ERC Synergy Grants are intended to enable minimum two to maximum four Principal Investigators and their teams to bring together complementary skills, knowledge, and resources in new ways, in order to jointly address ambitious research problems.
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, including unconventional approaches and investigations at the interface between established disciplines. This should enable transformative research not only at the forefront of European science but also to become a benchmark on a global scale.
Applicants Principal Investigators must demonstrate the synergies, complementarities and added value that could lead to breakthroughs that would not be possible by the individual Principal Investigators working alone.
Size of ERC Synergy Grants
Synergy Grants may be awarded up to a maximum of EUR 10 000 000 for a period of 6 years. The maximum award is reduced pro rata temporis for projects of a shorter duration. This does not apply to ongoing projects.
However, up to an additional EUR 4 000 000 in total can be requested in the proposal to cover (a) eligible "start-up" costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant and/or (b) the purchase of major equipment and/or (c) access to large facilities. As any additional funding is to cover major one-off costs it is not subject to pro-rata temporis reduction for projects of shorter duration. All funding requested is assessed during evaluation.
Profile of the ERC Synergy Grant Principal Investigators
Groups applying for the ERC Synergy Grant must be made up of a minimum of two and a maximum of four Principal Investigators and, as necessary, their teams. One of the Principal Investigators must be designated as the Corresponding Principal Investigator.
Applications are expected from a group of innovative and active Principal Investigators and must present an early achievement track-record or a 10-year track-record whichever is most appropriate for their career stage (see Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grant profiles in the ERC Work Programme 2018). There is little prospect of an application succeeding in the absence of such a record.