HORIZON 2020 Masterclass Writing Successful ERC Advanced Grants, Call 2019

The next deadline for submitting an ERC Advanced Grant proposal is scheduled end of August 2019. In this workshop we will discuss the ERC and panel specifics for the scientific proposal and Principal Investigator.

The ERC selection criteria applied by the panels use terms which have become familiar jargon, such as important challenge, novel concept, scientific approach and feasibility. Most of these terms are also used by other funding agencies but they are interpreted and applied differently. This workshop will explain in detail not only what these terms mean and imply under the ERC umbrella but also how the ERC panel members use these terms to discuss, assess and select project proposals. This process differs from panel to panel, for example feasibility of the scientific approach is assessed differently in social sciences from life sciences and development of a new methodology has a different meaning in social sciences from physics. What does this imply? This workshop will supply you with the necessary knowledge to write a successful ERC proposal and will be an invaluable aid in meeting the ERC standards, and to get one step closer to obtaining an ERC grant.

Using the ERC guide with Instructions for Applicants we will explain how you can address the ERC selection criteria and the panel specifics and draft a competitive project proposal. For example, we will examine keywords used in the ERC documentation such as novelty, groundbreaking, impact and feasibility of scientific approach and how these terms can be used to write a project proposal. However, we will also explain how to take into account the balances that are built into the ERC selection criteria such as being ambitious but still enforcing a breakthrough and proposing a novel scientific approach but still being feasible.

We will explain in detail how you can address the potential feasibility of the scientific approach, taking into account the panel specifics and research fields.

We will also discuss the panel specifics concerning the quality of the CVs and track-record of ERC grantees. What is the norm per panel and what does this mean for the CVs of the participants? What “actions” do participants have to highlight or undertake to bring their CV in line with the expectations of the selected panel?

Training objectives

To provide researchers with a good understanding of:

  • the evaluation criteria and how to address these by using a logic tree for project development;
  • what makes an excellent PI according to the reviewers of the different domains/panels;
  • how to use the logic tree for grant writing to write a competitive scientific proposal considering panel specifics and type of project.

Who should attend?

The workshop will be of value for applicants who plan to submit an ERC Advanced Grant proposal in the near future. It is expected that the applicants have a basic knowledge about the ERC programme, including eligibility criteria.


The seminar will be in English, with no translation. The trainer will provide practical information and discuss the requested information, the evaluation criteria, and the best strategy for drafting the proposal with the participants.

The workshop is highly interactive and includes several hands-on exercises and discussions. Each participant will get access to an extensive guide with the information on the topics listed in the programme.


Lotte Jaspers, Mette Skraastad, and Aya van den Kroonenberg. Yellow Research has extensive experience in running ERC workshops and in pre-submission reviews of ERC Starting, Consolidator, and Advanced Grants. At Yellow Research we have successfully trained candidates for writing ERC proposals since the 2008 call.



Opening + ERC Grants in a nutshell

With special emphasis on ERC objectives and the evaluation process.

Part I

Before you start writing: project development.

We will discuss in detail the ERC evaluation criteria related to the research project regarding

  1. groundbreaking nature and ambition
  2. the high gain and high risk balance and the link to the potential feasibility of the scientific
  3. the envisioned impact on future research and possibilities of utility

Introduction of “ERC logic-tree”


Part II

Principal Investigator

We will address the key elements for Curriculum Vitae including Funding ID, Early Achievement Track Record and assessment of career achievements.

Part III

Proposal writing: B1 and B2

The extended synopsis is a 5-page summary of the Scientific Proposal with emphasis on the groundbreaking nature and feasibility of the proposal and how the outcomes of the research will impact further research. B2 is the full scientific proposal to be reviewed in Step 2 of the evaluation process. Emphasis on B2b (Methodology) and B2c (Resources).


Question time

Date, Location, Contact

Date(s): not scheduled, available as in-house event

Time: 09:00 – 16:00

Location: Yellow Research, Veembroederhof 5-7, 1019 HD, Amsterdam

Course fee

The YR course fee is € 625,00 per participant (VAT exempted), incl. coffee & tea, lunch and course materials.


Click on the blue button ‘Book this course’ on the top of this page to book online. For questions about this course, please contact Sarah Jones at jones[at]yellowresearch[dot]nl .