The European Research Council
Established by the European Commission
Programa ERC:
una oportunidad
para impulsar
investigaciones
excelentes?
Núria Sebastián,
Vicepresidenta Consejo Científico ERC
30 Octubre 2014
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© Art & Build Architect / Montois Partners / credits: S. Brison
ERC basics
What is ERC?
Established by the European Commission
The ERC supports excellence in frontier research through
a bottom-up, individual-based, pan-European competition
Legislation
Scientific governance: independent Scientific Council
with 22 members including the ERC President; full
authority over funding strategy
Support by the ERC Executive Agency (autonomous)
Excellence as the only criterion
Strategy
Budget: € 13 billion (2014-2020) - 1.9 billion €/year
€ 7.5 billion (2007-2013) - 1.1 billion €/year
Support for the individual scientist – no networks!
Global peer-review
No predetermined subjects (bottom-up)
Support of frontier research in all fields of science
and humanities
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ERC basics
What is ERC?
Established by the European Commission
The ERC supports excellence in frontier research through
a bottom-up, individual-based, pan-European competition
Legislation
Scientific governance: independent Scientific Council
with 22 members including the ERC President; full
authority over funding strategy
Support by the ERC Executive Agency (autonomous)
Excellence as the only criterion
Strategy
Budget: € 13 billion (2014-2020) - 1.9 billion €/year
€ 7.5 billion (2007-2013) - 1.1 billion €/year
Support for the individual scientist – no networks!
Global peer-review
No predetermined subjects (bottom-up)
Support of frontier research in all fields of science
and humanities
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ERC basics
What is ERC?
Standing Committees and Working groups
Established by the European Commission
• Standing committees: the 2009 Mid-Term Review Report on the
ERC's Structures and Mechanisms recommended the setting up of two
subcommittees to deal with conflict of interest issues and to steer and
control the selection of reviewers and panellists.
• Working groups: non-permanent structures created ad-hoc to address
specific tasks of strategic importance with the involvement of the
Scientific Council members who are more interested and competent on
the particular issue.
Both Working groups and Standing committees
report to the Scientific Council plenary meetings
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ERC Scientific Council
Working groups & Standing committees
Established by the European Commission
Gender balance
Widening
Participation
Innovation and
relations with
industry
Internationalisation
Open Access
Committee on
Panels
Key
Performance
Indicators
CoIME
(Conflict of Interest &
Research integrity)
ERC basics
ERC funding schemes
Established by the European Commission
Starting Grants
Consolidator Grants
starters
(2-7 years after PhD)
up to € 2.0 Mio
for 5 years
consolidators
(7-12 years after PhD)
up to € 2.75 Mio
for 5 years
Advanced Grants
track-record of
significant research
achievements in the
last 10 years
up to € 3.5 Mio
for 5 years
Proof-of-Concept
bridging gap between research - earliest
stage of marketable innovation
up to €150,000 for ERC grant holders
ERC basics
Creative freedom of the individual grantee
Established by the European Commission
ERC offers independence, recognition & visibility
• to work on a research topic of own choice, with a team of own choice
• to gain true financial autonomy for 5 years
• to negotiate with the host institution the best conditions of work
• to attract top team members (EU and non-EU) and collaborators
• to move with the grant to any place in Europe if necessary (portability
of grants)
• to attract additional funding and gain recognition; ERC is a quality
label
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ERC basics
Evaluation of proposals: main features
Established by the European Commission
Evaluation of excellent quality at two levels:
 Excellence of the Research Project




Ground-breaking nature
Potential impact
Scientific approach
Added-value of the Group (only Synergy Grant)
 Excellence of the Principal Investigator
 Intellectual capacity
 Creativity
 Commitment
Referees and panels evaluate and score each criterion, and then rank
the proposals according to these results.
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ERC basics
Evaluation of proposals: main features
Established by the European Commission
 The ERC Scientific Council is responsible for proposing independent
experts
 Structure: 25 panels distributed across 3 scientific domains (10 Physical
Sciences and Engineering, 9 Life Sciences and 6 Social Sciences and
Humanities)
What makes ERC evaluation exceptional?
 Highly international participation in panels
 Full autonomy of panels to decide
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ERC After Seven Years
Established by the European Commission
 Over 4 300 researchers funded (65% at an early-career stage); 64
nationalities
 Highly competitive (average success rate tending to 10%)
 Grants located in almost 600 different institutions in 30 countries
 50% of grantees in 50 institutions
 Benchmarking effect: impact on national programmes and agencies;
national funding for best "runners-up" also for Structural Funds
 Efficient and fast grant management
 Highly recognized by the research community beyond Europe
 Over 30 000 publications acknowledging ERC publication so far;
12% published between 2008-2010 were in the top 1% most cited in
2012
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Priority to Young Scientists
Established by the European Commission
+ 15 000 PhD and
post-doc
researchers working
in ERC teams.
Two-thirds of ERC
grants to early-stage
Principal
Investigators.
