Ten Years European Research Council (ERC)

The European Research Council, ERC, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The Helmholtz Association has obtained 100 ERC Grants during the last decade - thereof 50 grants alone since the start of Horizon 2020 in 2014.

On this occasion, we bundled our ERC information for you: Browse through the facts and figures - and enjoy exploring the stories of ERC projects and the researchers behind them on this page.

Facts and Figures

Read more about the ERC Grants Projects

Science Insights

British neurobiologist James Poulet received a second grant from the European Research Council. His research team tries to understand how the brain generates a sensory perception.

Insight James Poulet's research "Two become one"

Interview with Grant Holder Guido Grosse " Nothing else in Europe can compete with it"

Interview with Prof. Dr. Hans Ströher, ERC Grant Holder 2010 and 2016

European Research Council (ERC)

The European Research Council (ERC) was established in 2007 as a part of the 7th EU Framework Programme for Research (FP7). The ERC’s aim is to award grants in order to promote outstanding scientific achievements in Europe. For the duration of Horizon 2020 (2014-2020), the ERC will have approximately 13 billion Euro available for funding, twice as much as in FP7.  Applications may be submitted for all research topics – what is important is that the grant is used to fund a groundbreaking project.  An overview of the different types of grants:

  • Starting Grant: for promising early career researchers (2-7 years after PhD); max. EUR 1.5 plus 0.5 million for a period of up to 5 years

  • Consolidator Grant: for excellent scientists (7-12 years after PhD); max. EUR 2 plus 0.75  million for a period of up to 5 years
  • Advanced Grant: for established scientists with an outstanding track record of research achievements; max. EUR 2.5 plus 1 million for a period of up to 5 years
  • Proof of Concept: for existing ERC grant holders who would like to tap the market potential of the results obtained from their current or completed research project; EUR 150,000 for a period of up to 18 months.
  •  Synergy Grant: This grant was last awarded in 2012/2013 and is intended for a group of 2-4 scientists who are planning a research project based on their joint expertise. The budget amounted to up to EUR 15 million for a period of up to 6 years. Calls for proposals for the next synergy grants are planned for inclusion in the work program for 2018.


Since the ERC was established, it has received more than 65,000 applications, almost 7,000 of which were selected for grants. The President of the ERC is currently Prof Jean-Pierre Bourguignon.

Read more about the ERC Grants Projects


Print Version


Helmholtz ERC Recognition Award

Helmholtz ERC Recognition Award