Within the new series of competitions, the ERC has opened the first call for Starting Grants 2016, with a budget of €485 million. This scheme is open to researchers with 2 to 7 years of experience since completion of PhD and a promising scientific track record.
Among other actions, the work programme introduces a new action to widen participation in ERC competitions: a support to a consortium of formally nominated ERC National Contact Points (NCPs) to identify and share good practices and raise the quality of support to applicants.
Restrictions on ‘breach of research integrity’
Compared to last year, the main novelty for ERC applicants is a relative “softening” of the resubmission rules. Applicants who scored B at step 2 of the evaluation in the last call will be able to reapply immediately. A very clear new aspect of the programming is formulated like this by the ERC: “New restrictions on applications will also apply to Principal Investigators whose proposals have been rejected on grounds of breach of research integrity.”
To date, the ERC has funded more than 5,000 top researchers out of more than 50.000 applications) at a variety of stages in their careers, giving high priority to young researchers (the 5000th ERC grant was celebrated on 16 June). The ERC has also supported over 40,000 team members, who benefit from cutting-edge research training opportunities. By offering them funding, autonomy and prestige, the ERC contributes to the development of a new generation of top researchers in Europe, who are competitive at a global level.
You can find the full work programme here