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Peter Hedden - An opportunity for the plant science research community in Europe

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Presentation from Peter Hedden, Rothamsted Research, UK, Deputy Chair, ERC LS9 panel for Starting Grants, at the 7th EPSO Conference, 2 Sept 2013. …

Presentation from Peter Hedden, Rothamsted Research, UK, Deputy Chair, ERC LS9 panel for Starting Grants, at the 7th EPSO Conference, 2 Sept 2013.

"An opportunity for the plant science research community in Europe"

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  • 1. ERC – European Research Council Peter Hedden Deputy Chair, LS9 panel for Starting Grants Jean-Luc Khalfaoui ERC Research Programme Officer ERC support for life sciences - An opportunity for the plant science research community in Europe
  • 2. To encourage the highest quality research in Europe through competitive funding and to support investigator- initiated frontier research across all fields of research, on the basis of scientific excellence. ERC – Mission │ 2
  • 3. │ 3│ 3 ERC - Principles • Part of the 7th EU Research Framework Programme (IDEAS Programme) • Frontier research projects; high risk/high gain research • Excellence as the only valid criterion • No predetermined subjects (bottom-up); all science fields • Support for the individual scientist • International peer-review • Open to researchers from anywhere in the world willing to do research in Europe • Projects can involve partners from anywhere in the world,
  • 4. │ 4 ERC Structure : 3 pillars The Scientific Council • 22 prominent researchers proposed by an independent identification committee • Appointed by the Commission (4 years, renewable once) • Establishes overall scientific strategy; annual work programmes (incl. calls for proposals, evaluation criteria); peer review methodology; selection and accreditation of experts • Controls quality of operations and management • Ensures communication with the scientific community The ERC Agency • Executes annual work programme as established by the Scientific Council • Implements calls for proposals and provides information and support to applicants • Organises peer review evaluation • Establishes and manages grant agreements • Administers scientific and financial aspects and follow-up of grant agreements • Carries out communications activities and ensures information dissemination to ERC stakeholders The European Commission • Provides financing through the EU framework programmes • Guarantees autonomy of the ERC • Assures the integrity and accountability of the ERC • Adopts annual work programmes as established by the Scientific Council
  • 5. 10.8% 4% 7.3% 15.1% 17.8% 21.6% 23.4% 0 300 600 900 1200 1500 1800 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 MillionEuro FP7 budget € 50.5 billion ERC budget € 7.5 billion; Increase by € 250 M/year Co-operation (65 %) Ideas (15 %) People (9 %) Capacities (8 %)JRC non- nuclear (3 %)
  • 6. │ 6 ERC Funding Schemes Creative freedom of the individual grantee ERC offers independence, recognition & visibility • to work on a research topic of own choice, with a team of own choice • to gain true financial autonomy for 5 years • to negotiate with the host institution the best conditions of work • to attract top team members (EU and non-EU) and collaborators • to move with the grant to any place in Europe if necessary (portability of grants) • to attract additional funding and gain recognition; ERC is a quality label
  • 7. │ 7│ 7│ 7 ERC Funding Schemes Who can apply? • Excellent Researchers • Any nationality, any age or any current place of work to attract researchers to EU In conjunction with a Host Institution  Based in EU or associated countries
  • 8. Incentive:  Additional “start-up” funding for scientists moving to Europe (€ 500 000 for Starting, € 750 000 for Consolidator and € 1 Million for Advanced grantees) Flexibility:  Host institution shall be in an EU member state or an FP7 Associated Country  Grantee can keep affiliation with home institute outside Europe (“significant part” of work time in Europe)  Team members can be based outside Europe  Grantee can move within Europe with the grant Negotiation:  Several European countries/host institutes assist applicants and reward grantees with top-up funds or long-term professorships Attractive features for researchers from outside Europe │ 8
  • 9. Achievements of the ERC - so far • More than 2,600 funded proposals (58% of them StG) • More than 480 different host institutions in 26 countries • 50% of PIs in 50 institutions (“excellence attracts excellence”) • Average success rate 12 % │ 9
