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I'm from university from Central and Eastern Europe (btw. underrepresented in ERC). I contributed to the research proposal of my colleague for ERC starting grant. However, within internal review process at university level, representatives decided not to support the grant application and in addition they forbidden to apply even with another host institution with arguments

  1. that the application may damage reputation of university
  2. and may compete for funding with another "more preferred" team at university.
  3. the outcome of the possible evaluation of the proposal may prevent application in next calls.

(Btw. the topic of research is mathematics and computational biology. No experiments on animals or humans or other possibly disputable ethic issues are involved :-) )

I've found in some ERC guides that there are restriction for unsuccessful applicants - thus point 3) is relevant. But are points 1) or 2) relevant? Are there any "quota" for host institution. Is host institution restricted if application evaluation outcome is "B" or "C" or worse like "breach of research integrity"?

PI now do not expect funding from ERC, as success rate is only 12% and almost no support were given by university to improve proposal further. But is it worth to try to apply with support of another host institution (small spin-off company) just to get feedback from review panel?

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    In my institution, every holder of a tenure track is required to apply for an ERC grant. Therefore, I am surprised that one should not do this. Of course, a lot of effort is put into these applications. Maybe a really bad proposal may damage the reputation. – cheersmate Apr 7 at 7:43
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    Most probably 2 is the real reason. 1 and 3 might just be excuses. – Anonymous Physicist Apr 7 at 9:19
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    @AnonymousPhysicist This does not make sense. We had the very same PI get two grants in the same application round - as coordinator! If the applications are good, chances are there. Maybe the application is not written well? – Captain Emacs Apr 7 at 11:50
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    @CaptainEmacs maybe application is not written well, but we do not know. The feedback we got so far criticize formalities not the topic. – TJK Apr 7 at 13:19
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    Are the formalities essential to be fixed? Can you fix and resubmit to your local peer-review? – Captain Emacs Apr 7 at 18:25

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