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ERC Program - Portugal

Objective and Scope

The mission of the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) is to promote the advancement of scientific and technological knowledge in Portugal, a mission it pursues by leveraging the National Science and Technology System (SNCT) and stimulating research in Portugal to achieve the highest international standards of quality and competitiveness in all scientific fields.

The researchers who are developing research work in national scientific institutions make an essential contribution to this growth in the internationalization of Portuguese science by attracting funding through the European mechanisms for support to science.

The European Research Council (ERC) launches annual funding opportunities for researchers with highly demanding and rigorous evaluation and selection processes. Many applications are considered to be of high scientific quality and are recommended for funding, but do not receive it due to the exhaustion of the budget allocated to Call. In this context, there are proposals classified as "A-Reserve List" that are not subsequently selected for funding, or proposals "A-Beyond Budget".

FCT has decided that the scientific merit of these applications should be recognized and that the researchers responsible for these applications should be supported so that they can start the development of the proposed research project and thus improve the conditions for a future ERC application.

FCT is launching a call for expressions of interest from finalists in the scope of the ERC Starting, Consolidator and Advanced Grant Calls , and who are in that condition and developing their activity in national scientific institutions. The ERC-Portugal Program aims to allow researchers to start the proposed project, and will aim to encourage and support the improvement of the conditions of a future application in the mentioned Calls of the ERC.

Recipients and Eligibility

It is open to researchers who are full members of an SNCT institution at the time of the expression of interest, who applied to the ERC and who received a grade of A after the second round of evaluation, but who have been left without funding, at Starting, Consolidator or Advanced levels of the Calls launched by the ERC. Only expressions of interest submitted up to 12 months after the communication by the ERC of the result of Call will be considered eligible. Exceptionally, expressions of interest will be accepted until 6 months after the start of the ERC-Portugal Program, for the applicants of Calls of ERC-STG-2021 and ERC-COG-2021.

Application Submission Period

The support is open to applications on a continuous basis until the closure decision, made public at least 30 days in advance.

How to Apply

Expressions of interest (Excel form available here) and the respective documents foreseen in this Call should be sent to the email address

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  1. Proposal submitted to the European Research Council (Parts A, B1 and B2);
  2. Evidence of an ERC rating of "A" after the second stage of evaluation at ERC Starting, Consolidator or Advanced levels;
  3. Declaration of the SNCT host institution, of which the researcher is an integrated member at the time of the expression of interest, assuming the commitment to provide the necessary and sufficient conditions to start the development of the proposed research project and the preparation of quality applications to the ERC;
  4. Declaration of commitment by the Principal Investigator (PI) to resubmit a proposal to Calls of the ERC Starting, Consolidator, Advanced or Synergy open during the life of the project funded under the ERC-Portugal, with a SNCT institution as the host entity.

Type and Duration of Financial Support

For each eligible expression of interest, FCT will grant special support in the amount of 250,000 euros, with a duration of 36 months and a start date no later than 2 months after notification of award of support by FCT.


Information about the support can be requested through the email address:

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