News on the ERC 2024 calls: Re-defining Excellence for Improved Recognition and Rewards
On December 19th 2022, the European Research Council (ERC) has announced their changes to the proposal preparation and assessment. This new evaluation process is in alignment with the Agreement on Reforming Research Assessment that was formulated by the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment (CoARA) in July 2022. This publication has been a co-creation result of various stakeholders and nearly one year of deliberation. Amongst others, the agreement has pointed out the strong responsibility of funding bodies to contribute to the recognition and rewards movement. The ERC Scientific Council will implement their share from 2023 on.
Supporting a change in research culture
What is valuable research that deserves to be funded? What makes a researcher worthy of funding? How can good scientific practice align with a (healthy and steady) career in science? We are at an exciting cross-road in science where a new view on these questions is shaped. Currently, researchers are mainly assessed through a limited amount of parameters. The value that we attach to these parameters are being overthrown. For example, organisations are acknowledging that the impact factor and quantity of one’s publications are not suited as main parameters to assess a researcher’s quality. Step-by-step, universities, coalitions and funding agencies re-think and re-shape research recognition. The ERC holds a key role for many researchers as its prestigious grant funding schemes can open doors beyond the funding of a particular project. Many ERC awardees report that securing the grant was a determinant to obtain a permanent position in research. Until now, having obtained a prestigious funding programme created a snowball effect, increasing the chances for future applications. The importance of a fair evaluation process is just as big as the pressure currently put on researchers.
What will change in the ERC 2024 calls?
The calls for the ERC 2024 rounds are yet to open but the ERC Scientific Council has already announced significant changes. Together, this will help to 1) simplify the application process, 2) broaden the assessment of scientific excellence, and 3) weigh the project proposal more than past achievements of the applicant. Examples of how this will be achieved are that:
- The CV and Track Record templates will be combined and simplified;
- More space for narratives on one’s career path and achievements will be given.
Together, this will provide a chance to highlight a variety of contributions to the research society, beyond publications and previously awarded grants. Overall, this is a step towards a fair assessment of the currently presented excellence of a researcher’s endeavour. It will create room for an individual to contribute their talents to more robust and reproducible science.
Supporting your ERC 2024 proposal
At Hezelburcht we can support you in the (changing) aspects of the ERC proposal preparation, for example with proposal writing or reviewing grant applications. Our team of experienced researchers follow the latest developments in grant assessment, the reshaping of Recognition and Rewards, and Open Science. Are you planning on submitting a proposal for the ERC 2024 calls? Feel free to get in touch and discuss how we can help you throughout this process.
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