In quest of excellence

A call for early-career scientists launched by The Erling-Persson Family Foundation, Kempe Foundations, Olle Engkvist Foundation, Ragnar Söderberg Foundation and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

We address Sweden-based researchers who in tough competition, scored among the best in Europe in the latest ERC Starting Grant call but were not granted funding due to budget restraints.

Illustration: Josefina Söderberg. © Ragnar Söderbergs stiftelse 2015.

The ERC process

Every year, around 3000 early-career 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 demonstrating that they are talented scientists with potential to be independent research leaders. The ultimate goal is to be awarded up to € 1.5 million for a period of 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.

The applications are evaluated by 25 evaluation panels. Each panel consists of 12–15 of Europe’s leading researchers in the field. They scrutinise the project plan, the potential of the proposed research and the skills of the researcher. A small number of applicants pass to the second step of the evaluation, which includes an interview. The result of the second step is 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

A group of Swedish foundations have launched a new call for Sweden-based early-career researchers that receive the highest score in tough European competition but are not granted 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.

Apply now!

If your application has been given score A but not received funding, click to read how to apply for Swedish Foundations’ Starting Grant.