Since 2021, the Grant Office of the University of Tartu has issued an Incentive Grant that aims to encourage researchers to apply for European Research Council (ERC) grants, free up their time for writing the grant application, and cover the costs. In 2023, Incentive Grants of 10,000 euros will be awarded to up to ten researchers. The call for applications is open from 20 February to 12 March. In addition to the financial support, successful applicants will get advice from experts in the Grant Office’s Grant Writing Unit.
ERC grants are among the world’s most prestigious and largest individual research grants. There could be many promising applicants for ERC grants at the University of Tartu, but due to the lack of time and substantive support in the phase of formulating the project proposal and writing the application, the researchers are often unable to submit a competitive application. To encourage researchers to apply for ERC grants, the Grant Office offers an intra-university Incentive Grant consisting of both financial and practical support. The grant can also be used to cover the costs of preparing the application, for example, data collecting, consulting, language editing, and preparing the figures.
A researcher applying for the Incentive Grant must be an employee of the University of Tartu; if ERC funding is received, the host institution must also be the University of Tartu. In 2023, the Incentive Grant can be applied for preparing for the ERC Starting Grant, Consolidator Grant, and Advanced Grant. The 10,000-euro grant is awarded to the institute that can use it together with the applicant to cover direct expenses (for example, salary expenses). Thus, the institute can release the researcher from other obligations, for example, teaching and research-administrative duties. The grant can also be used to cover consulting, language editing, and other costs related to writing the proposal (excluding the overheads).