EU Announces European Research Council to Finance and Foster Frontier Research

The European Research Council (ERC) is to be created in the end of 2006 or early 2007 to provide support and scholarship to best frontier researchers from Europe and associate countries under the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for Research Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (FP7). According to the official letter from the Scientific Council. RCTT has been informed of the EU’s intentions by a special letter from the ERC Scientific Council.

The FP7 is being currently finalized to become a seven-year programme that will make use of the best achievements of the previous programmes and will be poised primarily at realization of a European Research Area, for further accelerated economic growth of Europe and creation of a knowledge-based society.

The economic and social priorities of the EU will underlie the he main activity sectors of the FP7. In particular, the Frontier Research sector will be autonomously performed by the ERC, under the supervision by the Scientific Council, to foster frontier research on a transparent competitive basis, the funding to be provided solely on the basis of scientific excellence.

The ERC Scientific Council, consisting of 22 eminent researchers drawn from across Europe, has been in charge of elaboration of its concept and design of the ERC, and will direct its scientific strategy and management.

The Scientific Council has decided to set up two funding streams to stimulate European Research Excellence:

  • ERC Starting Grant: a start-up priority scheme for starting independent researcher grants. The objective will be to provide adequate support to the independent careers of excellent researchers who are at the stage of establishing their first research team;
  • ERC Advanced Grant: this advanced investigator scheme will provide broader support for excellent and innovative frontier research projects by individual teams led by investigators at all career stages.

The Scientific Council has been planning to launch a first call for proposals, targeting early-stage independent researchers, at the end of 2006. Nowadays the globalization has its effect on the the research sphere, and the European Union has envisaged the international scientific and technological cooperation as a key component of the FP7. Therefore, the so-called third parties (representatives of the FP7 associate countries) will be strongly encouraged to participate.

The Scientific Council will ensure transparent peer view and unbiased selection of the best proposals from the post-soviet researchers, including those from Belarusian scientists.

More information on the ERC and its Scientific Council and the funding streams is available on the website