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The Knowledge-Sharing Platform

07 Sep 2018

ERC presents work programme for 2019

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On 7 September 2018, the European Research Council (ERC) has presented its Work Programme for 2019. The work programme was established by the Scientific Council as part of Horizon 2020 and provides more than € 2 billion for grants in 2019. According to the ERC, this is "the EU's biggest ever investment in excellent researchers". Most of the funding is earmarked for early- to mid-career scientists.

The 2019 ERC Work Programme has some new features:

  • Synergy grants: €400 million will be made available, a 60% increase on last year's budget, when Synergy Grants were reintroduced following the outcome of the evaluation of a two-year pilot in 2012 and 2013. For the first time this year, one Principal Investigator per Synergy Grant group at any one time can be hosted or engaged by an institution outside of the EU or Associated Countries.
  • ERC Proof-of-Concept grants (PoC): €25 million will be available to ERC grantees to explore the innovation potential of their ERC-funded discoveries. This is a €5 million increase compared to last year. In addition, the ERC is piloting the use of lump sums as a simplified funding mode for PoC. This will test efficiency and viability of such funding method compared to the current funding mode which is based on the declaration of actual costs.
  • Open Access: the Work Programme now clarifies that preprints can be listed as part of an applicant's track record - if they are properly referenced and either a link to the preprint or a DOI is provided. With this clarification the Scientific Council intends to show its support for Open Access and to recognise the role that preprints play in frontier science, especially when time is of the essence.

The ERC expects more than 1,000 top researchers to receive ERC grants under its four core schemes (Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant, Advanced Grant and Synergy Grant). The funding will support an estimated 7,000 postdocs, PhD students and other research staff employed in ERC-funded teams.

For more information:

ERC News (including a tentative calendar of grant competitions)

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