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Grants for different career stages

ERC funding covers research projects at different stages of a researcher's career. Starting Grants are aimed at highly-talented young scientists after they have received their doctorate, while Consolidator Grants are awarded to postdoctoral students with already several years of experience. In addition, there are the Advanced Grants, which are intended for researchers who have already established themselves as top independent research leaders. Starting grants offer up to 1.5 million euros as support, and consolidator grants up to two million euros. An advanced grant grants offers up to 2.5 million euros for the realization of the projects. This money is paid over a time period of five years. During this time, grant holders can carry out their projects at their university or institute. A further funding line is the Synergy Grants, which enables a small group (up to four) Principal Investigators and their teams to bring together complementary skills in order to tackle research issues in an innovative way.

Related articles

Max Planck Medicine Nobel laureate Erwin Neher about the discussions leading up to the establishment of the European Research Council ERC

“It was worthwhile to stumble into it”

March 13, 2017

Max Planck Medicine Nobel laureate Erwin Neher about the discussions leading up to the establishment of the European Research Council ERC [more]
Max Planck researchers provide a glimpse into some of their projects - whether it is internet security, research into the desert climate, the social behaviour of chimpanzees, or new approaches to protein design.

Max-Planck grantees on their ERC research projects

March 13, 2017

Max Planck researchers provide a glimpse into some of their projects - whether it is internet security, research into the desert climate, the social behaviour of chimpanzees, or new approaches to protein design. [more]

'There is clearly a great sense of uncertainty'

February 21, 2017

Martin Stratmann, President of the Max Planck Society, on developments in the light of Brexit and the election of Donald Tump as US President. [more]

Strongly rooted in Europe

The Max Planck Society has their own research policy initiatives for the development of top European research. [more]

10 years ERC

Top funding for top researchers

The Max Planck Society congratulates the European Research Council on its tenth anniversary

March 13, 2017

The European Research Council (ERC) has been promoting excellence in science for ten years now. It is precisely because the grants are awarded on the basis of competition for the best ideas that they are already regarded as a solid reference in the CVs of sponsored researchers. Max Planck President Martin Stratmann also expressed his congratulations. Max Planck Director Peter H. Seeberger was invited to speak in front of a high-calibre audience at the anniversary symposium in Brussels.
The ERC puts a focus on researchers and their ideas - thus offering support to more than 1,000 top researchers in Germany alone. Zoom Image
The ERC puts a focus on researchers and their ideas - thus offering support to more than 1,000 top researchers in Germany alone.

The European Research Council, the first Europe-wide funding organization for basic research, was set up in 2007. Since its inception, the agency, which is managed by the Scientific Council, has funded more than 6,500 projects selected from over 62,000 applications through its funding lines (see right). A success rate of around ten percent shows how strong the competition is. “The decisive factor is the idea”, says Erwin Neher, recipient of the Nobel prize for medicine and one of the pioneers of the ERC, describing the basic principle. The best idea, determined in the competitive review based on excellence criteria, open doors to new knowledge − and science career paths. This basic idea, Neher recalls, who served as a representative of the Max Planck Society during the years of discussion before the ERC was founded in 2007, vied with the classical pattern of EU funding for acceptance. As Neher comments in an interview, maintaining that approach would have been tantamount to “conducting research in the way a construction company sets about building bridges in Spain.”

Most successful German research institute

Because it all turned out differently, more than 1,000 top-ranking researchers have been funded to the tune of over 1.9 billion euros in Germany alone, the ERC wrote in a recent communiqué. Michael Kramer, director at the Max Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn and member of the Scientific Council of the ERC, explains: “When the ERC was set up in 2007, German Chancellor Merkel called it the Champions’ League of European research. Ten years later we have thousands of such champions in Germany. That means thousands of innovative ideas that were funded by the European Union.”

Across Europe, around 7,000 excellent researchers received a total of around € 12 billion for their groundbreaking projects. In addition, a total of more than 50,000 researchers benefited from the ERC funds in research teams, mostly doctoral students and postdoctoral students.

What is your project about?

Scientist in Cologne talk about their EU funded work

The Max Planck Society (MPG) has enjoyed an above-average rate of success with the ERC’s decisions. Since the ERC was set up, MPG scientists have received more than 180 ERC grants. The MPG is therefore the most successful German research institution. Despite this, the Max Planck Society is also working on developing promotional instruments to improve the conditions for excellent science in eastern and southern Europe. In this way, the MPG has provided key support for the introduction of the Teaming Excellence funding line.

Max Planck director at the anniversary symposium

Max Planck representatives will attend the official anniversary celebration of the European Research Council in Brussels on 21 March, among them Max Planck President Martin Stratmann. Peter Seeberger has also been invited to speak at the scientific conference, which will present highlights from ten years of ERC funding. The director at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam will talk about the research behind Vaxxilon AG, which he founded with the Max Planck Society. The company, which was named Science Start-up of 2016 at the Falling Walls Conference in Berlin, is developing carbohydrate-based vaccines. It is hoped that this approach will make vaccines against bacterial infections cheaper, thereby improving access to vaccines in poorer countries.

 
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