European Commission adopts ERC Work Programme 2024
Recently, the European Commission has officially adopted the European Research Council (ERC) Work Programme 2024, marking a significant step in promoting revolutionary fundamental research across Europe. The new programme bears several differences from the 2023 version. The experts of Nehem will give you a comprehensive summary of these key changes to be aware of in this new round of funding.
What is the European Research Council?
Established in 2007 by the European Union, the European Research Council (ERC) is the leading funding organization for innovative frontier research in Europe. With a budget exceeding 16 billion euros for the period 2021 to 2027, the ERC supports creative researchers of all nationalities and ages to run projects throughout Europe. It provides four core grant schemes: Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants, and Synergy Grants, alongside an additional Proof of Concept Grant scheme to enable grantees to explore the commercial and societal potential of their research findings.
Governed by an independent body, the Scientific Council, under the leadership of President Maria Leptin since November 2021, the ERC seeks to promote and support investigator-driven frontier research across all scientific disciplines. This endeavour is conducted through competitive funding schemes, fostering high-quality research, encouraging innovative and creative studies, and nurturing a collaborative and dynamic research environment across Europe.
What is new in the ERC Work Programme 2024?
- Changes in research proposal and CV evaluation
Scientific excellence remains a pivotal criterion for frontier research grants. However, the 2024 Work Programme introduces new elements into the evaluation process. Greater weight is now assigned to the project’s quality, and changes have been made to the structure of the Curriculum Vitae and Track Record. From 2024, candidates have the opportunity to present their CVs in a narrative format. This shift allows candidates to highlight their unique skills and experiences from a personal viewpoint. Drawing on our vast experience with the program, Nehem offers strategic advice to candidates on how to emphasize the quality of their research projects. We can help identify unique selling points and effectively position candidates’ proposals, all while preserving their scientific value.
- Introduction of lump sum Funding for Advanced Grants
The Advanced Grants will implement a lump sum contribution as a pilot call. Meanwhile, the Starting, Consolidator, and Synergy Grants will maintain the actual cost model. The introduction of lump sum funding for Advanced Grants could provide applicants greater budgetary flexibility and potentially reduce administrative burdens, but it also necessitates enhanced financial planning and risk management to ensure the allocated funds sufficiently cover the project’s entirety. Nehem can guide candidates through the new lump sum funding model for Advanced Grants. Our assistance extends to areas like budget allocation, cost estimation, and resource planning, to establish a transparent and feasible funding strategy.
- Inclusion of a new panel for Social Sciences and Humanities
The ERC Work Programme 2024 introduces an additional evaluation panel, SH8, in the field of Social Sciences and Humanities, named “Studies of Culture and Arts”. This change aims to restore the balance between social sciences and humanities coverage. Furthermore, certain descriptors (LS3, LS5) have been revised for better clarity for applicants. Given the increased number of panels to apply for, strategic proposal reviews can be extremely beneficial in determining the best panel for application. With Nehem’s vast experience in developing interdisciplinary ERC applications, we can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the intricacies of writing cross-disciplinary proposals.
- Modification in the evaluation of Proof of Concept Grants
The ERC Work Programme 2024 modifies the evaluation process for the ERC Proof of Concept Grants. Instead of three, applications will now be evaluated and selected in two rounds. Moreover, for Starting, Consolidator, and Advanced Grants, a maximum of 44 proposals per panel will be evaluated at step 2 of the process. The EU will also communicate the funding eligibility to applications that receive an A-score. Nehem can aid candidates in preparing for the two-round evaluation, ensuring they articulate their ideas efficiently and highlight their main objectives effectively during the ERC interview rounds.
Deadlines are coming soon
The deadlines for the upcoming calls are as follows.
|Starting Grant||Consolidator Grant||Advanced Grant||Synergy Grant||Proof of Concept Grant|
|Deadline to submit applications||24/10/2023||12/12/2023||29/08/2024||08/11/2023||
|Budget in euros||601 million||584 million||578 million||400 million||30 million|
As you can see, the first deadline is already in October! Are you eager to get started? Get in touch with Nehem to learn more about how we can support your ERC application in 2023-2024.
What can Nehem do for you?
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