European Research Council | ERC Grants

The ERC stimulates investigator-driven frontier research in Europe through competitive funding across all fields, on the basis of scientific excellence. Both young and established scientists are eligible for this research programme. Researchers can apply for five different funding schemes:

  • ERC Starting Grant;
  • ERC Consolidator Grant;
  • ERC Advanced Grant;
  • ERC Proof of Concept Grant;
  • ERC Synergy Grant.

All schemes have a bottom-up approach, which means that applications can be made in any field of research. The grants focus on ‘high risk, high gain’ research, so your proposal should be very ambitious.

Our expertise? Supporting world-class universities & innovative companies with Proposal Writing & Reviewing

Hezelburcht helps clients achieve their strategic, research and development, and financial aims through the acquisition of grants. Hezelburcht is a highly professional, full-service organisation and offers creative and innovative solutions. We seek to build and sustain long term, fruitful relationships with our clients, partners and employees.

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More information about the ERC Grants

ERC Advanced grant

The ERC Advanced grant scheme is focused at supporting researchers of any nationality who have a track record of significant research achievements in the last ten years. Researchers that have received this grant are the potential Nobel prize winners of the future. The grant supports established, leading principal investigators seeking for funding to pursue a ground-breaking, high-risk and high-gain project. The advanced grants provide up to € 2.5 million for a maximum period of five years.

The Advanced Grant call is scheduled to open on May 20, 2021, and will close on August 31, 2021.

ERC Advanced Grant

ERC Starting grant

The first type of the ERC grants is aimed at supporting researchers of any nationality with two to seven years of experience after completing their PhD. The grant helps to establish their independence in research. Their scientific track record therefore needs to show great promise and is accompanied by an excellent research proposal. The starting grants provide up to € 1.5 million for a maximum period of five years.

The Starting Grant call will be open from February 25, 2021, until April 8, 2021.

ERC strarting grant for David Fernandez

ERC Consolidator grant

The ERC consolidator grant is aimed at supporting researchers of any nationality with seven to twelve years of experience after the completion of their PhD. The scheme supports researchers to consolidate their independence by establishing a research team. They have an excellent scientific track record as well as an excellent research proposal that underline their ability to lead a research team. The consolidator grants provide up to € 2 million for a maximum period of five years.

Applications for the Consolidator Grant can be submitted from March 11, 2021, until April 20, 2021.

ERC Proof of Concept grant

The ERC Proof of Concept (PoC) grant scheme is meant for researchers that have already received an ERC grant for their frontier research project. Researchers that additionally want to explore the commercial or social potential of their work can apply for the PoC grant scheme. Researchers with an ERC grant (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy) that is ongoing or has ended in the last twelve months before 1 January 2020 can apply for a PoC grant. The grants provide up to € 150,000,- for a period of eighteen months.

The Proof of Concept Grants are not available under this work programme, but a call is expected to open in the second half of 2021 under the next work programme.

ERC Synergy grant

The last type of the ERC grant schemes is aimed at groups of two to four principal investigators working together and combining different skills and resources to tackle ambitious research problems. Researchers must have an early achievement track record or a ten-year track record. This provides up to € 10 million for a maximum period of six years.

Synergy Grants will not be available under this work programme. Nonetheless, the ERC Scientific Council is expecting to be able to open the first Synergy Grant call of Horizon Europe still this summer, with funding to be provided under the next work programme.


When to apply for the ERC Grants

The following grants are open to proposals under the work programme 2021:

Starting GrantConsolidator GrantAdvanced Grant
Call opens25 February 202111 March 202120 May 2021
Call closes8 April 202120 April 202131 August 2021
Budget€ 619 million€ 633 million€ 626 million

Tentative deadlines for Work Programme 2022

The ERC has also published several tentative deadlines and budgets for the work programme 2022:

Starting GrantConsolidator GrantAdvanced GrantSynergy Grant
Call opens23  September 202119 October 202120 January 202215 July 2021
Call closes13 January 202217 March 202228 April 202210 November 2021
Budget€ 757 million€ 784 million€ 561 million€ 300 million

The Proof of Concept will also return under the 2022 work programme with two calls and several cut-off dates:

Call opensCut-off dates (call closes)Budget
 15 July 202114 October 2021€ 25 million
16 November 2021
  • 15 February 2022
  • 19 May 2022
  • 29 September 2022
€ 25 million

Note that the work programme for 2022 has not yet been approved. The deadlines and budgets are therefore still subject to change.

Extensive knowledge of European grant schemes

Hezelburcht supports universities and research institutes with their grant acquisition strategy. For ERC grant proposals, our service is aimed at reviewing your proposal. However, our specialists also provide grant identification, feasibility assessment, grant writing or grant management.

Our team of grant specialists consist of ambitious and entrepreneurial experts with high-quality backgrounds. The specialists speak the clients’ language and their backgrounds match the clients’ sectors. The scientific backgrounds range from Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Health and Nutrition, Oncology, Biology, eHealth to Neuroscience.

Last year we supported several clients with their ERC applications. We are proud to announce that we have a success rate of 80%. 

More information?

Are you interested in applying or would you like to receive more information about our services? Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information!

Contact us!
Or call us directly: 088 495 20 00


Interested in our services and expertise? Please feel free to contact us for more information or an introductory meeting free of charge.  We will be happy to investigate the ERC grant opportunities for you!


Please contact us!



Interested in our services and expertise? Please feel free to contact us for more information or an introductionary meeting free of charge. Besides our six offices, we are based in Switzerland where we regularly meet Swiss clients.