European Commission Research & Innovation Initiatives and Programme Opportunities

European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grants

Snapshot overview:

The European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant programme supports early-career scientists developing a wide range of innovative projects.

Name

European Research Centre (ERC) Starting Grant

Institution/ DG/ Agency responsible at EU-level

European Research Centre (ERC)

Work programme

2023-2024 work programme

Programme

Co-funded European Partnership programme

Programme budget

EUR 4676 million

Project budget
  • Starting Grants may be awarded up to EUR 1.5 million for a period of 5 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration), but additional EUR 1 million can be made available to cover costs for researchers moving from a third country
  • ERC grants can cover up to 100% of the total eligible direct costs of the research plus a contribution of 25% of the total eligible costs towards indirect costs
Type of funding

Bottom-up

Target participants
  • SMEs
  • Large enterprises
  • NPOs
  • Academia
  • Public sector
Programme scope

This partnership aims to improve the EU’s preparedness to predict, prevent and respond to emerging infectious health threats by better coordinating funding for research and innovation at EU, national (and regional) level towards jointly agreed objectives and an agreed strategic research and innovation agenda (SRIA). The partnership will aim to contribute to building a coherent European Research Area (ERA) enabling Member States and the European Commission to rapidly and jointly support R&I in pandemic preparedness.

The four main activity areas are:

  • New scientific knowledge and innovation
  • Development of counter measures
  • Improved evidence; setting up EU-wide enabling infrastructures
  • Collaboration with HERA
Participant criteria
  • Researchers of any nationality with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (extensions are possible under certain circumstances ), as well as scientific track record skillfulness and an excellent research proposal.
  • Members need to have an EU nationality, however, in the wider group there may be non-EU members.
  • Applications may be made in any field of research. The ERC’s grants operate on a ‘bottom-up’ basis without any predetermined priorities.
Project duration

5 years

Average time from submission to project kick-off

Unknown

R&D stage

Mixed

Intellectual property

Under Horizon Europe, beneficiaries of ERC grants must ensure open access to all peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to their results as set out in the Model Grant Agreement used for ERC actions. Beneficiaries must ensure that they or the authors retain sufficient intellectual property rights to comply with their open access requirements.

Status

Call closed on 25 October 2022.

What type of funding are you looking for?

  • Grant:
    Grants are direct financial contributions from the European Union budget awarded by way of a donation to third-party beneficiaries (usually non-profit-making organisations) engaged in activities that serve EU policies.
  • Loan:
    Loans are measures of financial support provided on a complementary basis from the budget in order to address specific policy objectives of the European Union. Such instruments are implemented in partnership with public and private institutions such as banks, venture capitalists or angel investors.

What stage of development are you seeking R&I funding for?

  • Basic science: Basic science covers the various exploratory steps even prior to discovery
  • Discovery: Drug discovery aims to find potential disease-altering targets, such as a gene or a protein in humans. Prior to testing candidate compounds for safety
  • Preclinical development: Preclinical development concerns the testing of candidate compounds for safety in specific indications or disease conditions. Introduction of candidate compound in living biological systems (animals)
  • Phase 1 clinical trials: These are the first clinical trials on humans(usually 20-80 volunteers) testing the safety, side effects, best dose, and timing of a new treatment
  • Phase 21/2b clinical trials: This is the follow-up trial with roughly 100 to 500 patients to analyse efficacy and safety
  • Phase 3 clinical trials: These trials usually involve several hundreds to many thousands patients and tests the results of earlier clinical trials on larger populations to generate robust data on safety, efficacy and benefit-risk relationships of the medicine. Comparison to placebo and/or active comparator (best standard treatment)
  • Registration & launch: This concerns post-study, prior to launch, activities related to market launch. That can include, among others, marketing authorisation, regulatory activities, post-study communication or HTA
  • Introduction & delivery: This concerns all post-launch activities

What do you want to develop?

  • Treatment or vaccine:
    Refers to a drug or vaccine
  • Diagnostic or medical device:
    Refers to diagnostics and medical devices
  • Platform:
    Refers to a digital health platform or medical app
  • Knowledge:
    Refers to conducting research to help build our understanding on a topic
  • Standards:
    Refers to creating a benchmark for a specific issue

What type of organisation are you?

  • Small & medium-sized enterprises:
    <250 employees, annual revenue <EUR 50,000,000) or balance sheet < EUR43 million. This applies to individual firms only. If part of larger group, check the User Guide: https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/42921
  • Large enterprises:
    >250 employees or annual revenue > EUR 50,000,000. Non-profit organisation (non-governmental organisations that are recognised with a non-profit status)
  • Non-profit organisations:
    Non-governmental organisations that are recognised with a non-profit status
  • Academic:
    Linked to a university or equivalent
  • Public:
    Local, regional, federal government representative

What stage of diagnostics development does your research aim to cover?

  • Development:
    Product development
  • Validation:
    Lab and clinical validation
  • Evaluation & Authorisation:
    Regulatory approvals
  • Access:
    Monitoring

What stage of medicine or vaccine development does your research aim to cover?

  • Discovery and development:
    Identification of promising compounds for development and initial experiments to gather information
  • Preclinical research:
    Laboratory and animal testing to answer basic questions about safety
  • Phase 0 (clinical):
    Testing on limited number of subjects at subtherapeutic doses
  • Phase I (clinical):
    Testing on <100 healthy subjects with the disease/condition
  • Phase II (clinical):
    Testing on up to several hundred subjects with the disease/condition
  • Phase III (clinical):
    Testing on 300 to 3,000 volunteers with the disease/condition
  • Preregistration / Phase IV (clinical):
    Testing on several thousand volunteers with the disease/condition
  • Clinical (unspecified):
    Clinical phase unknown
  • Evaluation & Authorisation:
    Activities relating to marketing authorisation
  • Access:
    Monitoring

Where are you based?

  • Africa : Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic of the), Congo (Republic of the), Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • America (non-US & Canada) : Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
  • Asia-Pacific : Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, China (including special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, North Korea, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam
  • Europe (non-EU) : Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
  • European Union (EU) : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden
  • Middle East : Cyprus, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen
  • United States (US) & Canada : United States, Canada

What type of organisation are you?

  • Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME):
    Staff headcount 50 < and turnover ≤ EUR 10 m or balance sheet total ≤ EUR 10 m (small); Staff headcount 250 < and turnover ≤ EUR 50 m or balance sheet total ≤ EUR 43 m (medium)
  • Large enterprise:
    Staff headcount > 250
  • Non-profit organisation:
    Association, foundation, or equivalent
  • Academic:
    University, research institute, or equivalent
  • Individual:
    Private citizen
  • Public sector:
    Local, regional, federal government representative
  • Other:
    None of the above or uncertain