The ERC, set up by the European Union in 2007, is the premier European funding organisation for excellent frontier research. It funds creative researchers of any nationality and age, to run projects based across Europe.

The ERC offers 4 main grant schemes: Starting GrantsConsolidator GrantsAdvanced Grants and Synergy Grants.

The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council. Since 1 November 2021, Maria Leptin is the President of the ERC.

The overall ERC budget from 2021 to 2027 is more than €16 billion, as part of the Horizon Europe programme, under the responsibility of the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel.


The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator-driven frontier research across all fields, based on scientific excellence.

Structure and Governance

The ERC is composed of an independent Scientific Council, its governing body consisting of distinguished researchers, and an Executive Agency, in charge of implementation.

Key figures

  • Budget: € 16 billion (2021-2027) – 17% of the overall Horizon Europe budget 
  • Since 2007, ERC funded more than 12 000 projects and over 10 000 researchers. It evaluated more than 100 000 research proposals.
  • Each ERC grantee employs on average 7 team members. Currently over 75 000 postdocs, PhD students and other staff are working in their research teams.
  • ERC projects have so far led to over 2 200 patents and other IPR applications and ERC grantees founded or co-founded over 400 start-ups
  • More than 200 000 articles published in scientific journals
  • 12 Nobel Prizes, 6 Fields Medals, 11 Wolf Prizes and dozens of important prizes awarded to ERC grantees
  • Over 850 research institutions are hosting ERC grantees with more than 85 nationalities of grant

Funding Schemes

  • ERC Starting Grant
    Grant up to 1.5€ million for 5 years
    For promising early-career researchers with 2 to 7 years experience after PhD
  • ERC Consolidator Grant
    Grant up to 2€ million for 5 years
    For promising early-career researchers with 7 to 12 years experience after PhD
  • ERC Advanced Grant
    Grant up to 2.5€ million for 5 years
    For established research leaders with a recognised track record of research achievements
  • ERC Proof of Concept
    Lump Sum Grant of 150.000€
    For ERC grant holders to explore the commercial or societal potential innovation of their ERC frontier research project
  • ERC Synergy Grant
    Grant up to 10€ million for 6 years
    To address ambitious research questions that can only be answered by the coordinated work of a small group of 2-4 principal Investigators
  • Additional opportunities
    For researchers wishing to work or gain experience in an ERC grantee’s team

Find more information here.

Other Funding Sources

Share this page