The ERC under Horizon Europe: 2021 call deadlines have been officially published

This week, the European Commission (EC) officially approved the European Research Council (ERC) 2021 work programme. This work programme was the first to be approved under Horizon Europe and will kick off the new framework programme with € 1.9 billion to be awarded to some 1000 top researchers to pursue frontier research. As in earlier years, the funding will be made available to early- and mid-career scientists (Starting and Consolidator Grants), as well as to leading scientists at the height of their career (Advanced Grant). The Synergy and Proof of Concept calls will not open under this year’s work programme, but are expected to be available again under the 2022 work programme.

Calendar shifts

Due to the transition from Horizon 2020 to Horizon Europe, the call calendar is shifted* compared to the calendars of previous years:

Starting Grant Consolidator Grant Advanced Grant
Call opens 25 February 2021 11 March 2021 20 May 2021
Call closes 8 April 2021 20 April 2021 31 August 2021
Planned dates to inform applicants of final results 20 December 2021 28 March 2022 13 May 2022

*The call schedule is expected to be back to more familiar opening and closing timeframes by mid-2022. These shifts in the calls timetable will not affect the eligibility periods of candidates applying to Starting and Consolidator Grants.

ERC Novelties in Horizon Europe

As expected, there are some significant novelties in the ERC programme under Horizon Europe:

  • Advanced Grant applicants that reach step 2 of the evaluation will now be invited to present their proposal to the evaluation panel in an interview. This brings the Advanced Grants evaluation process in line with that of the Starting and Consolidator Grants.
  • The ERC panel structure for ERC calls 2021 and 2022 has been redefined to better reflect scientific reality. This includes the addition of two entirely new evaluation panels to the ERC Panel Structure: SH7 – Human Mobility Environment and Space, and PE11 – Materials Engineering.
  • Researchers who benefit from ERC funding under the Horizon Europe programme will now be required to submit a data management plan within the first six months of their project implementation.

Extensive support in ERC grants and excellent track record

Hezelburcht is specialized in supporting universities and research institutes with acquiring grants. We provide full service in applying for European grants like the ERC: from reviewing to grant writing and management. Our specialists are graduated researchers themselves and supported several clients with their ERC applications: our success rate was 85% last year!

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