ERC online administrative forms… Prepare in advance

It would be wise to prepare the online administrative forms well in advance of the deadline. While the forms are really not that complex and filling them will only take up as much as an hour of your time maximum, they might have implications for the evaluation of your proposal. So, it is not really the task to do when you feel brain-dead from working on your proposal. Here are some things to consider when filling them out.

ERC grant Online administrative form support

Disclaimer: This blog was written in the context of Europe’s earlier framework programme Horizon 2020. Parts of it may be outdated. Contact us for up-to-date information.

Choice of panel

In the forms you have to choose an ERC panel in which your proposal will be assessed. Obviously, you base your choice on the content of your proposal. But, often proposal ideas could fit multiple panels. This is why, ideally, you already picked a panel in the early stages of writing your proposal so you can make it attractive to the profile of the specific panel. To get an idea of the panel members’ profile you can access the panel member list here.


Based on the chosen fixed and free keywords, external reviewers are selected. With the choice for these keywords you definitely can steer the selection of these reviewers into a certain direction.

External reviewers to be excluded

You can handpick up to three people you don’t want to be selected as the external reviewer of your proposal. This probably doesn’t need much explaining…

Table for Ethics issues

For those Ethics issues relevant to your research project, tick the box and put in page numbers. Quite honestly, to us it is unclear (and I have to meet the first person who does know for sure) which page number to fill in. Do you refer to the page describing the work package in which the research is done that the issues refer to or do you put in the page number of the ethical self assessment annex? I’d say, pick one, and stick to it…

Speaking of the ethical self-assessment, if there are issues relevant to your proposal, make sure you deliver this document as an annex to your proposal. The step-by-step guide for this annex is available here.

Budget justification

This is the most recent addition to the online forms. This section is lifted from part B2 of the proposal and you now need to put this in online. As it is still considered to be part of B2, the text put in here counts towards the page limit for B2 (15 pages). The maximum length of the justification is 8000 characters which, the forms tell you, equals 2 pages.  There is no explanation as to whether 6000 characters equals 1,5 page or what to do with 6234 characters… I would advise to stay on the safe side and aim for a total length of the part B2 in the to be uploaded PDF of 13 pages max.

Can we help?

Almost finished and you want us to take a critical look at your part B while you fill out the online administrative forms? Here you can pick a day for us to review your B1 only or the entire proposal and we’ll deliver that back to you the same or the next day.

PS. Do not forget to upload a signed Host Institution letter as an annex to your proposal. Check that this year’s template is used for the letter, as they often make minor changes to the letter. Make sure it’s printed with a letterhead of your proposed Host Institution, the title of the proposal and your name is spelled correctly and it is signed by the authorized representative of the organisation.

Author: Linde van Ittersum

Co-founder and Research Funding Professional at Fundament.

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