Concluded date

How to write a successful ERC Starting or Consolidator grant application - UiO


13 November 2020 10:00 - 14:00

Type of event:

Digital Event

Target group:

Researchers and EU-advisers

Registration deadline:

Monday 9 November 2020

Live streaming
Register here

About the event

This is a Zoom webinar, we will send you the streaming link after you have signed up.

Are you going to apply to the ERC Starting grant or Consolidator grant in 2021? The Research Council and NTNU invites you to attend a course on how to write an application to the European Research Council, ERC. The course is also relevant if you plan to apply to a later deadline.

The tentative deadlines are 9. March for StG and 20. April for CoG. StG is for researchers with 2-7 years of experience since their PhD, and 7-12 years for CoG applicants.

You'll find information about the ERC StG and CoG on the ERC web.
The planned opening dates for the calls are January 12th and 21st. The details of the calls will be published in the ERC Work Programme 2021. It will be published when Horizon Europe has been formally approved by the European Union.

There is a short video here about ERC.

The course is held in English.

Who can participate?

The webinar is only open to researchers/advisors with a position at a Norwegian university or research institution. Please use your e-mail address at your Norwegian institution when you register. We will send the link to the seminar to this address.


Dr. Mette Skraastad, founder and partner of Yellow Research has extensive experience in running ERC workshops and in pre-submission review of ERC Starting, Consolidator, Advanced and Synergy grants. At Yellow Research we have successfully trained candidates for writing ERC proposals since the 2008 call. Her knowledge and experience in pre-submission review of ERC proposals is an important aspect of our success in this training.

More information about the event

In this webinar programme for ERC Starting and Consolidator Grant 2021 applicants we will discuss the ERC objectives and structure and how panels assess to what extent the proposed research is the best written proposal in your lifetime and containing high quality research.

The ERC selection criteria applied by the panels use terms which have become familiar jargon, such as important challenge, groundbreaking, scientific approach and feasibility. Most of these terms are also used by other funding agencies but they are interpreted and applied differently. This webinar will explain in detail not only what these terms mean and imply under the ERC umbrella but also how the ERC panel members use these terms to assess, discuss and select project proposals. This process differs from panel to panel, for example feasibility of the scientific approach is assessed differently in a life sciences panel focusing on basic research or resolving cause of disease or applied research. Development of a new methodology has a different meaning in applied and basic research. What does this imply? This webinar will supply you with the necessary knowledge to write a successful ERC proposal and will be an invaluable aid in meeting the ERC standards and getting one step closer to an ERC grant award.

Using the ERC guide “Instructions for Applicants” we will explain how you can address the ERC selection criteria and the panel specifics and draft a competitive project proposal. For example, we will examine keywords used in the ERC documentation and explain how to present a competitive proposal by focusing on high quality research. We will discuss what defines high quality research and how can the ERC evaluation criteria be used to translate your project idea into high quality research. How can the term ‘groundbreaking’ be used to mark the innovativeness or originality of the proposed research and the term ‘high gain’ to demonstrate the potential breakthrough in science? How can your ambition be balanced by evidence for feasibility and back-up plans?

We will explain in detail how you to address the evaluation criteria and in particular innovativeness and feasibility in view of the panel specifics and research fields.

Training objectives

To provide researchers with a good understanding of

  • the evaluation criteria and how to analyse them;
  • how to write a competitive scientific proposal considering panel specifics and type of project;
  • what makes an excellent PI according to the reviewers of the different domains/panels.

Who should attend? 

The webinars will be of value for applicants who want to submit an ERC proposal. Depending on the scientific backgrounds of the participants we will highlight domain specific issues.


The webinars will be in English, with no translation. The trainer(s) will provide practical information and discuss the requested information, the evaluation criteria and the best strategy for drafting the proposal with the participants.

The webinars are interactive and includes moments for discussions to promote an exchange of views between participants and trainer(s). Each participant receives an extensive guide with the information on the topics listed in the programme.


10:00 – 11:30 and 12:30 – 14:00. There will be a break 11:30 – 12:30

Part I ERC in a nutshell: who is your audience.
ERC structure and evaluation procedure

Part II Challenge, importance and project idea: Innovativeness and Relevance
Using the ERC writing instructions and the evaluation criteria we will discuss how to present the challenge(s) or research question (s), project idea and relevance to the critical external referees. We will discuss ERC terms as challenge and innovativeness and how panels select proposals using the sole selection criterion excellence.

Part III High risk and high gain balance – Ambition
In this section we will discuss the high risk and high gain balance and potential feasibility of the scientific approach. The ERC panels are selecting proposals with a high-quality research with clear intermediate goals, expected results, well-structured plan, evidence for feasibility and appropriate back-up plans. Enabling the panel to assess the ambition but also the potential significant gain of the proposed research. The balance of high risk and high gain is used to select the most promising proposals.

Part IV Questions and answers

Part V Scientific Proposal: Methodology – Matureness
In this section we will discuss how to present a solid methodology section containing not only the proposed activities to collect new information but also to analyse and conceptualise the findings. Enabling the panel to assess the appropriateness of the proposed methodology for achieving the goals.

Part VI Selecting ERC panel – Focus of panel
We will discuss how to select the best panel to increase the likelihood of funding

Part VII How to write the different sections
We will discuss the different sections of the proposal and what information could or should be presented in each section and why. We will walk through all proposal sections being: Summary, Extended Synopsis, PI description, Scientific Proposal and the A3 form for justifying the costs. Going from promises made to the potential added value in view of ongoing research.

Part VIII Questions and answers and closing


Ann Kristin Sørli Halvorsen

Berit Sundby Avset

Per Magnus Kommandantvold