16.000 academics call for financially strong and independent ERC  

Press Release

In an open letter, leading scientists and university leaders called upon the EU Presidents and the Heads of States and Governments in Europe to secure funding for the European Research Council (ERC)  in the next long-term EU budget.

The petition letter has been supported by 16.000 signatures from academics.
The signatures will now be sent to the EU presidents von der Leyen, Michel and Sassoli, and the EU Member States’ Finance Ministers.

Among notable supporters are important stakeholders for European Research:

  • 16 048 academics from 94 countries
  • 4 University Associations and 54 leading European Universities
  • 14 Nobel Laureates and other leading scientists and awards laureates
  • Former and present leaders and members of ERC Scientific Council
  • Science academies, organizations, and foundations.
  • The Association of ERC grantees

September 3: Press Conference on ERC and the EU Budget  

September 3, 2020 –  15:45-16:30 – part of ESOF2020 and available online
Join us via Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83835616675– Meeting ID: 838 3561 6675


Prof. Ben Feringa, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, University of Groningen, the Netherlands
Dr. Agnieszka Wykowska, ERC StG Grantee, Italian Institute of Technology, Italy, The Association of ERC grantees.
Prof. Dag Rune Olsen, Rector at University of Bergen, Norway
Moderated by Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen, President at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

ERC, one of the greatest European success stories in the last decade, is under threat.
Thanks to its unique formula of independence from political intervention, bold research ideas, bottom-up approach, and a singular focus on excellence, ERC grants have become one of the most prestigious research grants in the world.

A strong and independent ERC is vital for our ability to meet and tackle future challenges and crises. Since we do not necessarily know what these are, we need to prepare for the unknown, for which there are no better way than investing in excellent bottom-up researcher driven frontier science.

Friends of the ERC is an initiative to organize a petition in support of the European Research Council (ERC) from 19 leading international scientists and universities from 8 different countries.

Press Release from Friends of the ERC, September 2, 2020