Q. A researcher who underwent fertility treatment for a few years after the time she received her PhD and can provide documentation from the clinics in which she was treated, to prove this. will this evidence be sufficient to reduce the effective time lapsed from the time of the PhD?
A. According to the ERC Work Programme 2014 (page 16), Section 'Eligibility criteria', ‘Eligible Principal Investigator’:
'long-term illness (over ninety days) is considered as an eligible circumstance to extend the eligibility window.'
Whether infertility treatment can be considered as a long-term illness will depend on the decision of the Eligibility Committee* who will examine the submitted documents.
However, if the applicant can document the total number of days taken and the exact dates related to her health issue that would place her within the eligibility window, then it is likely (but not certain) that her treatment would be considered as a 'long-term illness'.
Disclaimer: the analysis and final decision can only be made by the eligibility review committee after the submission of the proposal, i.e. after the call closure. At the time of proposal submission, the applicant should submit a document/documents indicating the total number of days taken and the exact dates related to her treatment. Please note that these documents are treated in the strictest confidence and are not provided to the panel.