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European Research Council: Funding Opportunities for Investigator- Initiated Frontier Research Dr. Dimitri Harmegnies Research Project Adviser European.

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Presentation on theme: "European Research Council: Funding Opportunities for Investigator- Initiated Frontier Research Dr. Dimitri Harmegnies Research Project Adviser European."— Presentation transcript:

1 European Research Council: Funding Opportunities for Investigator- Initiated Frontier Research Dr. Dimitri Harmegnies Research Project Adviser European Research Council Executive Agency

2 ERC: 15% Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development FP7 ( ) European Research Council ERC executes Ideas Programme: € 7.51 billion Total FP7 Budget: € 50.4 billion

3 Keypoints European Research Council   No network requirements   PI + HI   Investigator-driven (no preset of themes or priorities)   Opportunities…

4 ERC actors European Research Council   The Scientific Council Independent scientific governing by 22 members   The Executive Agency Implementation and management of work programme set up by Scientific Council   The European Union Provides the financial means and legal framework

5 ERC Budget : € 7.51 billion European Research Council Annual budget will increase during FP7 to > €1.7 bn by 2013

6 European Research Council ERC: Aims   To reinforce excellence, dynamism and creativity in European research   improve career opportunities & independence for junior researchers   increase competitiveness & international visibility of established scientists and scholars in Europe

7 Researchers Career development and complementary ERC funding schemes Post-docs Senior Professor Students & Research assistants Post Graduates Junior Professor/ Associated Professor Full Professor Funding schemes: Attractive, flexible grants ERC Starting Grant (2-12 yrs post PhD) ERC Advanced Grant ERC Proof of Concept Grant (for ERC grantees) ERC Synergy Grant (from 2012) European Research Council ERC grant holder Researcher involved in ERC research projects

8 AdG: Advanced Grants StG: Starting Grants Syn: ERC Synergy PoC: Proof of Concept European Research Council ERC grant schemes: 2012 Call budget distribution 2012 total budget: €1,578.1M

9 European Research Council Starting and Advanced Grants

10 3 main scientific domains  LS: Life Sciences  PE: Physical Sciences and Engineering  SH: Social Sciences and Humanities Previously ( ) 4th domain: Funded cross-panel or cross domain proposals. European Research Council ERC Grant schemes 2012: StG and AdG

11 LS : 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 biotechnology European Research Council ERC Grant schemes : panels PE: Physical Sciences and Engineering PE1 Mathematics PE2 Fundamental constituents of matter PE3 Condensed matter physics PE4 Physical and analytical chemical sciences PE5 Materials and synthesisPE6 Computer science and informatics PE7 Systems and communication engineering PE8 Products and processes engineering PE9 Universe sciences PE10 Earth system science SH : Social Sciences and Humanities SH1 Individuals, institutions and markets SH2 Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour SH3 Environment, space and population SH4 The Human Mind and its complexity SH5 Cultures and cultural production SH6 The study of the human past

12 What kind of project?  Excellence is the only criterion  Innovative breakthrough research: high risk/high gain  All fields of science and knowledge Who can apply?  Excellent researchers (PIs) of any nationality, age or current place of work  In conjunction with a Host Institution (HI) based in Europe or associated countries  Individual research team: Free to choose national or trans-national team, if scientific added value, no consortia  The PI is expected to devote: –Starting Grant : at least 50% of her/his total working time to the ERC funded project and spend at least 50% of her/his total working time in an EU Member State or associated country; –Advanced Grant : at least 30% of her/his total working time to the ERC funded project and spend at least 50% of her/his total working time in an EU Member State or associated country European Research Council ERC: Strategy (1/2)

13 Host Institution An ERC grant is awarded to the institution (Applicant Legal Entity) that engages and hosts the Principal Investigator at least for the duration of the project….with the explicit commitment that this institution offers appropriate conditions for the Principal Investigator The host institution must be established in a Member State or an associated country. It may also be an International European Interest Organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.) or the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The host institution can be any legal entity (public or private), which has the infrastructure and capacity to carry out a frontier research project, such as a university, a research organisation or a research-performing company. Research-performing companies can host a PI as long as the PI's independence is not constrained by the research strategy of the company The ERC welcomes applications from Principal Investigators hosted by private commercial research centres, including industrial laboratories. European Research Council ERC: Strategy (2/2)

