ERC Synergy Grant Returns

In today’s blog, Alan Kennedy, European Funding Advisor for the Research Support Office talks about the European Research Council’s Synergy Grants.

You may all be familiar with the European Research Council (ERC) single investigator grants (Starting, Consolidator and Advanced) and the fact that the University of Edinburgh is one of the top ten universities in the world for hosting ERC grants.

ERC’s newly revived Synergy Grants are the largest (€10 million for a period of 6 years) and most competitive grants of the European Research Council. Like all ERC grants, scientific excellence is the sole criterion, and for the synergy grant this is in the form of demonstrating outstanding intrinsic synergetic effect.

What’s unique about the Synergy Grant over the other ERC grants is that it is designed to support a group (2-4) of excellent investigators and their teams in delivering a top-down inter-disciplinary research project, bringing together complementary skills, knowledge and resources in new ways, to address research problems that could only be tackled on a collaborative basis.

On announcing the reinstatement if the Synergy grant the ERC President, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said, “The Synergy Grants awarded so far have shown that this funding fosters interdisciplinary research and can trigger unconventional collaborations, allowing for the emergence of new fields of study. These grants help to put European science at the global forefront. They will contribute significantly to fill a gap in the EU funding for frontier research.”

Covering physical science and engineering, life sciences, and social science and humanities the funding scheme intends to promote substantial advances at the frontiers of knowledge, and to encourage new productive lines of enquiry and new methods and techniques, including unconventional approaches and investigations at the crossroads of established disciplines.

Only exceptionally competitive proposals are likely to be funded.

For more information on the ERC Synergy grants see

Alan Kennedy is the European Funding Advisor in the European Funding Team within the Research Support Office. 

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