ERC awards Starting Grants to 291 researchers
The European Research Council (ERC) has recently announced that 291 early-career researchers across Europe will receive a total of €429 million in ERC Starting Grants. The funding is up to €1.5 million per grant and will enable the young researchers from different disciplines, and of 38 different nationalities, to set up their own research teams and pursue ground-breaking ideas. The Starting Grants are awarded under the "Excellent Science" pillar of Horizon 2020.
The new ERC projects will be hosted in 23 countries across Europe, with the United Kingdom (48), Germany (47), Netherlands (32) and France (29) as top locations. 9 ERC Granteees will be hosted in Austria. The number of grantees based in countries covered by the ERC initiative to widen participation, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, increased compared with the past few years. Malta will host its first ERC grantee. As regards nationality, Germany has the largest number of grantees (50), followed by Italy (23), France and Israel (24 each), and the Netherlands and the UK (22 each). 7 grantees are of Austrian nationality. 2,920 proposals had been submitted, of which 291 were selected, resulting in a success rate of around 10%. 72% of the grantees are male, and only 28% female.
When announcing the grants, ERC President Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, said: "With the granting of two thirds of its support to younger researchers, the ERC has shown its strong commitment to backing up-and-coming talent. The latest funding round adds to the many Starting Grant holders already supported across Europe, allowing them to gain early independence and to go after their most creative ideas without pre-set themes. Europe needs to encourage such creativity and risky, cutting-edge research. This year, the number of grantees based in Central and Eastern Europe doubled. Although still a very low figure, I hope this will be the basis for a sustained positive trend."
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