First ‘ERA Chairs’ created

February 10, 2014

Funding Scheme: 2014-02-10

Pgm2014 2020: Yes

Ispcrd: Yes


First ‘ERA Chairs’ are going to be implemented for eleven universities and technical institutes in less developed regions in Europe. Fundings up to €2.4 million must enable these regions to increase their research capacity and therefore help them to balance with the other centres of excellence of the European Research Area (ERA).


The first pilot call was open to research organisations located in less-developed EU regions or similar areas in countries associated to the EU’s seventh research framework programme (FP7). A total of 111 proposals were submitted for evaluation, largely exceeding expectations. Nearly all Member States with eligible regions were represented.

Once recruited, the ERA Chairs and their teams will undertake research in a wide spectrum of scientific fields, such as aquaculture, environmental chemistry, veterinary medicine, human computer interactions and low carbon emission in cities.

Around 15 more ERA Chairs are expected to be announced next year following the first Horizon 2020 call published in December.


The selected institutions have to award ERA Chairs to outstanding academics who have the capacity to raise standards and attract more high level staff as well as money from other sources, such as EU research funding or regional funds. The positions must be published and respect ERA guidelines (gender balance, fairness, transparency, etc.). ERA Chair holders can come from anywhere in the world.

Under Horizon 2020, ERA Chairs will be funded as a core scheme under the actions on “Spreading excellence and widening participation”. The first Horizon 2020 call launched on 11 December 2013(IP/13/1232) included a budget of €34 million for the next round of ERA chairs and the deadline for applications is 15 October 2014. Details of the new call and eligible regions are available on the Participant Portal.

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