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ESC Research Grants: Conditions and Regulations

PART 1. Purpose and scope of the ESC Research Grant Programme

Purpose of the programme

1.1 The ESC Research Grant Programme enables medical graduates, at any stage in their careers below consultant (and science graduates with research experience up to Assistant Professor, Lecturer or equivalent level), to gain specialised training in research in the cardiological field in an ESC Member Country outside their own home country.

As the programme is devised to provide opportunities for special research or further research training, applicants must pay particular attention to the importance of this requirement and ensure that their proposals contain clear evidence of the training they expect to receive.

1.2 Applicants are advised to seek out a centre in another ESC Member Country which not only offers good research and training opportunities but is also the most appropriate for the particular research they wish to undertake.

The application and research proposal for the period covered by the grant are to be prepared in collaboration with the proposed host centre. The host centre has to nominate a supervisor who will take the main responsibility for assisting the applicant for the preparation of the research proposal and on supervising the Research project if a Research Grant is awarded.

Period of support

1.3 Research may be undertaken for any period from three months to one year as requested by the applicant. Awards for longer periods will not be considered.

Financial provision

1.4 The ESC Research Grant provides financial support up to 25,000 Euros to the grant recipient, for a 12-month period, in addition to the agreement to be arranged with the selected centre (host institution). The granted amount will be calculated pro-rata, according to the length of the research period.

A fixed-term contract of employment is usually signed between the institution and the grant recipient. The host institution should confirm its agreement on this process and a copy of the contract has to be provided to the ESC (

For periods of time less than one year the grant is reduced pro-rata.

Grant recipients are urged to discuss the cost of their proposed programme of work with the host department so as to ensure that the department is in a position to meet any expenditure exceeding this amount. Thus, the head of the department will be expected to confirm this on the template to be completed by the head of the department.

Payment: 45% of the Grant amount will be paid 2 weeks before the starting date, the other 45% will be paid six months after the starting date and the remaining 10% of the Grant amount will be provided to the awardee once the Research report has been provided to the ESC.

1.5 Without prejudice to the ESC's other rights and remedies, the ESC may withhold or suspend payment of any grant funding due to the Grant recipient and/or require the Grant Recipient to repay all or part of the grant in case the Research grant period ends before the planned date, whatever the reason for such termination.

In case the Research grant period ends before the planned date, the host Institution and the Grant Recipient will inform the ESC without undue delay. Failure to inform the ESC in due time may result in the exclusion of the host institution and Grant Recipient from all future grant offers that may be organized by the ESC.

PART 2. Method of application


2.1 Applicants must meet the residence requirements as outlined in Appendix 1.

2.2 Applicants who are in doubt about their eligibility on residence grounds are advised to contact the ESC prior to submitting an application.

2.3 The qualifications required are as follows:

  • Applications are opened to candidates up to 40 years of age at the day of the application deadline (no exceptional circumstances, such as maternity leave, will be permitted).
  • Hold a PhD or DPhil degree or equivalent or must have submitted a thesis before starting the research period relating to the grant.
  • For medical graduates, should have completed their basic professional training and be able to demonstrate expertise in Cardiology through abstract presentation at a national or international meeting or have published one paper in a relevant journal.
Submitting a formal application

2.4 Application is available online here or through your My ESC account. The closing date to submit the online applications for the Research Grant is January 31st (each year). Applications are considered by the ESC Research and Training Grants Committee within 10 weeks.

2.5 Applicants are advised to read the notes carefully before submitting an application.


2.6 Research periods may be held in a suitable university department or similar institution within a country, which is a regular ESC member country. Applicants are expected to make their own arrangements for acceptance in the host institution.

Obtaining signed approval by the host institution representatives is the key task for the candidate before submitting an application to the ESC.

2.7 The ESC will not provide assistance with transfer or household removal expenses incurred by grant recipients on taking up an award.

Subject of research

2.8 Proposals must result from discussions between the applicant and the chosen supervisor but the applicant should submit personally composed proposals for research training.

The application form has been designed to make it clear that the head of the proposed department is willing to receive the candidate and provide the necessary facilities.

Conditions for application

2.9 Applications for Research Grants are made on the understanding that the host institution, as well as the supervisor and the Research Grant recipient all agree to accept the regulations relating to the programme. The ESC intends for the programme to be operated flexibly and reserves the right to deal as it thinks fit with applications of unusual character and to waive any rule, subject to the need to ensure that research funds are properly expended.

2.10 Applications must be supported in each case by:

  • The head or supervisor of the department or establishment in which the candidate is currently working. The applicant will share these regulations with the head of department of the hosting institution and make sure that the latter is aware of the closing date; the current head or supervisor of the department or establishment should then complete the required template and send to the applicant who will upload it to the application.
  • A document describing the proposed Research will be prepared jointly with the proposed supervisor.
  • The head or supervisor of the proposed host department, who should complete the required template and return it directly back to the applicant
  • An independent referee of the applicant's choice, who is familiar with his/her work but not attached to the current or proposed host department has a template to complete and give back to the applicant.

2.11 Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all the documents required are returned attached to the application to the ESC by those concerned, and in time for the normal closing date for application.

