The European Research Council’s Work Programme for 2022 has been adopted by the European Commission with the biggest budget in its history. It includes over € 2.4 billion to fund grants for some 1.100 excellent.
The ERC, as part of the first pillar of Horizon Europe, intends to support projects that push the frontiers of human knowledge. Researchers of any nationality and any scientific domain are eligible, as long as they develop their projects in any EU Member State or any associated country. The ERCEA expects that some 8,000 jobs for post-doctoral fellow, PhD students and other research staff will be created in ERC grantees’ teams thanks to this new funding.
Highlights of the 2022 ERC Work Programme:
- Synergy Grants are back. These aids offer support for a small group of two to four principal investigators to jointly address ambitious research problems. They can be based in any part of Europe. One of the most important aspects to be taken into account when preparing a proposal is the complementarity between the members of the consortium.
- Four Proof of Concept funding rounds will take place under this work programme with €50 million in grants of € 150,000 each.
- Public Engagement with Research Award. These prizes will recognise three ERC grantees, with a prize of €10,000 each, in the three categories: “Involve” for citizen science, “Inspire” for public outreach, and “Influence” for media and policy.
- As a measure to ease the Covid-19 impact for researchers, the work programme includes the possibility for applicants to mention in their research proposal any specific situation caused by the pandemic that had a negative impact on their CV or track record. This will be taken into account during the evaluation of proposals.
- Gender equality plans at host institutions. To be eligible for calls with deadlines in 2022, the institutions to host ERC grantees must have a gender equality plan or an equivalent strategic document in place at the time of the signing of the grant and for the duration of the project.
- The work programme also introduces several changes to the way applicants are expected to describe their scientific track record.
The Work Programme 2022 includes the following calendar of grant competitions: