Research Support Office

European Research Council (ERC)

The fundamental activity of the ERC is to provide attractive, long-term funding to support excellent investigators and their research teams to pursue ground-breaking, high-gain/high-risk research.

Research funded by the ERC is expected to lead to advances at the frontiers of knowledge and to set a clear and inspirational target for frontier research across Europe. Edinburgh holds a wealth of experience with ERC holding the 9th highest number of ERC award of any Higher Education Institution.

  • Starting Grant (StG)

    • For researchers with 2-7 years post PhD experience (extended in certain circumstances)
    • Grant up to €1.5m for up to 5 years
    • 50% time commitment

The typical profile of an ERC StG grantee is a researcher who can demonstrate:

    • their potential for research independence and evidence of maturity (for example by having produced at least one important publication without the participation of their PhD supervisor)
    • a record of early achievements (publications as main author in major international peer-reviewed scientific journals)
    • invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes etc

 

  • Consolidator Grant (CoG)

    • For researchers with 7-12 years post PhD experience
    • Grant up to €2m for up to 5 years
    • 40% time commitment

The typical profile of an ERC CoG grantee is a researcher who can demonstrate:

    • research independence and evidence of maturity (several important publications without the participation of their PhD supervisor)
    • a promising track record of early achievements appropriate to their research field and career stage ( significant publications as main author in major international peer-reviewed scientific journals)
    • a record of invited presentations in well-established international conferences, granted patents, awards, prizes etc.

For both Starting and Consolidator grants the ERC panel will evaluate the PI’s “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
    • time commitment to the project

 

  • Advanced Grant (AdG)

    • For established researchers with a solid track record as leaders in their field over last 10 years
    • Grant of up to €2.5m for 5 years
    • 30% time commitment

The typical profile of an ERC AdG grantee is a researcher who can demonstrate a record of achievements appropriate to the field and at least matching one or more of the following benchmarks:

    • 10 publications as senior author
    • 3 major research monographs, of which at least one is translated  (humanities and social sciences)

Other benchmarks used may include:

    • 5 granted patents
    • 10 invited presentations in well-established internationally organised conferences and advanced schools
    • 3 research expeditions led by the applicant Principal Investigator
    • 3 well-established international conferences or congresses where the applicant was involved in their organisation as a member of the steering and/or organising committee
    • International recognition through scientific or artistic prizes/awards or membership in well-regarded Academies or artefact with documented use
    • Major contributions to launching the careers of outstanding researchers
    • Recognised leadership in industrial innovation

 

  • Proof of Concept (PoC)

    • For existing ERC grant holders only
    • Grant of up to €150k for 18 months
    • For exploring the commercial of societal innovation potential resulting from ERC projects