The European Research Council

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1 The European Research Council Funding Opportunities in 2013 Pilar López, Ph.D. Scientific Officer ERC Executive Agency Scientific Department

2 European Research Council Outline Background Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy Grant Funding Schemes Data on submissions 2

3 Strategy Legislation European Research Council What is the ERC? The ERC supports excellence in frontier research through a bottom-up, individual-based, pan-european competition. Scientific Council with 22 members Support by the ERC Executive Agency Significant budget (1.2 billion /year) Excellence as the only valid criterion Support for the individual scientist no networks! International peer-review No predetermined subjects (bottom-up) Support of frontier research in all fields of science and humanities 3

4 Million Euro FP7 budget 50.5 billion ERC budget 7.5 billion; increase by 250 M/year European Research Council Co-operation (65 %) JRC nonnuclear (3 %) Capacities (8 %) People (9 %) Ideas (15 %) % % % 17.8% % 600 4% 7.3%

5 European Research Council Funding Strategy Funds top scientists based all over the world working on frontier research' Evaluation only based on 'excellence' Bottom-up, investigator driven approach Sizeable and flexible grants that make a difference Retain excellent researchers in Europe and the Associated Countries Repatriate and Recruit excellent researchers from outside Europe to Europe and the Associated Countries

6 European Research Council ERC Funding Schemes ERC offers independence, recognition & visibility to work on a research topic of own choice, with a team of own choice to gain true financial autonomy for 5 years to negotiate with the host institution the best conditions of work to attract top team members (EU and non-eu) and collaborators to move with the grant to any place in Europe if necessary (portability of grants) to attract additional funding and gain recognition; ERC is a quality label

7 After 5 years of existence A success story European Research Council Highly recognised by the research community More than 3000 funded proposals Working in >500 different host institutes in 27 countries; almost 5 billion euro Highly competitive (average success rate 12%) 50% of grantees in 50 institutes; 'Excellence attracts excellence' Benchmarking effect, e.g. competition between universities Efficient and fast grant management

8 European Research Council ERC Grant Schemes Starting Grants 2-7 years after PhD up to 2.0 M for 5 years Consolidator Grants (new from 2013) 7-12 years after PhD up to 2.75 M for 5 years Advanced Grants track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years up to 3.5 M for 5 years Synergy Grants 2 4 Principal Investigators up to 15.0 M for 6 years Proof-of-Concept bridging gap between research - earliest stage of marketable innovation - up to 150 k for ERC grant holders

9 Researchers career development and complementary funding schemes European Research Council ERC Advanced ERC SyG Synergy ERC StG Consolidators Senior Professor ERC StG - Starters Marie Curie Junior Professor/ Junior Researcher Associated Professor Full Professor Erasmus Post-docs Students Post Graduates

10 ERC Grant Schemes who can apply? European Research Council Excellent Researchers (PIs) Any nationality, age or current place of work In conjunction with a Host Institution Based in the EU or an Associated Country

11 European Research Council Excellence is the sole evaluation criterion Evaluation of excellence at two levels: Excellence of the Research Project Ground breaking nature Potential impact Scientific Approach Added-value of the Group (only SyG) Excellence of the Principal Investigator Intellectual capacity Creativity Commitment Referees and panels evaluate and score each criterion, which results in a ranking of the proposals.

12 European Research Council Panel Structure 3 domains 25 panels Life Sciences Each panel: Panel Chair and Panel Members LS1 Molecular & structural biology & biochemistry LS2 Genetics, genomics, bioinformatics & systems biology LS3 Cellular and developmental biology LS4 Physiology, pathophysiology & endocrinology LS5 Neurosciences & neural disorders LS6 Immunity & infection LS7 Diagnostic tools, therapies & public health LS8 Evolutionary, population & environmental biology LS9 Applied life sciences & biotechnology Social Sciences and Humanities SH1 Individuals, institutions & markets SH2 Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour SH3 Environment, space and population SH4 The human mind and its complexity SH5 Cultures and cultural production SH6 The study of the human past Physical Sciences & Engineering PE1 Mathematical foundations PE2 Fundamental constituents of matter PE3 Condensed matter physics PE4 Physical & analytical chemical sciences PE5 Materials & synthesis PE6 Computer science & informatics PE7 Systems & communication engineering PE8 Products & process engineering PE9 Universe sciences PE10 Earth system science

