European Research Council: Starting grants

The European Research Council (ERC) was created to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields.

Applications open

23 Sep 2021

Applications closed

13 Jan 2022

Application type

Application required
How to apply

Benefit type

General allowance
Full benefit details

Citizenship requirements

Australian / domestic student
International student

Total value

up to $4,000,000

Applicable study areas

All study areas

Number of scholarships awarded

At least 400

  • "The sustained 5-year funding of an ERC Starting Grant allowed me to embark on an ambitious, high-risk, high-reward programme of technique development and research into the mechanism of hydrogenases – bacterial enzymes that hold secrets for using hydrogen as a renewable fuel. I was awarded the Starting Grant in 2010, after a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and 6 years of postdoctoral research at the University of Oxford. The methodologies and insights established during this project have underpinned my subsequent career journey, leading to substantial UK research funding and award of an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2018 to target new aspects of energy chemistry in biology. A patent-protected biotechnology innovation arose as a side-product of research on the ERC Starting Grant, attracting ERC Proof of Concept funding and a RSC Emerging Technology award, and is now on track to commercialisation."
    Read Prof. Kylie Vincent's story
  • Eligibility & selection criteria


    To be eligible for this scholarship, you must:

    • Have 2 - 7 years of experience since the completion of a PhD
    • Present a project which is conducted in a public or private research organisation. This could be where the applicant already works, or any other host organisation located in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries
    • Researchers from anywhere in the world can apply for ERC grants provided the research they undertake will be carried out in an EU Member State or Associated Country.

    For further information refer to the European Research Council's Starting Grants website.

    Selection criteria

    Peer reviewers are in charge of assessing and scoring the proposals. Those who pass the quality threshold are ranked. Depending on the call budget available, a budgetary cut-off applies to the ranking list and only the highest ranked proposals are offered an ERC grant until the call's budget has been used.

    Please see the European Research Council website for further details.

  • Application process

    Before you apply:

    Applications for the European Research Council's "Starting grants” can be made in any field of research. Further information is available at the European Research Council website.

  • When will I know the outcome?

    Invitations for interview dates are yet to be confirmed for 2022.

  • Variations of this award

    In addition to the Starting Grants, the European Research Council also offers:

    • Proof of concept grants of a lump sum of €150,000
    • Consolidator grants with a value of up to €2 million*
    • Advanced grants with a value of up to €2.5 million*
    • Synergy grants with a value of up to €10 million.*

    * Additional funds can be made available to cover eligible start-up costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU as a consequence of receiving an ERC grant.

What are the benefits?

Starting Grants may be awarded up to €1.5 million for a period of 5 years (pro rata for projects of shorter duration). However, an additional €1 million can be made available to cover eligible start-up costs for researchers moving from a third country to the EU or an associated country and/or the purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities and/or other major experimental and field work costs.

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For complete listings of faculty-specific scholarships, please see individual faculty websites.

The information listed here is subject to change without notice. Where we have listed information about jointly run scholarships programs, please also see our partners' websites. Information describing the number and value of scholarships awarded is indicative.