  • 10. Starting Grants 2-7 years after PhD up to € 2.0 Mio for 5 years Advanced Grants track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years up to € 3.5 Mio for 5 years Synergy Grants 2 – 4 Principal Investigators up to € 15.0 Mio for 6 years Proof-of-Concept bridging gap between research - earliest stage of marketable innovation up to €150,000 for ERC grant holders ERC Grant schemes Consolidator Grants (new from 2013) 7-12 years after PhD up to € 2.75 Mio for 5 years
  • 11. Starting Grants Consolidator Grants Advanced Grants Eligibility PhD award 2-7 years before call publication PhD award 7-12 years before call publication for max. 5 years max. € 1,500,000 + €500,000 if moving from third country to EU or AC, purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities max. € 2,000,000 + €750,000 if moving from third country to EU or AC, purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities max. € 2,500,000 + € 1,000,000 if moving from third country to MS or AC, purchase of major equipment and/or access to large facilities Dedication to ERC project min. 50% of PI’s working time to the ERC-funded project and in an EU Member State or Associated Country min. 50% of PI’s working time in a EU MS or AC and min. 30% of PI’s working time to the ERC- funded project EU financial contribution Direct costs: personnel, equipment, consumables, travel, admin… Up to 100% of the total eligible and approved direct costs Indirect costs: flat-rate financing of 20% of the total eligible direct costs (excl. subcontracting and costs for resources made available by third parties outside HI) │ 11 Features of ERC StG, CoG and AdG
  • 12. • Potential for research independence • Evidence of scientific maturity • At least one publication without participation of PhD supervisor Promising track-record of early achievements • significant publications • invited presentations in conferences • funding, patents, awards, prizes Specific stage of research career at time of application • Starter (2-7 years) • Consolidator (7-12 years) │ 12 ERC Starting and Consolidator Grants The applicant’s profile │ 12
  • 13. │ 13 ERC Advanced Grants The applicant’s profile  Track-record of significant research achievements in the last 10 years  Exceptional leaders and mentors  10 publications as senior author in major scientific journals  5 granted patents  10 invited presentations at international conferences  3 international conferences where Principal Investigator was an organiser  International prizes/awards
  • 14. Age of StG and AdG grantees │ 14 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 27 29 31 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 61 63 65 67 69 71 73 Age of the grantees Numberofgrantees
  • 15. │ 15 Host institution Not evaluated during evaluation process! Applicant legal entity: institution that engages and hosts the PI for the duration of the project Any type of legal entity: universities, research centres, business research units or an International European Interest Organisation (eg EMBL), or JRC … as long as it is in MS or AC Commitment of HI: to ensure that the PI may - apply for funding independently - manage research and funding for the project - publish independently as senior author - have access to reasonable space and facilities │ 15
  • 16. │ 16 Excellence as sole criterion, to apply to: 1. Research Project (RP)  Ground breaking nature  Potential impact  Scientific Approach 2. Principle Investigator (PI)  Intellectual capacity  Creativity  Commitment ERC Peer review evaluation: Evaluation criteria │ 16
  • 17. Who evaluates the proposals ? • Panel members: typically 600 / call  High-level scientists  Recruited by ScC from all over the world: ~14% from outside Europe  About 12 members plus a chair person • Referees: typically 2000 / call  Evaluate only a small number of proposals  Similar to normal practice in peer-reviewed journals Europe and Associated Countries (86%) US (7%) Other (7%)
  • 18. │ 18 Eligibility check Step 1 (remote) evaluation on the basis of section 1 of proposal by panel members Proposals passing to step 2 Individual assessment of full proposal by panel members & referees AdG : 2nd Panel meeting Submission of full proposals Proposals selected for funding ERC Grants: how does it work? Submission, evaluation and selection 1st Panel meeting StG/CoG: 2nd Panel meeting incl. interviews of applicants
  • 19. │ 19│ 19 Call budget distribution for 2013 calls Indicative call budget Starting Grant : ~ €395m Consolidator Grant: ~ €515m Advanced Grant: ~ €660m Breakdown per domain • Life Sciences – LS • Physical Sciences & Engineering – PE • Social Sciences & Humanities – SH Within each domain, budget is broken down according to total funding requested per panel (equal chance in each panel)
