appropriate to achieve the goals of the project? To what extent does the proposal involve developing novel methodology? To what extent are the proposed timescales and resources necessary and properly justified? * please note that this is the wording from the 2013 ERC calls

25 Evaluation on excellence of PI and excellence of project One stage application, two stage peer review evaluation First stage evaluation looks only at Part B1 StG and CoG feature an interview at second stage See here for lists of panel members for previous ERC calls:

26 Step 1 evaluation applicants notified: A: sufficient quality to pass to step 2 of the evaluation B: high quality but not sufficient to pass to step 2 C: not sufficient quality to pass to step 2 of the evaluation Step 2 evaluation applicants notified: A: fully meets the ERCs excellence criterion and is recommended for funding if sufficient funds are available B. meets some but not all elements of the ERCs excellence criterion and will not be funded. Projects funded in ranking order – not all A projects funded

27 Single beneficiary nature of projects Innovative/unconventional/invention/new/emerging research High risk/high gain No nationality or mobility requirements Pursuit of questions at or beyond the frontiers of knowledge Any field of research (except nuclear) Interdisciplinary proposals encouraged Grants portable Max grant amounts/ max length of project / min PI time

28 A change in balance of funding between schemes: Indicative budgets for 2014: Starting Grants 485m (22% increase compared to 2013) Consolidator Grants 713m (36% increase compared to 2013) Advanced Grants 450m (32% decrease compared to 2013) Overhead rate 25% not 20% Note that maximum grant levels have not changed. Open access to be the norm: the terms and conditions laid down in the ERC Model Grant Agreement will address how scientific publications must be made available through open access

29 Different resubmission rules Applicants scoring A at step 1 = will be able to resubmit to the next years call Applicants scoring B at step 1 = will not be able to resubmit to the next years call Applicants scoring C at step 1 = will not be able to resubmit to the next two years calls Takes effect from Existing rule applies for 2014.

30 Starting Grants: opens 11 December 2013, deadline 25 March 2014 Consolidator Grants: opens 11 December 2013, deadline 20 May 2014 Advanced Grants : opens 17 June 2014, deadline 21 October 2014 Synergy Grants : no call launched in 2014 Proof of Concept : opens 11 December 2013, two deadlines on 1 April and 1 October 2014

31 ERC allocated around 12.7 billion for Horizon 2020 (compares to the allocation of 7.5 billion for FP7). Highest amount of funding to go to the Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants schemes. But due to the progressive increases in the annual ERC budget until 2013, the amount allocated for the 2014 calls will in fact be lower than in 2013:

32 UK was the most successful country in applying to the ERC in FP7: Over 800 grants based in around 75 different UK institutions Around 15% success rate for proposals submitted by UK institutions (about 11% average overall) Around 20% of all ERC grants based in the UK 6 of the 11 Synergy Grants projects funded in 2012 feature at least one UK-based PI See here for examples of funded projects: funded-projectshttp://erc.europa.eu/erc- funded-projects

33 Sign up to the UKRO portal and you will receive: Updates on content of programme Information on call dates and management/financial issues Proposal writing workshops from January 2014 onwards ERC website contains information on previous calls, guides to applicants, Q&A and details of evaluation panels for previous years calls

34 Questions? ERC National Contact Point helpdesk Tel: Contact Phone:


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