2024 ERC work programme published

The ERC’s well-known grant schemes (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced, Synergy Grants, and Proof of Concept Grant) attract proposals from thousands of applicants each year. The funding scheme allows excellent researchers to explore outstanding, ambitious plans throughout their careers. Together with the opening of the next Starting Grant call, the ERC’s work programme of all 2024 calls has been published. What has changed in the new 2024 ERC work programme?

An updated assessment of excellence in the 2024 ERC work programme

The evaluation process now gives more weight to the proposed project. Furthermore, changes in the CV and track record format allow more emphasis on recent achievements and important contributions to the field. Scientific excellence is still the deciding factor in this programme but the updated evaluation allows for a more inclusive approach. The change in focus gives way to a more explanatory, descriptive CV depiction, rather than relying on numerical metrics. This is in line with international efforts to support qualitative assessment measures.

Improved clarity and efficiency of the application process

A number of changes allow for a more straightforward application process.

  • Starting Grant and Consolidator Grant: the date of the succesful defence date (not the award of the PhD) counts as a reference for the calculation of the eligibility period;
  • Advanced Grant: lump sum funding will replace the actual cost model as a pilot;
  • The number of Proof of Concept calls will be reduced to 2 rounds (3 in 2023);
  • The panel descriptors were critically assessed: SH 8 – Studies of Culturs and Arts has been added and textual changes were made to the description of LS3 (Cell Biology, Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration) and LS5 (Neuroscience and Disorders of the Nervous System).

A highly competitive programme

The prestigious grant scheme will now work with a maximum number of proposals to pass onto stage 2. Per panel, no more than 44 proposals will make it to step 2 of the evaluation process. With this cut-off, a distinction of proposals scoring an A will be introduced into a group that will be invited to an interview and a group that does not score high enough to do so. The latter will not be subject to restrictions to submit to subsequent calls. The new early drop-out in step 1 puts even more emphasis on the importance of a convincing B1 and a fitting panel selection.

When to apply for the ERC Grants (indicative calendar from the 2024 budget)

The following grants are open to proposals under the work programme 2024:

ERC Starting Grant (ERC-2024-StG) Consolidator Grant (ERC-2024-CoG) Advanced Grant (ERC-2024-AdG) Synergy Grant (ERC-2024-SyG)
Call opens 11 July 2023 12 September 2023 29 May 2024 12 July 2023
Call deadline 24 October 2023 12 December 2023 29 August 2024 8 November 2023

The indicative cut-off dates for the Proof of Concept Grant (ERC-2024-PoC) are:

Call opens Cut-off date
16 November 2023
  • 14 March 2024
  • 17 September 2024

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