ERC runner-up-projects


The European Research Council (ERC) aims at supporting high quality frontier research in Europe through an open competition between the very best, creative researchers.

Being aware of the high number of excellent proposals ERC receives that remain unfunded due to budgetary constraints, FWO provides alternative funding to the five best of the unsuccessful ERC Starting and Consolidator grant applicants, with the aim to strengthen the next ERC application.


  • Period: 4 years, not renewable
  • Only one application for a runner-up project can be granted per type of ERC grant (either Starting grant or Consolidator grant)
  • Staff and consumables:
    • Starting grant runner-up project: 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) scientific staff member for 4 years and € 10,000 consumables per year (€ 70,000 in total)
    • Consolidator grant runner-up project: minimum 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) scientific staff member for 4 years and the balance to be spent on consumables per year (€ 92,000 in total)
  • Deadline Starting grant runner-up project: 26 October 2020 at 5 p.m.
  • Deadline Consolidator grant runner-up project: 1 March 2021 at 5 p.m.
  • Announcement of results: beginning of December 2020 (Starting grant runner-up project) or end of March 2021 (Consolidator grant runner-up project)
  • Start of project: 1 January 2021 (Starting grant runner-up project) or 1 April 2021 (Consolidator grant runner-up project)

Profile and conditions

  • For an ERC runner-up project only candidates who have applied for an ERC Starting grant or ERC Consolidator grant are eligible.
  • The ERC Starting grant or Consolidator grant application has to be submitted with a Flemish main host institution that is eligible for the FWO, as referred to in § 2 of article 7 of the regulations governing fundamental research projects.
  • You must hold at least one of the appointments or research fellowships mentioned in article 10, §1-3 of the regulations.
  • Your research will be carried out at an eligible Flemish main host institution referred to in  article 7, §2.
  • You have reached the end of step 2 of the evaluation process of the ERC Starting Grant or Consolidator grant 2020 call and have received an 'A' score, but have not received European funding due to budgetary constraints.
  • You agree with the Research Integrity Clause

How does the application, evaluation and selection process work?

  • The ERCEA sends a notification to the candidates.
  • The FWO invites the candidates (expected October for StG and February for CoG) to submit an application for an FWO Runner-up project. If the candidate declines the offer, the next candidate on the ranking list, determined according to the ERCEA evaluation procedure, will be invited.
  • If the candidate does not yet have an e-portal account yet, (s)he must register in the e-portal:
  • The FWO-application must include:
  1. full ERC-Starting or Consolidator Grants proposal that was submitted for the ERC call,
  2. the ERCEA Evaluation Summary Report,
  3. the application form with a description (maximum 2 pages) of the research that you wish to carry out with the FWO funding.
  • The board of trustees of November 2020 (Starting grant runner-up project) and of March 2021 (Consolidator grant runner-up project) assesses the submitted applications and decides on the granting.
  • The ERC Starting and Consolidator Grant (European) ranking is followed, so the FWO does not conduct anymore an internal and external peer review.

Regulations and downloads


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