  • 20. │ 20│ 20 ERC Grant Schemes (StG, CoG & AdG) Panel structure : 3 domains and 25 panels Panels in the area of Plant Science Each panel : Panel Chair and 10-14 Panel Members Life Sciences (LS)  9 panels LS1 Molecular & Structural Biology & Biochemistry LS2 Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics & Systems Biology LS3 Cellular and Developmental Biology LS4 Physiology, Pathophysiology & Endocrinology LS5 Neurosciences & neural disorders LS6 Immunity & infection LS7 Diagnostic tools, therapies & public health LS8 Evolutionary, population & environmental biology LS9 Applied life sciences & biotechnology Social Sciences and Humanities (SH)  6 SH1 Individuals, institutions & markets SH2 Institutions, values, beliefs and behaviour SH3 Environment & society SH4 The Human Mind and its complexity SH5 Cultures & cultural production SH6 The study of the human past Physical Sciences & Engineering (PE)  10 PE1 Mathematical foundations PE2 Fundamental constituents of matter PE3 Condensed matter physics PE4 Physical & Analytical Chemical sciences PE5 Materials & Synthesis PE6 Computer science & informatics PE7 Systems & communication engineering PE8 Products & process engineering PE9 Universe sciences PE10 Earth system science
  • 21. │ 21 The LS9 Panel Descriptors : Applied life Sciences and Non-Medical Biotechnology Descriptors in the area of Plant Science
  • 22. │ 22 Distribution of submitted StG proposals along the LS9 panel descriptors (2008-2012) • Weighted number of applications per descriptor (No. of applications as Keyword 1 + 50% as Keyword 2) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 LS9_1 LS9_2 LS9_3 LS9_4 LS9_5 LS9_6 LS9_7 LS9_8 LS9_9 LS9_10 LS9_11
  • 23. ERC Panel LS9 95 projects selected 2008-2013 53 StG + 42 AdG 26 projects selected in plant science and agriculture/forestry 10 StG + 16 AdG 10% success rate for StG 2013
  • 24. │ 24 Projects funded by LS9 Starting Grants Do forests cool the Earth? Reconciling sustained productivity and minimum climate response with portfolios of contrasting forest management strategies (DOFOCO) 2009 Sebastiaan Luyssaert COMMISSARIAT A L' ENERGIE ATOMIQUE, FRANCE Development of super-wheat crops by introgressing agronomic traits from related wild species (SWCD) 2009 Maria-Pilar Prieto INSTITUTO DE AGRICULTURA SOSTENIBLE-CSIC CÓRDOBA, SPAIN
  • 25. │ 25 Projects funded by LS9 Starting Grants Priming of plant immunity: from its onset to trans-generational maintenance (PRIME-A-PLANT) 2012 Jurriaan Ton THE UNIVERSITY OF SHEFFIELD, UNITED KINGDOM Floral integrating networks at the shoot apical meristem of rice (FLARE) 2010 Fabio Fornara UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI MILANO, ITALY
  • 26. │ 26 Projects funded by LS9 Advanced Grants Simultaneous multi-pathway engineering in crop plants through combinatorial genetic transformation: Creating nutritionally biofortified cereal grains for food security (BIOFORCE) 2008 Paul Christou UNIVERSIDAD DE LLEIDA, SPAIN The Plant Immune System: a multidisciplinary approach to uncover how plants simultaneously deal with beneficial and parasitic organisms to maximize profits and protection (PLANTIMMUSYS) 2010 Cornelis Marinus Jozef Pieterse UNIVERSITEIT UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS
  • 27. │ 27 Projects funded by LS9 Advanced Grants FUTUREROOTS: Redesigning root architecture for improved crop performance 2011 Malcolm John Bennett THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, UNITED KINGDOM Is there a limit to yield? (YIELD) 2011 Daniel Zamir THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM, ISRAEL
  • 28. Future perspectives HORIZON 2020  HORIZON 2020 structure: − Excellent Science − Industrial leadership − Societal challenges − EIT; Spreading excellence and widening participation; Science with and for society − JRC  Excellent Science: reinforcing and extending the excellence of the EU’s science base and consolidating ERA to make EU’s R&I system more competitive on a global scale  European Research Council (budget under H2020: € 13 billion)  Future and Emerging Technologies  Marie Curie  Research Infrastructures │ 28
  • 29. Budget Horizon 2020 after negotiations between Parliament-Council-Commission Co-operation (65 %) Ideas (15 %) People (9 %) Capacities (8 %)JRC non- nuclear (3 %) FP7 budget € 50.5 billion ERC budget € 7.5 billion H2020 budget € 77 billion ERC budget € 13 billion (+73%)
  • 30. │ 30 Contact your NCPs http://cordis.europa.eu/national_service/home_en.html To subscribe to ERC newsletter and newsalerts http://erc.europa.eu/keep-updated-erc Follow us on https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanResearchCouncil https://twitter.com/ERC_Research ERC Website: http://erc.europa.eu