14 Profile of StG applicant European Research Council   Any nationality or age   Any current place of work but: working or moving to work in Europe   2-12 years of experience after PhD   Potential for independence and evidence of maturity e.g. publications without PhD supervisor   Track-record of early research achievements appropriate to the research field and career stage  Starter & Consolidator streams

15 European Research Council ERC StG: Starter and Consolidator streams By definition in StG 2011 call 2-7 yrs post-PhD (starter) 7-12 yrs post-PhD (consolidator) Extending eligibility window (max yrs) or changing stream possible Career break maternity & paternity (before or after PhD) illness, clinical qualifications, national service, unemployment, volunteer work, etc (after PhD) IMPORTANT: Panel makes final decision

16 Active researchers having a track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years Benchmarks (one or more below) including 10 publications as senior author 3 major research monographs Other (individually or in combination) 5 granted patents 10 invited presentations 3 research expeditions led by the applicant 3 organized prestigious conferences International recognition through scientific prizes/awards or membership in well-regarded academies Profile of AdG applicant European Research Council

17 Composition of ERC Proposal PART A – online forms A1 Proposal and PI info A2 Host institution info A3 Budget PART B1 – submitted as.pdf Track Record of PI StG: early achievements StG: Scientific Leadership Potential AdG: last 10 yrs CV (including “funding ID”) Extended synopsis PART B2 – submitted as.pdf Full project description incl. budget & ethics table Annexes – submitted as.pdf On ethics Host institution support letter StG: PhD certificate European Research Council Panels evaluate just this part in Step 1!!!!! Panels evaluate this part only in Step 2!!!

18 Review process (StG and AdG) European Research Council Remote assessment by Panel members of section B1 Step 1 Panel meeting Proposals retained for step 2 STEP 1 Remote assessment by Panel members and external reviewers of sections B1&B2 Step 2 Panel meeting (+ interview for StG) Ranked list of proposals STEP 2 ERC Grant schemes Up to 3 times panel’s Indicative budget Proposals funded in priority order based on their rank Feedback to applicants Feedback to applicants

19 Evaluation criteria European Research Council Principal investigator Research output (track record, achievements, reputation) Intellectual capacity and creativity (independence) Time commitment (an evaluation, not eligibility criterion) Research project: Ground-breaking nature (challenges, new concepts) Potential impact (open new horizons) Methodology (approach, timescale, resources, feasibility) High risk/high gain balance (breakthrough vs incremental research)

20 European Research Council Host institution Hosts the PI for the duration of the project Is a legal entity: university, research centre, business research unit etc. Is committed to ensure that the PI may apply for funding independently manage research and funding for the project publish independently as senior author have access to reasonable space and facilities Signs Grant Agreement

21 European Research Council Step 1  A of sufficient quality to pass to step 2  B of high quality but not sufficient to pass to step 2  C is not of sufficient quality to pass to step 2 (resubmission limitations may apply) B and C receive individual reports, panel comments and panel ranking Step 2  A meets excellence criterion, will be funded if sufficient funds available  B meets some but not all elements of excellence criterion, will not be funded A and B receive individual reports, panel comments and panel ranking Feedback to applicants

22   Simple and flexible, no negotiations – take it or leave it   Are portable   Additional funding for StG or AdG for researchers moving to Europe or Associated Countries or for purchase of major equipment   Cover 100% total eligible costs plus 20% indirect costs ERC Grant agreements European Research Council

23 Starting Grants Advanced Grants Number of grantees StG 2010 AdG 2010 Age of grantees Grantees by age in 2010 Attract/retain next-generation leaders Attract/retain next-generation leaders Establish independent research team & program Establish independent research team & program Attract/retain current world-leaders Attract/retain current world-leaders Stimulate investigator-driven, breakthrough research Stimulate investigator-driven, breakthrough research European Research Council ERC Grant schemes: StG and AdG

24 │ 24 ERC grant distribution to countries AdG , StG European Research Council ERC Grant schemes: StG and AdG

