Tallinn University of Technology

ERC grants are the most prestigious funding measure for European researchers - and not only for individual researchers, but also for research institutions, the research communities and the countries. They demonstrate the ability to conduct world-class research and provide an opportunity to significantly increase that capacity. It is unfortunate that very few of these grants are currently coming to Estonia.

The responsibility for Estonia’s achievements in attaining ERC awards rests currently almost entirely on the shoulders of the researchers. In more successful countries, however, the ERC applicants have the support of a large group of professionals. The ERC success is a matter of collaboration. Thanks to the work of Estonian Research Council, Estoninan applicants have very good administrative support for writing their applications. However, the substantive mentorship for the formulation of the research ideas, the compilation of grant applications and the preparation of the interviews is scarce.

With this initiative, led by the Estonian Academy of Young Sciences (ENTA) and the Academy of Sciences (RD), we help to create mentorship groups made up of experienced researchers for each ERC applicant during this funding round. The mentorship group helps the applicant with their advice, encouragement, nudging and constructive criticism, as well as prevents the applicant from falling off the track.

As it is perhaps a little easier to receive ERC grants for a young researcher than for an experienced researcher, this project focuses on increasing the success of ERC Starting and, if possible, Consolidator grant applications. For young researchers, the knowledge and support of experienced researchers has a particularly high added value.

We ask everyone who has decided to apply for an ERC Starting or Consolidator Grant in 2021 in Estonia and would like to participate in the mentorship project to let us know about their interest below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSecInhju6vgtNmS5joGtXQvkiW26QqibWxVzjYpDUzhjBB9WA/viewform

Contact in TalTech: Kristel Toom, kristel.toom@taltech.ee