Organizational Spotlight: The European Research Commission (ERC)

August 14, 2023


The European Research Commission (ERC) oversees the funding for scientific research conducted within the European Union. Set up by the European Union in 2007, the ERC is independently governed by the Scientific Council. The Scientific Council sets the ERC’s strategy, while the Executive Agency enacts it1.

Despite being a relatively ‘young’ funding institution, the ERC has awarded the largest grant currently archived on Peeref’s funding database. These funds were provided to Swedish researchers working on the digitalization and automation of integrated tool chains2.

If you are a researcher in the EU or an associated country, you are likely eligible for one of the ERC’s five major grant categories3. The ERC funds projects from all fields and disciplines, making it especially appealing for those participating in interdisciplinary projects.

Across the five main grant categories offered by the ERC (note there are other funding opportunities outside these major categories), approximately 1072 grants were awarded in 20224. Funding rates rose for those applying to the starting and consolidator grants as compared to 2021, but dropped for the advanced grants.

  2023 2022 2021
Advanced Grants
Submitted 1829 1647 1735
Awarded *246 218 253
Success Rate / 13.2 14.6
Starting Grants
Submitted 2696 2932 4066
Awarded *407 408 471
Success Rate / 13.9% 11.6
Consolidator Grants
Submitted 2130 2222 2652
Awarded 300% 321 313
Success Rate / 14.4% 11.8%

* These numbers are estimated by the ERC at the time of their news releases.

Since its inception, the ERC has supported over 10,000 researchers by funding over 12,000 projects. These research projects have resulted in over 200,000 published papers and 2,200 patents to date, as well as numerous awards5.