What is the ERC (European Research Council)? Find more information here:


-ERC website
-Euresearch: the Swiss guide to European research & innovation





Q: Can a panel member, who is evaluating for instance ERC StG apply for another type of ERC grant (CoG, AdG, SyG) the same year she is panel member?


Yes, a member of the ERC StG panel can apply for an ERC AdG in the same year. What he/she cannot do is apply for the same type of grant where he/she is a panel member.

In the 2020 ERC Work Programme, page 20, you can see the following:

A Principal Investigator who is a serving Panel Member for a 2020 ERC call or who served as a Panel Member for a 2018 ERC call may not apply to a 2020 ERC call for the same type of grant.

Q: PoC: What is the ideal length for section 3c. "Plan of the Proof of Concept – Action description the part" ?

R: something aroung 2 pages semm to be a good compromise (assuming that the PI did not change the length of this section before submitting the proposal).

Q: is Veterinary Medicine degree considered to be the equivalent of an MD for ERC?

Yes, Veterinary Medicine degree is considered to be the equivalent of an MD when it comes to eligibility for the ERC. Similarly a Dr. Med Vet degree is considered equivalent to Dr. Med. We understand that the Dr. Med/Dr. Med. Vet degree can take few months to years but its not the length of the degree/research that is taken into account to be considered as a PhD. However, if the PI undertook a PhD programme and was then awarded a PhD in Veterinary Medicine than it would be considered a PhD. If this was the case then the PI would have to submit the relevant documents confirming the PhD degree.

Q: Paternity Leave: Do we count actual working days from 19 Dec 2012 to 1st Jan 2013 (taking into account national public holidays) to determine the number of dates he would need to have covered from paternity leave, or just do we take the number of calendar days (i.e. 13) as the days he would need to have prove to having been off work due to paternity?


For paternity leaves, the extension granted corresponds to the documented time of paternity and/or parental leave actually taken (both full time and part time leaves can be accepted). We take into account the leave duration as stated in the official supporting document signed by the Host Institution/employer, meaning we do follow the practice of the HI/employer.

Please find below some examples to illustrate the possible scenarios:
If the supporting document clearly mentions
•         a duration of 2 weeks of paternity leave, we will extend the eligibility window by 2 weeks;
•         a 25% part-time for 4 months of paternity leave, this will correspond to one month of extension;
•         a duration of 4 days (or 9 days) of paternity leave, we will extend the eligibility window by 4 days (or 9 days).
(*)

Please note that If an applicant does decide to submit a proposal and the question of eligibility is not clear cut, an Eligibility Review Committee will be convened to discuss the case and make a decision after the call deadline based on the documentation submitted.
At this stage we cannot provide any decisions on eligibility – only advice.

Q: Syngery Grant: Do we need to prove our eligibility?

Answer from ther ERCEA: "Indeed, in case of SyG grants we are not that strict regarding the eligibility window. We are not requiring proof of any PhD documents, neither proof of career break at submission stage.
It is a trust based approach, in which an applicant has to position himself/herself according to where they believe being in their career (See please the StG, CoG and AdG profiles in the ERC Work Programme 2019).
We hope that the applicants will provide the exact date in their CVs and they will clearly explain any career break in part B1. This is done to help the evaluators to better judge an applicant, to ensure that a very young applicant will not be evaluated according to the same criteria and a very senior one."

Q: Date of the Swiss PhD: How does it work for ERC

The ERC applies to every applicant the rule that is valid in the respective country As different countries and universities have different rules on which date is the correct date of the PhD award, the ERC correctly applies the rules of the respective countries and institutions and has no general rule on its own.
Having said this, the question remains how applicants in doubt can find out which is the correct date in the case they have two dates on their diploma. The solution is to contact the doctoral office of the university where they obtained their PhD. Normally every university has a regulation that clarifies among other points which date entitles the applicant to have the title of “PhD”. These regulations can often be found online.
In Switzerland, as in other countries as well, there are no national rules on the PhD but such points are typically ruled by the universities.

Note that it can  happen that the ERC contacts the applicant after the eligibility check, informing him/her that s/he is not eligible, just because the ERC staff chose the wrong date on the diploma. In this case the applicant shall explain the situation and submit the PhD regulation in order to show that s/he is indeed eligible.  The time frame to submit an answer can be quite short.

Q: What is the definition of "major equipment" for the additional budget request?

The ERC / ERCEA is probably deliberately unclear about this.

Equipment above 100 000 euro  might be a useful guideline.

The applicant has to convince the panel members reviewing the proposal that the additional funding is justified and required. The panel will then judge if it fits the description of major equipment (for their field/speciality) and if it is justified enough to be funded.

Q: Can the same PI stay in two different SyG proposals?

"A Principal Investigator may submit proposals to different ERC frontier research grant calls published under the same Work Programme, but only the first eligible proposal will be evaluated." The sentence refers to different calls, not to the possibility of submitting two proposals to the same call. Nevertheless, also in the case where a researcher submits more than one proposal to the same call, he/she can be considered eligible only for one submitted proposal, thus will need to withdraw from the other(s). The eligibility of this latter proposal(s) could be impacted e.g. if all the other eligibility criteria are met but the proposal(s) will not have the minimum number of requested PIs, then the proposal(s) would be declared ineligible. 

Q: Can I be a CoG panel member and apply for an AdG the same year?

Yes, you can. If you serve on a panel for a call, you are ineligible to apply for grants at the same level the year they serve on the panel, and two years after (when the same panel members will be sitting). However, they can apply to other levels of grants without any issue.

Q: can I transfer the costs of the Additional Equipment to another cost category?


The additional funding for major equipment can be used ONLY for the objectives for which the additional funding was awarded and transfers to another budget category are not allowed. In other words, any EU funds paid out in the context of an ERC which covers costs beyond the maximum of EUR 2.500.000,00 (for a period of 5 years) for an AdG must relate to the objectives for which the additional funding may be awarded. Therefore, “paying salaries” would not be one of the reasons why additional funding may be awarded.


Q: Would I be eligible to apply for an AdG 2018, whereas I am involved as coordinator in a Synergy proposal submitted in November 2017 (SyG-2018). What happens should that grant get funded?


Indeed, if you submitted to the SyG-2018 as PI, and if your proposal is eligible, you are not eligible for the ERC AdG 2018, as this call is under the same WP. The AdG proposal would be declared as ineligible and not be evaluated.