Press Release

Press Release from Friends of the ERC, April 15th:

The European Research Council (ERC) and the funding of frontier science is a major reason for Europe´s increasing strength in research.

Considering the current European debate on the next long-term EU budget, there is significant reason to fear a budget cut for research, affecting also the ERC.

ERC grants have become one of the most prestigious research grants in the world, thanks to its unique formula:

  • independence from political intervention
  • bold research ideas
  • bottom-up approach
  • a singular focus on excellence

We have therefore taken the initiative to organize a petition via:

  1. Open letter to the EU Presidents
    In an open letter  to the EU presidents, we call upon the EU Presidents and the Heads of States and Governments in Europe to
    secure funding for the  European Research Council in the new, long-term EU budget.
    Professors, Nobel laureates and University leaders from eight different countries are among the 19 signatories of the open letter.
  2. Petition for support
    Before sending the letter, we just launched a petition to gather support.
    We have already collected over 1200 signatures from all over Europe.
    See the petition here:

The petition was initiated by the University of Bergen, Norway:

Rector Dag Rune Olsen,
Phone +47 93 08 58 81,  –   Download photo

Pro-Rector Margareth Hagen,
Phone +47 41 61 96 62, –  Download photo

They are available for interviews.

Noteable supporters
Some of our supporters so far are and will be listed here:

Former president of the ERC, Helga Nowotny, supports the initiative with this message:

Frontier research as funded by the ERC is the lifeline for our future. Science will come up with solutions, but preparedness must come from society. May the lessons to be drawn from the COVID19 crisis and the recent  turmoil around the ERC strengthen the ERC spirit and result in giving it the  means to fulfill its mission.

Friends of the ERC is an initiative to organise a petition in support of the European Research Council (ERC) from leading international scientists and universities.
More information:
Follow us on Twitter: @FriendsoftheERC

Best regards,

Press contact  Åshild Nylund,, +47 90175935

This initiative is administered by the University of Bergen, Norway.