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How is a European Research Council (ERC) proposal evaluated?

The evaluation of an ERC proposal is being done in two phases where the proposal is being evaluated based on its excellence.

There are some restrictions when re-submitting a proposal according to the evaluation mark. If the proposal gets a B in phase 1, the researcher has to wait 1 year before re-submitting it. If the proposal gets a C in phase 2, the researcher has to wait 2 years. If the proposal gets to phase 2 with an A or a B, there is no restriction for re-submission in the next call.

The ERC proposal is being presented in one step (B1+B2) and is then evaluated in two steps:

  • Phase 1: Evaluation of extended synopsis and researcher’s profile (track-record + curriculum)
  • Phase 2: Complete evaluation of the research proposal
  • Interview: Researchers that pass to phase 2 are invited to an interview

Evaluation panels: the composition of the panels vary across the years so their members can present themselves to ERC grants where they are not evaluators. There are 27 panels in total split in 3 main thematic groups: Physical Sciences & Engineering, Life Sciences and Social Sciences & Humanities

Structure of the ERC proposal:

  • Part B1: it is a summary of the scientific proposal and the researcher’s profile. This part is evaluated in phase 1. It includes:
    • Cover: it should include the name of the researcher, the title, the acronym and a summary of the proposal (maximum 2000 characters)
    • Section a: Extended synopsis of the scientific proposal (maximum 5 pages)
    • Section b: Curriculum vitae (maximum 2 pages)
    • Section c: Track-record (maximum 2 pages) has to list the main achievements and outstanding publications
  • Part B2: it is a detailed explanation of the scientific proposal and the work plan. It is only being evaluated if it reaches phase 2 of the process. It includes:
    • Section a: State of the art and objectives
    • Section b: Methodology, highlight innovative aspects and the balance between high risk and high benefit, project planning

The budget is included in section 3 and is being filled online in the Funding & Tenders Portal when creating the proposal.

For more information about ERC, read our article.