“Fellowship BE-FOR-ERC” - Call for selections for conferral of 5 postdoctoral fellowships

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    SAPIENZA University of Rome
    Formal sciences
    Natural sciences
    Professions and applied sciences
    Social sciences
    Recognised Researcher (R2) (PhD holders or equivalent who are not yet fully independent)
    Established Researcher (R3) (Researchers who have developed a level of independence)


Sapienza is publishing a call for selections, henceforth “BE-FOR-ERC”, for the conferral of 5 fellowships for the development of a 12-months excellence research project.

The BE-FOR-ERC Call is part of the “SAPIExcellence” Programme, an initiative fielded by Sapienza University to attract the best and most promising researchers by promoting their participation in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and European Research Council (ERC) funding schemes.

The BE-FOR-ERC fellowships operate on a 'bottom-up' basis and applications can be made in any field of research included in one of the 3 macro-areas and relative ERC scientific sectors, as defined in Annex 1.

What is funded

Each fellowship will receive €50,000 as follows:

  • €40,000 to fund an annual research stipend (“assegno di ricerca”) to the PI receiving the fellowship;

  • €10,000 for other costs related to research activities described in the research proposal,


The fellowship will last 12 months and it must begin within 6 months of the fellowship conferral


All proposals must be complete and submitted by eligible Principal Investigators (PIs) before the relevant call deadlines. PIs are eligible if, by the call deadline for project submissions, they satisfy the following requisites:

  • Possess a PhD or equivalent university title obtained 2-7 years before January 1, 2020. The time that has effectively elapsed since receiving the PhD may be extended as follows:

  1. 18 months – in case of maternity leave (cumulable per each child);
  2. A number of months equal in duration to the leave enjoyed following the PhD and due to paternity leave, traineeships, long-term illness, and military or civil service.
  • Proof of scientific maturity and independence by having produced, for example, at least one important publication as a main author or without supervision by a PhD Supervisor;

  • Proof of a promising scientific track record in the relevant field of research and career stage through, for example: significant publications (as a main author) in important international and peer-reviewed scientific journals, invitations to speak at international conferences, awards and prizes, etc.;

  • Backing from the host department to participate in this call and, in case of a fellowship conferral, research funding;

  • Are not related up to the fourth degree (marriage) with a professor at the host department or with the Rector, Director General or member of the university board of administrators;

  • Has not presented more than one application to the present call.

Applications may be presented by PIs. The application procedure is divided into two phases:

Phase 1 – Apply to Department for candidature clearance;

Phase 2 – Presentation of research proposal application.

The application deadline is June 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm.

Phase 1 - PIs must request clearance from their Department, via the International Office, to apply for the call by April 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm via the on-line form available at: https://goo.gl/forms/rwOWrFYznARvKOIi2.

The application may be presented in Italian or English and must include the following documentation:

  • Department Clearance Form, signed by the PI on the provided form (Annex 2);

  • Administrative Form A on the provided form (Annex 3) providing information on: PI, Department, Title, Project Acronym and Abstract; ERC reference macro-areas, sectors and keywords;

  • Form B.1, on the provided form (Annex 4) including a synopsis of the research proposal (max 5 pages), PI CV (max 2 pages) and PI Track Record (max 2 pages).

  • Copy of ID;

  • Copy of PhD Certificate;

  • Copy of documentation concerning maternity leave or long-period leave (if applicable).

The Department must provide clearance for the PI and transmit this by the deadline to ricercainternazionale@uniroma1.it.

Phase 2 - PIs must complete the on-line application by June 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm. The application is available at: https://goo.gl/forms/Tn3MJziVnggUV8qw2

The application may be presented in Italian or English and must include the following documentation:

  • Call Participation Request, signed by the PI on the provided form (Annex 5);

  • Form B.2, on the provided form (Annex 6), including a detailed description of the research proposal (max 15 pages) as follows: a) state of the art and objectives; b) methodology; c) ERC development opportunities; resources, including summary table of cost.

Evaluation procedure

Applications will be evaluated by a Commission nominated by the Rector. The Commission will be subdivided into three evaluation panels, one of each of the three ERC scientific macro-areas: Life Sciences (LS), Social Sciences and Humanities (SH) and Physical Sciences and Engineering (PE).

The scientific evaluation procedure will be based on three steps:

Step 1: The Selection Commission will evaluate Part B.1 of the application (Synopsis, CV and Track Record) based on the criteria described in Art.12 of this call. Only applications that score no less than 30/40 on Step 1 will be admitted to Step 2;

Step 2: Expert reviewers (max. two per application, chosen by the Selection Commission based on their competence in the reference ERC scientific subsection) will evaluate Parts B.1 and B.2 of the applications admitted to Step 2 based on the criteria described in Art.12 of this call. Only applications that score no less than 30/40 on Step 2 will be admitted to Step 3;

Step 3: The Selection Commission will contact candidates whose applications have been admitted to Step 2 for an interview (a video conference interview is admissible as long as it guarantees full transparency). The interview will address the presentation of the candidate’s research proposal.

The Selection Commission will conclude the scientific evaluation procedure within 180 days from the call deadline and publish the Ranking of PIs selected for funding and fellowship, based on their scores, for each of the three ERC scientific macro-areas. The fellowships will be divided amongst the three macro-areas, as far as possible and in respect of the call evaluation criteria, in terms of the number of applications presented to each macro-area and guaranteeing that at least one application will be funded for each macro-area.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Excellence of the scientific proposal in terms of its ground-breaking nature, impact, sustainability, quality of the research activity methodological approach and possibility to be further developed through a proposal to the upcoming H2020 ERC Starting Grant Calls;

  • Scientific excellence of the PI in terms of intellectual and creative capacity for research and the possibility to promote professional maturity/independence during the fellowship and be competitive in the upcoming H2020 ERC Starting Grant Calls.


“Fellowship BE-FOR-ERC” Call (519.55 KB)


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