European Research Council: Achievements & Possibilities with Korea

Categories: News

Tags: ERC | Korea | Europe | Mobility | Excellence

The European Research Council (ERC) is the first European funding organisation supporting cutting-edge 'blue sky' research in all fields, and helping Europe attract the best researchers of any nationality. It was setup 11 years ago, in 2007, by the European Union. At this occasion we would like to turn back on some of the great achievements of the ERC.

The ERC is led by an independent governing body, the Scientific Council, and, since January 2014, the ERC President is Prof. Jean-Pierre Bourguignon. The ERC has a budget of over €13 billion and is part of the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.ERC grantees have won prestigious prizes, including 6 Nobel Prizes, 3 Fields Medals, 5 Wolf Prize and more. 2014-2020 budget: 13.1 billion euro. European Research Council (ERC) grants support individual researchers of any nationality and age who wish to run five-year-projects in frontier research, in a public or private research organisation based in the countries of the European Research Area (ERA), that includes EU Member States and Associated Countries.
The ERC encourages in particular proposals that cross disciplinary boundaries, pioneering ideas that address new and emerging fields and applications that introduce unconventional, innovative approaches.

10 years of the ERC: a European success story

From 2007 to 2017, the ERC, established by the EU to support excellent researchers in Europe, has backed scores of them, including six who later received Nobel Prizes. ERC grants also created career opportunities for some 50,000 research staff, resulted in numerous scientific breakthroughs and led to over 800 patent applications that lay the foundations for growth and jobs, and the improvement of people's daily lives.

유럽연구위원회 (ERC)

유럽연구위원회 (ERC)는 모든 분야에서의 최첨단 연구 ‘blue sky’ 를 지원하고, 각 국가의 뛰어난 연구원(학자)들이 유럽으로 진출할 수 있도록 돕는 유럽 최초의 재정 지원 단체입니다. 이 단체는 2007년, 유럽 연합이 설립하였으며, 유럽연구위원회의 대표적인 업적은 다음과 같습니다.

유럽연구위원회의 10년: 유럽 성공 사례

2007 년부터 2017 년까지, 유럽의 훌륭한 인재들을 후원하기 위해 유럽연합이 설립한 유럽연구위원회는 후에 노벨상을 수상한 6명을 포함하여, 많은 사람들에게 지원을 하였습니다. ERC는 또한 약 50,000명의 연구원들을 위한 기회를 창출하고, 수많은 학문적 발전을 가져 왔으며, 성장과 일자리 창출, 일상 생활의 개선 등을 위한 800개가 넘는 특허 출원을 이루어 냈습니다.

For example, Deniz Kirik at Lund University in Sweden developed a promising gene therapy for Parkinson's disease. Valeria Nicolosi at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland created batteries that last even 5,000 times longer, using two-dimensional materials. And astronomer Michaël Gillon at the University of Liège, Belgium, discovered potentially inhabitable planets orbiting another star that recently made news worldwide. The ERC believed in their ideas and encouraged them to follow their scientific curiosity.

The President of the ERC, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said:
"For the past ten years the European Research Council has supported high-quality research projects proposed by ambitious scientists. ERC grants led to many scientific breakthroughs. […] The ERC is fulfilling the mission it was given to make Europe the place to be for the world's best brains."

ERC: 10 years of achievements


ERC open to the world

The ERC strives to attract top researchers from anywhere in the world. To date, it has funded some 6 900 top researchers at various stages of their careers.

ERC grants are open to researchers of any nationality who may reside in any country in the world at the time of application. Currently, there are 537 (8%) principal investigators of non-ERA nationality, for a total grant value of EUR 900 million. These grant holders are mainly nationals of the US (218), Canada (63), Russia (44), India (38), Australia (37), Japan (25), and China (23).

On average, ERC grantees employ around six team members during their ERC project. An estimate shows that some 17% (about 7,000) of these team members are nationals from countries outside Europe.

The major part (almost half) of the non-ERA staff members come from three countries covered by EURAXESS Worldwide: China (18%), the US (16%), and India (13%). Japan (4%), Canada (3%), and Vietnam (1%), also bring a noticeable contribution. The ERC wishes to further pursue internationalisation and warmly encourages researchers from all countries to apply for funding and to search for jobs within ERC teams.


About the ERC Funding Schemes

Researchers, independently of their nationality and current place of work, can apply for 3 types of ERC grants:

Additionally, ERC grant holders can apply for top-up funding (Proof of Concept Grant (PoC) to explore the innovation potential of their research results.

ERC calls are annual. Find the calendar of upcoming calls here.


How to find a job within ERC teams

ERC projects are carried out by an individual researcher ('Principal Investigator') who can employ researchers of any nationality as team members. One or more team members can even be located in a non-European country.

ERC grantees are encouraged to publish vacancies in their teams on the EURAXESS Jobs portal. A quick search with the “European Research Council (ERC)” additional filter will list all vacancies available in ERC teams in Europe.


How to perform research visits to ERC teams (MSIP-ERC exchange scheme)

Since 2013, the Implementing arrangement (IA) between the MSIP and the European Commission enables young Korean researchers to carry out research visits and temporarily join ERC teams in Europe.

The aim is to boost opportunities for early-career Korean scientists to come to Europe to work within a European Research Council backed research group.

  • MSIP-supported Career Researchers can be provided with opportunities for either long term visits (6-12 months) multiple short term visits (minimum aggregated duration 6 months).

  • MSIP-supported Young Researchers can be provided with opportunities for either long term visits (6-12 months).

Salaries are covered by the Korean side, according to their MSIP-supported projects’ terms and conditions or the regulations of their organisation in Korea. ERC projects may reimburse subsistence costs on a per diem basis, (in accordance with the applicable national law and any other rules or regulations applicable), and any other eligible costs incurred during the visiting researcher's stay that are directly related to the ERC-funded project.

In practice, the ERC prepares a list of potential hosts in Europe, that is then advertised by MSIPto its researchers (around late Fall usually). MSIP-supported researchers can then apply via the NRF to eligible research stays.

For more information, refer to the ERC-MSIP Implementing Arrangement (IA)