25 Success rates European Research Council ERC Grant schemes: StG and AdG

26 Overall Submissions (2007 – 2011) European Research Council ERC Grant schemes

27 Submissions to Life Sciences panels LS1 Molecular & Structural Biology & Biochemistry LS2 Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics & Systems Biology LS3 Cellular and Developmental Biology LS4 Physiology, Pathophysiology & Endocrinology LS5 Neurosciences & neural disorders LS6 Immunity & infection LS7 Diagnostic tools, therapies & public health LS8 Evolutionary, population & environmental biology LS9 Applied life sciences & biotechnology Starting Grants Advanced Grants European Research Council ERC Grant schemes: StG and AdG

28 Opportunities European Research Council   PI…   HI …

29 │ 29 ERC open calls Publication of call Submission Deadline(s) Starting Grants ERC-2012-StG 20 July 2011PE: 12 Oct LS: 09 Nov SH: 24 Nov Advanced grants ERC-2012-AdG 16 November 2011 February -April 2012 Timetable of StG and AdG calls European Research Council

30 Proof of Concept

31 Innovation ERC Proof of Concept European Research Council ERC call nameBudgetSize of GrantsPublication of call Submission Deadline(s) Proof of Concept ERC-2011-PoC €10M CSA pilot Max. €150,000 for 12mths 29 Mar June proposals submitted 08 Nov Proof of Concept ERC-2012-PoC €10M (1% total 2012 budget) Max. €150,000 for 12mths 02 Feb May Oct   From ‘blue sky research’ to commercialisation   Fundamental research often generates opportunities for commercial application   ERC-funded excellent ideas should not miss these opportunities! Bridging the Innovation gap

32 Outcome: A "package" to be presented to venture capitalists Evaluation: In one step, non-scientific evaluation Pass/fail on 3 criteria: Innovation potential Quality of the proof of concept plan Budget Eligibility: Holders of an ERC grant with idea substantially drawn from an ERC-funded project Proposal Submission: 2 deadlines per year, 7 page proposal with short description, early stage innovation strategy, plan of activities and budget ERC Proof of Concept European Research Council

33 Synergy grants

34  “Synergy” : from the Greek “συνεργός” (synergós): “working together”  Investigator-driven ‘blue sky’ research  2-4 excellent PIs with complementary skills  Interdisciplinary research with added value ERC Synergy Grants European Research Council ERC call nameBudgetSize of Grant Publication of call Submission Deadline(s) ERC Synergy grant ERC-2012-SyG €150M (10% total 2012 budget) Max. €15M for upto six years 25 Oct Jan. 2012

35  Sole criterion is excellence – not collaboration for its own sake  Investigator driven: no preset themes or priorities  Projects interdisciplinary in nature, using multidisciplinary approaches  Projects involve new combinations of skills and disciplines, bringing together researchers from different institutions, sectors or countries ERC Synergy: project profile European Research Council

36  Small groups of 2 – 4 Principal Investigators, not consortia  No transnationality requirement  PIs ideally located in the same place for significant periods of the project  Time commitment of all PIs to project: at least 30% working time on project and 50% in an EU Member State or associated country  PIs with excellent track records of independent creative thinking, regardless of career stage ERC Synergy: PI profile European Research Council

37 PART A – online forms A1 Proposal and PI info A2 Host institution info A3 Budget PART B1 – submitted as.pdf Scientific proposal15 p. Section 1 Scientific proposal15 p. PART B2 – submitted as.pdf Track Record of all PIs Section 2 Track Record of all PIs Extended synopsis 5 p. CV (including “funding ID”) 2 p./PI track record 2 p./PI Annexes – submitted as.pdf - Statement of support by HI - If applicable: explanatory information on ethical issues ERC Synergy: proposal European Research Council

38 Remote evaluation of full proposals by panel members and external referees Panel members meet and examine retained proposals and their reports Select proposals for interview Select proposals up to available budget Upto 2.5 times panel’s Indicative budget Upto 2 times panel’s Indicative budget ERC Synergy: evaluation European Research Council Step 1 Panel meeting Proposals retained for step 2 STEP 1 (5 panels) Feedback to applicants STEP 2 (new panel) Step 2 Panel meeting and interviews Feedback to applicants

39 Support European Research Council ERC website: Documents to read twice (with highlighter pen in hand!!!) ERC Work Programme for the considered call Guide for Applicants Help ERC National Contact Points ERC Helpdesk EPSS helpdesk (electronic proposal submission)

40 European Research Council Thank you


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