13 ERC Peer Review Evaluation: Single submission, two-step evaluation European Research Council STEP 1 STEP 2 Remote assessment by Panel members of section 1 (Part B1 ONLY) Remote assessment by Panel members and external reviewers of all sections (Part B1 + Part B2) Panel meeting Panel meeting + interview (StG & CoG) Rejected proposals Retained proposals Ranked list of proposals Rejected proposals Feedback to applicants

14 European Research Council Outline Background Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grant Funding Schemes Data on submissions 14

15 Starting and Consolidator Grants: Profile of an applicant European Research Council Potential for (StG) or demonstrated research independence (CoG) At least one (StG) or several (CoG) important publications without the participation of your PhD supervisor Promising track-record of early achievements Significant publications Invited publications Funding, awards, prizes

16 European Research Council Eligibility At least 2 7 years post PhD (StG) At least 7 12 years post PhD (CoG) Extensions to this period are possible( maternity leave, long illness, military service)

17 European Research Council Grant Size 1.5 M Euro (StG) 2.0 M Euro (CoG) 3.0 M Euro (AdG) 100% total eligible direct costs (salaries, equipment, etc)

18 ERC Advanced Grants The applicant s profile European Research Council Track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years Exceptional leaders and mentors 10 publications as senior author in major scientific journals 5 granted patents 10 invited presentations at international conferences 3 international conferences where Principal Investigator was an organiser International prizes/awards 18

19 Before submitting the proposal European Research Council Read the work programme and the Guide for applicants! from the ERC website or Cordis Get your idea clear. Ask the following questions: Is this a groundbreaking idea? Can I prove that I will go beyond the State of the art? Have I been able to identify the innovation components of my research? Ask questions to the NCP 19

20 Proposal structure European Research Council PART A online forms A1 Proposal and PI info A2 Host institution info A3 Budget PART B1 submitted as.pdf CV 2 p. Track record 2 p. Extended synopsis 5 p. Annexes submitted as.pdf Statement of support of HI If applicable: explanatory information on ethical issues; copy of PhD (StG & CoG); document for extension of eligibility window (StG & CoG) PART B2 submitted as.pdf Scientific proposal 15 p. (incl. budget table) 20

21 European Research Council Proposal Structure Part B Part B1 = 'The PI' Extended synopsis (5 pgs) CV (2 pgs) Early achievement track-record (2 pgs) Part B2 = Full Scientific Proposal (15 pgs) Ethical Review information (where appropriate) Separate additional documents: Host Institution Support Letter (headed letter with signature, stamp, date) Copy of PhD document Documents to prove extension to the eligibility window

22 European Research Council Preparing an application (1) Allow sufficient time to prepare your application Talk to the Grants Office Your Profile Major accomplishments; capacity and creativity; competitive edge; independence Be accurate Caution: assert; do not sell

23 European Research Council Preparing an application (2) Scientific proposal (15 pages) with an extended synopsis (5 pages) and an abstract State-of-the-art is not enough Explain ground-breaking features, high-risk/highgain balance Have alternative strategies to mitigate risk Justify the use of your resources

24 European Research Council Preparing an application (3) Follow the formatting rules and page limits Proof-read the proposal well Have all your documentation ready in time Submit in advance of the deadline

25 Evaluation of proposals Evaluation principles European Research Council Evaluation based on peer review, the procedure is defined by the Scientific Council Sole evaluation criteria: excellence. Excellence is implemented through the selection of well-known, knowledgeable top researchers as panel members High level Panel Members add credibility / visibility / prestige to the programme (Several Panel Members with Nobel Prize winners) Panel Members are selected and recruited by ERC Scientific Council

