The EEA Seed Grant Initiative

Every year, the EEA funds 100 seed grants of the amount of €1,000 (Euro) for each application submitted to the PANEL SH1 of any European Research Council (ERC) grant programme. The EEA does this as it wishes to promote an increase in the number of applications for the ERC grant programme but does not intend to interfere with the process of selection of grants.

Why EEA supports the ERC grant programme

The ERC presents a great opportunity for economists to fund their research. However, applications from economists are low compared to other disciplines and have been declining. Funds are allocated between panels according to the number of applications that each panel receives, so this decline in applicants means that less money is going towards economics research. If we can increase applications to the economics relevant panel (SH1, markets, individuals and institutions) then this will increase the funds going to support economics research. The EEA, therefore, encourages people to submit applications to the ERC. Since 2017, the EEA Research Committee has been running a workshop at the EEA congresses on applying for ERC grants.

What is the ERC grant programme?

The ERC grants are open to top researchers of any nationality or age who wish to carry out their frontier research in the 28 EU Member States or associated countries.

Three funding schemes are available:

  1. Starting Grants: for researchers with 2-7 years of experience since completion of PhD (plus 18 months for each child). Funding per grant is up to € 1.5 million, with duration up to 5 years;
  2. Consolidator Grants: for researchers with 7-12 years of experience since completion of PhD (plus 18 months for each child). Funding per grant is up to € 2 million, with duration up to 5 years;
  3. Advanced Grants: no experience limit (the scheme targets established researchers). Funding per grant is up to € 2.5 million, with duration up to 5 years.

Applying for an ERC research grant is not complicated as there are clear procedures to follow. Moreover, individual researchers can apply for the research grants - researchers do not need to form networks with other researchers or institutions to form. Applicants, however, do have to be affiliated with a “host” institution in a EU Member State or Associated Country. If an applicant is successful, the host institution frees up teaching hours allowing the researcher to concentrate on the funded project.

Furthermore, each application goes through a very thorough review process by experts who sit on the panel. Feedback on the application is fundamental for the applicant. Furthermore, if the research project is not successful during one year, it can be resubmitted during another year. The research proposal can also be submitted to other funding agencies. Moreover, many national funding agencies have a format where they fund certain applicants whose research projects have reached the final stages of the ERC funding evaluation process (please check with your national agencies to see what they offer).

Read more at the ERC website

How to Apply for EEA Seed Grant Initiative

  • The EEA Seed grants are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis to 100 researchers affiliated with eligible institutions (criteria below)
  • All eligible applicants contact after the grant proposal has been submitted to the ERC. The The applicant must include personal information, country of residence, and institutional affiliation (i.e., the host institution of the project). Eligibility checks will be made.
  • If the application for the EEA Seed grant is approved, the applicant must contact when they receive an email from the ERC acknowledging that the grant proposal has been deemed eligible. This may take some months from when the proposal is submitted to the ERC.
  • The EEA will pay the seed grant as soon as the proposal has been deemed eligible by the ERC administration.
  • The EEA will not transfer any grants to any individuals whose ERC research grant application is deemed ineligible or that have a duration inferior to 60 months.
  • The payment will be made via bank transfer.

The EEA does not operate any screening.  The only requirements to qualify for a grant are that (i) the application is for a 60-month project; (ii) the application is declared admissible by the ERC administration.

List of eligible places for the EEA Seed Grants

Any institutions in any of the following countries:

  • Albania
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Macedonia (FYRM)
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine

Any institutions in any of the following regions:

  • Andalucia (Spain)
  • Basilicata (Italy)
  • Calabria (Italy)
  • Campania (Italy)
  • Castilla La Mancha (Spain)
  • Cornwall (United Kingdom)
  • Extremadura (Spain)
  • Lincolnshire (United Kingdom)
  • Molise (Italy)
  • Puglia (Italy)
  • Sardinia (Italy)
  • Sicily (Italy)

Any institutions in any European country where members of the departments have not been awarded ERC funds in the past.

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