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ERC research grants by country, university and domain

data publication
05 December 2023
Grants university
The European Research Council (ERC) - set up in 2007 - promotes scientific excellence in Europe by putting researchers in all fields in competition with each other. In this data publication, we look at the ten countries with the most ERC grant awards, the number of Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants and Advanced Grants awarded to Dutch universities and the honouring rate of ERC grants per domain.

In short

  • The Netherlands has received 1,167 ERC grants, and has the fourth position in Europe.
  • The Netherlands receives 3.8 ERC grants per 1,000 fte researchers active in the public sector
  • The University of Amsterdam (UvA) has obtained the most grants of all Dutch universities.

The European Research Council (ERC) was established in 2007. ERC stimulates scientific excellence in Europe by allowing researchers in all fields of research, regardless of nationality and age, to compete with each other for research grants. The ERC funds both young researchers (ERC Starting grants), as well as established scientists (ERC Consolidator grants) and experienced research leaders (ERC Advanced grants). In addition, the ERC Proof of Concept (up to € 150,000) helps ERC grant-holders bridge the gap between research and commercialization. The ERC Synergy stimulates cooperation. The latter two grants are not included in this data publication because of their different nature. 

What does the grant distribution look like for the ten countries with the most ERC grants?

Researchers in the Netherlands are quite successful. Only Germany, United Kingdom, and France have obtained more ERC grants. Given the size of the Netherlands, this is a laudable achievement. A total number of 11,982 Starting Grants, Consolidator Grants and Advanced Grants have been awarded. The Netherlands has received 1,167 ERC grants, which is 9% of the total number. 

What is the relation between the number of ERC-grants and the number of active researchers in a country?

In 2021, the Netherlands has received almost 4 ERC-grants for every 1,000 fte researchers active within the public sector. This is high in comparison with other countries. Germany, which in absolute terms received the most ERC-grants in 2021, receives 1.3 grant per 1,000 fte researchers active in the public sector. Nederland ontving in 2021 bijna 4 ERC-beurzen voor elke 1.000 fte aan onderzoekers werkzaam in de publieke sector. 

How many and which type ERC grants have been awarded to Dutch universities?

The differences between the universities are substantial and partly reflect the differences in university size, as well as the presence of a university medical centre (umc). For example, the University of Amsterdam (UvA) has obtained thirteen times as many Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grants as Tilburg University.

What is the ERC award rate of the Netherlands compared to the European average, by domain?

ERC honorreringspercentages per domein per jaar
Source: RVO.
Notes: 2019 excluding figures of Advanced Grants

In all Framework Programmes, ERC-grant applications of researchers connected to Dutch institutes are awarded relatively often. In all Framework Programmes, 12% of ERC-grant applications is awarded. Of all Dutch applications, 15% was awarded during KP7, and 16% during H2020 and HEU up until today.

Compared to the European average, the Netherlands scores well in the domains 'Physical Sciences & Engineering' and 'Social Sciences & Humanities' in the last years; the percentage of awarded grants is on average 6% higher than for Europe. In the LS domain the percentage of awarded grants also became higher than the EU average in 2018 and 2019. More figures about ERC grants by domain and year are available in the Excel file (see Downloads). A division in different domains is no longer available as of 2020.