26 Who evaluate the proposals? Panel members: typically 600 / call high-level well-known scientists recruited by ScC from all over the world: ~14% from outside Europe typically 12 members & the chair/panel Referees: typically 2000 / call evaluate only a small number of proposals similar to normal practise in peer-reviewed journals are nominated by the panel members US (7%) Other (7%) Europe and Associated Countries (86%)

27 Possibility to exclude reviewers (new since 2012) European Research Council PI can nominate up to three persons to be excluded from the evaluation of their proposal, specifying the reason for exclusion: Direct scientific rivalry Professional Hostility Similar situation which would impair or put in doubt the objectivity of the potential evaluator Exclusion may concern any independent expert, including the panel chair, panel members as well as remote referees The concerned persons will be excluded from the evaluation of the proposal assuming that the ERCEA is still in a position to evaluate the proposal properly

28 Schemes Evaluation of Excellence: Criterion 1: Research Project Ground-breaking nature and potential impact of the research: To what extent does the proposed research address important challenges? To what extent are the objectives ambitious and beyond the state of the art (e.g. novel concepts and approaches or development across disciplines)? How much is the proposed research high risk/high gain?

29 StG and CoG Schemes Evaluation of Excellence Criterion 2: Principal Investigator(s) Intellectual capacity, creativity and commitment: The PI has demonstrated the ability to propose and conduct groundbreaking research and his/her achievements have typically gone beyond the state-of-the-art The PI provides abundant evidence of creative independent thinking The ERC Grant would contribute significantly to the establishment and/or further consolidation of the PI's independence The PI is strongly committed to the project and demonstrates the willingness to devote a significant amount of time to the project (min 50% of the total working time on it and min 50% in an EU Member State or Associated Country) (based on Scientific Proposal).

30 Timetable of 2013 ERC calls Single deadlines for all Calls European Research Council ERC calls Call Publication Submission Deadline Starting Grant ERC-2013-StG 10 July Oct Advanced Grant ERC-2013-AdG 10 July Nov Synergy Grant ERC-2013-SyG 10 October Jan Consolidator Grant ERC-2013-CoG 7 November Feb. 2013

31 European Research Council Call budget distribution for 2013 calls 2012 total budget: 1,578.1 M 2013 total budget: 1,754.9 M AdG: Advanced Grants CoG: Consolidator Grants StG: Starting Grants SyG: ERC Synergy PoC: Proof of Concept AdG; 662; 38% CoG; 523; 30% SyG; 150; 8% StG; 398; 23% Otros; 21,96; 1% 10; 0.6% 11,96; 0.7% StG CoG AdG SyG PoC Admin

32 Call budget distribution (by domain) for 2013 calls European Research Council Breakdown per domain Life Sciences LS Physical Sciences & Engineering PE Social Sciences & Humanities SH Within each domain, budget is broken down according to total funding requested per panel (equal chance in each panel)

33 European Research Council Outline Background Starting and Consolidator Grant Funding Schemes Data on submissions 33

34 ERC Competitions Total number of applications received European Research Council Evaluated* Funded success rates** Starting Grant ,4 Starting Grant ,2 Starting Grant ,8 Starting Grant ,1 Starting Grant 2012*** ,5 Starting Grant ,6 Advanced Grant ,9 Advanced Grant ,1 Advanced Grant ,8 Advanced Grant ,4 Advanced Grant ,3 Proof of Concept & ,7 Proof of Concept *** ,0 Proof of Concept ,8 * withdrawn and ineligible proposals not taken into account ** percentage of funded proposals in relation to evaluated proposals *** selected of which Data as of 26/09/

35 European Research Council Summary ERC supports independent excellent researchers Making a difference over 3000 funded to date If you think that you could be a possible candidate get as much information as you can Calls for 2014 through to 2020

