The International European Research Council Starting Grants Support Scheme - Call for Proposals


The International European Research Council Starting Grants Support Scheme - Call for Proposals

SEA-EU-NET offers 10 grants to excellent researchers to assist in preparing an ERC Starting Grant proposal! Open until 1 September 2014!

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The European Research Council (ERC) supports excellence in frontier research through a bottom-up, individual-based, worldwide competition. The ERC provides support to individual scientists, not research networks or institutions, and covers all scientific disciplines. The ERC has a budget of €13 billion for the period 2014-2020 and offers Starting Grants (2-7 years after PhD), Consolidator Grants (7-12 years after PhD), and Advanced Grants (for scientists with significant scientific achievements over the last ten years). Grants are awarded for up to five years with maximum proposal budgets ranging from €1.5 million to €3.5 million.

From 2007 – 2013, there were no successful applicants conducting research in  Southeast Asia, and only four successful applications from researchers with Southeast Asian nationality.

This can in part be explained by the fact that despite ERC efforts to promote its funding opportunities beyond EU Member states and EU Associated Countries (Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova), there is still little awareness in the region about the opportunities offered by the ERC. The ERC has the aim to attract the very best researchers worldwide to Europe and its first-class research institutions and is therefore interested in increasing the number of ERC grant proposals from Southeast Asia. Also there might be little knowledge of the fact that 50% of the time of the grant can be spent in the home country while the budget is still linked to the individual researcher.

Programme Objectives of the Support Scheme

The overall objective of this scheme is to support Southeast Asian researchers in ERC proposal preparation so as to increase their chances of being awarded an ERC grant. More specifically this program will do the following:

  1. Support selected outstanding Southeast Asian researchers in proposal preparation (ASEAN citizens working in ASEAN)
  2. Provide programme participants with information on successful ERC proposal preparation
  3. Offer the participants the possibility to visit potential host institutions in Europe and prepare their proposal

Structure of the Scheme

This ERC Support Scheme will initially focus on the ERC Starting Grants which support researchers at the early stages of their career (2-7 years after PhD - means: PhD obtained between 31.12.2007 – 31.12.2012).

The target group for this Support Scheme are bright, young Southeast Asian researchers who demonstrate the highest potential to conduct research in the European Research Area in the future.

This scheme offers up to ten travel grants for Southeast Asian researchers on the basis of a call for proposals. These travel grants will allow successful applicants to spend up to two weeks in Europe with the purpose of receiving information on the preparation of an ERC grant proposal, and working with their European partner(s) in the preparation of an ERC Starting Grant Proposal.


The funding per travel grant is up to €4,000. This is intended to cover return economy airfare from Southeast Asia, local travel within Europe, and food and accommodation costs for up to two weeks in Europe. The applicant is asked to submit a travel schedule with her/his application. A daily allowance of €50 will be granted. All other costs will get reimbursed based on submitted receipts or covered in advance by DLR.

Call for Proposals

Travel grants will be awarded on the basis of a Call for Proposals. Applicants from Southeast Asia will have to demonstrate that they have identified one or more relevant European (or Associated Country) host organisations with whom they want to collaborate for the ERC Starting Grant. Applicants will need to submit a support letter from the European or Associated Country institutions(s) confirming that they wish to host the Southeast Asian researcher.

The applicant will also have to show that they already have the basis of a research proposal for the ERC Starting Grant which is pioneering and innovative in its approach and its goals, and has the potential to change the course of science in their respective research area. Proposals that cross disciplines will be encouraged.

Participation in an ERC scheme requires substantial preparation, in most cases as long as six months. Applicants need to use the time this Call for Proposals offers to start the application process in order to be able to participate in the 2015 Starting Grant Calls for Proposals.


The publication of the next ERC Starting Grant Call for Proposals is scheduled for October 2014 (date to be confirmed) with a closing date of 3 February 2015. In order for Southeast Asian researchers to participate in this Call, the Support Scheme will launch its call for proposals July 15 with a closing date of September 1, 2014. Successful candidates will be notified by September 19, 2014. The visits to potential European or Associated Country host (s) will take place in rather November or December 2014.

Implementing Agencies

The FP7 funded SEA-EU-NET project is a hub for promoting programmes of the European Framework Programmes for Research and Innovation in Southeast Asia. Established in 2008, and now in its second phase with partners in almost all ASEAN member states, the project has established a strong network of S&T decision-makers, multipliers, research institutions and companies in both Southeast Asia and Europe. SEA-EU-NET effectively promotes European programmes to increase participation from this highly dynamic economic area. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) is coordinator of the SEA-EU-NET project and will act as the granting agency and local organizer within this scheme.

The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA), Thailand was established under the Ministry of Science and Technology by the special National Science and Technology Development Act, 1991. NSTDA is an umbrella organization that orchestrates the R&D output from national research centers in biotechnology (BIOTEC: National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology), metal and material technology (MTEC: National Metal and Materials Technology Center), electronics and software technology (NECTEC: National Electronics and Computer Technology Center) and nanotechnology (NANOTEC: National Nanotechnology Center) as well as from their related research networks. NSTDA reaches out to other research organizations and universities through joint collaboration, contracted research, and other mechanisms to ensure the best resources are being captured for the country’s innovation needs. To tie all these together, the Technology Management Center of NSTDA serves as a linkage between scientists and end users and provides related technology services. In brief, NSTDA is a one of a kind national organization that distinguishes its roles from other research units in Thailand by acting as a bridge between the academic research and innovation requirements of industry. NSTDA is a partner in the SEA-EU-NET project.

Call for Proposals - Application guidelines

Required information (please use the word-template attached to this page and follow the instructions):

  • Filled out application form, including:
    • Travel itinerary, naming the institutions & persons to be visited and the timing schedule
    • Short outline of the proposal idea (formless, max. 2 pages)
    • Short outline of possible impact of the conducted research (formless, max. 1 page)
    • Curriculum Vitae of the applicant (in Europass format

Proposed Europe Travel Programme & Reporting

  • Departure from SEA (Day 1)
  • Arrival in Brussels and acclimatization (Day 2)
  • Meetings in Brussels - general information on Horizon2020 and ERC (Day 3)
  • Visits of possible host Institutions across Europe (Day 4-12)
  • Departure home (Day 13)

Obligations of the successful applicants

Successful applicants are required to submit a report of their mission to Europe within three weeks of having completed their travel. The report should not exceed three pages in length. This report should detail the applicant’s objectives for travelling to Europe, a summary of results achieved, and an overview of the Starting Grant proposal. If no Starting Grant proposal was prepared, then an explanation should be provided on problems encountered in the development of a project proposal.


Mr. Patrick Ziegler, DLR, Germany (

Ms. Wanichar Sukprasertchai, NSTDA, Thailand (

Information on the ERC Starting Grant Call for Proposal from 2014 can be found on page 20 here:

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological
development and demonstration under grant agreement no 311784.

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