The European Commission has launched the pilot project European Research Area (ERA) Chairs. This initiative will award grants of up to €2.4 million to universities or research institutions in less developed regions in Europe to attract outstanding academics. The ERA Chairs initiative will be funded with €12 million from the 7th Framework Programme (2007-2013).
In a first phase of the pilot call through a competitive process the institutions will be identified and selected. Eligible institutions will be any university or other research organisation with a non-profit mission as defined in the FP7 rules for participation and located in a convergence/less-developed region as defined by the General Regulation of the Structural Funds for the present programming period and similar characteristics for associated countries.
Interested institutions can submit their proposals until 30 May 2013.
In the second phase, starting in early 2014, the successful research organisations will publish the job vacancy and select the ERA Chair holder through an open and transparent recruitment process, a guiding principle under the European Research Area. The candidates can be nationals of any country in the world. The idea is to award the 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.