Call Development of
fundamental research activities

Funding Agency: MUR – Ministry of University and Research
Reference legislation: Directorial Decree n. 2281 of 28/09/2021 – Italian Science Fund 
Budget: overall 50 M€ [20 M€ for Starting Grant and 30 M€ for Advanced Grant]
Date of submission of applications: from 26/10/2021 to 27/12/2021
Call Documents: Call MUR Italian Science Fund

Objective of the call is to support fundamental research projects in any field relating to the macro-sectors and the scientific-disciplinary fields determined by the European Research Council [ERC], led by emerging Principal Investigators or established researchers, of any nationality.

The proposals are submitted by Principal Investigators in conjunction with the Host Institutions, beneficiaries of the ministerial contribution. Eligible subjects may be the Italian State Universities and not, however called including high schools with special regulations, public research entities under the supervision of the MUR, Institutes of hospitalization and treatment of a scientific nature, the Academies of Fine Arts and Conservatories, with headquarters in Italy.

Two funding schemes are foreseen:

Starting Grant [maximum contribution per project: 1 M€]
This includes emerging researchers, at the beginning of their career [PIs Junior], who have obtained their first Phd [or equivalent qualification] from no less than 2 and from no more than 10 years at the date of publication of the call, with a certain potential of scientific independence.

The Principal Investigator must be able to demonstrate a promising track record, giving evidence, in the proposal, of publications – at least two important publications as main author or without the participation of the doctoral tutor – in the most important international peer-reviewed scientific journals, also interdisciplinary, contributions to peer-reviewed collections or relevant monographs relevant to the field of research of the project proposal, presentations by invitation, at prestigious conferences, including international conferences, and at advanced schools at international level, patents, prizes related to scientific activity and international awards, as well as experiences abroad and international collaborations.

Advanced Grant [maximum contribution per project: 1,5 M€]
To this scheme can apply researchers established in their field [Pis Senior], with a maximum age of 65 years at the deadline of the call, scientifically independent and recognised leaders in the field of research proposed for at least 10 years.

The researcher must demonstrate that he/she has achieved results appropriate to the field proposed, presenting publications as main author or co-author in major international scientific journals, also interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, major research monographs, patents, research projects led by the PI, presentations, by invitation, international conferences and at prestigious international schools, conferences or congresses in which the PI has been involved as a member of the steering committee or organiser, international awards, and any recognised leadership in industrial innovation.

Within this grant are allowed projects, even high risk, potentially able to open new perspectives also in the interdisciplinary field.


For both funding schemes, the maximum duration of projects shall be 5 years.

Moreover, under the proposals relating to the macro-sectors LS [Life Sciences] and PE [Physical sciences and Engineering], it will be possible to request for an additional capital contribution, for the purchase of equipment, not exceeding 500 k€.

The contribution will be assigned to the Host Institution, which will have to guarantee the PI adequate conditions to manage independently the research and the financing obtained for the duration of the project.

The capital contribution may be granted up to a maximum of 100% of the total eligible expenditure, which must be related to the costs actually incurred by the beneficiary for the implementation of the proposed initiative.

The following cost categories are eligible: costs for personnel dedicated and with an ad hoc contract for the project; costs for instruments and equipment; other operating costs [e.g. consumables, access to research infrastructures, publications, …]; costs for services of scientific consulting or of technical-scientific assistance used exclusively for the purposes of the project. Overheads are recognised at a flat rate of 20% of the total eligible direct costs of the project.

Applications must be submitted in English, exclusively by electronic means, through the online platform dedicated to the call [], following the appropriate templates, starting from next 26 October and no later than 27 December 2021.

Finally, it should be noted that each Principal Investigator could submit only one proposal and could not participate in the scientific activities carried out by another IP under the same call.

The evaluation of the proposals will take place in two phases, managed by the National Committee for Research Evaluation [CNVR], supported by independent external experts with a high scientific qualification in the subjects covered by the call.