European Research Council Proof of Concept Grant

Opens: 16 November 2023

Funder Deadline: 14 March 2024

What is an ERC PoC grant?
ERC PoC grants are made to ERC grant holders to enable them to fund activity designed to verify the innovation potential of ideas that have come out of their original ERC project (Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant or Advanced Grant). Projects will need to outline the commercial or social innovation which is being tested and the economic or societal impact that is expected from the project. Please see the ERC Work Programme and the Information for Applicants for information on the purpose of the PoC funding. A PoC grant is not additional funding for original research and is not top-up funding for the original ERC project. Applications with these aims will not be funded through this scheme.

How much are the grants?
Proof of Concept Grants are for a maximum of €150,000 for a period of 18 months. (The ERC expects that proof of concept projects will be completed within 12 months. However, to allow for those projects that require more preparation time, projects will be signed for 18 months. Given this initial flexibility, the ERC is unlikely to extend PoC projects).

The grant funds 100% of eligible direct costs of the PoC activity, plus indirect costs (overheads) equivalent to 25% of (most of) the direct eligible costs (the indirects are included in the grant maximum figure above).

Who is eligible?
All Principal Investigators in one of the ERC frontier research main grants (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy) are eligible to participate and apply for an ERC Proof of Concept Grant. Principal Investigators in an ongoing main grant, or Principal Investigators in a main grant that has ended less than 12 months before 1 January 2023, are eligible to apply. The application will need to demonstrate the clear relationship between the idea to be taken to proof of concept and the ERC frontier research project (Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy) from which it arises.

More than one PoC Grant can be associated with an ERC frontier research project, but these cannot be running at the same time.
What is a competitive application?
There are three evaluation criteria for Proof of Concept grants. These are:
1) Excellence in Innovation potential
2) Impact
3) Quality and efficiency of the implementation

More information can be accessed via the EC's webpage on this opportunity

Internal Deadlines

Research Services: 7 March 2024

First Draft: 15 February 2024

Expressions of Interest: 8 February 2024