ERC for Social sciences and Humanities (SH) is an incredible opportunity. Unfortunately, most Social sciences and Humanities (SH) researchers are choosing not to apply for ERC grants for all the wrong reasons. The usual – “I can’t compete with life/exact sciences”, “there is no ‘high risk’ in SH research”, “It is too time consuming to write a research proposal” are only some of the few reasons we often hear.
Contrary to the above reasons, Social sciences and Humanities (SH) disciplines have much to offer for advancing science and research – and this should not be taken lightly. ERC supports excellent frontier research in ALL domains and its sole evaluation criteria is exactly this – excellence. There are many top SH researchers that fully match the ‘’ERC material’’ criteria, which can reach scientific breakthroughs and open up new research horizons by exploiting this opportunity.
ERC for Social Sciences and Humanities – let’s break it down :
‘’I can’t compete with life/exact sciences’’ – Well, you don’t. There is a dedicated budget for the SH domain, and the application is evaluated by scholars from your specific field.
“There is no ‘high risk’ in SH research” – High risk can be found in a first attempt at proving a novel hypothesis; suggesting a new theoretical framework to an open/unsolved question; or challenging a common approach by suggesting a paradigm shift. It is all a matter of how to frame and present your research. So, the high risk is there, you just have to state it.
As for ‘’It is too time consuming to write a research proposal’’ – True and false. On the one hand, preparing an ERC proposal is challenging and intensive. However, it is a relatively short proposal and more importantly, it is a remarkable opportunity to pursue your dream research with the best possible terms one can ask for. This platform, on top of its prestige and reputation, is probably the most flexible and convenient research grant you’ll ever receive, especially when performing SH research. No call text to conform to, no partners, and the administrative burden is minimal. Think of it as your personal research endeavor that is just waiting to be written.
ERC for Social Sciences and Humanities – Facts and figures:
Since 2007, when ERC was first launched, till 2015, there were 593 SH ERC grantees from 26 countries. In 2015 alone 22% of the total winning ERC applicants were of SH researchers.
ERC for Social Sciences and Humanities – What to do:
SH researchers need to know that they can and should apply for ERC. Most of them have an institutional support in applying, as well as internal and external assistance to consult and guide them through the process. Whether coming from psychology, political science, linguistics, philosophy or even theatre – all you need to do is try and get one step closer to an ERC grant.
If you decide to do so – we are here to help.