EARMA Conference Oslo


Go/No-Go assessment for ERC project proposals – preliminary screening tools for RMAs


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Oral 60 Minutes

Topic: Proposal Development

Session: C2 - Pre-Award: 60 Minute Presentation by Yoram Bar-zeev

Thursday 5 May 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. (UTC)


ERC is Europe’s most prestigious research grant, supporting excellent researchers in carrying out ground-breaking, high-risk, high-gain, frontier research projects. As such, the ERC is highly competitive and rather elusive, and as such has a list of unique requirements and “unwritten” rules that should be followed to ensure the proposal is successful and meets the reviewers’ expectations. Due to its high demands and elusive nature, applicants can typically spend weeks and even months solely on the meticulous preparation and execution of this ERC proposal. Since so much time and resources are spent on the proposal preparation phase, it is incredibly important to ensure applicants head out on this path knowing they have all the necessary ERC components, and that their project idea and personal CV is a “strong match” for this ambitious grant.

Experience shows that heading out on the ERC proposal preparation path with a positive match between the project idea (and its components) and these elusive and “unwritten” ERC expectations can highly increase chances for funding success. On the other hand, having a project idea and a CV that aren’t a good match to the ERC’s prestigious qualifications greatly diminishes chances for funding success.

While this rule may be simple, we often come across ERC applicants that are unsure about what indicates this “strong match”. Since this grant has so many more expectations than those mentioned in the Guide for Applicants that must be taken into account, ERC applicants often times fail to make an initial assessment that is exhaustive and checks all the “right boxes”. This is exactly where RMAs working with potential applicants can make a good use of a constructive “ERC Go/No Go screening assessment”. This assessment can be used to evaluate the overall match discussed above, and allow them to take a clear “Go” or “No-Go” decision with the applicants.

In this session we will focus on this Go/No-Go screening measure and offer RMAs a set of tools on how to successfully execute such a screening process for ERC applications.

This will include assessing elements such as:


Novelty (in “ERC standards”)

Progress beyond the State of the Art



Non-incremental work

Project hypothesis

Unique elements for Synergy applications

And much more...

By the end of this session, RMA’s will have a clear and valuable process to support their applicants seeking to successfully win ERC funding.