The European Research Council (ERC) announces its 2017 grant competitions with a total budget of around 1.8 billion euro. It is the highest budget ever since the ERC´s inception in 2007. Some 1,007 new grantees are expected to benefit from ERC funding next year across all schemes. They are expected to employ another estimated 6,500 post-docs, PhD students and other members as part of their research teams. The first grant competition was opened on 26 July 2016 under the Starting Grants scheme. The call budget is 605 million euro and it will provide some 415 grants, worth up to 1.5 million euro each. The Consolidator Grants will open on 20 October 2016 and will provide 575 million euro to approximately 320 researchers. On 16 May 2017 the Advanced Grants will open and a 567 million euro budget is expected to provide around 245 grants.
Apart from the amount of funding, this is new in the Work Programme 2017:
- Open data: ERC grantees must take appropriate measures to ensure open access to the data generated by their project.
- Gender balance: the obligation of the ERC grantees to take all measures to promote equal opportunities between men and women.
- Evaluation of ERC-funded research: The ERC will continue the work to qualitatively analyse the science output of its funded projects with a particular focus on any potential breakthroughs and discoveries.
The European Research Council was set up by the EU in 2007 and it is the first European funding organization for excellent frontier research. It offers three core grant schemes: Starting grants (up to 1.5 million euro each), Consolidator grants (up to 2 million euro each) and Advanced grants (up to 2.5 million euro each). Every year, it selects and funds ambitious and creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based in Europe.