Publish Date: 08.09.2016

Category: News from the University

The European Research Council (ERC) published a press release on the launch of a programme of visits entitled “ERC Fellowship to Visit ERC Grantee”. The invitation by the European Research Council to European national and regional finance providers for research activity was first answered by six agencies, including the Slovenian Research Agency. Slovenia was also joined by Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Belgium – Flemish Region. The ERC expects that more countries will join the programme in future.

After the ERC President  Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon's visit to Slovenia, the Slovenian Research Agency, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, immediately set about to prepare the mechanism and call for the “ERC Fellowship to Visit ERC Grantee” in Slovenia. The Slovenian Research Agency will publish the public call in November 2016 and has ensured €240,000 for 2017 in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport. The call will be open to researchers from all fields of science with the main criterion for selection being scientific excellence. The researchers selected will receive salaries from their research agency and, pursuant to national regulations, also have their visiting costs covered. Applications are not limited to nationality or target country of the visit.

The ERC Fellowship mechanism provides 3 to 6-month visits to ERC grantees. National calls are carried out by national agencies, which also finance the costs of the visits. The ERC sent the invitation for cooperation to 2,800 ERC project managers. It is expected that ERC project managers who are prepared to host successful researchers from national calls in 2017 will be known in late autumn.

The ERC Fellowship is an initiative of the Scientific Council Working Group on Widening European Participation, which is focused on overcoming the gap in the number of ERC grantees among EU Member States. ERC Fellowship provides direct insight into the implementation of an ERC project and exchange of experience, including operative experience, regarding the preparation of an application. These are top level visits, as revealed in observing that ERC projects resulted in major scientific breakthroughs in over 70% of the cases and contributed to a total of 40,000 published scientific articles between 2007 and 2015.

The ERC Fellowship will supplement the mechanism of the ERC Complementary Scheme, which has been implemented by the Slovenian Research Agency since 2011. The ERC Complementary Scheme works as a safety net. Applicants from Slovenian research agencies can apply an adapted project to the Agency after receiving positive evaluation in ERC calls but not being selected for funding. The Agency finances projects lasting up to three years and in the maximum annual amount of €200,000. 

Prof. Dr. József Györkös, Director of the Slovenian Research Agency: “We wish to raise the presence of Slovenian researchers among ERC grantees. The Slovenian Research Agency is aware of its role and tasks to reach that goal, which is why we immediately responded to the ERC invitation to prepare the ERC Fellowship mechanism and prepared the Slovenian application in very short time. I am confident that the experiences of ERC grantees will help Slovenian researchers increase the number of ERC projects implemented at research agencies across Slovenia. The call for visits to ERC grantees by potential applicants will be the operative supplementation to our Complementary Scheme instrument for ERC calls, which has been implemented for the last 6 years.”


ARRS med prvimi šestimi agencijami v Evropi uvaja mehanizem »ERC Fellowship to Visit ERC Grantee«