With the support of


The ERC’s mission is to encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigatorinitiated frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence.

The ERC complements other funding activities in Europe such as those of the national research funding agencies, and is a flagship component of the ‘Ideas Programme’ of the European Union’s Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7).

Being ‘investigator-driven’, or ‘bottom-up’, in nature, the ERC approach allows researchers to identify new opportunities and directions in any field of research, rather than being led by priorities set by politicians. This approach ensures that funds are channelled into new and promising areas of research with a greater degree of flexibility.

ERC grants are awarded through open competition to projects headed by starting and established researchers, irrespective of their origins, who are working or moving to work in Europe – the sole criterion for selection is scientific excellence. The aim here is to recognise the best ideas, and retain and confer status and visibility to the best brains in Europe, while also attracting talent from abroad.

However the ERC aims to do more than simply fund research.

In the long term, it looks to substantially strengthen and shape the European research system. This is done through high quality peer review, the establishment of international benchmarks of success, and the provision of up-to-date information on who is succeeding and why.

The hope is that these processes will help universities and other research institutions gauge their performance and encourage them to develop better strategies to establish themselves as more eff ective global players.

By challenging Europe’s brightest minds, the ERC expects that its grants will help to bring about new and unpredictable cientific and technological discoveries – the kind that can form the basis of new industries, markets, and broader social innovations of the future.

Ultimately, the ERC aims to make the European research base more prepared to respond to the needs of a knowledge-based society and provide Europe with the capabilities in frontier research necessary to meet global challenges.
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WWTF-logo-webVienna Science and Technology Fund

The Wiener Wissenschafts-, Forschungs- und Technologiefonds (Vienna Science and Technology Fund) is a non-profit organisation established to promote science and research in Vienna. The Fund’s funding tools and methods are designed to strengthen top research in Vienna. Some of its calls are explicitly directed at promoting promising young scientists.

The “Vienna Impulse Programme for the Humanities, Social and Cultural Sciences” was launched in February 2008. It is financed from funding provided by the City of Vienna and is currently envisaged to be run by the WWTF until 2013. The mix of funding both projects and individuals aims at bundling and strengthening existing potentials in the humanities, social and cultural sciences in Vienna and at creating new impulses for the research field in Vienna. The programme comprises a series of regular competitive calls, each focusing on a specific topic.


The European Science Foundation (ESF) was established in 1974 to provide a common platform for its Member Organisations to advance European research collaboration and explore new directions for research. It is an independent organisation, owned by 67 Member Organisations, which are research funding organisations, research performing organisations and academies from 29 countries. ESF promotes collaboration in research itself, in funding of research and in science policy activities at the European level. Currently ESF is reducing its research programmes while developing new activities to serve the science community, including peer review and evaluation services.


NET4SOCIETY ( is the international network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for Socio-economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH) in the EU’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7) and beyond in Horizon 2020. National Contact Points advise researchers and other applicants on all aspects of Framework Programme funding opportunities for SSH. NET4SOCIETY has established itself as a strong, efficient and evolving network connecting all SSH NCPs, the EU Commission, researchers and other relevant stakeholders. The network facilitates knowledge exchange between SSH NCPs with the aim of improving the support offered to researchers. We actively support networking in the SSH research community and offer help in every respect of FP7 and Horizon 2020 consultation. The network includes National Contact Points from almost 50 countries in 2013. NET4SOCIETY is funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme.