ERC 2024: Additional Funding and Programmatic Changes to Promote Research Excellence and Scientific Communication

The European Research Council (ERC) recently announced the addition of €125 million to its budget for 2024, information that has attracted interest and attention in the European scientific community. These additional funds were made possible by the accession of the UK to the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme, earlier this year. By contributing to the budget, the UK is enabling the ERC programme to continue supporting excellent research and funding ambitious projects across Europe. 

The 2024 budget increase will mainly focus on funding an additional 48 Advanced Grants, a type of grant that provides essential support to experienced researchers in innovative, long-term research projects. These grants, which can reach up to EUR 3.5 million each, enable researchers to pursue bold, high-impact lines of research over a period of up to five years. 

With the addition of these funds, the total available for Advanced Grants in 2024 now amounts to EUR 703 million, which will fund 285 projects. Although the number of funded projects is lower than in other grant categories offered by the ERC, such as Starting Grants and Consolidator Grants, the budget for Advanced Grants now represents the largest share of the available funding.  

In parallel with the increase in research funding, the ERC has earmarked an additional EUR 1 million to support communication activities. This will be used to promote the visibility of ERC-funded research results and to strengthen communication with the public, ensuring that the benefits of research reach a wide audience and that the value of science is properly communicated. 

In conclusion, it must be emphasised that the European Research Council is committed to ensuring that the process of evaluating research projects remains rigorous and transparent. Scientific excellence continues to be the main criterion used to evaluate grants for frontier research, and the peer review process is designed to ensure impartiality and transparency in the treatment of proposals. With more funds available, the ERC programme will continue to play a key role in fostering innovation and the advancement of knowledge throughout the European scientific community.