On 25 July, the European Commission adopted the European Research Council (ERC) work programme for 2017.
The budget available for 2017 ERC grant competitions amounts to € 1.8 billion, the highest ever since the ERC’s establishment. The 2017 budget available for Starting Grants (€605 million) also represents a record high. Applications for 2017 Starting Grants opened on 26 July and will close on 18 October 2016. The opening and closing dates for the other ERC competitions (Consolidator Grants, Advanced Grants, and Proof of Concept Grants) can be found in the 2017 work programme.
The 2017 ERC work programme includes a number of new elements. First, ERC funded researchers are henceforth required, by default, to ensure access to the data produced by their research project. Second, the 2017 work programme foresees several measures aimed at obtaining a better gender balance in research.
To begin with, ERC grantees are henceforth under an obligation to take measures to promote gender equality. For example, they must strive for a gender balance among the personnel assigned to their project. Furthermore, “the current eligibility window for applicants can be further extended for maternity leaves if appropriately documented” (ERC news 25 July, https://erc.europa.eu/).