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Applying to the ERC and want to gain dedicated tools for success?

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If you are considering applying for research funding through the ERC funding scheme, it is highly advised to first acquire a firm grasp of the ERC’s very competitive requirements and expectations. Being that ERC strives to fund the most excelling research projects, it is truly a competitive grant that calls for meticulous application planning and execution. Emulating application tactics from other funding schemes is generally not enough, and most who take such a route will, unfortunately, find themselves un-funded by the ERC. Certainly, a great place to start is the ERC Guide for applicants. But, with years of experience, we’ve come to identify that there is a lot more than that which is mentioned in the guide that must be taken into account. We refer to such aspects as the ERC’s “unwritten rules”.


Time and again, we identify another such “rule” and offer our take on how it can be achieved. Below, we’ve put together a compilation guide with the “unwritten rules” articles we believe are a true part of every ERC grant application. Continue reading below, and be sure to refer back to this guide as it will continue to update with new information.


  • ERC Grant – Bringing you one step closer  – As you set out on the journey to fully understand the ERC grant, a great place to start is with this article which brings you one step closer to the ERC grant. This is a great overview of the grant, and an initial identifier for concepts to come which will be further developed.
  • How to correctly assess ERC high-risk – High-risk is one of the most important ERC aspects. That being said, it is also extremely elusive and difficult to assess. This article is an excellent resource to help define and identify the risk aspect in ERC.
  • The non-incremental ERC challenge – How can one successfully design a project which reflects the naturally occurring progress forward which builds on past achievements, current knowledge, expertise, and preliminary results, while at the same time conforming to the  ‘non-incremental’ ERC unofficial requirement? This article has you covered.
  • What is high-gain in ERC all about – How can you assess if your project proposal is in line with the high-gain ERC requirement? We have a dedicated article just for this important topic!
  • Hypothesis in ERC – how to do it right – Although it is not mentioned anywhere in the ERC guide for applicants, we know for certain that ERC applications are expected to present a research hypothesis. That being said, the expectations aren’t as straightforward as may be expected, and there are important guidelines to pay attention to and follow. The article above is a great place to start.
  • Guide to the unique ERC open-ended requirement – ERC proposals should be seen as “open-ended” research projects. Since this far-sighted approach is not a common expectation in most funding schemes, its meaning and implications are often elusive to researchers aiming to acquire ERC funding.
  • Fragmented projects in ERC – Since ERC typically expects to present large-sized projects, this oftentimes leads to the rejection of many projects on the basis of them being “fragmented” projects. Head over to this article to read more about this important issue.
  • Budget in ERC – In comparison to other grants where the budget planning is meticulous and of high resolution, the ERC budget presentation is more ‘high-level’ and provides a bird’s eye view of the expected expenses of the project. Surprisingly, this doesn’t make applicants’ lives much easier in terms of budget planning. Check out our dedicated budget article to learn how to get it right. 




Certainly, being that the ERC is so extensive and highly demanding, there is still a lot more to know and understand about this grant. For more information, we invite you to check out the rest of our ERC guides and articles,  If you are considering to apply to the ERC, we are more than happy to help you realize the full potential of your research project. Be sure to refer to our full selection of ERC pre-award services, and contact us with any questions.

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