ERC Budget Instructions
The ERC awards flexible, long-term funding for a period of 5-6 years. This guide gives advice on how to prepare and justify your ERC budget.
Standard ERC funding is limited to the following amounts: Starting €1,500,000, Consolidator €2,000,000, Advanced €2,500,000, Synergy €10,000,000, and Proof of Concept €150,000
Additional funding can be requested in the proposal to cover the following eligible costs when these are necessary to carry out the proposed work:
-- 'start-up' costs for Principal Investigators moving to the EU or an Associated Country from elsewhere as a consequence of receiving the ERC grant
-- the purchase of major research equipment
-- access to large facilities
-- other major experimental and fieldwork costs, excluding personnel costs
The additional funding amount is up to €1,000,000 for Starting, Consolidator, and Advanced Grants and up to €4,000,000 for Synergy Grants.
PREPARING YOUR ERC BUDGET
For Starting, Consolidator, and Advanced Grant applications, the budget breakdown should be presented in the online table and justified in Section C (Resources) in the administrative online forms (Part A forms) of the application. For Synergy Grant applications, the budget breakdown and justification are instead presented in Part B2, with the online table in the Part A forms showing only the total budget for each participant.
For more information on eligible and ineligible direct and indirect costs as well as the different cost categories, applicants should consult the Horizon Europe ERC Model Grant Agreement.
Applicants are advised to prepare their budgets allocating the resources needed for the project to be feasible since this is an evaluation criterion for ERC grants. You should also discuss your budget with your department's administration. Costs regarded by the European Commission as typical overhead costs (e.g. rent for lab and office space) are ineligible even though they constitute part of your actual direct costs. Please contact Grants Office if you have questions about cost categories or cost eligibility.
For your convenience, Grants Office has prepared a budget template for StG/CoG/AdG as well as a budget template for SyG. Please note that the template should be modified according to the specific project needs. Change the EURO rate if needed. The project-specific data should be entered in the yellow cells and the final calculated costs can be transferred directly to the budget table in the Part A online forms.
Enter the current salary of each person and the number of months the person will be involved in the project. In EU projects time reporting is required, so personnel costs should reflect the actual hours worked by the person directly carrying out work under the project. The total salary costs, including social fees, will be calculated automatically. The social fees are fixed rates, but remember to change the percentage of social fees in the budget template if the salary applies to someone over the age of 65. The social fees are decided on a yearly basis and current rates can be found here. Note that stipends are not allowed in ERC projects. Inflation (3%) is calculated only on personnel costs. In the spreadsheet, enter the number of person-months to get the right breakdown over the years. To get the correct figures, fill in only the yellow cells. The breakdown per year is not necessary for the application. Remember to check that the sum of the totals for each personnel category is equal to the overall total for personnel.
Subcontracting (no indirect costs)
Subcontracting is sometimes necessary for the implementation of the project. Core tasks, however, cannot be subcontracted, and no indirect costs can be charged as subcontracting. SciLifeLab costs using non-KI facilities must be listed as subcontract costs. SLL (KS) can also be listed as a subcontractor in certain cases. Please contact Grants Office if you are uncertain whether to subcontract some of your research costs.
Travel and subsistence
A reasonable estimate for an intra-European flight and two hotel nights is €1,000. Adjust accordingly for longer/shorter trips.
Equipment -- incl. major equipment
Specify the different items and how much they will be used in the project (% used in the project). Keep in mind that if you are buying equipment for more than 100,000 SEK, you need to do a public procurement (upphandling). Following a decision by the board of Karolinska Institutet 2011.10.10, costs for procurement are included in the overheads as of 2012. For information on procurement procedures, contact the procurement office (Enheten för inköp och upphandling).
Consumables (incl. fieldwork and animal costs)
Specify the different items in each main category (e.g. reagents, arrays, etc.) and the estimated costs.
Publications (incl. Open Access fees and dissemination)
All ERC publications must be open-access. Generally, the range for open-access publication is between $2000-$3000, though there are a few very expensive journals such as Cell ($5000), The EMBO Journal ($5200), and Nature Communications (£3300).
Other additional direct costs
Includes all other costs needed for implementation of the research project that have not been specified above. A certificate on the financial statements (CFS) should be submitted together with your final report when the amount for actual costs claimed is ≥ €325 000 (applicable to most ERC grants). We recommend that you budget a total of €12,000 for CFS costs as a direct 'other cost' in Horizon Europe.
Internally invoiced goods and services (no indirect costs)
If you are considering including costs in this category, please contact Grants Office. Costs arising at animal facilities should, in most cases, go in this category.
Total Budget – Summary Table
For Starting, Consolidator, and Advanced Grant applications, the total of each cost category is automatically calculated in the “Total Budget” table in the online forms. Indirect costs (25%) are automatically calculated on everything except for subcontracting and "internally invoiced goods and services" (if any). For Synergy Grant applications, these cost calculations must be entered manually in the budget table in Part B2. The total project cost can be higher than the requested EC contribution, but the requested EC contribution cannot exceed the funding limits set out by the ERC. It is important to remember that the ERC wants to fund a whole project, so keep the total project cost and the requested EC contribution as similar as possible.
Additional funding requests under (a), (b) or (d) may be subject to 25% overhead.
BUDGET JUSTIFICATION FOR Section c. Resources
It is imperative that you read the budget guide in the “Information for Applicants 2023” for the relevant call. The budget justification is a justification of your costs in a free-flowing text and you should ensure that you address the feasibility of the project in this section, particularly since one of the review criteria for ERC is, 'To what extent are the proposed timescales, resources and PI commitment adequate and properly justified (based on the full Scientific Proposal)?' Describe each of the following categories:
Personnel: Describe the size and nature of the team, indicating, where appropriate, the key team members and their roles. Ensure that you highlight key competencies needed to give the project feasibility eg. you will employ a postdoc to perform experiments needed for the project that is outside of the competency of your current team. The participation of team members engaged by another host institution should be justified in relation to the additional financial cost this may impose on the project. Take into account the percentage of your dedicated time to run the ERC-funded activity when calculating your personnel costs. Specify that social fees and 3% inflation are included.
Equipment: Specify the costs of any new equipment that you will need for the project and to what degree the equipment is expected to be used in the project.
Consumables: Describe and justify the main categories of consumables (e.g. reagents, arrays) that you will need for the project, as well as their estimated costs.
Travel: Describe and explain the purpose and location of the travels that you and your personnel will undertake in relation to the project.
Publications and dissemination: Specify how the results of the project will be disseminated as well as an approximation of the costs. Dissemination can be done through, for example, open access publications, conferences, workshops, and public outreach.
Other costs: State how much you have budgeted for the costs of the certificates on financial statements (estimate a total of €12,000). Describe and justify any other costs that you might have.
Subcontracting: If you need subcontractors for the project, please specify the work they will carry out. Give an estimation of the costs, and make sure to mention that no indirect costs have been added to this amount.
Indirect costs: State that you have calculated and added 25% indirect costs to your budget (on all cost categories except for subcontracting).
Additional funding: If additional funding is requested for (a) covering eligible 'start-up' costs for a PI moving from another country to the EU or an AC as a consequence of receiving an ERC grant and/or (b) the purchase of major equipment and/or (c) access to large facilities and/or d) other major experimental and fieldwork costs, excluding personnel costs, then you need to fully justify it in the description of resources (for Synergy Grant applications, in a dedicated table in Part B2).
All costs should be reasonable and fully justified and as accurate as possible. The evaluation panels assess the estimated costs carefully; unjustified budgets are often reduced.