The future of ERC Synergy Grants

The ice2ice project is financed under the so-called Synergy Grant scheme from the European Research Council (ERC). Recently representatives of the ERC met with more than 20 members of the ice2ice project and were given the message that the ERC Synergy Grant was the perfect instrument to implement the project.

Currently there are 24 synergy grant projects financed from the ERC. The governing body of the ERC, the Scientific Council, has decided to evaluate the funding scheme and has therefore requested to meet with the granted projects.

The chair of the synergy assessment working group, Professor Sierd Cloetingh, emphasized that ice2ice was the first project that the evaluation committee would meet with. The outcome of the evaluation process will be a decision by the ERC Scientific Council whether there will be new calls for synergy grants under Horizon 2020.

The ERC Synergy Grants Assesment Commitee and the 4 ice2ice Principal Investigators


ice2ice made possible with ERC Synergy Grants

The assessment committee members were left with a clear message that ice2ice could not be implemented in the current form without the ERC Synergy Grant scheme. The grant,12,5 million euro over 5 years, and the freedom and focus on the scientific idea allows for the different teams to form around the excellent staff at the 4 different institutions involved in ice2ice. The legacy of the project will also be the training of the next generation of interdisciplinary researchers.

Asked whether the project had got off to a good start, Eystein Jansen, one of the 4 Principal Investigators of ice2ice, stressed that it had been smooth sailing so far.  As an example, the teams have during the last months been busy recruiting more than half of the 24 PhDs and that will be funded by the project. Benefitting from the early international visibility of the project, also benefitting from the “exclusiveness” of the ERC Synergy Grant, there has been a vide international interest for the positions posted so far.