328 Top Early-Career Researchers selected for ERC Starting Grants
The European Research Council (ERC) has selected 328 first-class scientists to receive its prestigious Starting Grants, worth up to €2 million each. This first Starting Grant competition under the EU's Horizon 2020 programme, and the seventh to date, awards €485 million to early-career talent to develop their ambitious high-risk, high-gain research projects in any field. The projects selected cover a wide array of topics, including wearable electronic textiles powered by body heat, detection of bacteria by smell, 'toxic expertise' in the petrochemical industry, the origins of human rationality, combatting cancer related inflammation, and optimising user interface design.
This call attracted 3,273 applications and the overall success rate rose to around 10% (from last year's 9%). This year, the share of successful female applicants increased to 33%, from 30% last year. The success rate (grantees/applicants) of the female applicants is this time virtually equal to the male applicants. In this call, grants are awarded to researchers of 38 nationalities, hosted in 180 different institutions throughout Europe. In terms of host institutions, Germany (70 grants) and the UK (55 grants) are in the lead, followed by France (43) and the Netherlands (34). Austria hosts 11 Starting Grants. In terms of nationalities of grantees, Austrian ranks 11th (5 grants).