In quest of excellence
The Erling-Persson Family Foundation, the Kempe Foundations, the Foundation Olle Engkvist Byggmästare, Ragnar Söderberg Foundation and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond are launching a call for young researchers. We address the researchers, based in Sweden, that have been scored among the best in Europe but have not received funding from the ERC’s Starting Grant call due to budget restraints.
Every year, around 3000 young researchers apply for EU funding in the ERC Starting Grant call. They invest many hours and make a huge effort when writing their research proposals and demonstrating that they are promising researchers with proven potential to become independent research leaders. The ultimate goal is to be awarded up to € 1.5 million for five years.
The sole evaluation criterion is scientific excellence. The proposals are evaluated by high-level scientists as international peer reviewers. In their scientific proposals, the applicants must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of proposed projects.
A small number of applicants pass to the second step of the evaluation, which includes an interview. There are 25 evaluation panels. Each panel consists of 12–15 of Europe’s leading researchers in the field. They scrutinize the project plan, the potential of the research proposed and the skills of the researcher. At the end of the evaluation in the second step the applicant will receive a score, either A or B. Score A means that the proposal “fully meets the ERC’s excellence criterion and is recommended for funding if sufficient funds are available”. But not all of them are granted funding.
Swedish foundations’ initiative
This is why a group of Swedish foundations have launched a new call for those young researchers in Sweden that receive the highest score in tough European competition but stands without funding – the Swedish Foundations’ Starting Grant.
A Swedish Foundations’ Starting Grant is
- granted for one year at a time and awards the amount applied for from the ERC,
- guaranteed for five years, given that a new application to the ERC is submitted, if possible,
- funded by one of the foundations: The Erling-Persson Family Foundation, the Kempe Foundations, the Foundation Olle Engkvist Byggmästare, Ragnar Söderberg Foundation or Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.