On average, 1 in 10 young scientists applying for European Research Council grant is successful. Since 2007, the Council has received over 26,500 project proposals for its calls; more than 2,300 projects have been selected to receive ERC funding. The competition is held among not only scientists from the European Union but also from associated countries – in other words – from around the world. In November, we will know the names of the laureates of the 2014 edition.

The ERC Starting Grants call is published once a year. Applications are evaluated in three thematic groups: physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, and social sciences and humanities. The evaluation process takes place in two stages. After reading all applications, the panel of experts from a given field selects the most interesting projects. Their authors are invited to individual interviews. Once this stage is completed, the Council shortlists projects selected for funding. Currently, the applicants compete for sums of up to 1.5 million euro (previously 2 million), and the project’s maximum duration is 5 years.


In the second edition of the competition announced in 2009, one of the grants was awarded to Natalia Letki from the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology of the University of Warsaw. In her group – social sciences and humanities – 440 applications were submitted from 27 countries. ERC selected the best 53 of them. Natalia Letki features in our next movie from the series about the laureates of the European Research Council grant competitions. More about the series.


„Public Goods through Private Eyes. Exploring Citizens’ Attitudes to Public Goods and the State in Central Eastern Europe” Project started in 2009 and is about to end. Funding awarded by the ERC – 1.73 million euro – was used by the team to carry out a comparative public opinion survey in 14 post-communist countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine). Nearly 21 thousand respondents were interviewed. They responded to questions on their attitudes to public goods, local community and the state. The results of the study were merged with data available from other sources, capturing the economic and social context of respondents’ attitudes. The team from the Institute of Sociology of the University of Warsaw cooperated with experts from the University of Oxford, the University of Vienna, the University of Amsterdam and universities from Australia and the United States.