Research & Innovation

Funding call represents strong opportunity for Ireland’s researchers

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Funding call represents strong opportunity for Ireland’s researchers

Funding call represents strong opportunity for Ireland’s researchers
December 12
08:04 2013

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has today welcomed the announcement by the European Commission that it has allocated €1.7 billion in funding for research projects to be selected by the European Research Council (ERC) in 2014. The first calls, which are open to Irish-based, early-career researchers operating in any field, provide funding for cutting-edge research through the ‘Starting Grant’ and ‘Consolidator Grant’ schemes. The call forms part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme.

Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General of SFI and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said, “This is an important funding call for Irish researchers producing investigator-driven frontier research that is at the cutting edge of science. The expected standard is high with scientific excellence as the criterion for selection. Ireland’s researchers can however be confident of success given the increasingly high calibre of research being conducted here and our growing international reputation as a centre for research excellence. SFI has developed a strategic plan with a goal for Irish-based researchers to win significant funding from the Horizon 2020 programme and will work with agencies, centre directors, research bodies and funded researchers towards this goal. SFI will promote a number of incentives to encourage Irish-based researchers to apply to Horizon 2020 schemes and has high expectations of the Irish research community, as evidenced through the setting of ambitious, but achievable targets, for the acquisition of EU funding.”

The ERC aims to stimulate scientific excellence in Europe by encouraging competition for funding between the very best, creative researchers. Applicants can be of any nationality and age, and from anywhere in the world. The ERC is the main component of the ‘Excellent Science’ pillar of Horizon 2020, and its budget is expected to rise to a total of €13 billion, to be spent over the next 7 years. The ‘Advanced Grant’ scheme, for established researchers, is scheduled to launch in June 2014.

SFI runs two highly attractive ERC-related programmes: The SFI ERC Support Programme provides extra indirect funding for the host institutions of ERC awardees, while the SFI ERC Development Programme allows excellent ERC applicants who were unfortunate to be deemed fundable but not funded due to budgetary limitations, to be supported in their research aims; this funding, which can be up to €500,000 direct costs over 2 years, is designed to assist such applicants to prepare for an immediate resubmission to the ERC where appropriate, or to carry out vital, necessary further research in order to be better placed to resubmit in the slightly longer term. Both of these programmes can also be utilised to attract ERC awardees or applicants from across Europe to work in Ireland’s HEIs.

Further information on the ERC funding call can be found on the SFI website at: http://www.sfi.ie/international/the-european-research-council-introduction/

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