ERC evaluation panels

The selection of scientific and scholarly proposals for ERC funding is based on international peer review with excellence as the sole criterion. The ERC uses a typical panel-based system, in which panels of high-level scientists and/or scholars make recommendations for funding.

The panels of each grant are grouped into three disciplinary domains that cover the entire spectrum of science, engineering and scholarship:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities (SH)
  • Life Sciences (LS)
  • Physical and Engineering Sciences (PE)

Research proposals of a multi- and interdisciplinary nature are strongly encouraged throughout the ERC's schemes. Proposals of this type are evaluated by the ERC's regular panels with the appropriate external expertise. Each ERC panel consists of a chairman and 10-15 members. The Panel Chair and the Panel Members are selected on the basis of their scientific reputation. In addition to the Panel Members (who act as “generalists”), the ERC evaluations rely on input from remote experts external to the panel, called referees. They are scientists and scholars who bring in the necessary specialised expertise.

Primary panel structure and description

Physical Sciences and Engineering

PE1      Mathematics

All areas of mathematics, pure and applied, plus mathematical foundations of computer science, mathematical physics and statistics.

PE2      Fundamental Constituents of Matter

Particle, nuclear, plasma, atomic, molecular, gas, and optical physics.

PE3      Condensed Matter Physics

Structure, electronic properties, fluids, nanosciences, biophysics.

PE4      Physical and Analytical Chemical Sciences

Analytical chemistry, chemical theory, physical chemistry/chemical physics.

PE5      Synthetic Chemistry and Materials

Materials synthesis, structure-properties relations, functional and advanced materials, molecular architecture, organic chemistry.

PE6      Computer Science and Informatics

Informatics and information systems, computer science, scientific computing, intelligent systems.

PE7      Systems and Communication Engineering

Electronic, communication, optical and systems engineering.

PE8      Products and Processes Engineering

Product design, process design and control, construction methods, civil engineering, energy systems, material engineering.

PE9      Universe Sciences

Astro-physics/chemistry/biology; solar system; stellar, galactic and extragalactic astronomy, planetary systems, cosmology, space science, instrumentation.

PE10    Earth System Science

Physical geography, geology, geophysics, atmospheric sciences, oceanography, climatology, cryology, ecology, global environmental change, biogeochemical cycles, natural resources management.

Life Sciences

LS1       Molecular and Structural Biology and Biochemistry

Molecular synthesis, modification and interaction, biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, metabolism, signal transduction.

LS2       Genetics, Genomics, Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

Molecular and population genetics, genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, computational biology, biostatistics, biological modelling and simulation, systems biology, genetic epidemiology.

LS3       Cellular and Developmental Biology

Cell biology, cell physiology, signal transduction, organogenesis, developmental genetics, pattern formation in plants and animals, stem cell biology.

LS4       Physiology, Pathophysiology and Endocrinology

Organ physiology, pathophysiology, endocrinology, metabolism, ageing, tumorigenesis, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome.

LS5       Neurosciences and Neural Disorders

Neurobiology, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, neurochemistry, neuropharmacology, neuroimaging, systems neuroscience, neurological and psychiatric disorders.

LS6       Immunity and Infection

The immune system and related disorders, infectious agents and diseases, prevention and treatment of infection.

LS7       Diagnostic Tools, Therapies and Public Health

Aetiology, diagnosis and treatment of disease, public health, epidemiology, pharmacology, clinical medicine, regenerative medicine, medical ethics.

LS8       Evolutionary, Population and Environmental Biology

Evolution, ecology, animal behaviour, population biology, biodiversity, biogeography, marine biology, eco-toxicology, microbial ecology.

LS9       Applied Life Sciences and Non-Medical Biotechnology

Agricultural, animal, fishery, forestry and food sciences, biotechnology, genetic engineering, synthetic and chemical biology, industrial biosciences; environmental biotechnology and remediation.

Social Sciences and Humanities

SH1      Markets, Individuals and Institutions

Economics, finance and management.

SH2      The Social World, Diversity and Common Ground

Sociology, social anthropology, political science, law, communication, science and technology studies.

SH3      Environment, Space and Population

Sustainability science, demography, geography, regional studies and planning.

SH4      The Human Mind and Its Complexity

Cognitive science, psychology, linguistics, philosophy of mind, education.

SH5      Cultures and Cultural Production

Literature, philology, cultural studies, arts, philosophy.

SH6      The Study of the Human Past

Archaeology and history.