36 National initiatives in support of finalist projects in the ERC calls Relation with National Agencies II European Research Council supports unfunded StG finalists Some funding agencies uses ERC evaluation results in FI: support scheme research A new partnership between National Funding Councils and ERC NO: The Research Council SE: support for unfunded finalists of StG calls since 2007 for finalists in reserve lists since 2009 calls IE: New scheme opening in Previous scheme for StG2007 finalists FR: ANR launched an initiative to support unfunded StG2007 finalists BE Flanders: FWO supports the best ranked PIs on the ERC-StG reserve list LU: FNR supports unfunded StG and AdG finalists since 2009 calls CH: SNSF launched an initiative to back unfunded StG2007 finalists PL: Support scheme for finalists of 2009 and 2010 calls. It might continue CZ: opened support scheme for finalists in 2012 HU: Call for unfunded ERC finalists of StG2007 and StG2009 SI: Complementary scheme for unfunded finalists of 2010 calls RO: opened support scheme for finalists in 2012 TR: Considers a scheme to support unfunded ERC finalists PT: New national initiative in support of ERC finalists being developed ES: support for unfunded finalists of StG calls since 2007 IT: Call open to all unfunded StG2007 finalists BG: Develops a scheme to financially support projects in the ERC reserve list EL: support for unfunded StG and AdG finalists in 2010 and 2011 calls CY: Research Promotion Foundation supported StG 2009 finalists 36

37 European Research Council New scheme: ERC Synergy grant 2012 work programme on a pilot basis 2 4 Principal Investigators; complementary skills, knowledge & resources; to jointly address frontier research problems Up to 15m for up to six years Based on ERC principles (no consortia, no networks): bottom-up and risk-taking driven by scientific demand PIs expected to spend significant core time together only one Host Institution, but groups not required to be physically located in the same place 710 submissions to the first Synergy Call

38 Synergy 2012 Evaluation Procedure European Research Council Step 1a (single panel) Remote evaluation of short proposals by panel members Step 2a (1 new panel) Panel members reassess the retained proposals based on their step 1 reports Panel chairs meet: preselect proposals for full review Up to 7 times available budget Step 1b (formation of 5 panels) Remote evaluation of full proposals by panel members and external evaluators Panel meeting: Select proposals for interview 1.5 times available budget Step 2b (Same panel as 2a) Panel meeting and interviews Panel meeting: proposals retained for Step 2a 2.5 times available budget Select proposals up to available budget Proposals funded in priority order based on their rank 38

39 HORIZON 2020 European Research Council HORIZON 2020 structure: Excellence Science Industrial leadership Societal challenges EIT JRC Excellent Science: reinforcing and extending the excellence of the EU s science base and consolidating ERA to make EU s R&I system more competitive on a global scale European Research Council (budget proposal under H2020: 15 billion) Future and Emerging Technologies Marie Curie Research Infrastructures 39

40 Budget proposal under H2020 European Research Council H2020 budget 88 billion ERC budget 15 billion FP7 budget 50.5 billion ERC budget 7.5 billion Societal challenges (39%) EIT (3.6%) JRC (2.5%) ERC (17.1%) JRC nonnuclear (3 %) Capacities (8 %) People (9 %) Co-operation (65 %) Ideas (15 %) Industrial leadership (23.1%) Other Excellent science (14.6%)

41 European Research Council ERC in FP7 and in H2020 : Changes and Continuity Essential features maintained Independent Scientific Council with full authority over funding strategy Executive Agency with autonomous operation Scientific excellence - the sole criterion on which ERC grants are awarded Strengthening the Scientific Governance of the European Research Council Strengthening the links between the Scientific Council and the Executive Agency Merging positions of President of ERC and Secretary General Full-time President based in Brussels 3 Vice-Chairs elected from amongst the Scientific Council members Strengthening the role of Scientists in the Steering Committee of the ERCEA Strengthening the relation of the Scientific Council and the ERCEA

42 European Research Council More information on To subscribe to the ERC newsletter National Contact Points

43 European Research Council Gracias!!! 43

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