It should be highlighted, that the calendar will be finalised after the official adoption of the ERC Work Programme 2024, that is expected in July 2023.
The ERC Work Programme 2024 is expected to introduce important novelties, compared to previous ERC Work Programmes, some of which have already been pre-announced in December 2022 (submission forms and evaluation procedure) and March 2023 (new panels and lump sum), while additional information is presented below on some important changes:
Research Assessment: Focus on the Project
The ERC proposals will continue to be evaluated based on the sole criterion of scientific excellence. ERC panels will primarily evaluate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of the proposed research project. At the same time, they will evaluate the intellectual capacity, creativity, and commitment of the applicant Principal Investigator (PI), with a focus on the extent to which the applicant has the excellence and required scientific expertise to successfully execute the proposed project.
Broad Assessment of the PI
The ERC Work Programme will no longer include detailed prescriptive profiles of PIs. In the application, the CV and Track Record will be merged into one document of up to four pages, which should include, apart from standard biographical information, also a list of up to ten research outputs that demonstrate how they have advanced knowledge in their field, with an emphasis on more recent achievements, and a list of selected examples of significant peer recognition (e.g. prizes). A short explanation of the significance of the selected outputs, the applicant’s role in producing them, and how the applicant has demonstrated their capacity to successfully carry out the proposed project can also be included. The applicant may also include relevant information on, for example, career breaks, unusual career paths, as well as any particularly noteworthy contributions to the research community. These will not in themselves be evaluated, but are important to provide context to the evaluation panels when assessing the PI’s research achievements and peer recognition in relation to their career stage
In Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants calls, ERC panels will be able to admit up to 44 proposals to Step 2 of the evaluation, while until recently they were able to pass proposals that amounted to up to three times the budget that the panel had available.
A distinction in the scoring at step 1 will be made between proposals obtaining a score of A and invited to step 2 of the evaluation, and proposals obtaining a score of A but not ranked among the 44 proposals admitted to step 2. A candidate whose proposal is scored A at step 1 of the evaluation, but not taken to interview, will be free to submit a proposal in the following year’s calls, unlike applicants that do not pass to Step 2 and get a B or C score that face a one or two year restriction of resubmission.
Lump Sum funding for ERC Advanced Grants
2024 Advanced Grants will be awarded as a single lump sum contribution for the entirety of the project, for a sum approved by the ERC panel. The payment of the lump sum will be based on the work carried out and reported, irrespective of the actual costs incurred for the project or the successful outcome of the project activities. Additional funding, for example to purchase major equipment or get access to research facilities, can be applied for and will be made part of the lump sum. Successful applicants will still be able to benefit from portability, meaning that they will be able to request to transfer their entire grant, or a part of it, to a new beneficiary, as has been the case under the funding based on the actual costs until 2023.
It is noted, that the aforementioned information might change until the official adoption of the ERC Work Programme 2024, expected in July 2023, so interested PIs will need to study the official documents when available