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ESC First Contact Initiative Grant

Promoting careers in basic cardiovascular sciences in Europe

The application period for the First Contact Initiative Grant will run from 20 March to 25 April 2025.


What is the grant for?

The purpose of these grants is to provide resources for the establishment of new research links between young scientists from European institutions and hosting institutions in a foreign country, within or outside Europe.

Each grant will provide funds for travel to an identified hosting institution and a minimum stay of ten calendar days. Applications will be considered if they cover one of two aims:

  1. To establish more permanent contacts designed to lead to a fellowship or a research affiliate position in the host laboratory for the development of a research project in the area of basic cardiovascular sciences.
  2. To learn new skills that will be beneficial to the researcher in their future career, and which can be transferred back to the candidate’s organisation.

Basic rules

  • A maximum of two grants of 2,500 (two thousand five hundred) Euros each will be awarded, based on the quality of the applications
  • They will be distributed via one call per year
  • Successful candidates must use their funds within nine months

Criteria for eligibility

  • Candidates should not be older than 40 years at the time of the application deadline
  • Candidates must have activity in the area of cardiovascular sciences
  • Candidates must be members of the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science (Sign up for free)
  • Candidates must be working in a European institution

How to apply

Applications should be submitted online before the deadline.

Before applying, please carefully read the disclaimer on Personal Data Privacy.

At the time of application, formal eligibility criteria will be checked.

The pdf application file you will attach to your e-form should consist of a bio-sketch of:

  • Your letter of motivation [maximum 2 pages] with the following information:
    • Describe your activity in the field of cardiovascular sciences (300 words)
    • Details of your project (300 words)
    • A statement on how you intend to use the award (budget forecast) (300 words)
    • A statement that if you do not use the grant within 9 months, you will return it to the ESC.
  • A one-page CV with a publication list
  • A letter of support by the host institution stating that they are willing to host you and what they can offer during your visit
  • A letter of support from your current institution
  • A written commitment to provide a detailed report on the outcome of the initiative after the grant is completed.

Applications must be submitted exclusively via online form accessible from the Applications section of your My ESC account. Once logged in, click on 'New Grant Application' and 'Apply now' next to Application for the ESC First Contact Initiative Grant 2024.

Apply now

Note: The first contact initiative grants programme application form will be visible and accessible only during the application period and if you fulfil the eligibility criteria. In case you cannot access it but believe that you are eligible, check your My ESC account to ensure that your information is accurate. 

For any queries contact:

Personal Data Privacy

The information collected is subject to data processing to record, evaluate and track your grant application.

The recipients of the data are ESC Staff who process the forms as well as the staff in charge of paying the grant monies.

Data collected will be kept for one year.

These data will be stored in Salesforce.

In accordance with the chapter 3 of the European Regulation 2016/679 with regards to data protection, you have the right to request from ESC, access to and rectification or erasure of your personal data or restriction of processing concerning your data or to object to processing as well as the right to data portability.

For such, please contact us (be aware that a proof of identity will be requested during the process via a secure web link).

You have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, and for information, ESC has appointed a Data Protection Officer that you can reach by email.


Access Scientific Reports from previous grantees