NSF Investigators – Research visits to ERC projects

An email on 22 November 2012 provides the following description of this planned program.

Goal: To further enhance scientific and technological cooperation between the European Union and the United States.

On July 13, 2012, the European Commission and the National Science Foundation (NSF) signed an Implementing Arrangement to enable U.S. – based scientists and engineers with 1) NSF-funded CAREER awards and 2) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships to pursue research collaboration with European Research Council (ERC) researchers and their teams (http://erc.europa.eu/sites/default/files/press_release/files/Press_release_NSF-ERC_agreement_final.pdf).

This will be implemented as short-term visits to ERC project teams. The U.S. researchers will be preselected by the NSF. This initiative is designed to facilitate the interaction of researchers from both systems in their endeavour to further advance research frontiers and pursue answers to major challenges, within the context of the ERC funded activity.


All ERC projects are eligible to host research visitors under this initiative. It is expected that the visit will take place within the current lifetime of the ERC project. The visit will not constitute grounds for an extension to the project.

Duration of visits:

(a) NSF CAREER awardees: Single and long-term (e.g., 6-12 months) or multiple short-term visits (e.g., for joint experiments). Research visits should begin at least 12 months prior to the termination date of the NSF CAREER award. Multiple short-term visits should aggregate to an agreed-upon minimum (e.g., 6 months).

(b) NSF Postdoctoral Fellows: Single and long-term research visits (e.g., 6-12 months). The time spent in Europe will be in addition to (rather than in lieu of) their NSF-funded (typically 2-year) postdoctoral fellowship.


Visiting U.S. – based researchers may be welcomed into the research teams of the ERC-funded PIs (at the Host Institution of the ERC projects) for the duration of the visit, so that any relevant expenses can be claimed under the ERC grant, supporting the team and the activity. The endorsement of the visit by the Host Institution is required and will form part of the applications to the NSF. No separate direct funding arrangement between the visiting researcher and the ERC will be necessary. The costs which can be reimbursed under the ERC grant must be eligible within the terms of the grant and the maximum amount of the ERC grant may not be increased for this purpose. Eligible cost categories include:

  1. subsistence costs on a per diem basis, or any other applicable modality of the Host Institution, in accordance with the applicable national law and any other rules or regulations applicable on the Host Institution, commensurate to the level of experience of the individual visiting CAREER awardee.
  2. the salary of the visiting NSF postdoctoral fellow, including any applicable social/health coverage expenses, in accordance with the applicable national law and any other rules or regulations applicable on the Host Institution.
  3. any other eligible costs incurred during the visit of the U.S. researchers that are directly related to the ERC-funded project.

Activities are subject to availability of funds and all applicable laws, regulations, policies, and programs of the ERC and NSF.