European Research Council (ERC)
Attostructura is funded by the European Research Council trough its funding scheme ERC Starting Grant.
The European Research Council (ERC) is a public body for funding of scientific and technological research conducted within the European Union (EU). Established by the European Commission in 2007, the ERC is composed of an independent Scientific Council, its governing body consisting of distinguished researchers, and an Executive Agency, in charge of the implementation. It forms part of the framework programme of the union dedicated to research and innovation, Horizon 2020, preceded by the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). The ERC budget is over €13 billion from 2014 – 2020 and comes from the Horizon 2020 programme, a part of the European Union’s budget. Under Horizon 2020 it is estimated that around 7,000 ERC grantees will be funded and 42,000 team members supported, including 11,000 doctoral students and almost 16,000 post-doctoral researchers.
Researchers from any field can compete for the grants that support pioneering projects. The ERC competitions are open to top researchers also from outside the union. The average success rate is about 12%. Five ERC grantees have won Nobel Prizes. Grant applications are assessed by qualified experts. Excellence is the sole criterion for selection; there are neither thematic priorities, nor geographical quotas for funding. The aim is to recognise the best ideas, and confer status and visibility to the best research in Europe, while also attracting talent from abroad.
European Starting Grants
Of the different lines of financing of the ERC, the Attostructura project has been financed through an ERC – Starting Grant call. Starting Grants are intended to finance excellent projects led by promising early-career researchers with 2 to 7 years experience after PhD.
To be funded by an ERC Starting Grant, the proposal must meet the following conditions:
- Applications can be made in any field of research
Research must be conducted in a public or private research organisation (known as a Host Institution/HI) in one of the EU Member States or Associated Countries
- Applications for an ERC grant will be submitted by a single Principal Investigator (PI) in conjunction with and on behalf of their Host Institution.
- Host Institution commits to offer appropriate conditions for the Principal Investigator independently to direct the research and manage its funding for the duration of the project. The PI does not necessarily need to be working at the host institution at the time when the proposal is submitted.
- ERC grants support projects carried out by an individual researcher who can employ researchers of any nationality as team members. It is also possible to have one or more team members located in a non-European country.