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The concept

  • ERC Synergy Grant (SyG) projects are intended to enable a group of 2-4 Principal Investigators and their teams to bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources in new ways, in order to jointly address ambitious research problems.
  • This is not the regular collaborative project: The nature of the collaboration within an ERC Synergy Group is expected to be fundamentally different from that of a network or consortium of undertakings, universities, research centres, or other legal entities.
  • The bar is high: The aim is to promote substantial advances at the frontiers of knowledge, to cross-fertilize scientific fields, and to encourage new productive lines of enquiry and new methods and techniques. This needs to include unconventional approaches and investigations at the interface between established disciplines.
  • The sole criterion of ERC – “Excellence” – applies here as well.


The PIs

  • All participating PIs must be ERC material, namely, able to demonstrate an outstanding track record of scientific excellence and international acknowledgement.
  • All career stage categories (Starting, Consolidator and/or Advanced) can participate. There is no official preference to a specific category. It is probable, however, that a combination of PIs from different categories, reflecting synergism between career stages, will be positively perceived.
  • One of the PIs must be designated as the corresponding PI (cPI). At any one time, one PI per Synergy Grant Group, except the corresponding PI, can be hosted and engaged by an institution outside the European Union or Associated Countries.


ERC Synergy Grant in numbers

  • The expected duration of each SyG project is 6 years.
  • The expected grant of each SyG project is €10 million, with a potential expansion of €4 million for justified extra budget.


The evaluation

  • A three-step peer-reviewed evaluation process, including interviews. In contrast to the Starting, Consolidator, and Advanced Grants, here the interview constitutes the 3rd step of the evaluation process.
  • There are evaluation questions dedicated to SyG, on top of the regular ERC evaluation questions.
  • In contrast to the individual ERC grants, there are no predefined panels, but the applicant cPI has to indicate between four and six fixed keywords.
  • Specific blocking restrictions are expected to apply in case an application is rejected. Please read more about the PI’s blocking mechanism.


If you are considering to apply to the ERC Synergy Grant, check out our available services that can help you best prepare your grant application.

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