European Research Council Starting Grants

  • Action type: HORIZON-ERC HORIZON ERC Grants
  • Opening date: 11 July 2023
  • Closing time: 24 October 2023 17:00 (Europe/Brussels)
  • Budget per project: € 1 500 000 of total € 601 300 000
  • Estimated number of projects funded: 387
  • Project duration: 5 years
  • Official website


The ERC Starting Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they are starting their own independent research team or programme. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition, and feasibility of their research proposal. Applications can be made in any field of research.

The Principal Investigators shall have successfully defended their first PhD at least 2 and up to 7 years prior to 1 January 2024. Cut-off dates: Successful defence of PhD between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2021 (inclusive). The eligibility period can be extended beyond 7 years in certain properly documented circumstances.

A competitive Starting Grant Principal Investigator should have already shown evidence of the potential for research independence, for example by having produced at least one important publication as main author or without the participation of their PhD supervisor. When submitting their proposal, the CV and a Track Record should include personal details, education, key qualifications, current position(s) and relevant previous positions, a list of up to ten research outputs that demonstrate how the applicant has advanced knowledge in their field, with an emphasis on more recent achievements, and a list of selected examples of significant peer recognition. A short explanation of the significance of the selected outputs, the role of the applicant in producing each of them, and how they demonstrate the applicant’s capacity to successfully carry out their proposed project may be included, as well as a short explanation of the importance of the listed examples of significant peer recognition. The applicant may also include relevant additional information on career breaks, diverse career paths, and life events, as well as any particularly noteworthy contributions to the research community. These will provide context to the evaluation panels when assessing the Principal Investigator’s research achievements and peer recognition in relation to their career stage.

Starting, Consolidator, and Advanced Grant proposals are submitted by the Principal Investigator, who has scientific responsibility for the project, on behalf of the host institution.

The Host Institution (Applicant Legal Entity) must engage and host the Principal Investigator for at least the duration of the project, as defined in the grant agreement. It must either be established in an EU Member State or Associated Country (see Annex 3 of the ERC Work Programme 2024) as a legal entity created under national law, or it may be an international European research organisation (such as CERN, EMBL, etc.), or any other entity created under EU law. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country will be deemed to be established in that Member State or Associated Country. Any type of legal entity, public or private, including universities, research organisations and undertakings can host Principal Investigators and their teams.


Additional funding up to EUR 1 000 000 can be requested in the proposal to cover the following eligible costs when these are necessary to carry out the proposed work:

(a) “start-up” costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant, and/or

(b) the purchase of major equipment, and/or (c) access to large facilities, and/or (d) other major experimental and field work costs, excluding personnel costs.

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