Is ERC appropriate for you and your project?

For the researchers who would like apply for an ERC grant, we, as ERC National Contact Points, have prepared some important questions to consider before starting the application process. These questions and explanations are based on our years of experience, however please be aware of the fact that the official ERC webpage and official ERC documents are the best references in case you realize any discrepancies. In the following table, there are some questions that we recommend the researchers to consider before application. If you have any doubts about a certain question, please click on the question to have some guidance.


The term 'frontier research' reflects a new understanding of basic research. On one hand it denotes that basic research in science and technology is of critical importance to economic and social welfare. And on the other that research at and beyond the frontiers of understanding is an intrinsically risky venture, progressing in new and the most exiting research areas and is characterised by the absence of disciplinary boundaries.
ERC funds researchers and their teams for ground-breaking, high risk-high gain reserach at the frontiers of knowledge. ERC is a fundamentally different funding programme than most of the programmes under Horizon2020 framework in which ERC funds one Principal Investigator without the need to have any partners. Thus, if your project proposal consists of more than one researcher who will equally contribute to the project, ERC is not an appropriate programme for you. In that case, we suggest you to access other Horizon 2020 programmes from our website.
ERC offers three different funding opportunities for the researchers depending on the date that they have earned their PhD degree: Starting Grant (StG) Consolidator Grant (CoG) Advanced Grant (AdG)
ERC projects are evaluated by ERC panelists by considering two important criteria Excellence of the research project (ground breaking, high risk-high gain but feasible) The profile of the Principal Investigator (intellectual capacity, creativity and the compatibility of PI’s profile with the research project) In this respect, it is advisable to explore the projects that are already funded by ERC in your research area. This way the profile and the project that are expected to receive an ERC grant in your research area will be more clear. This is important because in different research areas the expectations of excellence vary greatly. You can access the previously funded ERC projects from the official ERC website here. Also European Commission has a database (CORDIS) in which you can access not only the abstracts of the funded projects but also all outputs from these ERC projects.
There are three important criteria to take into account for the correct time to apply for an ERC grant. First of them is the date that you have earned you PhD. ERC offers three different funding opportunities for the researchers depending on the date that they have earned their PhD degree : Starting (StG), Consolidator (CoG) and Advanced Grant (AdG). In this respect, if the date of your PhD is at the limit between StG and CoG or CoG and AdG, this might be your last chance to apply for StG or CoG respectively. Next year, you might be subject to evaluation in the next category where there might be stronger competition. Second important criteria is the ERC’s restrictions on re-applications based on the outcome of the evaluation of previous calls. ERC evaluations are performed in two steps and at Step 1 the proposals are marked as category A, B or C. PI whose proposal was evaluated as category A passes to the Evaluation Step 2 and have no restriction to re-apply to ERC. However, PI whose proposal was evaluated as category B or C, may not submit a proposal to ERC for 1 or 2 years respectively. The last criteria depends on the nature of your project. As an example you might need to consider if your project will still be valid and interesting in one year.
ERC Applications are evaluated by ERC Panels: 10 panels in Physical Sciences & Engineering, 9 Panels in Life Sciences and 6 panels in Social Sciences & Humanities. You can access these panels and subpanels here. The PI is responsible to find the appropriate panel for his project. To be able to find the most suited panel for your project, it is advisable to look for the researchers who has been panel members in previous years. You can access the previous panel members here. ERC proposals are evaluated in two steps. In Step1, the applications are based on 5-pages long project description, CV and track record of the PI in the B1 form. If the proposal passes Step1, the whole proposal, B1 and B2, is evaluated with the help of external reviewers for in depth peer review. For StG and CoG applications, during the second stage there is also an interview step that takes place Brussels
TUBITAK EBAG (ERC Principal Investigator Programme) has been established by TUBITAK European Union Programmes Coordination Office. This programme contains three sub-programmes that will help researchers throughtout their ERC application: Project Writing and Submission Training, Project Pre-evaluation Support, Interview Trainings
Bu durumda ERC Çağrıları bölümünden ilgili çağrı hakkında bilgi alabilir ve önemli dokümanlara ulaşabilirsiniz. Bunun dışında başvuru yapmaya karar verdiğinizde ERC Ulusal İrtibat Noktaları olarak bizimle iletişime geçerseniz size özel çözümler ve olanaklar bulmak konusunda size yardımcı olmaktan mutluluk duyarız.