Contact: Oya Özer Kurt

ERC (European Research Council) is a mono-beneficiary research funding scheme (and the organization’s title that manages the programme), which supports groundbreaking, high-risk/high-gain research from all disciplines, administered as part of the European Commission’s Framework Programmes.

ERC grants continue to be awarded under the Horizon Europe system between the 2021-2027 period. You can find brief information on this page about the Sponsored Research Office services that promote Koç University’s success in this program.

You can always contact us and request an appointment for a one-to-one meeting to evaluate the competitiveness of your research agenda (and your CV) in the ERC programme. We can inform you about the scheme in general and discuss a proposal development calendar specifically for you.

ERC Navigation Step 1: “Which Scheme Should I Choose?”

In the ERC programme, there are three main types of frontier research support schemes for researchers who are either just starting their research career or are at intermediate or advanced career stages. Depending on the date that you earned your PhD degree, you can evaluate your preparation strategy based on which funding type you are eligible for.

A summary eligibility table for the ERC 2024 & 2025 calls can be found in the 2025 Work Programme:

(The 2024 WP included significant rule revisions. Here was the SRO brief on what is new and revised.)

ERC Starting Grant: You are at the beginning of your research career as a faculty member, and you are setting up your independent research group / agenda. You can demonstrate “research independence” and a strong track record. If 2-7 years have passed since your Ph.D defense date, you can apply for the Starting Grant. If your degree was awarded between 1.1.2018 and 31.12.2022, you are eligible for the Starting Grant 2025. At this level, the research group of the PI can be funded for a maximum of 5 years and a maximum of 1.5 million Euros. Additional funds for 1 million Euros may be requested. The closest call, the 2025 round, is opened on 10.7.2024 and closed on 15.10.2024.

ERC Consolidator Grant: You have progressed in your career and settled your independent research group/agenda. You have a stronger track record and are fully independent at this stage. If 7-12 years have passed since your Ph.D defense date, you can apply for the Consolidator Grant. You are eligible for the Consolidator Grant 2023 if your degree was awarded between 1.1.2013 and 31.12.2017. At this level, you can apply for a 5-year research idea to be funded with a maximum of 2 million Euros. Additional funds of 1 million Euros may be requested. The closest call, the 2025 round, will be opened on 26.9.2024 and closed on 14.1.2025.

ERC Advanced Grant: You have reached a considerably high point in your research career, you are a renowned/ influential researcher in your discipline. You can apply to this fund at any stage after your PhD degree, there is no “range” criterion in this respect. At this level, you can apply with a 5-year research idea to be funded with a maximum of 2.5 million Euros. Additional funds of 1 million Euros may be requested for cases such as expensive equipment etc. The current call, the 2024 round, was opened on 29.5.2024 and will be closed on 29.8.2024.

It is possible to extend the eligibility window for the Starting and Consolidator Grants due to maternity, paternity, disability, major disasters, seeking asylum, and career interruptions for medical reasons. You can contact SRO regarding the details if such conditions apply to your case.

A fourth frontier type of research funding in the ERC programme is the ERC Synergy Grant. In this scheme, 2 to 4 coordinators (from separate institutions or the same institution) are invited to come together and demonstrate the synergy between their expertise and an interdisciplinary groundbreaking research idea. Synergy Grant projects can be funded for up to 6 years with a maximum budget of 10 million Euros, and an additional budget of up to 4 million Euros can be requested. Coordinators may be at any postdoctoral career stage, they are expected to have profiles eligible for an individual ERC application. The closest call, round 2025, is opened on 11.7.2024 and will be closed on 6.11.2024.

A fifth type of support is open to researchers who have received one of the above frontier ERC grants: ERC Proof of Concept Grant is a scheme to fund the “proof of concept/technology” that has developed as an outcome of an ERC project. An additional fixed budget of 150.000 Euros is available for the commercialization of a technology or service during (or immediately after) the implementation of an ERC project. There will be two cut-offs in 2024: 14.3.2024 and 17.9.2024.

There are two dimensions to consider for each grant type, from the perspective of eligibility:

  • Do you have a groundbreaking and ambitious research idea?
  • Are you an independent and impactful researcher in your field?

We can help you assess these two dimensions when you contact us.

ERC Navigation Step 2: “How Should I Prepare for the Application?”

  • The ERC main page is your gateway for each grant type’s official documents, most importantly the “Guidelines for Applicants” (here for STG and COG 25, here for ADG 24) and ERC’s “Work Programme” of that year. Make sure you are familiar with all the details of the programme using these two documents, including what type of research ideas will be evaluated, how to apply, and the minimum qualifications required from a PI.
  • The ERC guide for external evaluators also guides you on how your application will be scored. Please read (for STG and COG 25, for ADG).
  • Contact us and let us develop a calendar for your proposal preparation. You will also need to get together with the PMO team to work on your budget at least 2 weeks before the date you plan to submit your application. (Do not forget to open an SRO-trackit.)
  • Check out TUBITAK’s “ERC Principal Investigator Program“. You may consider an application here to pay for services such as having your application forms evaluated by an outside expert. As SRO, we can also guide TUBITAK supports. There are external evaluators who have experience working together, and we can make suggestions.
  • You can access guide documents, webinar recordings, and similar support contents in our document repository for Koç University researchers from here.
  • You can seek support from researchers at Koç University who have received ERC grants and/or have experience as panelists/external evaluators. We believe that the most useful feedback for ERC candidates at Koç University comes from other researchers.

ERC Navigation Step 3: “How Do I Complete the Application?”

  • You can initiate the electronic submission process from the official European Commission call page of the grant type you are applying for. (The ERC main page also provides these links.)
  • You can download B1 templates (the short form, containing 5 pages of research idea + CV template) and B2 templates (the long form, containing 14 pages of research details) which make up the “Part B” of the application when you start your electronic application. It may be easier to write your draft texts on these templates.
  • As SRO, we work together on the details of “Part A” which is completed online during the submission session. You can add SRO and TTO staff to the application and we can double-check your proposal details.
  • You will need an officially signed Host Institution Letter as a support document. We prepare the letter for you and upload it to the system.