About the ERC Advanced Grant

ERC — The European Research Council

The European Research Council (ERC) is the first European Union funding body set up to support investigator-driven frontier research. It is part of the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). The ERC consists of an independent Scientific Council, responsible for scientific strategy and an administrative arm, the ERC Executive Agency. The main goal of the European Research Council (ERC) is to encourage high quality research in Europe through competitive funding.

The ERC was set up to support investigator-driven frontier-oriented research. Since the distinction between basic and applied research has become blurred, the term 'frontier research' was coined for ERC activities since they will be directed towards fundamental advances at and beyond the frontier of knowledge. ERC grants will be awarded to highly innovative and risky research projects in Europe solely based on the criterion of excellence. The aim here is to recognise the best ideas, and retain and confer status and visibility to the best brains in Europe, while also attracting talented scientists from abroad.

The ERC aims at supporting researchers via two different funding schemes:

  1. Starting Independent Researcher Grant (young, excellent researchers on their way to build up or consolidate their own research group)
  2. Advanced Investigator Grant (already established, outstanding scientists)

The organisation supports research on the sole criterion of excellence of the researcher and his or her scientific idea. ERC grants will be awarded through open competition to projects headed by researchers from all over Europe. A 'bottom-up' approach allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions for research without any thematic constraints.