ERC Synergy Grants (English)

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The National Contact Point ERC is a cooperation between the EU-Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (EU-Büro des BMBF) and the European Liaison Office of the German Research Organisations (KoWi).

The ERC plans to reintroduce the Synergy Grants under the Work Programme 2018.

This page describes the details of the Synergy Grant scheme of 2013.


Groups applying to the 'ERC Synergy Grants' must be made of a minimum of two and a maximum of four Principal Investigators, and their teams. One of the PI's must be designated as the Corresponding Principal Investigator.

ERC Synergy Grants are intended to bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources in new ways, in order to jointly address research problems that could lead to breakthroughs that would not be possible by the individual PI working alone.

It is expected that in most cases ERC Synergy groups will be interdisciplinary, often using multidisciplinary approaches, and ensure regular face-to-face contact over the course of the project. As regards the location of the PI’s, everything is possible: all PI’s are engaged by the same institution or they are engaged by different institutions in EU member states or associated countries.

The general principles of the ERC funding schemes apply as well for the 'Synergy Grants': focus on the individual PI’s, bottom-up approach without predefined priorities and scientific excellence as sole evaluation criterion.

In 2012 and 2013 the maximum funding per project was 15 million euros for a period up to six years.

For the upcoming call the ERC plans to reduce maximum project budget to 10 million euros (exceptions up to 14 million euros).

More information on the details of the scheme in 2013 is available in chapter 7 of the work programme 2013, (p. 28 f)

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Proposal Submission

This page describes the details of the Synergy Grant scheme of 2013.

The conditions might change for the upcoming call 2018.

Proposals are submitted by the Corresponding Principal Investigator on behalf of the group. Together all the Principal Investigators have scientific responsibility for the group's project on behalf of the Host Institution (HI) which is the applicant legal entity.

Each Principal Investigator (PI) has to provide a CV and an 'early achievement record' or a '10-year track record' depending on the PI’s career stage. Furthermore, it is required to provide a scientific proposal (15 pages) and an extended synopsis of the proposal (5 pages).

The Host Institution of the Corresponding Principal Investigator must confirm its association with and its support to the group's project. As part of the application, the institution must provide a binding statement of support that the conditions of independence are already fulfilled or will be provided to the group if the application is successful.

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This page describes the details of the Synergy Grant scheme of 2013. The conditions probably change for the upcoming call 2018.

A one-step application is followed by a two-step evaluation:

Step 1:

The evaluation will be conducted by means of five high level peer review panels which will be formed from a pool of around 50 reviewers in a dynamic way to ensure the best expertise for a group of proposals. The full proposal will be assessed. In case of oversubscription, the panels may decide to identify the less competitive proposals on the basis of the extended synopsis. 

Step 2:

The selected proposals will be reassessed by a single panel of around 15 experts. Based on this assessment a subset of proposals will be selected for interviews in Brussels. Site visits may be conducted in cases where features of the site form a significant part of the proposal. 

Independent experts, including remote referees may be involved to assist the panel(s) in step 1 and step 2.

You can find the names of the experts of the previous calls here:

- Synergy Grants 2012

- Synergy Grants 2013

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Open Call for proposals

The ERC plans to relaunch the Synergy Grants under the Work Programme 2018 which will be published in summer 2017. The opening of the Call is scheduled for 18th July 2017 the deadline for 14th November 2017. Dates are not yet fixed. More information:

Previous Calls

For the first call for proposals of the Synergy Grants 2012 the ERC received 710 applications; 11 projects were funded. The second call 2013 attracted 449 proposals; 13 projects were funded.

All funded projects can be found here.

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