The Guide to Collaborations in ERC
Excluding the ERC Synergy grant, ERC grants are personal. This means that the ERC AdG, CoG and StG projects cannot be collaborative efforts. Since many applicants are used to working in collaboration with their peers and colleagues – this comes as a contrast and strikes as counter-intuitive. In many other grants, collaborations are common and even encouraged. In ERC, excluding the PI’s direct team members, collaborators are normally not welcome to the research effort. The previous sentence is not unequivocal. Working with many ERC applicants enables us to track specific instances for which collaborations in ERC were in fact acceptable and even needed. In light of this apparent controversy, many applicants are unsure if their collaborative inclusion would help or hurt their application. Both a conceptual understanding of when collaborations are perceived positively, and a practical understanding of how this should be presented in the application, is needed to get it right. For this reason, we’ll address below exactly when collaborations in ERC are acceptable and how best to manage them.