I am preparing a proposal for an ERC call. I am a little bit unsure about the amount of salaries.

  1. Since I solely work on this project, 100% of my time is devoted, and I should set a full salary for myself. Is there a standard salary scale for this purpose? How much I am flexible in setting the value? Is it dependent on the country of host institution?

  2. My collaborators already have full-time job, and they are paid full salary from their universities, which includes their research duties. If Professor X is contributing 20% of his time as a collaborator to my project, should I include 20% of his salary in the proposal? Again what is the salary scale I should follow?

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    There must be some sort of administrative office at your university that knows both your university's local rules and the EU rules that govern ERC grants. Go talk to them first. These offices have names like "Sponsored Research Office", "Office of Sponsored Programs", and "Research Office". – Bill Barth May 1 '15 at 12:02
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    To put it a bit more directly than @BillBarth: you need support to write an ERC grant. You cannot just willy-nilly go and write such a proposal with any expectation of success - you need support staff that knows the framework, a lot of time, a great idea, and excellent, top-of-your-field international standing. – xLeitix May 1 '15 at 12:44
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    As a starting point, read this blog entry by Andreas Zeller: andreas-zeller.blogspot.ch/2013/02/… – xLeitix May 1 '15 at 12:46

You can't simply compute the salaries yourself, but you'll have to ask the administrative staff at the university you're applying with to calculate the costs for you. This is because the actual numbers can be quite complicated to derive, with pensions, social security and the like being deducted. Plus, there are other rules for the budget that have to be followed, like the proportion of overheads, audit costs and all sorts of stuff you'd rather let someone else deal with, so you can focus on the science in your proposal.

Moreover, your host institution commits to the numbers in the proposal upon submission, they'll want to make sure that they are correct.

Paying salaries to scientists at other institution makes the administrative process a lot more complicated. You'll have to sort out their salaries with their host institutions.

Every decent institution nowadays has support staff specialised for grant programmes like ERC. Usually it is absolutely mandatory that you coordinate your proposal with those people. Normally these people can also support you in the grant writing process, e.g. with a stack of successful proposals for you to take inspiration from, or other helpful information. You should talk your idea through with them as soon as possible.

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