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ERC in H2020
Budget Horizon 2020
Established by the European Commission
H2020 budget € 77 billion
ERC budget € 13 billion
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Spain at ERC
ERC grant distribution to countries of HI
ERC StG, CoG and AdG calls 2007-2013
Established by the European Commission
*) Host institution refers to the organisation with which the first grant agreement was signed│ 17
Spain at ERC
Success rates per country of Host Institution
Established by the European Commission
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Spain at ERC
Mobility of researchers
ERC StG, CoG and AdG calls 2007-2013
Established by the European Commission
59 foreign PIs in Spain
•
174 Spanish PIs in the country
•
59 foreign PIs in Spain from 21
different nationalities, mainly IT
(16), DE (10), UK (4), NL (4), US (4)
•
47 Spanish PIs abroad, mainly in
UK (20), CH (7), FR (7), DE (6)
47 Spanish PIs abroad
Current host institutions; data as of 21/08/2014│ 19
Spain at ERC
Host institutions in Spain
ERC StG, CoG and AdG calls 2007-2013
Established by the European Commission
Current host institutions; data as of 21/08/2014
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Spain at ERC
Core grant schemes
ERC StG, CoG and AdG calls 2007-2013
Established by the European Commission
3 540
Evaluated proposals with Spanish host institutions
237
Selected projects in Spanish host institutions
135
Starting Grants
By type of ERC grant scheme
Consolidator Grants
20
Advanced Grants
82
Physical Sciences & Engineering
Distribution of ERC grants by domain
Distribution of ERC grants by gender
Total ERC funding
106
Life Sciences
86
Social Sciences & Humanities
45
Women
45
Men
192
About € 389.5 million
Non-Spanish ERC grantees in Spanish host institutions
61
Spanish ERC grantees based outside Spain
45
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Nobel Prize to ERC grantees
Established by the European Commission
Serge
Haroche
Konstantin
Novoselov
Nobel 2012
Nobel 2010
Ada
Yonath
Andre
Geim
Christoforos
Pissarides
Theodor
Hansch
James
Heckman
Jean-Marie
Lehn
The Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine 2014
was awarded to May-Britt Moser and Edvard
Moser, together with John O'Keefe,
May-Britt
Moser
Jean Tirole
Nobel 2014
Nobel 2014
The Nobel Prize in Economic
Sciences 2014 was awarded
to Jean Tirole "for his
analysis of market power
and regulation".
"for their discoveries of cells that
constitute a positioning system in the
brain".
The research leading to these discoveries* was
supported by FP5.
Edvard
Moser
Nobel 2014
* "Spatial Representation in the Entorhinal Cortex"
– Science 2004
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A few examples of ERC projects in
Spain
Established by the European Commission
Understanding the origins and
spread of agriculture in the
western Mediterranean
Project: Origins and spread of
agriculture in the southwestern Mediterranean region
(AGRIWESTMED)
PI: Leonor Peña-Chocarro
HI: CSIC Madrid
Call: Advanced Grant 2008
Funding: € 1.5 million for 4
years
Photonics to see through cataractous
eyes
Project: Seeing through
cataracts with advanced
photonics (SEECAT)
PI: Pablo Artal
HI: University of Murcia
Call: Advanced Grant 2013
Funding: € 2.5 million for 5
years
Towards safer constructions in water
calamities
Project: New Computational
Methods for Predicting the Safety
of Constructions to Water
Hazards accounting for Fluid-SoilStructure Interactions
(SAFECON)
PI: Eugenio Oñate
HI: CIMNE Barcelona
Call: Advanced Grant 2010
Funding: € 2.4 million for 5 years
A few examples of ERC projects in
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Established by the European Commission
The movie optometrist: clearer vision
for cameras
Project: Image Processing
Miradas cruzadas sobre el ERC
for Enhanced
Cinematography (IP4EC)
PI: Dr Marcelo Bertalmío
Call: Starting Grant 2012
Funding: € 1.5 million for 5
years
Is family break-up turning a corner?
Project: Stratified family
dynamics: polarising trends in
couple behaviour and
parenting (Family Polarisation)
PI: Prof Gøsta EspingAndersen
Call: Advanced Grant 2010
Funding: € 2.1 million for 5
years
Video: https://vimeo.com/78730046
Decoding the mechanism behind
learning languages
Project: Mechanism of cognitive
control and language learning
(UNDER CONTROL)
PI: Núria Sebastián Gallés
Call: Advanced Grant 2012
Funding: € 2.5 million for 5 years
Feedback from Successful Applicants at
Spanish Host Institutions
Established by the European Commission
"Be bold, be daring" ERC Advanced grant, Physical Sciences and Engineering,
First time applicant - selected for funding
"Believe in your competitiveness" ERC Consolidator grant, Life Sciences,
Reapplying - selected for funding
"Poor English is a handicap" ERC Starting grant, Social Sciences and
Humanities, First time applicant - selected for funding
"Coaching and support from close colleagues is crucial" ERC Advanced
grant, Social Sciences and Humanities, Reapplying - selected for funding
"Seek solid administrative support" ERC Starting grant, Social Sciences and
Humanities, Reapplying - selected for funding
The European Research Council
Established by the European Commission
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