The European Research Council plans to hold a series of conferences to bring together potential applicants from eastern Europe and ERC grant holders, following a succesful pilot on 28 February.
The initial conference, held in Vienna, aimed to help eastern European researchers to access ERC funding. Helga Nowotny, president of the ERC, says that joint conferences can help researchers from the east establish “a culture of grant application”, and give them access to the expertise of successful candidates.
“It’s about awareness of the possibilities that an ERC grant offers and about building confidence and competence,” Nowotny says. “But other factors, such as the existence of a culture of grant application in the field of research, certainly also play a role—something that cannot be changed overnight.”