2.12 Applicants are required to clarify with the head or supervisor of the proposed host centre the language requirements needed for Research.

Part 3. Standard Regulations

Status of grant recipients

3.1 An award under these regulations will normally be administered through the medium of a fixed-term contract of employment for the period of the award, entered into by the grant recipient and the host institution, and co-signed by both parties.


3.2 Additional grants may be received but should take into account the amount offered by the ESC (maximum 25,000 Euros for a 12-month period).

Insurance and tax

3.3 The applicant is responsible for the set-up of his own personal and professional insurance and for compliance with taxation rules according to the local fiscal regulations.

Other awards and employment

3.4 Grants are awarded for full-time training and ESC approval must be sought before any other work is carried out within normal working hours. As it will generally be necessary to make a reduction of the grant corresponding to any additional income so derived, grant recipients MUST notify the ESC of any earnings from such work and of any honoraria or awards received.

This does not apply however to remuneration received from up to 6 hours a week spent with the supervisor's approval on teaching, clinical sessions or demonstrating, the payment for which may be retained in full if this is in accordance with the host institution's conditions.

3.5 It will be a condition of any award that grant recipients do not engage in private practice for personal gain.


3.6 Research grant recipients may take holidays in accordance with the conditions of service of the host institution up to a maximum of six weeks during a complete year. The date and duration of any holiday proposed beyond this period should be reported to the ESC.

Sick leave

3.7 Research grant recipients will be subject to the normal conditions of service of the host institution so far as sick leave is concerned, but the ESC should be notified if a grant recipient is likely to be away through illness for more than a month.

3.8 Research grant recipients are obliged to have a health insurance either provided by the employing institution or at the grant recipient's own discretion.

Honorary clinical contracts

3.9 Medically qualified grant recipients who undertake, as part of their Research programme, work concerned with the care of patients are reminded that they should be in possession of an honorary clinical contract from the appropriate health authority.

3.10 Responsibility for seeking such a contract will lie with the head of the department in which the grant recipient is working, following the usual practice of the local Medical School. Should any difficulty be encountered, the ESC should be informed. A copy of the contract is to be provided to the ESC.

Change of project or supervisor

3.11 Any changes in a grant recipient's Research programme or supervisor from those originally approved by the ESC will require prior consent from the ESC.

Final report and subsequent post

3.12 Grant recipients are required to submit a report at the end of the Research period on the work undertaken and to inform the ESC of the appointment he or she proposes to undertake at the end of the Research period. Grant recipients are encouraged to take this opportunity of putting forward any comments they may have on the Research Grant Programme.

Grant recipients are encouraged to submit an abstract for the ESC Annual Congress following the end of the Research period.


3.13 The results of a grant recipient's project may be published in the usual way at the discretion of the supervisor or head of department. The ESC expects that the award will be acknowledged in any publication pertaining to the work carried out during the tenure of a Research Grant. One off-print of each publication should be provided to the ESC.

Local regulations

3.14 Grant recipients will be subject to the terms of employment of their host institution.

PART 4. Special Regulations

Human subjects

4.1 Local Ethical Committee approval is required for research that includes clinical trials and/or involves human subjects, and appropriate evidence of such approval must be incorporated in the application. The ESC expects all such work to be undertaken in accordance with the highest standards.

4.2 Regulations concerning the control of experiments will be those existing in the local institution. This applies to medical records, radioactivity, and use of human materials, genetic manipulations, animal experiments and licenses for appropriate procedures.

Appendix 1 - Residence & Membership


These rules will apply to an award of an ESC Research Grant.

  1. Subject to the following provisions of these rules, a candidate must, at the date of application for an award:
  • be a citizen or permanent resident in a country, which is an ESC Member Country or,
  • have been ordinarily resident in an ESC Member Country or ESC Affiliated Country for the period of 3 years immediately preceding the date of application.
  1. Any candidate who is the child of an ESC Country member or ESC Affiliated Country member will be eligible for an award if, at the date of application:
  • He/she is resident in an ESC Member Country or ESC Affiliated Country and
  • His/her parent(s), being such (a) citizens, are employed in an ESC Member Country or ESC Affiliated Country or, if not, was/were previously last so employed or have been so employed for an aggregate period of 1 year during the period of 3 years immediately preceding the date of application, and
  • He/she has been ordinarily resident in an ESC Member Country or ESC Affiliated Country for the 3 years immediately preceding the date of application.
  1. A candidate who is a refugee or the spouse or child of a refugee will be eligible for an award if, at the date of application, the refugee:
  • is ordinarily resident in an ESC Member Country or ESC Affiliated Country, and
  • has not been ordinarily resident outside an ESC Member Country or ESC Affiliated Country since being recognized as a refugee or granted asylum.
  1. For the purpose of these rules:
  • A candidate will not be considered as being an ordinarily resident in an ESC Member Country or ESC Affiliated Country (as specified above) if he/she is fully or partly residing in such a country for the purpose of receiving full-time education.
  • A period of ordinarily residence will not be considered as being interrupted if the interruption is due to:
    • Temporary employment abroad of the candidate, his spouse or his parents, or
    • Temporary full-time education abroad of the candidate or his spouse.
  • Applicants should members of the ESC.