Excellent Science

Do you have an excellent idea for basic research and an excellent CV? If so, you can apply for a prestigious grant from the European Research Council (ERC). Get advice on how to write an ERC application here.

As part of the Excellent Science pillar, you can also apply for funding for infrastructure and mobility (MSCA actions).

Applications in the Excellent Science pillar are evaluated on the quality of the applicant and the project.

If you need further information, advice or guidance, you are welcome to contact us at the Research Support Office.

European Research Council (ERC)

You can apply for funding from the European Research Council throughout your entire research career. There are different types of ERC grant:

Starting grants (EUR 1.5 million) can be applied for 2–7 years after your PhD

Consolidator grants (EUR 2 million) can be applied for 7–12 years after your PhD

Advanced grants (EUR 2.5 million) are given to exceptional, senior research group leaders with at least 10 years’ research experience.

Synergy grants (EUR 10 million) are given to a group of 2–4 exceptional, senior research group leaders with extensive research experience.

The grant period is a maximum of 6 years. You may apply once a year.

If you already have an ERC grant and your research has led to results of potential commercial or societal interest, you can apply for a Proof of Concept grant of up to EUR 150,000.

If you are considering applying for an ERC grant, you can find good advice and tips in the guide “15 tips if you are considering making an ERC application”, which you can find here

Read more about funding opportunities and application requirements on the ERC’s website here.

Read an interview with Professor Liv Hornekær, who has received both an ERC Starting Grant and an ERC Consolidator Grant, here.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA)

If you would like to attract early career researchers or conduct research abroad, there are opportunities within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie mobility programme. 

MSCA grants are particularly aimed at researcher mobility and PhD programmes.

Innovative Training Networks (ITN) is a mobility programme that can be applied for by research institutions and is aimed at researchers with fewer than 4 years’ research experience. The grant period is up to 4 years and covers living expenses as well as mobility and accommodation costs (among other things).

Individual Fellowships is a mobility programme aimed at researchers with more than 4 years’ research experience. Researchers within and outside the EU can conduct a research stay in an(other) EU country (European Fellowships). Researchers within the EU also have the opportunity to receive a grant for a research stay in a country outside the EU (Global Fellowships). The grant period is 1–2 years for a European Fellowship and 2–3 years for a Global Fellowship.

Other MSCA grants can be found in the programmes: “Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE)” and ”COFUND” (grant for a mobility programme).

Read more about funding opportunities and application requirements on the MSCA website here.

Find the most recent MSCA work programmes here

Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

The objective of the infrastructure programme is to develop a common European research infrastructure. The programme is connected to the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI), which has created a roadmap with proposals for a new European research infrastructure. 

Read more about funding opportunities and find the most recent work programmes on the INFRASTRUCTURE website.